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Birdair Introduces World's First Recyclable Architectural Fabric Membrane

Birdair, the leading specialty contractor of lightweight long-span roofing systems and tensile structures throughout the world, introduces Kenafine membrane - the world's first and only fully recyclable architectural fabric membrane.

The new product, manufactured by Taiyo Kogyo and sold in North America by Birdair, now makes it possible for tensile roofing structures to be recycled into paper products at the end of their lifecycle. This is especially ideal for temporary tensioned membrane structures, such as those built for the Olympics.

Like traditional fabric membrane roofing products, Kenafine functions as a highly durable, moisture resistant material that features a high degree of translucency, promoting optimum natural daylighting. As a sustainable building product, Kenafine contributes to a variety of United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credit categories.

"Kenafine is a unique step forward in realizing sustainable design through tensile architecture," says Michele Roth, Birdair marketing manager. "The ability to now be able to recycle fabric membrane into paper products makes tensile design both an environmentally responsible and aesthetically pleasing addition to the building envelope."

Kenafine membrane is derived from kenaf, a type of annual hibiscus herb that absorbs more carbon dioxide than regular plants and trees and therefore grows more rapidly. Kenaf growth reduces global warming by increasing the recovery of harmful carbon dioxide, and features no halogens that could produce fluorine and chlorine upon landfill disposal. The plant grows well in a variety of climates and is farmed principally throughout China, India, Africa and Australia, and through locations in North America, including Texas, North Carolina and Mexico. In the past, the main uses of kenaf fiber have been rope and twine similar to that made from jute, coarse cloth and paper. Kenaf functions as an alternative to wood as a raw material for paper.

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