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Dissertation Report

Session: 2014 -2015

TENSILE STRUCTURES

Rachit Katiyar
040114850
Batch: 2011-16
Guide: Ar. Manjari Rai

Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment for the B.Arch degree


Faculty of Architecture
Jagannath University
Plot No. IP2&3, Phase IV, Sitapura Industrial Area, Jaipur

Approval
The Dissertation title TENSILE STRUCTURE is hereby approved as
original work of Rachit Katiyar (040114850) on the approved subject
carried out and presented in manner satisfactory to warrant as per the
standard laid down by the Faculty of Architecture & Planning ; Jagannath
University , Jaipur.
This dissertation has been submitted in partial fulfilment for the award of
B.Arch. degree from Jagan Nath University, Jaipur.
It is understood that the undersigned does not necessarily enclose or
approved any statement made, any opinion expressed or conclusion
drawn therein, but approves the study for the purpose it has been
submitted .

Date: 26/11/2015
Place : JAIPUR

Seal of Jagan Nath University

............................
..........
Name & Signature
Signature
External Examiner-1
Guide

.........................................
.................
2

............................
Name & Signature
External Examiner- 2

...................
Name &
Dissertation

..................

Name & Signature


Signature

Name &

Dissertation Head
Department

Head Of

Declaration
I Rachit Katiyar hereby solemnly declare that the dissertation undertaken
by me (TENSILE STRUCTURE) is my original work and whatever
incorporated in the form of text, data, photograph, drawings etc. From
different sources has been duly acknowledged in my report.

This dissertation has been completed under the supervision of the guide
assigned to me by the Faculty of Architecture & Planning , Jagannath
University.

I also declare that the work embodied in the present dissertation is my


original work/extension of the existing work and has not been copied from
any journal/dissertation/book and has not been submitted by me for any
other degree/Diploma.

Name and signature of the student


Enrollment number 040114850
Session 2015-16
Jagannath University, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The study has followed long and winding path along which i met many
people this formal space to acknowledge their contribution is too less. Yet i
would say that the distribution of my gratitude to all these supporters
from different places is proportionate and equitable.
I would like to express sincere gratitude to all my teachers , my friend and
colleagues at Jagannath University, for their help to make this endeavour
possible.
First and foremost, I would like to thank my guide ar. manjari rai for his
guidance and encouragement throughout the dissertation process.
This dissertation is completely dedicated to my parents and my sister .
Their constant love, support and motivation throughout have made this
task possible.

TENSILE STRUCTURE

TABLE OF CONTENT

APPROVAL
2
DECLARATION
3
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
4
TABLE OF CONTENT
5-6

SYNOPSIS
7 -8
INTRODUCTION
9

CHAPTER 1
1.1 ADVANTAGES OF TENSILE STRUCTURE
11-12
1.2 HISTORY OF TENSILE STRUCTURE
13
5

1.3 ORIGIN
14

CHAPTER 2
2.1 ABOUT TENSILE STRUCTURE
16
2.2 TENSILE FABRIC FORMS
17 - 18

CHAPTER 3
3.1 SURFACE TYPES
20
3.2 COMPONENTS
21-22
3.3 JOINARY DETAILS
23

CHAPTER 4
4.1 SOLAR BEHAVIOR
25
4.2 MATERIALS FOR TENSILE FABRIC STRUCTURE
25-31
4.3 COMMON MISCONCEPTION
32

CHAPTER 5
5.1 CASE STUDIES
34-41

CONCLUSION
REFERENCES

AIM
To explore the use of tensile structures.

OBJECTIVE

To study use of tensile structures.


To study its advantage in architecture.
To study its development.
To study its applications.
To study how tensile structures effects architecture

LIMITATIONS.
Excluded residential use of tensile structures.

SCOPE

Lightweight Nature - The lightweight nature of membrane is a cost effective


solution that requires less structural steel to support the roof compared to
conventional building materials, enabling long spans of column-free space.

Flexible Design Aesthetics - Tensile membrane structures provide


virtually unlimited designs of distinctive elegant forms that can be realized
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because of the unique flexible characteristics of membrane resulting in an


iconic and unique structure.

Low Maintenance Tensile membrane systems are somewhat unique in that


they require minimal maintenance when compared to an equivalent-sized
conventional building

Cost Benefits Most tensile membrane structures have high sun reflectivity
and low absorption of sunlight, thus resulting in less energy used within a
building and ultimately reducing electrical energy costs.

