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Why Are Architects Recommending Tensile Structures Nowadays?

By Author: Riya Singh
Total Articles: 9

Architects are the master of their creation and their creation is what gives us shelter in the face of extreme weather elements like sun and rain. Of late, though, we have been seeing a change in their preferences. The ones who used to design and recommend structures made of concrete are now increasingly moving towards tensile structures. So much so that they have been given a new name – tensile architect.
Ever since its invention, tensile structure has grown by leaps and bounds. From very simple single dome structures to the present day multiple curvature structures, tensile structure has surely came a long way. But what is driving this trend? Why are architects increasingly recommending them nowadays? In this article we will look at 9 features of tensile structures that are unique to them –

Elegance with flexibility
There’s virtually no limit to what you can achieve when it comes to their designs. Many distinctive elegant forms can be realized because of the unique flexible characteristics of tensile fabrics. Also, fewer support columns create more functional, aesthetically pleasing spaces.

Unmatched translucency
During the daytime, the fabrics used in making tensile structures offers translucency that allow the soft diffused naturally lit spaces reducing interior lighting costs. At night, the artificial lighting creates an ambient exterior luminescence. This creates an open air feeling. Since the fabrics used are heat and UV radiation absorbent, the interiors remain relatively cool and healthy.

Excellent durability
The base-fabrics used in tensile structure makes them very durable. The protective coverings also imparts them with strength, Self-cleansing abilities, UV-absorbing qualities, resistant against wear-n-tear, fire, weather elements and heat. All this features easily impart this tensile structures with longevity.

Lightweight nature
Strangely enough, these tensile structures, while appearing bulky are very light in weight compared to traditional brick and concrete structures. The key to it is the fabric being used. They are made from polymers and fabrics, both very light in weight.

Cost effective
Courtesy their low maintenance and construction cost the tensile structure is also very cost effective. The raw materials and fabrication process is also very frugal compared to others. While regular maintenance is necessary it is not costly in any way. Since most of the structures are prefabricated, the only cost involved is the one related to assembling.

Sustainable design
In the age of climate consciousness nothing sells better than an environmentally friendly technology. In case of tensile structure, the fabric and supportive structure needed to cover a large area is minimum. Moreover, these fabrics are recyclable as well. All this helps a lot in getting a sustainable designed structure.

Quick installation and removal
Flexibility is one of the touchstone of any tensile structure and nowhere is this more visible than during its installation. Want to shift it? Just remove, move and reinstall the structure. It is as easy as it seems.

Long span structure
Tensile structure requires less structural steel to support the roof, enabling long spans of column-free space. Their elasticity offers earthquake resistance as well.

3D design structure
The 3D nature of most tensile structures is quite unique as a building form and quickly becomes a visual center of attention. If you use a more traditional structure, such as a tiled roof, or a flat glass, these are unlikely to stand out so clearly.

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