Tensile structures date back to the early nomadic period when people required shelter that was lightweight and portable, yet structurally sound enough to withstand harsh weather. Today, the applications and capabilities of tensile structures have evolved into permanent structures such as retail centers and institutional facilities, including museums and grandiose stadiums. This course will look at the unique visual character of tensile membrane and give designers, architects and engineers the ability to experiment with form and create exciting new solutions to conventional design problems.
Tensile structures have been used for thousands of years. Their simplicity and efficiency have brought about a recent increased awareness of, and demand for, tensile architecture. Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, or ETFE, is a relatively new product within the tensile membrane industry in the United States, and it is growing in popularity. It is a fluorine based plastic that was developed to be strong across a wide range of temperatures and be highly resistive to corrosion. This course provides a brief background on the following: ETFE architecture; the benefits of ETFE structures over traditional building techniques; identifying the complete design through construction process for creating an ETFE structure; as well as learning how to select the correct ETFE system and the key properties and performance measures of each.
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