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Birdair chosen to supply PTFE membrane retractable roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium

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The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Rossetti, the architect of record for the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, have selected Birdair to supply a 210,000-sqft PTFE membrane retractable roof.


To deal with the swamp-like soil conditions underneath the stadium, eight tree-branch-like columns will sit on massive concrete bases, each of which will be supported by twenty piles driven 150-ft to 200-ft deep. The lightweight PTFE roof, which is expected to be installed by 2016, will close from two sides on glides in five to seven minutes. It will cost more than US$100m – half the price of previously considered plans.


Doug Radcliffe, Project Manager, Birdair North America, said:

PTFE is an excellence material for façades and roofing. First and foremost for this particular job, the lightweight membrane provides a cost-effective solution because it requires less structural steel to support the structure. An added bonus is the long spans of column-free space that it offers spectators. In addition, the membrane typically offers building owners reduced construction and maintenance costs compared to traditional building materials.


The Arthur Ashe Stadium roof is part of a five-year transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. The transformation, set for completion in 2018, will also include two new state-of-the-art stadiums and a series of enhancements designed to improve the overall experience for fans and players alike.


The Stadium – located within Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the New York City borough of Queens – features state-of-the-art broadcast and audio systems, 90 luxury suites, five restaurants (including media and player dining), a two-level players’ lounge and individual seating for 22,547 fans.