Aging of membrane materials

November 17, 2009

How to keep membrane materials looking new over time. By Mark Zeh Unlike Henry Ford, who claimed you could get his automobiles in any color as long as it was black, fabric structures do come in more than one color. However, sometimes these alternate colors are unintentional. Here are several tips on keeping things looking …

Hearing fabric

September 1, 2009

The why and wherefore of designing for sound with textiles. By Todd Willmert All building materials are acoustical; all affect how sound is reflected, absorbed or transmitted. Through materials, sound can be sustained through reflection or made to dissipate through absorption. Transmission touches on the how much sound is permitted to pass through the material …

Regulatory considerations in the design of fabric awnings

July 1, 2009

By James A. Strapko Awnings in the architectural design process Recent trends in building regulations for commercial and residential projects may push architects toward taking awning design more seriously. In the past, architects have been tempted to view the awning as a discrete, subordinate element of a building envelope. As such, it is a candidate …

Vertical green

May 1, 2009

By Clare Miflin The global population is increasing rapidly, and by 2010 more than 50%, some 3.3 billion people, will live in urban areas. While cities offer opportunities for living with a low ecological footprint, they suffer from pollution, noise and remoteness from nature. Integrating vegetation into the urban fabric improves these quality of life …

Lighting the way

March 1, 2009

Fabric’s traditional role in architecture has centered on shading, with awnings or other fabric constructions tempering the sun. Yet today, sunlight — the natural light form — has competition. By Todd Willmert Writing in the early 1900s, the noted Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier struggled — along with other designers and architects — with the new …

Specifying green roof fabrics

January 1, 2009

Learning how to make the right material choices, without compromising sustainability. By Bruce Dvorak Roofscapes across North America are beginning to turn green, not just because of their hue, or sustainable fabrication, but “green” in an organic sense of the word. Rooftops are blooming in the form of green roofs and roof gardens. A green …

Fabric façades

September 1, 2008

New sustainable advantages can be found by wrapping a building in fabric. By Steve Fredrickson Fabric façades are quickly becoming an important component in today’s architectural world, in large part due to their ease of design but, more importantly, as a means to drastically reduce energy consumption of buildings. This article is designed to not …

Graphics for better buildings

July 1, 2008

Enlivening building façades and streetscapes to create places for people. By Paula Rees It is time that designers take a breath of responsibility and think creatively. Fabric architecture’s uses, new materials and technological advances offer endless options and incredible design possibilities. As an environmental designer, the main focus of my work is with how places …

Artists and architects

May 1, 2008

Launching a working relationship. By Regina M. Flanagan Recently, I was one of 63 artists invited to submit credentials to design the portico for the Pines Dining Hall at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains are a backdrop for the school and I imagined the undulating sculptural form of a …

Effective erosion control

March 1, 2008

Selecting a rolled erosion control product (RECP) for designing with vegetation. By Roy J. Nelsen Erosion due to water is a natural event resulting from both the detachment and transportation of soil particles. Accelerated erosion due to human activity and the removal of vegetation or cover from the land often results in drastically increased rates …