Design of a cost effective small span tensile roof
Document typeConference report
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Tensile Structures offer a wide variety of membrane forms however, due to the interdependence of form and structural behaviour, only few forms have so far been built. The increasing need for building new tensile forms and investigating innovative solutions for manufacturing and detailing is pushing the lightweight structures market, a strategy adopted by a UK based company, I2O ltd who design and manufacture bespoke innovative tensile structures. The company held a competition for an innovative, scalable design to complement their product range. The competition was open to all schools, students, sports clubs, restaurants, golf clubs and theme parks and resulted in many entries designed by both school children and adults. The winning design is from Priory Park Infant School in St Neots, UK. The so-called tree-like design is inspired by the school tree emblem and its forest school status. The structure will replace the loss of the school’s horse chestnut tree providing shaded creative space for outdoor learning activities. The design challenges for this project derives from two main aspects: I: Transforming the free organic form of trees found in nature into a form that follows a geometric order proven to be structurally stable under different loading conditions whilst maintaining the visual perception of the inspired design. II. Cost-effective solutions for manufacture and detailing of the structure for market development. The project is designed by Insde2Outside Ltd in the UK, as part of an Innovate UK funded knowledge Transfer partnership with Nottingham University. The project will be manufactured and installed by I2O Ltd who plan to add the structure to its standard products for sale.