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 from tropical storms to the 185 mile-per-hour winds of a Category 5 hurricane.
Structurflex utilizes industry-specific engineering software to analyze wind speed loads per locale and project systems to make sure the resulting project is as durable and efficient as possible.
The materials themselves are also selected for their durability and longevity. ETFE foil is an extremely strong yet relatively lightweight material. It is highly resistant to natural impact and resists flogging under typical wind loads. It’s also able to accept movement under deflection and maintain its stability. An example of a Structurflex ETFE project that withstood 2017 weather events without damage is the Flying Saucer Canopy in Fort Worth, Texas (Category 4 hurricane).
Coated PES is a strong material that retains its shape and tension regardless of weather condition. It also doesn’t promote mildew growth even after significant water events or a freeze thaw cycle. The following projects are examples of coated PES projects that have withstood severe weather events without damage:
Ponce City Market Parking Garage Facade (Atlanta; Category 1 hurricane)
The George Parking Garage Facade (Atlanta, Category 1 hurricane)
Miami Midtown 5 Tower (Miami, Category 1 hurricane)
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Canopy (Miami, Category 1 hurricane)
Rice University Parking Garage (Houston, Category 4 hurricane)
Wings Over Water (Houston, Category 4 hurricane)
Originally designed for NASA, PTFE fiberglass is a woven glass fiber base that is then covered with Teflon™. It is currently the most durable of all tensile fabrics, able to retain its integrity even in arctic temperatures. Daily’s Place Amphitheater and Flex Field in Jacksonville, Florida (Category 5 hurricane) and Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center in Waco, Texas (Category 4 hurricane) are examples of how well PTFE fiberglass and sound engineering and design created structures that can survive even the harshest weather conditions.
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 […]