The tension membrane structure is the first of several planned at Logan International Airport.
Client: United Airlines
Fabric: Shelter-Rite Style 8028 DC-137 translucent PVC fabric with Bright White fluoropolymer coating by Seaman Corporation
Engineer: Whitney Atwood Norcross
Fabrication and Installation: Rubb Building Systems, Inc.
A huge clear span structure fabricated with Shelter-Rite® architectural fabric by Seaman Corporation provides a highly cost-efficient way to meet the need for a building, which was used to maintain some of United Airlines' largest jet airplanes and is now owned by Delta Air Lines.
Manufactured by Rubb Building Systems, Inc., the steel supported, fabric tensioned structure was designed by Whitney Atwood Norcross and is one of the largest frame-supported fabric structures in the world, encompassing some 69,000 square feet. Used to maintain Boeing 777 jetliners, the building measures 255 feet by 270 feet with sidewalls thirty feet high that are insulated for energy conservation. Because of Rubb’s unique engineering and design, these structures can be relocated to facilitate airport growth.
The structure was originally installed in 2001. Located near the airport entrance, it attracts considerable attention because of its size. After 17 years, it has had few maintenance issues and looks almost as good as the day it was installed. This is because of the self-cleaning characteristics of the Tedlar surface.
Shelter-Rite fabric Style 8028 was selected for the project because of its proven ability to withstand the stresses of the tremendous structural spans. The fabric can also withstand Boston's severe winters and resist the punishing effects of jet fuel residue.
The translucent fabric creates a bright, airy environment, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Because the fabric was specified with a Tedlar top finish, its self-cleaning properties help maintain the building's attractive appearance.
Rubb Building Systems was not a newcomer to the challenge of fabricating huge airport structures with Shelter-Rite fabric. They had previously provided 70,000-square-foot cargo storage buildings for United at Honolulu, Los Angeles, Newark, and Miami International Airports, among others. This structure was built to withstand wind gusts of over 100 mph and long-term exposure to intense UV rays. Delta Air Lines is now the owner of the building at Logan International Airport, and because of the flexibility and benefits seen with the Shelter-Rite fabric, can consider it a viable option for future airport structures.