Choosing between fabric and metal awnings depends on customer needs

June 1, 2018

If you have ever had to source sustainable materials for a building design, you know about rating systems like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), administered by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council, (USGBC). The LEED systems consider the amount of energy used to manufacture the building material and the carbon footprint it leaves …

Fabric structures defined by technology and sustainability

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Fabric Architecture (FA) magazine. The inaugural issue editor, Gene Rebeck, touched on a number of topics that proved to be insightful, clairvoyant and representative of how FA (originally called Fabrics & Architecture or F&A) has been able to represent trends in thinking and practice …

Manufacturers find new ways to enhance product performance with textiles

May 1, 2018

As the demands made on textiles have increased, the nature of what is defined as “textile” has greatly expanded, often including non-textiles or treating them in a textile manner. Hybrids that bring together different materials and processes can offer the benefit of conventional textiles with additional characteristics of materials such as glass, ceramic, wood or …

Tensile fabrics make a cultural statement in Mexican structure

The power of suggestion is one of an architect’s most eloquent tools. With a meaningful combination of shape and material, a design can meet physical expectations as well as create the suggestion of ideas, symbols and traditions. With the strategic use of high-tensile fabric panels, the structure known as the Fachada Foro Chiapas suggests time, …

Upscale shade options complement outdoor living trends

April 1, 2018

While many manufacturers concentrate on making smart products that give people convenient and luxurious control over functions in their homes and businesses, others are finding ways to make the outdoors equally responsive and comfortable to lifestyles in the Internet of Things age. A robotics company in Pasadena, Calif., is, in fact, throwing all its weight …

Pacific Yurts reflects customer-driven innovation

“I never had an interest in going into business to just duplicate a product that already existed,” says Alan Bair, founder and owner of Pacific Yurts Inc. in Cottage Grove, Ore. “But early on I realized the yurt is a unique warm space that is limited only by the imagination. When you go into that …

Textiles add mood and character to entertainment spaces

March 1, 2018

Fabric and lighting have an ages-old relationship that elicits something visceral, and when done skillfully there’s a quality to backlit fabric that nothing else can provide,” says Eric Bury, director of project development for the Toronto, Canada-based custom architectural fabrication company Eventscape. Bury acknowledges that of all the construction materials his company uses to create …

Architectural shading systems find new markets

February 1, 2018

Ever since the 1970s back-to-earth, energy enlightenment era of oil embargoes and the beginning of the environmentalism movement, architects and government officials have acknowledged the importance of making ever more energy-efficient buildings. It has been proven that buildings (the construction of them and the manufacturing of all the materials that go into making and operating …

Working with architects: How fabricators can forge productive partnerships

January 1, 2018

Fabrics and architecture have been partners for millennia and have worked together to create some of the most iconic, useful and beautiful structures in the world—from traditional Mongolian yurts to arena domes at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Indeed, fabric is a critical element of our built environment. It’s still a process of education about fabric …

Smithsonian installation combines design and fabrication

December 1, 2017

Nine ceilings represent notable American buildings. Since the 17th century (with the debut of the French École des Beaux-Arts), drawing has been the first basic skill taught to architects. This still holds true, despite the advent of computer aided drafting (CAD) and sophisticated rendering software. And today there is a segment of the architecture community …