April 2014

Let the games begin

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Taiyo Membrane Corp. installs the largest tensile roof in Asia on a New Delhi stadium

by Krista Reisdorf

Photos courtesy of Taiyo Membrane Corp., Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, which originally opened in 1982, soon will be hosting an international sporting event. From Oct. 3-14, it will serve as the site for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as athletic events, for the XIX Commonwealth Games.

The stadium recently underwent renovations to meet international standards for the games, including a roof system installation. Taiyo Membrane Corp., Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, was chosen to install a tensioned fabric membrane on the 75,000-seat capacity stadium.

Creating a landmark

The project required a roof system that would not disturb the stadium's existing structure and had to be built without any perpendicular support from inside the stadium.

Birdair Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., serving as a subcontractor for Taiyo Membrane, designed, manufactured and supplied the membrane panels that were used for the 580,000-square-foot roof system—the largest of its kind in Asia.

Taiyo Membrane installed Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics' PTFE SHEERFILL Architectural Membrane. The membrane is supported by a cable network that spans 1,367 miles.

The project began later than expected because of delays with completing the steel support structure, which involved 75-foot-high "V" frames, 141-foot-high "X" frames and more than 9,370 tons of steel.

The fabrication and installation were controlled using a computerized model that provided X, Y and Z coordinates for the steel structure, cables and fabric membrane panels.

"The materials were laid on-site to match the required coordinates," says Nevil King, operations manager for Taiyo Membrane. "Lifting the cables was done in phases, and the initial phase—installing the radial ridge cables—required six cranes on both sides to maintain equilibrium."

Standard industry health and safety practices were followed during the project, including rope access. Swing-stage scaffolds primarily were used.

International recognition

Taiyo Membrane faced a tight schedule during the project, which involved a crew of 25 supervisors and 200 workers.

"The aggressive schedule and limited time to complete the project provided a challenge," King says. "However, the design and construction teams were able to make the most of the limited schedule. The availability of a skilled work force was overcome by training."

The end product was something to be proud of and is ready for the XIX Commonwealth Games.

"Completing a landmark structure that will be used in a high-profile international event was rewarding," King says.

Krista Reisdorf is Professional Roofing's director of online communications.

Project name: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
Project location: New Delhi, India
Project duration: January 2010-July 2010
Roof system type: Tensioned fabric membrane
Roofing contractor: Taiyo Membrane Corp., Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Roofing manufacturer: Birdair Inc., Buffalo, N.Y. and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Paris


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