Clear Span- The other factor that clearly puts fabric ahead of other materials
is its clear span capabilities. Whereas all other possible roofing materials
require rigid intermediate support, fabric can span from one boundary right
across to the opposite side in one unbroken sweep. The advantages of this
are that there are no awkward or difficult sealing details that need to be
addressed.

HYPOTHESIS
Depending on the type of membrane and overall project design, tensile membrane
systems appropriately meet the various associated building code requirements

METHODOLOGY

INTRODUCTI
ON

HISTORY

CASE STUDY

ANALYSIS

CONCLUSIO
N

INTRODUCTION

ABOUT TENSILE
STRUCTURE
USAGE
CLASSIFICATION

Tension roofs or canopies are those in which every part of the structure is loaded
only in tension, with no requirement to resist compression or bending forces.
Tensile structures are the most common type of thin-shell structures. Most tensile
structures are supported by some form of compression or bending elements, such
as masts compression rings or beams
An attractive feature of tensioned fabric structures is their enormous range of
spanning capability. Architects have found the inherent visual drama and the long
span ability of fabric particularly appropriate for athletic and entertainment facilities
such as stadia and amphitheaters. There are various membranes or films available
to achieve a signature design, such as PTFE (poly tetra fluoro ethylene) fiber glass,
ETFE (Ethylene tetra fluoro ethylene) film, PVC and high translucency PTFE.
Insulated fabrics are also available to improve the energy performance of an
enclosed tensile membrane structure.

Tensile Structure Sky Roof

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CHAPTER-1

1.1 .ADVANTAGES OF TENSILE STRUCTURES


There are many great advantages and functional benefits of tensile membrane
structures and here are few reasons why:

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Flexible Design Aesthetics - Tensile membrane structures provide


virtually unlimited designs of distinctive elegant forms that can be

realized because of the unique flexible characteristics of membrane


resulting in an iconic and unique structure or feature for any building
owner, city or even region.

Outstanding Translucency In daylight, fabric membrane translucency


offers soft diffused naturally lit spaces reducing the interior lighting costs
while at night, artificial lighting creates an ambient exterior luminescence.

Excellent Durability With several different membranes in the market


place such as PTFE fiberglass, ETFE film, PVC, and ePTFE, the
durability and longevity of tensile membrane structures have been proven
and built in climates ranging from the frigid artic to the scorching desert
heat.

Lightweight Nature - The lightweight nature of membrane is a cost


effective solution that requires less structural steel to support the roof
compared to conventional building materials, enabling long spans of
column-free space.

Low Maintenance Tensile membrane systems are somewhat unique in


that they require minimal maintenance when compared to an equivalentsized conventional building

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Cost Benefits Most tensile membrane structures have high sun


reflectivity and low absorption of sunlight, thus resulting in less energy
used within a building and ultimately reducing electrical energy costs.

Code Compliance Depending on the type of membrane and overall


project design, tensile membrane systems appropriately meet the various
associated building code requirements.

Variety of Membranes Whether its a permanent durable structure that


needs to last longer than 30 years, an insulated membrane system for
thermal performance, or a deployable flexible application, there are a
variety of tensile membranes to choose from to meet specific
performances for your next building project.

1.2 HISTORY OF TENSILE STRUCTURE


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Tensile structure has only become more rigorously analyzed and widespread in large
structures in the latter part of the twentieth century. Tensile structures have long been used
in tents, where the guy ropes and tent poles provide pre-tension to the fabric and allow it to
withstand loads.

Russian engineer Vladimir Shukhov was one of the first to develop practical calculations of
stresses and deformations of tensile structures, shells and membranes. Shukhov designed
eight tensile structures and thin-shell structures exhibition pavilions for the Nizhny Novgorod
Fair of 1896, covering the area of 27,000 square meters. A more recent large-scale use of a
membrane-covered tensile structure is the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, constructed in 1958.
Antonio Gaudi used the concept in reverse to create a compression-only structure for
the Colonia Guell Church. He created a hanging tensile model of the church to calculate the
compression forces and to experimentally determine the column and vault geometrie

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1.3 ORIGINS
The origins of fabric structures can be traced back over 44,000 years to the ice age
and the Siberian Steppe, where remains have been found of simple shelters
constructed from animal skins draped between sticks. It is likely that structures of
this type were the first dwellings actually constructed by humans, and it has even
been suggested that simple textiles were used for spatial division and shelter before
they were used as clothing.

