Specialty Fabrics Review August 2022 - 29

2021 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
Commercial Retractable Awnings and Canopies
Uni-Systems LLC
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.
INTERVIEWEE
Peter Fervoy
President
Project specs: The project was erected on the rooftop
of the historic Manhattan community center 92nd
Street Y (otherwise known as 92NY). It applies a custom
En-FoldĀ®
RiteĀ®
retractable canopy system using Shelter3820
FRLTC DC-0 Clear by Seaman Corp. to
cover an area of 1,826 square feet. The approximately
22-by-82-foot canopy is attached to an existing steel
structure to turn the space into a rooftop playground,
green space and after-hours event area. It offers
shade and weather protection while being completely
retractable to comply with city requirements.
How was this different from past projects? It was kind
of normal in terms of size, but there were 100-year-old
curved, steel-angle trusses we had to use to support
the canopy. This original steelwork was built to support
chain-link fencing, not a roof. So, we worked with our
structural engineers to ensure the old steel could
handle the new wind loads with the canopy. And every
truss was curved differently, and probably hand-done,
so we had to make templates of each and make custom
steel bracketry to conform.
What were the unique, challenging and
complex facets?
1. The roof site was on a busy street. We had to hoist
building materials through the existing trusswork, so
everything had to be sized to fit the crane hoist.
2. This was during the height of the pandemic, so we
were collaborating via Zoom calls just as everyone
was learning to work from home.
3. We use a lot of custom aluminum extrusions in our
product, and we ended up being short one important
extrusion. We weren't able to get it on time due to
supply chain issues, so we had to take a different
extrusion of ours and make modifications to sub
it out for the missing one. Then we went back to
our engineers for an analysis on the structural
connections to make sure everything would work.
4. We completed fabrication in June of 2020, but the
city was locked down so we weren't able to get our
technician in for installation until
October 2020.
5. The city came back with an objection
to the canopy, citing zoning laws that
it would contribute to the floor area
ration unless the fabric was more
than 50% translucent. We searched
worldwide to find that in a fabric with
the right strength properties. Luckily,
I discovered Seaman Corp. had just
developed the new Shelter-Rite
3820 FRLTC DC-0 Clear fabric with
65% light transmission and strength
characteristics suitable for use with
the En-Fold retractable tensile canopy
system. That was sheer luck since we
were running out of time and options.
What skills and knowledge were most
important to getting this done? Just the
combined years of experience of myself
and our design director, Steve Goecke.
I've been with the company 21 years
and have worked on big, retractable
stadium roofs and all types of kinetic
architectural elements, and lots of
unique challenges in terms of design.
Steve comes from a background mostly
in building facades.
LESSONS LEARNED
" We learned to use
all our skills and
put 100% of our
effort into design
and planning
to prevent
scrambling in the
field later on. "
Peter Fervoy
Uni-Systems LLC
SpecialtyFabricsReview.com 29
http://www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com

Specialty Fabrics Review August 2022

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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2022 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2022 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2022 - 1
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