THE CHALLENGE – MAKE A MEMBRANE THAT DOES THE JOB OF GLASS FOR A FRACTION OF THE COST
The Freight House District is a year-round entertainment complex attached to the Aces Ballpark in east downtown Reno, Las Vegas. It hosts concerts, festivals and other attractions throughout the year. The project’s architect had envisaged a glass canopy for the all-weather entertainment area; however, the project managers quickly identified that glass would be too costly. Aside from the high material costs, glass is heavy and requires more structural steel for support.
Structurflex embraced the task of adapting the canopy concept to ETFE film, which is significantly less expensive and provides the required shelter without limiting natural light. Our experience with KC Live, a project that had involved the same architect, gave everyone confidence that our team would deliver an excellent outcome.
THE SOLUTION – A GROUND-BREAKING MEMBRANE STRUCTURE TRUE TO THE ORIGINAL VISION
We were determined to insure the decision to use ETFE wouldn’t be seen as a cost-cutting compromise, so project-specific detailing was developed to enable a virtually-flat membrane that would resemble glass. Our team used cables that clip onto purlins in the transverse direction – an innovation new to the tensile membrane world.
Structurflex maintained control of the complete process: design and engineering, coordination with other trades, and supervision of the steel erection process, as well as supply and installation of the membrane system.
The resulting roof provides sun and rain protection, while also defining the outdoor entertainment space. It has been highly praised by performers, patrons and tenants.
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 […]