Initially associated with nomadic peoples, one of the earliest and most successful
types of fabric structure was the loosely woven black tent. The black tent spread
throughout the civilised world during the Arab conquests of the eighth century, and its
descendants are still in use today

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CHAPTER 2

2.1 ABOUT TENSILE STRUCTURE

A structure where the exterior shell is a fabric material spread over a framework.
The fabric is maintained in tension in all directions to provide stability.
The use of materials is inefficient in bending elements. The interior fibers never
reach their maximum stress levels, while always maintaining weight. From this
idea, the truss was developed where the inefficient material of the beam was
turned into clear space and each truss carried specific tension and compression
force. However, the simplest efficient structural system is when load is carried by
one element that is either completely in tension or compression.
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2.2 TENSILE FABRIC FORMS

Saddle roof
Mast supported
Arch supported
Point supported
Combinations

SADDLE ROOF
Four or more point system when the fabric is stretched between a set
of alternating high and low points

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MAST SUPPORTED
Tent - like structures containing one or more peaks supported by poles
(masts) or a compression ring that connects the fabric to the central
support.

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ARCH SUPPORTED
Curved compression members are used as the main supporting
elements and cross arches are used for lateral stability.

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COMBINATIONS
Combination of several support types.

USAGE
No matter how much we know about the advantages of tensile membranes, there's
always scope for more discussion. Apart from the most talked about benefits such as
lightweight, durability, translucence, eco-friendliness, recyclability and quick
installation, it's perhaps adaptability to diverse applications that makes tensile fabric
a standout amongst its peers.
Owing to their malleability and aesthetics, tensile membranes enable architects to
express their creative side to the hilt, while builders and developers, who are usually
hard pressed for time these days, are able to complete a project on time and move
on to the next one. What's noteworthy is that tensile players in India have
meticulously factored in these requisites in their ever evolving offerings.
Well, tensile fabrics made a foray into India more than a decade back, and started
becoming visible in resorts, bus shelters, and hotels. Today, they are the first choice
when it comes to stadium roofs, as the light distribution they provide is uniform,
which makes sport a worthwhile spectacle. Moreover, the mushrooming of shopping
malls has opened new vistas in the form of parking lots, and food courts, which are
usually situated at the roof. Interestingly, facades too are getting transformed thanks
to this versatility.

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Serge Ferrari is the pioneer in introducing tensile architecture in India, and has been
largely instrumental in promoting this concept from a stage when the awareness and
knowledge about tensile architecture was limited here. One of the very innovative
new applications of tensile architecture is the facade. The advantage of using an
exterior skin of textile as a facade is the tremendous amount of energy saving that
can be achieved, due to the very high level of technical solar protection properties of
our new facade textiles. Simultaneously, you also do not cut off natural light, thus
also saving lighting energy costs during daytime. On the creative side, textile facade
gives the architect the freedom to design 3D forms, play with lighting effects and
create a dramatic effect, which no other material will be able to provide. We have
done a couple of projects of textile facade and are confident that the concept will
grow in the future. The main driving force behind the increasing usage of tensile
membranes in the country is the realisation that such structures are environmentally
friendly, quick to build, aesthetically pleasing, and have a long life span, without any
substantial maintenance requirements except regular cleaning." Notably, Serge
Ferrari, which is represented by Sujan Impex in India for the last 16 years, is now
also directly present in the country since July 2013 with an office based in Delhi for
marketing and specification.

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CHAPTER - 3
23

3.1 SURFACE TYPES

There are two categories of membrane surfaces: an anticlastic and a


synclastic surface. Anticlastic surfaces have negative Gaussian
curvature. This means the two directional forces are in opposing directions
such as the cone, saddle or hyperbolic parabaloid.
The opposing directional forces that are introduced by prestressing the
fabric in both directions counterbalance each other

Synclastic Surface

3.2 COMPONENTS

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Anticlastic Surface

CONNECTION TO CONCRETE FOUNDATION PILLAR

MAST SUPPORTED

BALE RING/MEMBRANE PLATE

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Provide a link between the membrane and structural elements..


Bale rings are used at the top of conical shapes.

Membrane plates accept centenary cables and pin connection


hardware.

