“Textile Roofs” – Workshop on membrane architecture (2&3)

How can membrane architecture work not only for esthetics and its intended technical purposes, but also for smart solutions in the urban spaces? Easily.

We have learned this due to the presentations of Prof. Dr. Wujun Chen (Jiao Tong University), PD Dr.-Ing. Thomas Stegmeier (ITV Denkendorf), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Gengnagel (UdK Berlin), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Claudia Lülling (Universität Frankfurt), Prof. Rosemarie Wagner (KIT, Karlsruhe), Mr. Patrick Teuffel (Teuffel Engineering) and other great experts, talking about their novel findings within the second and third days of “Textile Roofs” Symposium.

The current developments in membrane industry provide the materials with the new features, making the structures, created from them, being a little bit “alive”. The sensors, implemented invisibly into the canvas of the membrane fabrics, can measure and collect data on air humidity and pressure level, making buildings be not only convenient and beautiful, but informative as well. Another topic is temperature performance of the membranes. Pre-assuming the advantages of being relevantly cheap and long-functioning material for building temporary living spaces, like sports or refugees’ camps, thermal conductivity of tensile coverage remained to be an issue until recent times.

But the inventions of materials with self-cooling surfaces as well as warmth preserving aerogel blanket insulation technology are already available. Depending on the climate conditions and construction requirements it is possible to either collect and preserve or to low down the temperature inside the structures. But we should think big and, believe it or not - in some future membranes can also become a sort of global air conditioning system, as their self-cooling surfaces allow to make a huge step towards controlling the process of global warming tendency, and it is up to us to accelerate this positive impact.

Developing the idea of multifunctional textile roofs, the concept of solar active membrane constructions with the seasonal energy storage systems is being actively developed as well. One of the pilot projects was presented by PD Dr.-Ing. Thomas Stegmeier (ITV Denkendorf) at our event.

But obviously, climate control and nature protection is not only about energy, so that the engineers and scientists worldwide work on bio-based fibers and composites for architectural applications, thus releasing the sore point on renewable resources. Moreover, the smart membranes can in some cases replace the soils and allow the green corners appear in the most unexpected surfaces. The hanging gardens on the walls of the buildings, covered by special membrane materials, is one of the brightest examples.

But we usually follow words with things and within our “Textile Roofs” Symposium, together with our partners technet, Forsstrom HF AB, Low&Bonar, 3dtex, Sattler Pro-Tex GmbH, Deutsche Fundamentbaugesellschaft and all the participants we created an amazing membrane structure, meant to be another symbol for our union and joint attempts to find the right forms and fill them in with the environmental-friendly and human-beneficial features.

We follow the history of membrane architecture developments – starting from shadow umbrellas for beaches, restaurants and shopping malls, towards forming creative and multifunctional urban spaces. The process goes on and we will be happy to discuss it with you during the next – anniversary 25th - edition of “Textile Roofs” in 2020 (www.textile-roofs.com).

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