This project was entered in the LSAA 2011 Design Awards (#7007)
This project was essentially a weather cover over a public space. During discussions with our sales team at the tendering stage it was clear that the project also had an element of environmental consideration. For this reason we developed a custom design that worked to these constraints.
The purpose according to builders was to create an inviting public recreation area. The architects specified a tensile membrane roof in order to cover the area while allowing natural light to enter the space.
TiO2 coated PTFE fabric is used here, this particular fabric is something the Taiyo Group has developed through our research the Japanese based development department. This is the first time this fabric has been used by MakMax in Australia, with great success. Although PTFE fabric is a unique aspect of the project it also turned out to be the most challenging. Through trial and error MakMax developed a slightly altered manufacturing technique in order to yield the best result. This was a big learning curve for us however we are all pleased with the result.
As per the clients needs the membrane roof delivers on all fronts. Natural light is able to pass through the fabric to the area below. We have been able to offer a green alternative in our own fabric, and the overall construction is light weight and on budget.
Although this project is not the most exciting in design or appearance, the learning process involved in brining the structure to fruition is something of great value to us.
DESIGN / FABRICATION / INSTALLATION BRIEF
The design and installation involved in this project is not far from ordinary, the choice of fabric and fabrication method are. In response to our client’s brief we provided a shell like structure comprising of four curved panels of fabric. The Green credentials of this development meant that the design, fabrication and installation must meet with best practice sustainability guidelines.
MakMax was able to contribute to the green credentials of the project through the use of tensile membrane as well as the fabric choice its self. TiO2 (titanium dioxide) coated PTFE (polytetraflouroethylene) fabric was used for its ‘self cleaning’ attributes. This is the first time a TiO2 PTFE fabric has been used on Australia.
Because this particular fabric had not previously been used on Australia the Brisbane factory staff had never worked with it before. The welding parameters were slightly different and some training was required to be able to achieve the weld standard of normal PTFE. Once practiced the staff at Brisbane were well and truly experts.
Over all the structural systems involved in this project were not complex, however, special consideration was taken with the flashings and closure strips along the exposed steelwork. Because both the steel work was exposed outward and the area needed to be waterproofed this lead to some creative problem solving.
The material chosen for this project was a Taiyo Group innovation, TiO2 (titanium Dioxide) which is a coating applied to some of the more common fabrics. TiO2 works though a photo catalytic reaction caused by the sunlight reacting with the titanium dioxide coating the reaction occurring between the contaminant and the surface of the fabric means dirt and contaminants don’t adhere to the surface easily. Membrane structures which utilise TiO² coating technology promise enduring beauty, translucence and 'as new' appearances for many years. When PTFE membranes are coated with titanium dioxide (TiO²) photo-catalyst, they inherit self-cleaning properties that's far superior to conventional membranes. It's called the Photocatalytic Decomposition Process, a self cleaning action that occurs as the TiO² causes any organic matter (stain or pollutant) to decompose through simple oxidation. The residue does not adhere to the surface and is washed away by water or rain. Known as the Photocatalytic Hydrophilic Process, The 'sheeting' action of water across the surface assures no unsightly streaking is left behind due to beading. PTFE and PVC membranes treated with TiO² also remove significant volumes of nitrogen oxide (NOx) from the atmosphere. In this reaction between TiO² and the air, both nitrogen and sulphur oxide from vehicle exhaust emissions, are decomposed to produce cleaner, purer air; at a rate of 1.2g (NOx)/1000m2/h.*
Fabrication of TiO2 coated PTFE require a different set of welding parameters. When fabricating this project in the Brisbane facility special training took place in the factory to educate staff on how to treat this new fabric. It was explained that the coating gives almost a false positive during the welding process, a deep colour appears on the welded surface as if it were burnt. This change in colour at first alarmed staff, however the colour bleaches to white once installed just like all new PTFE fabrics.
COLLABORATION, CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE
Maintenance to this landmark project is simple, because the base fabric is standard PTFE any structural considerations in maintenance is well known. The TiO2 coating is one which we have years of experience in since its use on PVC fabrics is quite common.
Project Number: 7007
Title: Blacktown Village Green
Location: 21 Campbell Street, Blacktown, NSW
Role: Fabricator, Installer
Client: Blacktown City Council
Architect: Suters Architects
Structural Engineer: Hughes Trueman
Builder: Project Corp Pty Ltd
Fabricator: Steelwork etc: Steelman