Donato M. Fraioli, CEO of AIR STRUCTURES AMERICAN TECHNOLOGIES INC. began his impressive career in 1962 while studying structural engineering at Mondell Institute of Technology and Westchester College. As a pioneer in the air structure industry, Fraioli served on the original U.S. national committee that had been formed to develop the 1st Minimum Design Standards for air-supported structures.
By the end of the decade, he had engineered and constructed the world’s first and largest Multi-Sports Dome system complete with his indirect lighting and air rotation inflation systems for Harvard University. He was awarded this contract for its use of the first of its kind Coaxial Cable Net system which relieved stress from the fabric envelope. No other competitor at the time was able to provide the safety factors offered by this design.
Perhaps the most significant contribution to the air structure industry is Fraioli’s patented bias cable net system. This system allows air structures to clear-span several acres, overcoming the obstacle of over-stressing the fabric. The rigid structural strength of this safety net system is directly responsible for expanding the uses of air structures, making it the logical choice for a myriad of new applications. This innovation gives air structures the ability to withstand extreme environmental condition such as heavy winds and snowfall, and allows air structures to meet the same structural code standards for conventional buildings.
Fraioli’s patented safety cable net structure, “Cable Dome”, attracted code authorities, architects, engineers, contractors and developers in a wide range of industries. Notable among these were Fluor and Bechtel Engineering Co. with their decision to use this system design to cover forty-two construction sites along the Alaskan pipeline and several other construction sites around the world.
Other important air structures attributable directly to Fraioli’s expertise include award-winning design structures for the New Jersey Pavilion, Pepsi-Cola and Dancing Water Pavilion’s for the 1964 World’s Fair, and (3) LAX International Airport Terminals. For more than three decades his knowledge has directed the design criteria in the development of turnkey operations for universities, multi- sport facilities, military and industrial sectors, including containment of industrial toxic waste sites. ASATI has been directly involved in developing the technical specifications for air structures and constructing sports domes for Harvard University, Rutgers University, Alabama University, Columbia University, Texas Tech University, The University of Illinois, several State Universities of New York, and eleven NFL football practice facilities: the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins.