Whether you are looking for an outdoor classroom, a covered outdoor area for your tea shop or a shelter for a bike rack, a tensile fabric structure may be just the answer.
Very simply, a tensile structure or fabric roof is material stretched over a frame, like a tent. In the last few decades, technological and manufacturing advances have led to lighter and stronger fabrics and frames.
There is plenty of academic research on the subject; however, some of this research can admittedly be very technical.
If you are looking for more information, a specialist company such as http://www.fabricarchitecture.com/ will shed considerably more ‘user-friendly’ light on the subject.
Fabric roofs have many different applications; in addition, as they can be freestanding, they can be built in places in which it might be too difficult or costly to build a fixed structure.
Today’s fabrics are very sophisticated and durable. They are coated to make them dirt-resistant and waterproof, in addition to giving customers UV protection and providing shade from the sun and wind.
School and colleges
A popular use is within the education sector. A roof or canopy can either be freestanding, perhaps in the playground for shade on sunny days or on the field as an outdoor classroom, or fixed to the building to provide a covered play area with protection from both the sun and rain. The UV protection of the fabric will keep pupils and staff safe in the sun and enable the shelter to be used when the weather is less favourable.
Fabric structures also have domestic applications; such projects are not only for large commercial customers. Thanks to their wind-resistant capabilities, tensile roofs offer a stylish alternative to awnings, providing clients with an all-weather shelter. These can be completely freestanding; however, they are usually fixed to the building and the ground.
The hospitality sector
Fabric shelters are also becoming a more common sight in pubs and restaurants. These might take the form of a covered smoking or seating area, or branded umbrellas or shelters. They will enable outdoor areas to be used whatever the weather, whether customers are trying to keep out of the sun or rain. It is possible to use outdoor heating with these shelters, which will facilitate comfortable year-round use.