A case for small fabric structures, Part 1

August 30, 2016

New materials are making structures lighter and more portable. The owner of the iced-coffee cart in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, N.Y., understands the old real estate saw: location, location, location. It makes perfect sense when the coffee cart is made with new, lighter materials available today, making picking up and moving to a better location …

Shade structure foundations

August 2, 2016

When it comes to fixing a shade structure in place, design, fabrics, hardware and informed engineering all play a part. As anyone with knowledge of the history of tension structures will tell you, there is a logical and long-standing connection between marine hardware and tension structure hardware. One came from the other. Or more accurately, …

Fabric building offers cold-storage solution

June 28, 2016

Steel-framed, fabric-covered structure installed in two weeks at potash mine. The Mosaic Esterhazy K3 mine, part of Associated Mining Construction Inc. (AMC), is located approximately four kilometers east of the town of Esterhazy in Saskatchewan, Canada, and is an expansion of Mosaic’s potash mining operations at the Esterhazy site. The K3 mine is the largest …

Sheltering safety standards with fabric

Fabric roofing structure—one of the largest in North America—allows a crash test facility to continue research year-round. Earlier this year, the National Safety Council estimated motor vehicle deaths to be 8 percent higher in 2015 than they were in 2014—the largest year-over-year percentage increase in 50 years. While a multitude of factors contribute to vehicle …

Fabric architecture supports an industry

Fabric architecture creates a partnership with the architectural community and fabric manufacturers to develop what’s next for specific fabric projects and applications. The breadth of options in today’s architectural membranes is increasing every year. While cotton and polyester woven products were the norm for the last century, architectural fabrics now offer technical properties never before …

Shade (systems) to the rescue

June 1, 2016

Consumers are seeking protection from the sun, heat, bugs and high energy bills, and shading system manufacturers are surrounding the market, indoors and out. The U.S. market is looking rather attractive these days to manufacturers of shade systems. For a variety of reasons—energy conservation, protection from the elements and insects, heat and glare reduction—screens, shades, …

Ideas in harness

May 1, 2016

Michael Lester of MakMax doesn’t shy away from a challenge. He builds a team of fellow innovators and comes up with tensioned fabric solutions. “We’re always innovating,” says Michael Lester, managing director of MakMax Australia Pty. Ltd. in Brisbane, Australia, a world-renowned company building custom membrane structures and manufacturing a range of shade products. “We’ve …

Sun motif shade structure evident on riverside plaza

April 1, 2016

A steel-cable net and PTFE and ETFE membrane structure holds up under heavy wind and snow loads. The Sun Island Resort is one of China’s favorite vacation spots. Because the city of Harbin (where Sun Island Resort is situated) is at a high latitude, it is cooler than the rest of the country in the …

Collecting sun and rain

A pair of dynamic fabric structures bookend the Taiwan landscape. From the northern most tip of Taiwan, where capital city Taipei is located, to the southwest coast, where Kaohsiung City, the country’s industrial center, greets the setting sun, two new installations showcase the capabilities of tensioned fabric. The north-south oriented island nation of Taiwan (population …

Restaurant canopy shields customers from rain, wind and sunlight

The client requested a canopy that followed the exact contour of an existing patio. Warmer weather draws customers to restaurants with outdoor seating areas where fresh air, open atmosphere and pleasing views enhance the dining experience. Savannah Grille of Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., has one of the nicest patios around, largely thanks to fabric …