Finding a way through the woods via fabric gateways.
New digitally-driven technology explores what it means to build buildings.
Woven mesh helps the Auckland Zoo make fences disappear.
A plan to rework the Don River Park near downtown Toronto uses geotextiles to remediate soil and drainage problems.
Paul Kephart’s vision for regenerative design: Living architecture that does many things at once.
Webmesh solutions for a stunning new bird exhibit in Argentina.
Garden and pool, surrounded by 15 massive fabric lanterns, inspires tropical ambiance.
Landscape architect Annette Wilkus offers unique insights on fabric opportunities in urban design.
An artistic town in Uruguay gains a quality venue for cultural events and musical performance.
RE:BE Design created a massive, single-unit stage setting to host the Essence Music Festival.
Atop the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis, a new green roof sports a couple of unusual geotextile layers.
An urban promenade for the 21st century, the High Line’s linear roof garden offers sophisticated drainage and planting solutions.
Geosynthetic materials play a major role in new underground stormwater detention system.
New York’s Morgan Station is one of the nation’s largest green roofs.
A traveling fabric-clad exhibition structure has been designed by the European design firm Architecture and Vision, to take advantage of natural cooling strategies and low-embodied energy materials such as fabric.
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.