A free-standing fabric canopy frames a spectacular view of Diamond Head.
Street-level condominium courtyard transformed into oasis.
Bike shop fabric structure simulates amphitheater, protects from rain and sun, and gives retailer a competitive edge.
A courtyard at the University of California, Santa Barbara, now has a motorized, sliding panel roof system.
The commercial awning project took home an International Achievement Award.
Tensile membrane design recalls rich cultural history.
From urban renewal to water conservation to alfresco elegance, the benefits of shade structures cover a lot of ground.
Building skins that can be “controlled” by the environment and user preferences.
A dynamic fabric canopy at the Enniskillen Acute Hospital matches the building.
Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures created a cool, dry area for zoo guests.
Modular ETFE air cushions illuminate and protect at a busy transit station.
ETFE is the solution for a lively French resort.
Transportable fabric structures have been around for millennia—what makes today’s structures unique and practical are the high-performance characteristics of their cladding.
Using a PTFE fiberglass membrane, Birdair revolutionized this pavilion.
Providing shade for an outdoor entertainment park in Abu Dhabi is no simple undertaking.
Fabric suppliers see continued economic pressure for the remainder of 2009. Until the economy rebounds, the architectural building market segment will be sluggish. Growth will continue in selected areas of the world experiencing commercial building booms, such as China and Dubai. The industry will continue to consolidate and will emphasize higher quality fabrics where there tends to be a more steady, reliable demand (and better profit margins).
Manufacturers see slow growth for the U.S. lightweight structures market in 2009, which will be aided by the growth of ‘green' projects and the trend toward using fabric in building projects in place of traditional (and often more expensive and less efficient) materials such as steel and concrete. They feel that the industry will continue to suffer from a shortage of skilled labor.
Coupled with the increasing cost of raw materials and a slowdown in both commercial and residential construction, these factors will likely continue to drive up the cost of doing business and inhibit business growth. Yet there are opportunities to grow and stay profitable for companies that manage their businesses closely, monitor all costs, and make smart, long-term decisions that focus on optimizing value (emphasizing quality and innovative products) for their customers.
From the 2009 State of the Industry Report. Purchase a complete report at the IFAI Bookstore.