The Fabric Roof

by Allen Morrison, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1980, Vol. 50, Issue 8, Pg. 60-65

Document Type: Feature article


Only six years after the opening of the first fabric-roofed building, fabric structures are being used all over the world in applications undreamed of only a decade ago. The article recounts the history of fabric structures, explains the differences between air-supported and tensioned fabric designs, assesses the economic advantages, and describes some major buildings of this type. The energy efficiency of current structures is analyzed, and current research on the development of energy self-sufficient fabric structures of passive solar design is discussed with one of the field's leading researchers. Future uses of architectural fabric, including roofs for everything from office buildings to shopping malls to whole communities, are explored.

Subject Headings: Fabric structures | Solar power | Fabrics | Roofs | Commercial buildings | Building design | Structural analysis | History

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