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Working with Fabric Structures

Fecha de publicación: 09/17/2018

With information from State of the Industry 2018 By Jeffrey C. Rasmussen. and Architectural shading systems find new markets By Bruce N. Wright 

 

U.S. GDP gained 2.3 percent in growth for 2017 and as of the beginning of this third quarter according to Reuters has increased at 4.2 percent for the ongoing year; this has increased the overall consumer confidence helping fuel growth close to the mid-single-digit range in the U.S./Canadian fabric structures market as expected for 2018.

According to participants on IFAI survey the U.S./Canadian fabric structures market is projected to be somewhat better in 2018 than in 2017. Some of the opportunities in which this sentiment is based come from a robust demand that has been ongoing for residential remodeling work beginning in 2014 and projected to continue by 2018 and beyond, also due to climate inclemency there was an uptick in demand in 2017 for temporary fabric structures used by emergency response teams in response to hurricanes in the southern United States and fires in California.

There is a continuing increase in demand for engineered structures and more and more projects are occurring in infrastructure development such as stadiums and shade structures for schools, automotive dealerships and sporting events such as golf and tennis. The quality and performance of fabrics has improved. They are more colorful and more durable; coating applications are being applied to fabrics that give them value-added enhancements, such as making them waterproof, fire-resistant and even self-cleaning, taking steps further to reach a level of acceptance as the European counterpart with much more examples of fabric vertical shade systems and European building codes being more accepting of new products and developments to reduce energy gain. There is a definite need for more exposure to this type of constructions to start seeing cost wise benefits in the long run since there are just some projects like those in the southwest.

Architect Nicholas Goldsmith, FAIA, senior principal of FTL Design Engineering Studio, New York, N.Y., who has designed several of the few examples in the U.S. that use tensile fabric elements as shading devices declared “It’s true that Europe has more examples of fabric vertical shade systems. However, there is growing recognition by North American designers that exterior shading, in certain cases based on regional climate conditions, can provide advantages to a building’s facade that other cladding systems struggle to attain—such as lightweight, efficient, cost-effective shading functionality.” Professionals in this field can count this toward reduced energy consumption and/or LEED certification.

The overall market seems to be growing at a steady pace with key players guarding quality and functionality on the base materials needed for these projects and to battle some of the major threats which come mostly from outer firms making distorted claims about their fabrics or the continuation of inexpensive imports of shade structures from Asia, especially China, which hampers domestic sales efforts.

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