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Although most commonly known for work with tension membrane, Taiyo has
expertise in lightweight cable roof structures.  

A cable roof structure is characterized as a lightweight system consisting of
steel cable elements attached to compression elements stabilized by guy and
stay cables.  Examples include Tropicana Field and the Georgia Dome (both
cabledomes), the Millennium Dome (a cablenet system), and the David L.
Lawrence Convention Center (a cable-suspension system).  As with any type of
cable roof system, the advantage to the building team is a roof of minimal
structure covering a column-free space ideal for large public assembly venues
as stadiums, convention centers, and athletic centers.  

The innovative cablenet roof of the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, England
has a 1,198 ft. (366 m) diameter and covers an area of over 920,640 sq.ft.
(85,528 sq.m).  All told, there is 230,000 ft. (70,104 m) of cables making up the
Dome’s roof structure, including forestay, upper hanger, backstay, radial, and
circumferential cables.  The cablenet forming the dome shape is suspended
from twelve 328 ft. (100 m) high steel masts set on a 656 ft. (200 m) diameter
inside the building footprint.  This cablenet consists of six circumferential and
72 main radial cable assemblies, made up of pairs of 1.25 inch (32 mm)
cables.  Each radial is picked up at six points by hanger cables suspended
from the 12 masts.  At the dome’s top, radials are connected to a ring of twelve
1.89 inch (48 mm) cables in place of a steel hub.  Taiyo’s extensive
engineering support, manufacturing capabilities, and experienced installation
crews completed the field installation of 2.16 million sq.ft. (200,664 sq.m) of
PTFE fiberglass membrane in less than 9 months.  

Besides their ability to cover a vast amount of space with minimal structure,
cable roof systems offer the building team a distinct advantage in design
flexibility.  The concept of the building form of the 1.5 million sq. ft. (139,350 sq.
m.) David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania came
when Architect Rafael Vinoly was inspired by the aesthetics of a nearby trio of
suspension bridges spanning the Allegheny River.  Certainly, the most unique
feature of this building is its sweeping cable-suspension roof.  Covering
330,000 sq.ft. (30,657 sq.m.) of exhibition space, 250,000 sq.ft. (23,225 sq.m..)
column-free, the 900 ft (275 m) long roof shares tensioned cable engineering
and construction detailing commonly found in suspension bridges, a clear
indication this stunning facility is a work of both imaginative architecture and
innovative engineering.  Fifteen massive, 9-inch diameter (229 mm)
suspension cables draped over 15 steel masts standing tall at the south facing
third floor terrace are anchored to a cantilevered "bow" truss on the river-facing
north side and a "stern" truss on the opposite south side.  Spanning across the
suspension cables are bar joists, acting similarly as the road decks of
suspension bridges.  The roof assembly further consists of an acoustical metal
deck finished with a stainless steel skin.

The David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the largest LEED-certified green
building in the world and the first public assembly venue in the United States to
fully integrate this rating system, has been recognized by the U.S. Green
Building Council for LEED Gold.  LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) is a voluntary, consensus-based national building
standard for rating high-performance, sustainable facilities.

Whether clad with architectural membrane or steel, cable roof structures offer
building owners cost benefits of reduced steel weight and shortened
construction schedules.  These economies, combined with minimal structure,
can also help the project team achieve its sustainable design objectives.  For
distinctive and innovative roofs such as these, let Taiyo Birdair be your
knowledgeable and experienced resource.

Additional reading material/resources:

Modern Steel
magazine, July 2004 – 2004 American Institute of Steel
Construction I.D.E.A.S. Awards article – "National Winner – David L. Lawrence
Convention Center".
Architectural Record magazine, May 2004 – Building Types Study: Convention
Centers/Civic pride article – "David L. Lawrence Convention Center".
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Lightweight Cable Structures
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