Birdair, Inc. Completes Work on Hilton Orlando Convention Center

Tensioned Membrane Canopy Tops Hotel’s Main Entrance

Buffalo, NY, November 20, 2009 --( The new Hilton Orlando Convention Center, Orlando, FL, now welcomes visitors with a tensioned membrane entrance canopy from Birdair, Inc., the leading specialty contractor of lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures throughout the world.

As the project’s roofing subcontractor, Birdair worked throughout the design-build process to construct the canopy system’s supporting steel frame and PTFE SHEERFILL Architectural Membrane cover. In addition, Birdair integrated an “invisible” gutter and downspout system into the steel framing system.

Functionally, the canopy shelters the facility’s main entrance, providing cover for hotel patrons. Aesthetically, the canopy system was designed to resemble a clamshell, lending a distinct look to this location of the prominent hotel chain.

“The roof’s unique shape is further accentuated through the use of uplighting at night, creating a glowing effect,” explains Michael Grant, project manager for Birdair. “The building owners were very pleased with the final results.”

More than 18,000 square feet of PTFE SHEERFILL forms the canopy. SHEERFILL, manufactured by Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, is the first ENERGY STAR® qualified and Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) certified architectural fabric membrane. As an ENERGY STAR product, SHEERFILL can help lower air conditioning requirements in buildings, reducing peak cooling demand by 10-15 percent.

In addition to the tensioned membrane canopy system, the 1,400-room, 18-story hotel benefits from a variety of other design components, including a pedestrian sky bridge that connects with the neighboring Orange County Convention Center. The hotel offers more than 130,000 square feet of meeting space, a 15,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, restaurants and recreational amenities.

Construction on the Hilton Orlando began in 2006 and was completed in 2009. In addition to Birdair, the project team consisted of architect HKS, Inc., Orlando, FL, and general contractor WELBRO Building Corporation, Orlando, FL.

As a full-service specialty contractor, Birdair offers complete design and engineering assistance and solutions throughout the design-build process, and has completed more than 1,200 tensile architecture installations worldwide. Learn more at

About Birdair: Birdair, Inc. is the leading specialty contractor of lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures throughout the world, providing design-build solutions for architects and clients in all aspects of project design, engineering, installation and maintenance. Lightweight long-span roofing systems and cable structures can be attached to any building envelope and offer aesthetic and functional options to complement any exterior design. 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 about Birdair, call 1-800-622-2246 or visit

Birdair, Inc.
Michele Roth