Benefits of Installing Tensile Membrane Structures

Tensile or tension membrane structures are a visually attractive, highly functional, and cost-effective shading option ideal for a wide variety of outdoor applications, including car parks, swimming pools, dining areas, walkways, and more. Offering design flexibility, when properly engineered and installed, tensile shade structures also offer a wide range of benefits to a commercial space. Benefits of Installing Tensile Membrane Structures
For custom tensile membrane structures, Perth relies on Supreme Shade for quality, value, and professionalism. Here are just some of the great benefits of installing these types of shade structures.


Tension fabric structures are much more lightweight when compared to other types of permanent shade structures. Their lightweight nature provides the ability to span a large area with only limited framework and minimal support. Perfect for use as car park shade structures or other large outdoor area which require open space with minimal obstruction.

Colour Choice

Shade sail fabric is available in a wide variety of colours, making it ideal for creating visually interesting canopies for both commercial and residential purposes. From contemporary and traditional colours to fun, bold tones, utilising shade cloth fabric allows you to be creative or complementary to existing architecture.

Durable Fabrics

Tensile fabric is functional and highly durable, having been designed and engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions. Providing excellent protection from all the elements, they also absorb and reflect UV Rays whilst still allowing light to penetrate through.

Design Versatility

Offering incredible design flexibility, tension shade structures are a perfect solution for an abundance of applications. Architects, designers, and engineers have the freedom to develop eye-catching and innovative structures that span across large areas with ease.

Easy Installation

Shade fabric structures are much easier to install than their conventional counterparts. Faster to design, fabricate, construct, and install, fabric structures are typically manufactured at the factory and transported to site, and require less foundation and prep work than other shade constructions.


Architectural shade sail structures are far more cost-effective than rigid constructions when a large, clear span is required. The cost of a fabric structure can vary depending on a number of factors however, they will almost always be much more affordable than custom-designed traditional roof options.

tensile membrance

When the benefits are considered, a tensile fabric shade structure is an excellent alternative to a traditional brick-and-mortar option. They are ideal for large outdoor areas that require a spacious, open, and unobstructed area yet excellent weather protection. We understand that every business is different and has different needs, so we don’t provide one-size-fits-all shade sail solutions. Instead,Benefits of Installing Tensile Membrane Structures
we collaborate with each client to develop a customized shading option that is designed to suit their specific needs and budget. Whether you need childcare shade sails, carport structures, or solutions for pool shade, Perth can trust our team to provide the best option for every situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

A tensile fabric structure comprises a tensioned fabric membrane roof supported by structure usually made of steel, aluminium or timber. Tensile Fabric Structures (Lightweight) structures are architectural and engineering creations known for their low mass compared to the applied loads. They encompass various forms such as tensile structures, frame-supported structures, air-supported structures, air-inflated structures, cable net structures, cable-and-strut structures (also called tensegrity), geodesic dome structures, and grid shells. These structures are celebrated for their material efficiency and are widely used in architecture and engineering due to their ability to offer strength and stability while keeping weight to a minimum, making them versatile for various applications.

There are two basic building blocks of anticlastic tensile structures: the Saddle and the Cone. The Saddle is a hyperbolic paraboloid which means that it is a surface made of two high points and two low points. The geometry of the surface is orthogonal or made by the warping of a rectangular grid. The Cone is like a volcano shape using a radial geometry created by radians and hoops to create surfaces. These two forms can be combined to create an infinite number of permutations much like the circle and the square in classical architecture. Synclastic forms such as Domes and Flat panel membranes are also offered.

Various fabric materials are used in the construction of tensile fabric structures, each chosen for its specific characteristics and suitability for the intended application. At J & J Carter we use four different types, PVC coated Polyester, PVC coated Glass Fibre, Silcone coated Glass Fabric, and PTFE coated Glass Fabric. For more information on the different types of materials, visit our Tensile Fabric Materials page which breaks down each fabric and provides a helpful comparison graph.

This can vary depending on the design and specification of the materials and on other factors such as maintenance, cleaning and location. Typically, a PVC membrane would last around 20-25 years and a PTFE structure would last in excess of 30 years. Fabric technology, design and manufacturing techniques are advancing all the time and we’re seeing the lifespans of tensile structures increase as a result.

Integrating tensile structures with regular buildings involves a strategic approach to seamlessly combine architectural and structural elements. They can be used as curtain walls either as building cladding for atriums or courtyards in intense solar regions or as shading systems in conjunction with glass curtain walls. They can be used as canopies that join on the outside of buildings to give flair at entrances and as covered walkways. They can be stand alone pavilions that act as objects in the streetscape. They not only provide shelter but also introduce natural light and enhance the aesthetics of a building.

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