Revolutionary, Permanent Tensioned Membrane Aluminum Frame Supported Structures

A high performance tensioned membrane aluminum frame supported structure is eco-friendly meeting some of the most stringent green rating system criteria. These structures provide the same functionality of a traditional building type at a much lower cost and much faster construction time. They maximize the use of natural daylighting and can be constructed to obtain high acoustic ratings. These buildings are constructed with structural aluminum frames bolted for re-use, reconstruction or recycling. A tensioned interior and exterior membrane in which a fiberglass blanket, is installed between the frames providing a high performance insulated air barrier for protection in any climate. The interior membrane is also the interior wall surface requiring no additional drywall, plaster, painting, or resurfacing, as it is part of a complete building package. This article identifies key components of these buildings and the codes that define these buildings as permanent, energy efficient, rapidly constructed and cost effective.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss the architect’s role in managing the installation of rapidly constructed, tensioned membrane aluminum frame supported structures.
  2. List performance standards engineered into these high performance buildings that improve the physical environment and provide emotional and social wellbeing to occupants. These include improved daylight, acoustic, and fire-safety measures.
  3. Identify strict code compliance regulations that define this building type and criteria that apply to these buildings that benefit the physical environment through increased energy efficiency and recyclability.
  4. Discuss project management and design of these buildings from pre-design to post occupant evaluations that allow for a wide range of configurations including multi-story interiors, a wide range of surface colors, and massing alternatives.

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