Projects

Lightweight structures are typically used to support large surface areas such as roofs for stadia and other sporting facilities.

They are also used for large span wall elements such as high tech glazing.

The Projects section of the website has the following categories (see sub-menu or the links below):

There are no articles in this category. If subcategories display on this page, they may have articles.

Subcategories

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Small Fabric Structures: Typically these may be of a plan area of 250 square metres or less. They are often used as shade structures or as signature items at entrances to larger buildings.

Other applications include the provision for a shaded area in playgrounds, school yards, car dealerships and as internal sculptures.

They may be made from coated fabric or membranes as a water-proof barrier or of open fabric such as knitted shade cloth.

The following articles are in random order:

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In terms of our LSAA Design Awards, a Medium sized Fabric Structure, or tensioned membrane structure) would have a surface area of between 250 and 1000 sqm.

Fabric or membrane structures of this size are often of one geometric form such as a conical structure with a central bale ring attached to a mast or tied down. The perimeter could be a series of edge cables, trusses or beams. If multiple units are used they the final structure may fall into the "large" category.

Other forms could be panels with internal diagonal arches, crossed arches, barrel vaults with intermediate valley cables.

The following articles are in random order whilst the List of Medium Structures is in order of most recently modified article first:

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Large fabric structures have generally been thought of as those that have a fabric surface area greater than 1000 square metres. These structures may be described as single surfaces or panels in the form of one of the classic hypars, barrel vaults, cones, panels with single or crossing arches - or a combination.

Larger fabric structures can also be made from several modules or panels of similar forms to build up a substantial sized structure. The multiple panels might be arranged in a linear layout, or in a circular or oval pattern commonly found in stadia roofs.  The boundaries are defined structurally and geometrically by straight or curved elements such as arches, edge beams and cables. The prestress forces from adjacent panels often counterbalance and the more efficient structures have a larger degree of symmetry and continuity such as a complete "bicycle wheel" for the roof a major sports stadium. Stadiums are grouped in a separate menu item.

The following articles are in random order:

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Stadium3
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Sports complexes including athletics, swiming, cycling, gymnastics, tennis, basketball, hockey and other large enclosures.

These structures will often involve tensioned membrane roof panels, large span trusses, arches, cablenets or other forms of lightweight structures.

The following articles are in random order:

Cablenet 2

Projects in this category include non-prestressed structures such as domes and shells made from more traditional materials like concrete.

Prestressed structures may include saddle shaped cablenets, planar wall or roof glass surfaces supported by a stressed cable network.

Externally supported roofs (cable supported) also come into this category. Articles are in random order.


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Footbridges1
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Interesting lightweight footbridges such as cable stayed or curved forms.
May also include heritage bridges that have been converted into footbridges as well as other pedestrian bridges..

The following articles are in random order:

There are several categories of "shade" structures which typically are constructed from knitted shadecloth in varying degrees of shade factor.

Shade structures for sun / hail and wind protection of large nurseries have been common in Australia since the mid 1980s.

Similar shade structures utilizing seat belt webbing as edge cables have been applied to protect cars from sun and hail in Australia, USA, South Africa and other regions.

Since the increased awareness of UV related issues, there has been many shade panels installed in playgrounds and schools. 

There is a larger number of contractors operating in the supply of domestic and small scale shadecloth structures and the pricing competition on these systems has often lead to unsafe cost cutting measures being taken. In many cases structures have been built without certification by a competent structural engineer. There has been many cases where footings and cantilevered columns are totally inadequate for the horizontal loads generated. 

Another issue is the large deflections of these structures under hail loads and wind. Often there is very small amounts of fabric prestress.

Generally made from separate panels of knitted shadecloth to provide a degree of shade and hail protection.

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Lightweight geometric forms filling an internal space generally with no applied environmental loads - from wind, rain or snow - but usually a small amount of prestress.

Iconic projects which have required a considerable degree of collaboration between stakeholders.

This is a Category (6) introduced into the LSAA Design Awards in 2013

The following articles are in random order:

Designers of lightweight structures can be at the cutting edge of innovation and explore new applications.

The LSAA has a "special applications" category for this reason.

The following articles are in random order:

Facades7
Facades6
Facades5
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Facades2
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Facades1
Facades10
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Lightweight structures are increasingly being applied to facades of buildings and may take the form of high-tech glazing, shade or heat controlling double surfaces.

Laser cut metal panels can be used to good artistic effects.

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This category includes protruding entrance coverings from buildings as well as free standing shade providing structures.

These forms may not necessarily have tensioned fabric as a major component. In the case of free standing shade canopies it is likely that the supporting structure is not truly a lightweight structure but has a more architectural quality.