Birdair, Inc., a specialty contractor for custom, tensile-membrane structures for more than 60 years, has brought style and shade to the training complex of one of Major League Soccer’s newest teams. A total of 96 individual PTFE mesh façade panels are featured at the Parmer Pond Grandstands, a 1,000-seat outdoor venue that is part of the new turf practice field for Austin FC.
Birdair designed and built the geometric-shaped, mesh façade panels on the vertical back end and top side of the grandstands, which consist of eight large façade areas with 10 separate PTFE mesh membrane panels in each area, as well as two smaller tensile façade areas in the center of the grandstands with eight total PTFE mesh fabric panels. The panels will provide much-needed shade to fans of Austin FC’s academy teams, which use the site as their home stadium.
For its efforts on the project, Birdair received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Facades at the 75th Annual International Achievement Awards (IAA), part of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Expo.
Opened in April 2021, St. David’s Performance Center serves as the official training facility of Austin FC. Located just seven miles from the Austin FC stadium, the $45 million, privately financed complex is now the training home of both Austin FC’s first team and the Austin FC academy teams. The 23-acre facility features four pitches – three full-sized natural grass pitches and one half-sized natural grass pitch – as well as one artificial turf surface. Two of the grass pitches are dedicated exclusively to Austin FC’s first team and configured as a “super-pitch”. The 30,000-square-foot site also hosts the expansion club’s players, technical staff and soccer operations leadership.
Birdair’s scope of work on the 1,550-square-foot project included design, engineering, fabrication and installation of the PTFE mesh fabric, cables and hardware. STG Design specified Birdair because of the flexibility and durability of its PTFE mesh panels, as well as for the panels’ natural visual appeal. Austin Commercial, one of the top 50 general contractors in the country, managed the entire project for the owner.
PTFE-coated fiberglass membrane can come in a solid or a mesh product, with the mesh most often used in vertical building facades and shading applications. The fabric’s mesh construction allows for more lighting to enter the space and more air to circulate through the fabric.
Because of its non-combustibility, PTFE mesh is an excellent choice for shade structures on high-rise rooftop decks and other building structures requiring a Class A roof material. Similar to solid PTFE-coated fiberglass membrane, PTFE mesh products have a long life expectancy, excellent durability and require minimal maintenance.