Structural behavior

August 1, 2016

The challenges of designing and sizing the elements that make up a shade structure. Structural engineer Craig G. Huntington, president of Huntington Design Associates Inc., describes the challenge of designing and sizing the elements that make up a shade structure: “Shade structures are generally intended to be economical structures, and, as such, it’s often difficult …

Collecting sun and rain

April 1, 2016

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 …

Huge structure is challenging, not impossible

January 1, 2016

When CAF USA (one of the U.S. rail transportation market leaders in the design, manufacture and maintenance of all types of railcars), Elmira, N.Y., wanted to enclose a 90-foot-wide and 24-foot-tall bridge train that was attached to an existing building, the first two shelter vendors they called said it couldn’t be done. Each of them …

Fabric protection for frac sand

October 1, 2015

A fast-growing industry relies on fabric architecture for a long-term, large-format storage facility. Wind and sand are like oil and water; they don’t mix. When Source Energy Services (SES), Eau Claire, Wis., enlisted the assistance of Legacy Building Solutions Inc., South Haven, Minn., to build the largest regional frac sand storage facility in Alberta, Canada, …

Today’s trends in fabric structures

April 1, 2014

Fabric structures have evolved over the years and continue to grow in importance today. By Sam Armijos, AIA Fabric structures have been used in one form or another in different market segments and in a variety of environmental conditions. These structures have evolved over the years with advances in materials and technology, and continue to …

How to design a fabric structure: The basics

By Sam Armijos, AIA The first step in designing a fabric structure is to create a form with sufficient pre-stress or tension to prevent it from fluttering like a flag or sail. The three basic forms associated with tensioned fabric structures are the hypar (hyperbolic paraboloid), the cone, and the barrel vault. The hypar—or simple …

Nature’s wrath and awning repair

August 1, 2013

By Maura Keller When you have a five-star-rated hotel, situated on a pristine beach in Watch Hill, R.I., you need to feature awnings that stand up to the hotel’s esteemed reputation and it’s ocean-side location. That’s why Ocean House began partnering with New Haven Awning Co., New Haven, Conn., more than four years ago for …

Going global with digital fabrication

May 1, 2013

Advanced technology opens door to new design possibilities. By Frank Edgerton Martin With digital fabrication, the fabric industry has a powerful tool to combine international expertise with on-the-ground knowledge of local building conditions and client needs. Thanks to computer-aided design software and the Internet, clients, designers, fabricators and manufacturers can work together across time zones …

Walking atop the O2 Dome

January 1, 2013

Visitors to London during the 2012 Summer Olympics had a unique perspective atop the Dome. Now that the dust has settled on the London Olympics, the story can be told about how ordinary people were able to walk up the fabric roof of the O2 Dome (formerly Millennium Dome), and survive the winds and weather …

Driving the future of fabric structures

November 1, 2012

Today’s advanced technologies will drive the future of fabric structures. By Blaine Brownell Fabric is one of the oldest materials humans have used for shelter; it remains an important material with diverse applications in design and construction today, and it will play an even more important role in the constructed environment in the future. Predictions …