Sarasota Bradenton International Airport has announced that it will soon incorporate a series of facility improvement initiatives that the 73-year-old airport has launched in recent years. Three new PTFE fiberglass membrane canopy structures will be added to provide enhanced visual appeal and energy function to the airport’s baggage claim, ticketing and curbside areas. The airport has chosen Birdair to manage the design, fabrication and installation of the three membrane structures.
The challenge for Sarasota-Bradenton has always been winning over passengers who might choose larger airports in the region by default. So in 2012, the airport established plans for a makeover in an effort to make its facilities more attractive to visitors. These efforts included a new marketing campaign, a new air traffic control tower, the addition of a parking garage, ticketing enhancements, the addition of security billboards and new lighting.
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport officially opened in 1947 along the Sarasota-Manatee County line, after spending its first five years as a training base for the Army Air Corps during World War II. Once the Sarasota Manatee Joint Airport Authority took over management of the airport facilities, a new terminal building was constructed, which opened in 1959. The airport’s current terminal opened in 1989, which contains approximately 240,000 square feet of interior space—about four times the size of its original facilities. Its parking lot has 1,450 public spaces, with 257 reserved for car rental companies and 300 for employees.
Renovations Take Flight
With LPA Group serving as the architect and engineer and Magnum Builders of Sarasota, Inc. serving as the general contractor, the renovated curbside canopies will feature a unique, modern design and aesthetic featuring Birdair’s PTFE fiberglass membrane. Birdair will provide the design, fabrication and installation of the structural steel, PTFE membrane and structure cables for the three barrel vault shaped canopies.
Extremely durable and weather resistant, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) or Teflon®-coated fiberglass membrane can be installed in climates ranging from the frigid arctic to the scorching desert heat with a project life in some cases exceeding 30 years. The low surface energy of the material creates a surface which is readily cleaned by rainwater. It is also completely immune to UV radiation. This unique combination of thermal stability and surface properties make Birdair’s PTFE-coated fabric membrane ideal for projects requiring superior weather and fire resistance.
PTFE fiberglass is also Energy Star and Cool Roof Rating Council certified. During scientific tests of its solar properties, it was discovered that PTFE fiberglass membranes reflect as much as 73 percent of the sun’s energy while holding just seven percent on its exterior surface. Certain grades of PTFE fiberglass can absorb 14 percent of the sun’s energy while allowing 13 percent of natural daylight and seven percent of re-radiated energy (solar heat) to transmit through.
Preparing for Liftoff
The new canopy system will feature approximately 8,800 square feet of the membrane. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2016 and will be accentuated by enhanced roadway lighting, in-pavement warning lights, new canopy lighting, landscaping, milling, signing and pavement markings.
“Our products are often chosen for many transportation projects like this one due to the many benefits of tensile architecture and were happy to have been selected for this project,” said Thomas Connell, Business Development Manager for Birdair. “Incorporating our PTFE membrane should help assist Sarasota Bradenton International Airport in advancing into a new era of transportation facility design.
For transportation facilities, Birdair tensile membrane structures are not only visually appealing and durable but are also environmentally sensitive and economically competitive, providing comfort and convenience to travelers. The lightweight membrane provides a cost-effective solution requiring less structural steel to support the roof or façade, enabling long spans of column-free space. In addition, membrane offers building owners reduced construction costs and maintenance costs compared to traditional building materials.
*Teflon® is a registered trademark of E. I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Delaware.
About Birdair: Birdair, Inc. is the leading specialty design build contractor of custom tensile structures throughout the world. In addition to pre-construction services such as design assistance, budgeting, construction methodologies and project scheduling, Birdair provides design-build solutions in all aspects of project design, fabrication, installation and maintenance. The company offers a selection of architectural fabric membranes, including PTFE fiberglass, ETFE film, PVC and Tensotherm™, an insulated tensioned membrane system. Birdair, based in Buffalo, NY, is a member of the Taiyo Kogyo Group, with operations serving North and South America and other international locations. For more information about Birdair, like us on Facebook, call 1-800-622-2246 or visit www.birdair.com.