Khalifa International Stadium’s Dazzling Roof System to Shine During 2022 FIFA World Cup™

The eyes of the world will soon be on Khalifa International Stadium and its visually stunning roof system by Birdair, Inc., the world’s leading specialty contractor for custom tensile membrane structures for over 60 years. The stadium, located in Doha, Qatar, is one of eight that will host matches during the 2022 FIFA World Cup from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18.
Taiyo Middle East, a Birdair subsidiary based in Dubai, designed, fabricated, supplied and installed the sustainable membrane roof system for the stadium during its 2017 renovation project. The stadium roof features three next-generation integrated tensile membrane systems: PTFE fiberglass membrane, TensoSky® ETFE single-layer film and Tensotherm, a translucent insulated tensioned membrane system.
Projacs, the largest Pan-Arab project and construction management firm, and Dar Al-Handasah, a leading international architectural consulting organization, specified Taiyo Middle East based on its wealth of experience and expertise using world class products. The project team chose all three innovative membranes for a variety of reasons, including aesthetics, performance and sustainability. Specifically, extreme temperatures in the Middle East require the use of products that can withstand intense heat from the sun.
“Birdair’s striking membranes truly helped to enhance Khalifa International Stadium’s modern design,” said Michele Taylor, Director of Marketing, Birdair. “We’re proud of the role we played in the renovation and the distinctive roof system that will provide protection to thousands of players and fans for years to come.”
The majority of the roof system features approximately 500,000 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane. Approximately 35,000 square feet of the roof’s south leading edge utilizes single-layered TensoSky ETFE film supported by a cable net. And a third portion of the roof, located on the lower edges near the compression ring, incorporates Birdair’s Tensotherm system to enhance thermal performance.
Extremely durable and weather resistant, PTFE 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 free 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.
TensoSky ETFE film is durable, highly transparent and very lightweight in comparison to glass structures. The transparency of the ETFE membrane allows daylight to flow into the space below while providing cover for players and fans. The film is UV transparent, so exposure to UV won’t discolor or structurally weaken the film. In addition, due to the inert nature of its surface, ETFE film resists adhesion of airborne pollutants, dust, dirt and chemicals.
Tensotherm is a composite system comprised of a PTFE fiberglass membrane exterior skin, a thin translucent insulation blanket embedded with aerogel and a lighter liner. The system provides invaluable benefits to people living, working and playing under it, including diffused glare-free natural daylight; enhanced temperature control, even in the most extreme environments; and innovative sustainability.
To ensure that Qatar achieves its goal of hosting an environmentally friendly FIFA World Cup, Khalifa International Stadium became the first venue in the world to be awarded with a 4-star Global Sustainability Assessment Systems (GSAS) certification, administered by Qatar-based Gulf Organization for Research & Development (GORD). To further reduce the tournament’s carbon footprint, a new metro will be available for fans at Sports City Station, located directly adjacent to the stadium.
Khalifa International Stadium was first constructed in 1976 as a 20,000-seat stadium and hosted the Arabian Gulf Cup in that same year. It returned to hosting prominence in 1992, when it received an upgrade to again host the Gulf Cup. A third renovation took place in the early 2000s, and Birdair was awarded the design and supply of the PTFE membrane roof system for the stadium.
Qatar will have the honor of hosting the first ever World Cup in the Middle East, where Khalifa International Stadium will host matches through the quarterfinals. Prior to the World Cup, the stadium was the host venue for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship and the 50th Amir Cup Final in March 2022.
The stadium provides space for 40,000 spectators, and new cooling technologies will guarantee a comfortable fan experience and ideal conditions for players and officials. The stadium also hosts the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum to celebrate Qatar’s culture of sport and the global sports heritage represented by the Olympic Games. As a special addition, the development includes a new building which will be added to the stadium’s east wing that contains food courts, shops, multi-purpose rooms, VIP lounges and a health center.
A full-service design-build contractor for tensile architecture, Birdair features a comprehensive range of pre-construction services including design assistance, budgeting, construction methodologies and project schedule development. Birdair’s in-house capabilities include design development, engineering, fabrication, construction (installation) and service and warranty services.
For more information on Birdair’s innovative roofing systems, canopies and skylights, visit Birdair.com and follow Birdair on Facebook and LinkedIn.
About Birdair
Birdair, Inc., is the leading specialty design build contractor of custom tensile structures around 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, TensoSky® 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, call 1-800-622-2246 or visit Birdair.com.
*Featured Image Courtesy: Birdair

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