The Advantages of Tensile Structure

Architects, designers, and general contractors have all discovered the advantages of using tensile fabric structures instead of traditional building products for a variety of reasons, including benefits to the general public. Tensile fabric structures often provide shade and protection from the elements at parks, stadiums, shopping centres, concert venues, and transportation depots. They have become an increasingly popular option for all these facilities or locations because of the ability to blend functionality with a beautiful aesthetic appeal.

What is a Tensile Fabric Structure?

Tensile fabric structures are distinguished by the tensioning of a membrane system, which is typically accomplished with wire or cable. They are lightweight compared to other types of construction, but extremely strong, providing protection from all the elements. They are engineered to withstand even the most severe weather conditions.

Tensile architecture was established in the 1970s and has since become a solution to providing dramatic architectural works through the manipulation of shape and texture, to create beautifully bespoke structures.

What are the Advantages?

Quick Installation

Due to their lightweight design and offsite construction, the installation of tensile membrane structures is faster and more cost-effective in comparison to traditional construction projects where you must lay down the foundation and build out new walls. All the patterning and fabrication work is done in our Andover factories, with the structure constructed on-site, which can take less than a week.

Flexible Design Aesthetics 

Tensile structures can hold many forms, although they are generally based on two basic building designs: the Saddle and the Cone. This creates dramatic structural architecture and offers a variety of free form designs. The beauty of a tensile fabric structure is the ability to design and create them around your specific requirements.

Low Maintenance

Tensile fabric structures offer an invaluable advantage over a classic structure. Whether it’s the use of PVC coated polyester fabric or PTFE coated glass fabric with a 30-year lifespan, these tensile structure fabrics have demonstrated low maintenance use for clients.  

Greener Materials

Compared to traditional building materials, tension structures are made from fewer raw materials and are more lightweight. All our "end of life" PVC membranes are recyclable. The membrane is ground down into small pellets and sent off to be used in the production of products, like road cones and pallets.

Energy Use

Using tension structures on buildings creates a barrier and blocks UV rays from pouring in, reducing energy consumption from air conditioning units. They also allow for natural ventilation using the Venturi effect; the translucent tension fabrics can bring natural light into buildings, reducing the need for artificial lighting and lowering energy usage.

Is a Tensile Structure Right for Your Next Project?

If you’re thinking of adding some fabric architecture to your business, J&J Carter is here to help. We have the expertise to design and manufacture bespoke solutions specific to your individual requirements and provide an efficient installation service. Contact us today to discuss your tensile fabric architecture.


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