Environmental performance of spaces enclosed or semi-enclosed by fabric membrane structures

Elnokaly, Amira, Chilton, John and Wilson, Robin (2003) Environmental performance of spaces enclosed or semi-enclosed by fabric membrane structures. In: International Conference on Textile Composites and Inflatable Structures, Structural Membranes 2003, June 2003, Barcelona, Spain.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


. Since the 1960s a large evolution took place in the fabric structures industry, as they became more complex with time, and designers have been able to keep up with the structural implications of this changing situation. Sophisticated analytical models and computer software have facilitated the structural design of tensile membrane structures (TMS) and this has produced a diverse and complex range of design and form solutions. However, environmental issues continue to be dealt with in a cursory manner, which is still today unable to fully satisfy the client’s requirements. With the vast interest in these structures, designers and manufacturers alike realised that if membrane enclosed spaces is to compete with other more conventional enclosures, a clear understanding of their environmental behaviour should be available to them. Moreover that if membrane enclosed spaces were to aspire to the same level of environmental performance as more conventional buildings, it would be necessary to develop tailored analytical techniques, which could be used to assess the likely performance of various design alternatives. This paper explores the thermal performance of membrane structures, and how these structures can be used as climate modifiers in spaces enclosed or semi enclosed by fabric membrane skins, providing thermal comfort for the occupiers. Analytical techniques that are used to investigate the environmental behaviour of fabric membranes and assessing their liability will be reviewed. The paper also looks at some of the work done by other researchers in the investigation of the thermal behaviour of fabric membranes by different techniques.

Keywords:Tensile membrane structures, Fabric membrane skin, Environmental behaviour, Thermal performance, Fabric topology and geometry
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K990 Architecture, Building and Planning not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:8521
Deposited On:30 Mar 2013 21:56

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