|The new "Meadow Structure" pavilion at the Staten Island Children's Museum, in Staten Island, New York was designed by Marpillero Pollak Architects. Photo: Courtesy Marpillero Pollak Architects|
A rooftop vertical-axis wind turbine also powers an exhibit inside the museum, and a skylight wind scoop passively ventilates the building's main stairwell.
The Meadow Structure's tensile roof combines photovoltaic film panels with a PTFE-coated fiberglass membrane, both fabricated by Birdair, Inc. Electricity generated by the photovoltaic film is sufficient to illuminate the pavilion for nighttime events.
|The "Meadow Structure" pavilion features a tensile fabric roof with photovoltaic film attached to its upper side. Photo: Courtesy Marpillero Pollak Architects|
"One challenge of this project was to balance the lightness, strength, and aesthetics of the structure with the need to maximize sun exposure for the photovoltaic panels." said Weidlinger Project Manager Gregory Freeman. To achieve this, Weidlinger engineers worked with the architect to shape the roof, originally designed with only small portions facing the sun, into a slightly flatter contour, accommodating the resultant loss of structural efficiency by using heavier steel beams.
Another structural challenge was to anchor the structure's roofing cables around its massive concrete foundation without causing damage to the roots of adjacent trees. Weidlinger engineers addressed this challenge by minimizing the width and maximizing the depth of the excavation.
|A vertical wind turbine replaced an existing skylight of the Staten Island Children's Museum building. Photo: Courtesy Marpillero Pollak Architects|
|A second skylight was retrofitted with a skylight windscoop that provides ventilation as well as daylight. Photo: Courtesy Marpillero Pollak Architects|
Data from all three structures are transmitted to an interactive display that teaches museumgoers about energy consumption and conservation.