Blending Form and Function: What Is a Tensile Facade?

By November 9, 2017 No Comments

Tensile FacadeA tensile facade (a.k.a. a building facade, fabric facade, or tension facade) is a system of tensioned fabric or flexible membrane material that acts as a second skin to a building’s exterior.  It’s an innovative and cost-effective alternative to the traditional metal mesh facade screens.  Tensile facades come in custom shapes and sizes.  Due to the lightweight nature of fabric membrane, tensile facades are often the ideal choice because they can span longer distances with less structural support compared to conventional building products.

A tensile facade is a type of tension fabric structure.  This general term refers to a form of construction that utilizes cables and structural steel support members to tension fabric and other materials in order to create a structure, canopy, or covering.  Instead of providing an overhang or roof-like structure like most types of tension fabric structures, a tensile fabric facade generally spans a vertical space to create an exterior cladding system as opposed to a roof or ceiling.

To create a durable, secure facade, a structural framing system (often made from aluminum) is designed with brackets that hold and stretch the tensioned material, which is often made from mesh or solid PVC membrane or PTFE-coated fiberglass membrane. Depending on the design of the façade system, the tensile membrane framing can either attach directly to the face of the building or require a steel standoff system to connect to.

While there are many reasons to choose a tensile facade, architects, designers, and general contractors often explore these options when they are looking to update a building’s outdated appearance, provide shading or protection to the structure, or increase the energy efficiency of a property.

Is a Tensile Facade Right for Your Property?

In the Tension Structures Division of Eide Industries, we specialize in design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation of structurally complex and creatively challenging commercial, government, and prototype design projects.  Our expertise with tensile facade systems and tension structures supports architects, designers, general contractors, and building owners in their efforts to bring custom tensile membrane projects to life.

Explore the options for your next project.  Contact one of our experts today by calling 800-422-6827.