SPECIALIZED HARDWARE

Centenary cables at a side co

Tripod head with centenary cables

Tensionerc
Extruded section with membrane plate and centenary

3.3 JOINARY DETAILS


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CABLE EDGE & MEMBRANE CUFF

LUFF TRACK EDGE

LUFF TRACK EDGE

GROUND ATTACHMENT

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CHAPTER - 4
4.1 SOLAR BEHAVIOUR

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4.2 MATERIALS FOR TENSILE FABRIC STRUCTURE


In membrane structures three main type of material are generally used: coated
fabrics, open mesh fabrics and foils.
Coated fabrics present a symmetrical structure of yarns arranged in two main
orthogonal directions: warp and fill. The yarns consist of threads parallel or twisted
together and can be made of several materials. While the structural function is
mainly provided by the yarns, the protection from chemical and biological influences,
fire-retardant behaviour, weld ability, waterproof qualities and UV ray
resistance depend on the coating layer.
For applications which do not require weather tightness, the use of open mesh
fabrics is recently becoming quite popular. The weaving pattern can be designed in
order to achieve the required level of solar protection and the design can take
advantage of the reduced wind loads and of the substantial absence of ponding and
wrinkles due to the permeable structure.

Its all about the coating

It seals the fabric against weather

provides resistance to ultraviolet light

functions as a medium for joining panels

fire-rated (Class A,B,C, NFPA 701)

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Todays Materials come

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different widths

variety of colors

some can accept graphics

different light transmission

vary in life span

Other issues include


Selecting the proper Fabric.....

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Size
Form
Span
Function
Availability
Economics
Sustainability

Todays fabrics include:

Teflon coated fiberglass (PTFE)


Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE)
Vinyl coated polyester (PVC/PVDF)
High density polyethylene (HDPE)
Laminated Products
Theatrical Draperies and Stretch Fabrics

Teflon Coated Fiberglass (PTFE)

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large scale permanent structures

Non Combustible (Class A)

life span of over 25 years

off white color during installation

Colors now available

membrane bleaches to milky white

Other Non-combustibles

Silicon Coated Fiberglass

Hybrid PTFE (Gore brand Tenara)

TiO2 (Titanium Dioxide) Photocatalyst membrane

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Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE)

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high transparency (97%)

more than 25 year life span

self cleaning

single or multi-layers

100% recyclable

Vinyl Coated Polyester (PVC/PVDF)

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most cost effective

temporary and permanent structures

soft, pliable and easy to handle

less expensive than PTFE and ETFE

variety of colors, weights, topcoats and textures

Fire resistant (Class C, NFPA 701)

life span of 20+ years

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

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shading only (UV stable)


variety of styles, colors & shade factors
high tensile strength
Fire and non fire resistant
well suited for dry/hot climates
protection from sun and hail

4.3 COMMON MISCONCEPTION

fabric structures cannot take heavy weather conditions -false

fabric is elastic and stretches - Fabric has a strong tensile strength and

will creep (stretch very slightly) only a few percent over 20 years of use.
ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

Unique designs

Little to no rigidity

Lightweight and flexible

Loss of tension is dangerous for stability

Environmentally sensitive

Thermal values limit use

High strength weight ratio

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CHAPTER - 5
CASE STUDY
CORPORATE TOWER OF UNIQUE BUILDERS
Architect
Fabric
Structure
Area
Period
Location
Jaipur

Unique Builders
Laminated PVC fabric
Tensile
54 M 2
2003
Near Jawahar circle,

The corporate tower near Jawahar circle, Jaipur, is advance structure because of
material used in its construction. Material of the shelter is PVC laminated fabric.

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Area of building

view of canopy of building

PROPERTY
39

Fabric is Ferrari & Mehler


Both Sides PVDF Lacquered
100% UV Resistant
Flame Resistant
Environmentally Safe
100% recyclable
15 to 25 yr. warranty

PIONEER TOYOTA
CONSTRUCTED BY
STRUCTURE
FABRIC
AREA
PERIOD
LOCATION

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TRISS
Tensile
Both side PVDF lacquered
50M 2
2009
Chandigarh

Stand for waiting for bus

The benefits of using fabric are that it allows a lot of natural light to enter the building,
resulting in a bright daylight atmosphere and warm ambience.
FERRARI membranes have a residual elongation of less than 1% in both directions,
which ensures dimensional stability in the fabric. Precontraint also make the yarns
very flat ensuring thicker coating of PVC for the same thickness of fabric, providing
higher longevity to the fabric.

HAJ TERMINAL OF KING ABDUL AZIZ INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT


Architect
Structural Engineering
Fabric Consultant
Structure
Fabric
Area
Period

Skidmore Owens & Merrill


Owens Corning Fibreglass
Geiger Berger Associates
Kinetic structure
PTFE coated fibreglass fabric
44000 M 2
1977-1982

The Haj terminal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is the largest roof structure ever realized.
The terminal, an open roof shelter, was built for the delight of the pilgrims arriving
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yearly in Jeddah. The shading roof is there to protect travellers from the heat of
Saudi Arabian desert. This is the purpose it was built for.

