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Fabric is not something that is commonly found at construction sites. Other than being used as a covering for materials and fences while construction is ongoing, the fabric isn’t a go-to material for building usually.
Although the concept of structures built from fabric is not a new concept, many modern building designers have started to incorporate fabrics in more creative ways. Anyone who has ever been camping should be familiar with the fabric housing called a tent, but have you ever seen a high-rise building constructed with fabric as a major feature?
New, modern energy-efficient fabric structures are now implemented into architecture for a variety of buildings. By using imaging tools and 3D printers to create three-dimensional models in order to visualize the project, designing a building that heavily relies on fabrics is easier than before.
There are a few ways that fabrics are used in construction and building design. If you’re curious about these uses, here’s a quick overview of three of the most popular options:
1. Room Division
Some rooms can be spruced up by adding tensile fabric divisions. These divisions are anchored to the ceiling, walls, and floor of the room creating a very dramatic effect. This method has been used to create a certain ambiance to the room, especially when you add lighting to further accentuate the fabric wall.
Fabric partitions are a great option for adding structure to the room without undergoing major structural renovations. Furthermore, they can be installed and uninstalled quickly and effortlessly, which means you can configure a large room into a series of smaller rooms. This extra versatility can add a lot of value to both commercial and residential buildings.
2. Shading And Coverings
Fabric materials used to construct the outdoor structures like shaded coverings are specifically treated to be weather resistant so they can be used to create beautiful awnings and verandah coverings to name two. Fabric-based outdoor shading or coverings could also be to create roofed parking spaces, a shaded spot for picnics, or as a roof over a spot in the garden for a barbeque.
Reputable fabric manufacturers ensure that the material is correctly treated to withstand outdoor conditions and make them less vulnerable to the effects of regular wear and tear. On the other hand, certified professionals will ensure that the fabric shades are installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications and that the fabric will not be compromised by improper installation.
3. Enhancing Building Structures
Another reason why architects have begun looking into using more fabrics in construction is that they are going for a more aesthetically pleasing look. Because the fabric installations can be done rather flexibly, these fabrics can be used to enhance the appearance of a building by adding them to the structure, either as an addition to the exteriors or to complement the finished structure’s interior design.
Adding them to the outside of the structure may have other benefits as well. The fabric can be chemically treated to assist with the reflection of harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun away from the building. Fabric installations can also be added to provide enough coverage so the sun does not bother the occupants of the building, but it is opulent enough to let light through so the building is not as dark inside. This makes it a perfect choice for protecting the interior and its inhabitants from the sun.
Another way the fabric installations may be helpful to buildings would be to direct wind or sand away from the building. If the installation of the fabric is done correctly, it may assist with directing the flow of the wind away from the building. Windborne sand particles can also cause paint to erode over time, but redirecting the flow of the wind helps reduce this kind of effect on the structure.
To Cover It All
With so many different applications and uses for fabric in construction, you are truly spoilt for choice. From decorative statements to functional divisions and aesthetically-pleasing installations, there will be a way for you to incorporate fabric installations into your next building project. Make sure that you contact a professional to discuss all the options available for your space.
The use of fabric installations has become more and more popular in recent years and it no longer means that you would need to pitch a tent in your backyard to experience the beauty of the tensile fabric. Have a look at recent structures that included fabric as part of their construction and just imagine the functionality and beauty it can add to your space.