Why use architectural textiles?

The use of architectural textiles offers a number of advantages over more traditional materials in both practical design and environmental terms.

 

Design Creativity & Efficiency

Design Creativity & Efficiency

Architectural textiles offer designers an almost unlimited range of forms & shapes that can be achieved with reasonable design efficiencies. A key driver of textile architecture is the ability to create spectacular, inorganic, curvilinear 3 dimensional shapes.


Durability & Sustainability

Durability & Sustainability

With the development of PVC, PTFE, PVDF & ETFE textiles, the service life of fabric membrane structures now range from 15 to 30 years & greater in some circumstances. The typical life expectancy of a semi permanent PVC structure is 15-20 years plus. Depending on the textile, manufacturers warranties are available from 5 to 15 years.


Material Properties

Material Properties

Architectural textiles have a number of key properties that influence its useability, including:

  • Strength to weight ratio
  • Light translucency
  • Solar performance
  • Fabric UV resistance
  • Flame retardancy
  • Surface finish & self-cleaning properties

Solar Protection

Solar Protection

Specialty textiles offer a range of UV & solar protection options for both humans & buildings.
Fabrics are now widely used for shade protection against ones direct exposure to UV rays. However designers are now recognising the benefits of shading buildings to reduce the solar gain & heat loads on occupied environments; as reducing a buildings heat load translates into significant air conditioning energy savings.
Specialty textiles are also available which filter the suns harmful UV rays, but do not inhibit plant growth.


Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

In comparison to traditional building materials, textiles are more energy efficient in terms of:

  • The textile production process
  • Fabrication & installation of membrane systems
  • The ability to use natural lighting instead of artificial lighting, with the use of translucent fabrics

Cost Efficiency

Cost Efficiency

Fabric structures offer a number of cost efficiencies in terms of:

  • Economy & efficiency of materials used
  • Speed of installation
  • Re-deployability of fabric structures

Fire Safety

Fire Safety

Architectural textiles range from non-combustible (PTFE) to low combustible (PVC/PVDF). All fabrics comply with AS1530 part B standards.

Recyclability

Recyclability

PVC textiles are now fully recyclable with major textile manufacturers running their own recycling programs. Eg Ferrari – Texiloop Recycle Program.
At the end of a fabric structures life, deconstruction is far simpler than more traditional structures. The deconstruction process is also much simpler & more conducive to the re-use & recycling of building components.