The Haj terminal in Jeddah

The structure has a periodic pattern. The building is divided into ten modules
(320mx137m). These modules each consist of 21 tent units (45mx45m).
The chosen fabric is PTFE coated fibreglass. A fabric material for the shading was
chosen due to the qualities it has. Being light and foldable, fabric is economical to
transfer. It enables interesting design solutions. The chosen textiles high heat
reflectance (70%) ensures that the fabric temperature remains sufficient low. The
fabrics translucency eliminates the need for artificial lighting during the daytime, thus
eliminating the need for heat production lighting.

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The structural system simplified

Haj Terminal,, comes close to nature in its gentle way of taming the heat of sun: a
veritable forest in desert.
Berger 2005 (architect)

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MILLENINNIUM DOME (O2)


Architect
Richard Rogerss partnership London
Project Direction
Mike Davies
Structural Engineering
Buro Happold Engineers London
Structure
Cable network
Fabric
Self-cleaning PTFE coated glass fibre fabric
Area
100,000M 2
Period
1996-1999
Millennium dome lies the zero degree meridians on Greenwich Peninsula. It resides
in a former site of gasworks on the shore of the river Thames, in south east London.

The structure of the Millennium dome is a mast supported, dome shaped cablenet.
The shape is based on a synclastic double curve, which means that the two sets of
curves of the roof act in the same direction. A new generation of synclastic cablenet
reinforced forms developed in the 1990s and eased the manufacture process of the
cladding due to the simpler shape required in patterning the fabric membrane.

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The building is a 50 meter high cap of an enormous sphere. Its diameter extend to
365 meters, one meter for each day or each month of the year are reaching to sky
like arms out-stretched in celebration. These masts of 100 meters in height form
an inner circle of 200 meter in diameter. Hanger cable supported by these twelve
masts support the downward curving radial cables running from a central
compression ring to the edge of the roof and to curved edge cables. The edge
cables, in turn, anchor these beams to reinforced concrete anchoring points at the
ground level. Inside, tie-down acts together with the outside hanger cable to hold the
radial cables in place. A double layer roof skin is stretched between the radial cables,
which act as beams. These two, the roof and the cables, also participate in carrying
of loads.
The roof skin is made of self-cleaning PTFE (Teflon) coated glass fibre fabric. A roof
light at the dome centre lets daylight in: a 500m 2 and 12% translucent roof skin
creates a glowing crown over the inside space. The construction has a double
layered structure to keep the condensed water between the two layers. The roof
surface is a downward curving series of facettes hanging from support points in
prestressed radial cables and hanger cables. Stretched between the steel cables,
the textile had to be carefully designed to achieve the required tension.

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EDEN PROJECT, ST.AUSTELL

Architect
Structural engineer
Structure
Fabric
Area
Period

Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, London


Antony Hunt Associates
enclosed light-weight geodesic dome
transparent PTFE foil
23000 m 2
1996-2001

The Eden project in St. Austell, in Cornwall, England, is the world largest
greenhouse. Situated in former mining area, a complex of multiple climate shell nest
in the contours of the surrounding land. Each of the eight interconnected geodesic
domes contains a different biome with its own temperature, humidity, and flora. The
Eden project botanical gardens as well as the building itself are success: the place is
one of the top three attractions in the country and has positively affected the local
economy.

The interior of biomes shows how the transparence roof fabric lets the light pass into
the botanical garden

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CHAPTER
-6
47

CONCLUSION:
While tensile structures offer great opportunities for covered areas, there are of
course other construction methods by which a covered outdoor area can be
achieved.

