Amherst, N.Y.-based Birdair Inc. — a specialty contractor for lightweight, long-span roofing
systems and custom tensile architecture applications — has designed, engineered and installed a
tensioned membrane roofing system on the Aquarium of the Pacific — the largest aquarium in
Southern California and the fourth-largest in the nation. Birdair served as sub-contractor for the
roofing project, which was part of the aquarium’s 2008 expansion that included building a new
classroom and outdoor exhibition area.
The canopy is made of an approximately 2,018-square-foot polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabric
membrane installed as a linked Quasar Modular Unit System. According to Birdair, the flexible,
fire-resistant PVC fabric reduces radiant heat gain, can be infused with ultraviolet light
inhibitors and anti-soiling fungicides, requires little maintenance and maintains a long life. The
company also provided pre-drilled electrical access and custom plates to attach solar panels to the
The Aquarium of the Pacific has achieved Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building
Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®). The facility’s environmentally
friendly benefits include energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction and
improved indoor air quality.
March 2, 2010