Everyone (Owner, Designer, Consultant, and Contractor) has an opinion on sustainability and when it comes to fabric structures one could argue that these view points can be broken down into three major components: Design, Materials and Construction. Lets talk about Construction.
Construction benefits and fabric structures vary from location, place where components were manufactured and what is required to install these structures. Most tensioned fabric structures are designed, engineered and fabricated by “form finding” which means they are designed to be not only structurally efficient but manufactured and installed with little to no waste and energy. Architectural fabric is considered one of the lightest building materials and can create the largest building envelope. The result can have significant impact from plant to site. Less weight and packed to move, membrane, structural steel and components can be shipped to site with fewer trucks and erected with lighter equipment than traditional materials. Properly designed fabric structures may have little impact on the ground with smaller concrete foundations for compression loads and the use of utility cable anchor technology for tension loads. These efforts can have significant saving when the site is being used for temporary structures or deployable structures where reuse is inevitable.