Tensile membrane structures and tensile building envelopes are thin-shell structures. Tensile membranes carry tension with no compression or bending, supported by a lightweight structural system. Made of coated PES, ETFE, PTFE, or PTFE coated fiberglass, the tensile membranes can span large distances and take on a variety of shapes.

Most often used for roofs and canopies, tensile structures are capable of creating unique private and public spaces. Tensile structural systems are low-maintenance and provide year-round protection from the elements. Because of their malleability, they are able to complement – not compete with – existing architecture and the natural environment. The smooth, reflective surfaces of tensioned membrane structures provide plenty of daylighting, reduce cooling costs and solar gain, and allow the buildings to be more energy efficient. Their innovative forms and inherent efficiencies reduce the amount of materials required to build a structure and the transportation costs, resulting in cost savings. Pavilions, amphitheaters, entertainment venues, museums, hotels, and government and municipal buildings can all realize the benefits of incorporating tensile structures.

Tensile structures and tensile building envelopes are easily packaged and transported, so structures can be relocated as needed. Life expectancy can be as much as 45 years.

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KieranTimberlake: Printed Tensile Cladding at Rice University

We are pleased to have collaborated with KieranTimberlake and the outfit of a parking structure on the Rice University Campus. In their blog post, they describe the concepts they employed to create an iconic sculptural element. For more details see the KieranTimberlake blog post.

The Increasing Importance of Durability

While tensile fabric has several distinct advantages over more traditional materials like glass, one of the most important may be its ability to withstand severe weather events. Our tensile structures and tensile facades  in Miami, Jacksonville, Houston, Fort Worth, Waco, and Atlanta did not sustain any damage or require any repair despite enduring events ranging […]

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