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Gran Carpa Catedral Topped with Birdair's PVC Membrane
Jan. 21, 2015 — Some churches have steeples. Some have wooden roofs, while others have metal. But The Gran Carpa Catedral, a church and spiritual center currently being constructed in Cayey in central Puerto Rico, will have a unique roof. The massive Carpa Catedral will feature a stunning red, blue, and white colored PVC membrane roof by Birdair.
Set to be completed in summer of 2015, the membrane will span about 423,000 square feet of surface area, and the land area covered below will be equivalent to four football fields. Once completed, the Gran Carpa Catedral will be the largest structure in the world in its category.
Birdair’s scope of work for this project consists of the design, fabrication, and supply of the PVC membrane and clamping. Installation will be in the work scope of the general contractor, A2 Group, while Birdair will be supplying technical advisors for the local construction of the membrane installation. The owners, Gran Carpa Catedral Corp., will supply the steel super structure.
According to the Gran Carpa Catedral website, this project was inspired by the prophetic vision of Rev. William Marrion Branham, an American-born Christian pastor with an international ministry. He envisioned a church with capacity and facilities for people of different religions, denominations, cultures, and nationalities, to come and renew their faith in God.
Once the building is completed it will include a space for a Bible school for children, conference rooms, a music studio, television and radio studios, and printing and customer service offices.
Beginning in 2006, the Gran Carpa Catedral Corp. took the initiative to make this project a reality. The donations of generous individuals from around the world have provided the resources for the construction.
The Gran Carpa Catedral’s arching metal structure will be covered with Birdair’s PVC membrane. PVC membrane is a cost-effective alternative to traditional roofing systems and can be produced in a multitude of colors to coordinate with individual building project needs. When produced in bright white, this flexible fabric membrane reduces radiant heat gain, keeping interior temperatures cooler during warmer weather conditions. Technically, PVC is a molecule comprised of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine. The combination of these elements results in a single-ply membrane that is simple to manufacture. During fabrication, remnants can be recycled and melted down to be reproduced, resulting in less waste.
“PVC membrane is a versatile product that we use to make beautiful yet functional structures,” said David Capezzuto, director of business development, North America, Birdair. “It’s a great product all the way around, and it is a perfect solution for the Gran Carpa Catedral roof.”
Because PVC is a thermoplastic, this membrane can be softened into a semi-solid state and infused with UV light inhibitors and anti-soiling fungicides. During installation, multiple sheets of the fabric can be overlapped and fused together in a process known as weldable seam technology. Once cooled at room temperature, these sheets form one continuous membrane.
Lastly, PVC membrane is fire resistant and meets numerous energy code standards, including those set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Birdair, Inc. is the leading specialty design build contractor of custom tensile structures throughout the world. The company offers a selection of architectural fabric membranes, including PTFE fiberglass, ETFE film, PVC and Tensotherm, an insulated tensioned membrane system. Birdair, based in Buffalo, NY, is a member of the Taiyo Kogyo Group, with operations serving North and South America and other international locations. For more information, visit www.birdair.com.