Case Study Volume 2, Issue 3:

Unexpected Airport Terminal Reroof Requires Interior Protection Solution

Project Overview:  There are a number of ways weather can affect airports and airline travel. When a hail storm damaged this airport’s roof, it necessitated a replacement project that could result in negative impacts to travelers. To mitigate risks, TuffWrap® installed a suspended cover solution to protect the terminal and its occupants for the duration of the reroofing project.


Chamberlin Roofing and Waterproofing
Hensel Phelps
Austin–Bergstrom International Airport

Regional Sales Manager:  Tim Smith

Project Manager/Estimator:  Charles Ringhoff

Project Size:
89,000 sq.ft. SmartSeam® and High Structure Dust Removal

Duration:  1 year +

The Challenge

SmartSeam® Suspended Cover being installed in the terminal hallway

When a hail storm caused damage at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the roof needed to be replaced. The project would be no easy task given the circumstances. On top of the roof issues, it was determined that dust and debris could easily fall into the busy terminal during reroofing.

TuffWrap® was tasked with installing interior protection underneath the roof deck. This included areas where airline passengers would be walking and waiting for planes. In order to accomplish this, the team faced three specific challenges. First and foremost, keeping the sprinkler system operational was critical, particularly since it was a heavily populated public space. The interior protection would be up for an extended period of time and could not interfere with the fire sprinklers’ functionality.

The second challenge was the overall installation schedule. Finding a time with the least amount of potential pedestrian traffic would be key to the project’s success.

The third challenge was that the ceiling was 52 high feet, requiring specialized equipment in order to install the solution properly.

The Solution

TuffWrap Suspended Cover

Fully installed suspended cover solution in terminal hallway

TuffWrap’s signature suspended cover, SmartSeam®, was the perfect solution to ensure that the sprinkler system would not be impacted.  SmartSeam’s heat reactive technology allows it to open in the case of a fire so that the system can function as designed.  Choosing this interior protection offering meant that airport personnel could be confident that their building and customers’ safety would not be compromised.

Installation was completed during the night in an effort to avoid heavy pedestrian traffic. Crews worked on a tight schedule, coordinating closely with airport personnel.

Due to the ceiling height, special equipment would be needed to effectively install the suspended cover.  Atrium lifts were brought in to allow the crew to reach the heights and areas that would be required to provide a fully sealed solution.

Once the reroofing project started, it was quickly determined that post-project cleaning would be a necessity.  At that point, TuffWrap added High Structure Dust Removal to the overall plan.

Why TuffWrap

TuffWrap Captured Debris During Reroofing

Captured debris during the reroofing project.

TuffWrap’s commitment to innovation and in-house manufacturing process meant that SmartSeam® was readily available to be installed in the terminal.  By having a solution that could be relied on throughout the entire project but still allowed the fire sprinkler system to stay functional, TuffWrap was able to meet the customer’s needs and alleviate their concerns.

Ultimately, each interior protection project has its own unique challenges.  Due to years of experience, the TuffWrap team understands the need for individualized solutions and takes a flexible approach to solving those challenges.  The team also understands scheduling requirements, has access to specialized equipment and can make as-needed adjustments to the services being provided.


The airport terminal stayed protected without incident throughout the project, and the suspended cover remained in place for over a year. The added High Structure Dust Removal service was successfully completed during the takedown process. In the end, the airport personnel and the roofer were able to complete all the repair and reroof tasks while the terminal’s daily operations continued as normal.


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