Structural membranes in architecture: an eco-efficient solution for the future?

Carol Monticelli, Alessandra Zanelli


The essay concerns the research conducted during the four years of the EU-COST Action TU1303 Novel Structural Skins (2014-2017), in which the authors coordinated the Working Group 2: Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis of structural skin. The first objective was to investigate research trends in innovative applications of structural membranes, environmental performances and durability of textile materials in a life cycle perspective. Then, some principles of membrane sustainability have been developed, such as strategies for a more informed project, and three prerequisites for a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach optimized for membrane structures have been identified. Their application, in the early design phases, is aimed at verifying the advantages and disadvantages, and the correct exploitation of the properties of membrane materials in the architectural design context.


Eco-efficiency; Membranes; Textile architecture; Recycling; Design principles

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