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Why Tensioned Membrane Structures?

Rapid Central Station bus terminal with tensile fabric roof

There are many great advantages and functional benefits of tensile architecture and here are just a few reasons why:

  • Flexible Design Aesthetics - Tensile fabric 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 - Tension fabric structures 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, 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 it’s 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.
  • Sustainable Building Material - By using translucent tensile fabric membranes like PTFE, PVC, Insulated Tensile Membrane or transparent ETFE films, daylight is maximized in building interiors, thus reducing the costs for electric lighting. Structurally, Birdair’s steel and cable designs also involve fewer components than traditional roofing systems, ultimately saving expenses on material costs and lower fuel consumption for shipment.