We often get asked what is the difference between tensile structures and tents?
We not only believe in creating robust, long-lasting structures that keep people safe from the elements but also in creating additional luxury and comfort levels. Our fully engineered, expertly designed and professionally installed multi-purpose roof structures fulfill many of the needs of permanent roof structures with added conveniences of speed, versatility and portability; values that regular roof structures cannot offer. While tents have some of these characteristics, they typically provide short-term protection from the elements, with fewer characteristics than regular roof structures.
Introduction to Non-Tensile
Non-Tensile tents are built for convenient, quick assembly, easy to fabricate and inexpensive installation. They generally do not have to abide by building regulations and are not engineered for long-term protection. General use even for so called semi-permanent tents, is rarely rated let alone warrantied to resist high winds, snow, storms or heavy downpours. Thereby unable to provide sense of longterm security to the investor against damage or danger to people inside.
Standard tents are made with a simple 2-dimensional patterning process. This requires no special technical skill sets and makes manufacturing easy and scalable. With traditional canvas tents, stability is attempted by having as many connection points as possible, steep sloping the roofs fixing the fabrics to heavy timber sub structures and so forth. However, all it takes is one mean wind, snow load, hail, storm or terrifying combination thereof, and the roof is damaged, or even blown away; with consequential damage to the structures, fittings and furnishings below and possible personal damage too. With some of the more flexible fabrics such as shade-nets canopies and stretch tents, they can look great on initial installation as the dimensionality is created by the elasticity in the fabric. However, unless they are correctly analysed in conjunction with their sub-structure to meet the conditions of the specific environments they are being installed in, they too will suffer as other tents do within a relatively short period of time (3-5 years), regardless of the claims of the fabricators. Simply because the canopies cannot hold their shape unless expertly patterned, made and installed as a total system with their supporting sub-structure.
Introduction to Tensile
Tensile fabric structures offer stability and strength similar to permanent roof structures, typically made out of steel sheeting, tiles or thatch. Our tensile structures comprise a specially shaped, load bearing tensioned membranes with lightweight engineered frames, capable of spanning large distances. Easily transportable to remote sites and installed without the need of heavy foundations. A semi-permanent, solid roof and frame structure ideal for cladding an architectural envelop to. The resulting space enjoys its own internal environment, with comfort and performance metrics comparable, and in some cases exceeding permanent brick and concrete buildings.
Tensile membranes are designed as follows:
• Certain loads are imposed upon this form based upon the site (wind, snow, rain), the regional building codes and position and the shape of the membrane.
• These loads are then analysed through an iterative computational process
• The fabrics, ropes, cables and substructures are then specified to comply to the analysis.
• Fabrics then undergo bi-axial tests to determine the compensations for patterning.
• A 3-dimensional patterning process then ensues
These membranes are then put together with high frequency welding (or in the case of non-coated product, high performance stitching and hot air seam sealing). This all requires expert fabric architecture and engineering skill sets. The manufacturing is also highly skilled and requires specialist machinery and skilled work force. Resulting in a harmonic structure designed to withstand the test of time.