by Samuel J. Armijos
Textile facades are screens used on the exterior of buildings and are a relatively new category of fabric architecture: awnings, banners and billboards are more common uses of fabric in a vertical position. However, improved printing technology, longer lasting materials, and the pressing need to reduce the amount of energy consumed by buildings are making the idea of textile facades on the exterior of buildings come of age.
Textile facades can be installed on the exterior of both old and newly constructed buildings and can be quickly and simply erected. They reduce heat gain not only within the building, but on the surface as well. Textile facades are normally constructed of mesh fabric which allows the user to maintain their view while reducing energy consumption and increasing solar protection unlike interior blinds and building overhangs. They can be installed as one membrane or in multiple configurations depending on the sun’s orientation. Large membranes require a supporting structure to protect it from wind deflection and vibration while multiple configurations rely on cables, struts and outriggers to remain stable.
Given a blank surface on which to print or project images and patterns, owners are “branding” buildings, selling space on the facade and finding creative ways to promote the building, product or services. Textile facades are no longer only vertical; they increasingly take on more three-dimensional and organic shapes. Their use is not limited to commercial buildings. They can be used to decorate parking garages, industrial buildings and factories.
Want to know more? Visit me at http://www.samarmijos.com