This brief articles aims to highlight the benefits of tensile fabric structures over other
types of cover in an unbiased but practical manner. There will also be situations
where alternative means to cover the area may be better, and we aim to bring these
to your attention too.
One of the greatest benefits of tensile structures is that they are translucent. The
woven basecloth combined with the appropriate coating allows a light transmission
value of around 10%. This provides a very comfortable level of illumination
compared to the full brightness of outside.
Glass and polycarbonate are also translucent, but the light levels under the canopy
are going to remain quite similar to those outside, so on very bright days, these
materials offer little respite.
The other factor that clearly puts fabric ahead of other materials is its clear span
capabilities. Whereas all other possible roofing materials require rigid intermediate
support, fabric can span from one boundary right across to the opposite side in one
unbroken sweep. The advantages of this are that there are no awkward or difficult
sealing details that need to be addressed.
Since the fabric has this amazing tensile capacity, the effect is to reduce the
supporting framework to a minimum number of components, all working efficiently as
a whole system. This in turn leads to a much more lightweight structure than other
types of construction. A downside of this is that large foundations are often required
in order to prevent the wind lifting the canopy and taking it away. However, in terms
of cost, foundations are a lot easier and cheaper to prepare than visible, above
ground constructions that are exposed to weather and damage.
A tensile canopy is a great solution for an entrance canopy. It acts both as a shelter
for those leaving and entering the building and makes the entrance area clearly
visible from a distance.
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The 3d nature of most canopy structures is quite unique as a building form, so it


quickly forms a visual focus of attention. If you use a more traditional structure, such
as a tiled roof, or a flat glass or polycarbonate canopy, these are unlikely to stand out
so clearly. In all potential canopy locations, you have to take into account the type of
structure you wish to use. If you are connecting to a building, you need to know that
there is adequate supporting structure to accommodate the expected loadings.
If there is no suitable structure within the existing building, it would be difficult to
make any meaningful connections to that building for a tensile canopy, but sufficient
anchorage might be achieved for a rigid type of construction. That said, it is nearly
always possible to design the canopy in such a way that it imposes identical loads
onto a building as a rigid canopy structure would, but in these cases, the cost of the
additional engineering, steel fabrication and installation difficulties is likely to make it
an uneconomical solution.
Another situation where a tensile canopy may not offer the best solution in terms of
cost is where the fabric structure, although bespoke, is very small. It would still
require that all connections are engineered and checked, it would still require for
patterning to be carried out, the steel fabricator would still need to fabricate awkward
angles and special corner plates, so the overall cost per square metre could be
much higher than if a fixed structure was used instead. Essentially, fabric structures
offer great economies of scale small structures can cost three or four times more
per square metre than larger structures. While this is true to a degree with all
construction types, we believe the effect is much more extreme with tensile
structures.
Fabric structures, if properly engineered and installed are virtually immune to
damage and weathering. Providing that they are not likely to be susceptible to acts of
vandalism or accidental damage from passing vehicles or falling objects, they
provide a reassuringly simple and durable solution.
Its also reassuring for the client that for all the bespoke structures we install, we
supply full calculations to justify every component of the system, which means were
not relying on a generic specification to cover all eventualities.
An often overlooked advantage of fabric structures is that all of the manufacturing
takes place off site, in specialist membrane fabrication units and steel workshops.
When the membrane, the steelwork, cables and all other associated parts are
complete and taken to site, the actual site work can be completed very swiftly and
with little disruption to other trades or the public.
There cant be any other ways to cover a large piece of land as quickly as with a
tensile structure. All other construction methods involve a lot more costly work on
site, and often cause considerable disruption. If you think about it, with a fabric
structure, its quite normal that the area to be covered is only out of bounds for a
short while just prior to lifting the fabric and the bulk of the installation work will take
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place at the perimeter, out of most peoples way. Compare this with a rigid structure
that needs the construction work to be carried out exactly where you dont want
people working and obstructing the route.
All roofing materials will of course collect dirt and debris on the surface, whether
glass, polycarbonate, fabric or an opaque material. With glass or polycarbonate, the
dirt can be clearly seen, however the light diffusing properties of the fabric mean that
the surface dirt is not easily identified. Its quite surprising how good a membrane
can look from below, and then when you actually look at the top surface you find
theres quite a build up of dirt.
Coated fabrics have very good UV absorbing and reflection properties. That means it
offers safe shade to all users, whilst providing very comfortable light levels.
The unique properties of light reflectance and transmission also offer exciting
possibilities for lighting after dark. Directing lights under the canopy to reflect off the
underside is a great way to use uplighters, but more even lighting can be achieved
under the fabric by shining lights down on the fabric from above.
Finally, one biased opinion about fabric structures theyre beautiful to look at,
theyre great fun to design, exciting to install, and a delight to own. And they sound
great in the rain!

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Translucent Tensile Structure

Mast Supported Tensile Structure

Sun Breakers

51

Parking Space

REFERENCES
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensile_structure
www.birdair.com/tensile-architecture
tensionstructures.com
tensile-structure.com
www.springer.com
www.slideshare.com

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