Lightweight Film for Cladding Can Provide an R-Value

Birdair Inc., a specialty contractor for custom tensile membrane structures for over 60 years, offers TensoSky ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) film, a durable, highly transparent and very lightweight film compared to glass structures. As one of the most lightweight and transparent cladding materials available, TensoSky ETFE film is considered the material of choice for traditional skylight applications, long span structures and building facades. 

Recent Birdair projects that have featured TensoSky ETFE film include the U.S. Embassy in London.

Recent Birdair projects that have featured TensoSky ETFE film include the Oklahoma City 4thStreet canopy structures, the Legacy Union building in Charlotte, the U.S. Embassy in London,Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and more.

ETFE film has a density of just 1.012 oz. per cubic inch and a low coefficient of friction of its surface, which prevents dust or dirt from sticking to it making it easy to maintain. Highly transparent (from 90-95 percent), ETFE film does not discolor, degrade or structurally weaken over time even under exposure to environmental pollution, UV light, harsh chemicals or extreme temperature variations. 

TensoSky ETFE film can be applied in single-layered form and is reinforced with either wire cables, lightweight steel or aluminum to maintain its shape and stability. In double- or triple-layered applications, TensoSky incorporates a pneumatic system to maintain air between two or three layers of film attached in aluminum extrusions and supported by a lightweight structure, creating inflated cushions. The cushions are filled with low-pressure air, providing thermal insulation and structural stability against wind and snow loads. 

A single-layer TensoSky ETFE system can achieve an R-Value of 1.0 degrees F, whereas a two-layer system achieves an R-Value of approximately 2.0 degrees F. A three-layer ETFE system holds an R-Value of around 2.9 degrees F.

ETFE systems provide ample natural daylight, minimizing energy costs by lowering the demand for indoor lighting. ETFE film can incorporate several custom or standard frit patterns on one or multiple layers to alter their solar heat gain performance. Colors can be introduced in a variety of ways, whether during the film extrusion process, providing a consistent tint in various tones from red to violet or adding lighting with unlimited color options.

ETFE film also can be recycled. Waste from the manufacturing process or even old ETFE elements can be remolded into new ETFE products such as tubing components, wires or castings. 

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.

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