Radford University has signed on for another season with fabric membrane roofing. Dedmon Center - the Radford, Va.-based university’s multipurpose athletic arena - is currently undergoing retrofit roofing construction, to be completed in November 2008.
A PTFE air-supported roofing membrane previously topped the 5,000-seat Dedmon Center, installed by Birdair Inc. in 1981. Nicknamed “The Bubble,” the original roof exceeded its projected 20-year lifespan by an additional seven years, lending a variety of long-lasting benefits to the NCAA facility during that time. The decision to reroof with fabric membrane was a natural one; stemming from the material’s innate ability to provide enhanced functionality, durability, sustainability and aesthetic appeal.
“The roof has performed well beyond its expectations and has exceeded its life span,” said Roy Seville, Radford University’s director of facilities planning and construction. “We made the decision to go with Birdair again a few years ago when we foresaw that the roof would need to be replaced soon.”
Dedmon Center’s new fabric roof, comprised of Tensotherm with Nanogel - the world’s first insulated fabric roofing material - will now also provide insulation to the facility, in addition to maintaining the aforementioned attributes. When completed, Dedmon Center’s new fabric membrane roofing system will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
Retrofit construction on Dedmon Center began in May 2008, upon which the project team took special measures to “green” the construction process.
Dedmon Center’s steel tri-chord truss system was designed by Moseley Architects, Richmond, Va., in conjunction with Stroud Pence, Suffern, N.Y., and fabricated by Superior Steel, Baton Rouge, La. Branch and Associates, Roanoke, Va., serves as general contractor while Birdair Inc., Amherst, N.Y., serves as both engineer and roofing contractor.
Tensotherm with Nanogel, a groundbreaking new product resulting from a collaboration between Birdair, Cabot Corporation and Geiger Engineers, solves the important industry challenge of insulating fabric membrane.
The material consists of a fabric layer incorporating Cabot Corporation’s Nanogel aerogel that is sandwiched between two pieces of structural PTFE fabric, creating an insulated inner layer that is energy efficient and reduces the need for increased artificial lighting. The fabric system is additionally lightweight - less than 2 inches thick - but with a notable insulation value of R-12. By retaining cool air in warm conditions and warm air in cold, Tensotherm with Nanogel increases thermal efficiency in a structure, meeting increasingly demanding energy and building codes required throughout North America. The insulated fabric membrane material can additionally contribute to LEED certification, satisfying credit categories including insulation, green materials, innovation and daylighting.
In addition to longevity and insulation, Dedmon Center will benefit from Tensotherm’s variety of sustainable benefits, including enhanced durability, water repellence, fade resistance, solar heat gain reduction, increased daylighting and subsequent decreased lighting costs.
Prior to this renovation, Dedmon Center did not have air conditioning. The new Tensotherm with Nanogel roof will now allow the entire sports complex to be air conditioned, regulating temperature and moisture control inside the structure, while improving the internal environment and overall energy efficiency of the arena.
“When we first began discussing the need to install a new roof on the Dedmon Center, the technology wasn’t available yet,” said Seville. “As soon as we heard about Tensotherm, we knew that it was a product we wanted to use; it became a requirement for us.”
Dedmon Center features an indoor jogging track, racquetball courts and weight training room, with a main area housing basketball and volleyball courts. In addition to the roof replacement, the athletic arena is undergoing numerous other renovations, including the installation of a new heating, air conditioning and ventilation system. Retrofit construction is slated for completion in November 2008, in time for basketball season. CR