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PFAS is the acronym for Polyfluoroalkyl Substances.

The European Commission is proposing that all PFAS be banned on the basis that they can be toxic, remain persistent and bioaccumulate in people and other organisms and may contribute to increasing health problems.

The number of everyday products that could be affected is staggering and various industries are starting to fight back against the proposal.

The membranes or architectural fabrics used by our Lightweight Structures Industry will be impacted if the proposed PFAS ban proceeds unless there are exemptions. Fluoropolymers are used in tensile architectural membranes in a form of coating (PTFE), lacquer on PVC coating (PVDF), or film (ETFE). 

It is very important that contractors and designers of architectural tensile membranes, contribute to this consultation to provide inputs supporting evidence and to give a more precise picture on the socio-economical impacts in case of ban of fluoropolymers.

There are also various Australian Government Departments formulating a position statement related to PFAS - see article

Some information on this topic appears under our LSAA "Industry News" page.
A new article added Sept 27 2023 with a petition/email response.
See up coming webinar on this topic by the ATA - details here (note US ET time)

Some References
An article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) "The battle over PFAS in Europe". September 2023
An article on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHNA) website. "Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)"
An article in The Guardian re the fight back here

LSAA 2024 Conference and Awards - Preliminary Notice

This is a preliminary notice for the 2024 LSAA Conference and Design Awards.

We intend to hold the event over two days in the week of 23-27 September 2024.

The location - between Melbourne or Brisbane area - and the exact days are to be finalized later this month.

It is intended to also hold our industry defining Design Awards for projects completed since early 2022.

We are in discussion with some academics with a view to holding a student design competition using online collaborative tools.

Introducing the LSAA

The Lightweight Structures Association of Australasia (LSAA) is a Not for Profit, autonomous, inter-disciplinary group of interested parties involved in the field of lightweight architectural structures. We started in 1981 as the Membrane Structures Association (MSAA) but expanded in 1994 to include other innovative structures such as cable-nets and high-tech glazing facades.

Operating primarily in Australia and New Zealand our basic aim is to promote the proper application of lightweight structures, their design, fabrication, construction and materials and to encourage the development of these and other aspects essential to lightweight structures.

Our mission is to "To lead, promote and develop excellence and innovation in lightweight structures by inspiring research and disseminating expert knowledge to expand the industry and opportunities for our members".

We do this by holding Conferences and our industry leading LSAA Design Awards.

Our members have completed outstanding structures around the globe and this enables us to draw on these contacts for our Conference Keynote speakers. These speakers also serve as Judges for our Design Awards and are able to recognize innovation and excellence.

Our members - whether they be architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers or installers - are expected to adhere to our LSAA Code of Ethics.

In 2022 the LSAA awarded two long term individuals - Dr Paul Joseph and Mike Lester - the coverted Lifetime Achievement Awards 

The Association is governed by a committee of volunteers drawn from the membership and supported by a part-time Executive Officer.

When required, specific issues are dealt with by a sub-committee. An example pertains to Fire with fabric structures. Members may access reports.

Members - and non-members - are encouraged to enter recently completed projects for our Design Awards. These entries serve as the basis for our growing record of projects. These projects are organized into various categories on the Projects Page of our website.

The LSAA also supports outside events and like-minded organizations - such as the IASS Annual Symposium 2023 - Melbourne - and will list their Events on our website.

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