FabricArchitect continues his look at Fabric Structures from A to Z.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the letter “E” and Fabric Structures is:
Good and bad, these events put a spot light on a place few have been to or read about.
I know pyramids and camels come to mind but Egypt has some beautiful hotels, resorts and fabric structures. Here’s a fabric structure at the Marassi Beach Resort. Overlapping triangles and hypars. Not bad.
We all need shade to protect us from harmful UV rays.
What you can do in Egypt, you can do in your own backyard.
Just remember, design takes time, engineer it to code and choose finishes that are built to last.
ETFE (ethylenetetrafluorethylene) is a polymer resin from the same family as PTFE. It is produced in very thin sheets and is manufactured to be installed in single layers or as inflated “pillows”, “cushions” or “foils”.
It is used an alternative to structural glass for long-span structures and, because of its light weight, is helps reduce the size of the primary structural system. Check out The Eden Project by Nicholas Grimshaw if you don’t believe me.
You gotta love ETFE!
ETFE foils are UV resistant, inert to chemicals, and 100-percent recyclable. Multiple layers of ETFE can provide an effective thermal enclosure. It can also be designed with unique patterns on the film, providing a range of light transmission.
The key is to get an electrician involved ASAP and work out the wiring ASAP too. Most fabric structures come as a kit of parts to site.
I hate welding on site because we spend so much time fabricating in the shop and providing a top of the line finish that having to weld and prime and paint just never looks as good as a shop finish.
Running wires requires coordination from the foundation, to the hand hole location for pulling main wires to providing stubs or openings for specific wiring and fixture connections.
Remember, there is no hiding in fabric structures. Everything is exposed. Plan early.
Next come the “F” words!