Textile skins

The ILEK is a pioneer in the field of textile constructions and, through many research projects, a leader in basic research on textile and foil based building skins.

Textile and foil based building skins

Textile and foil based materials offer unique aesthetic and haptic qualities compared to conventional façade materials. Due to their minimal weight per unit area and their high mechanical strength, they open up a previously unexploited potential for their application in architecture, offering both a revolutionary expansion of the functional spectrum and the design possibilities of the outer shell as well as a significant weight reduction of new and existing buildings.

Whereas textiles initially were applied as one-layer membrane constructions, e.g. to provide shading of large areas, continuous further development towards multi-layer systems made of functional materials and textile outer layers has meanwhile proven their suitability in terms of building physics also for their use in the façade as well.

Multilayer textile building envelopes are constructions made of flexible high-performance materials, such as woven fabrics, knitted fabrics and foils, framed in a profile system, which are designed to create an outer, thermal building envelope while respecting all the requirements of a façade. The use of simple joining methods results in a highly flexible, modular system design, which is characterized by the exchangeability, recyclability and returnability of all system components into the material cycle. In addition, such building envelopes are extremely light and thus contribute to a material and CO2-minimized construction method.

Due to the high degree of individualization of textile façade structures and the possibility of implementing active components a precise adaptability to strongly fluctuating requirements can be achieved, resulting in a significant increase of user comfort and a reduction of energy requirements for room conditioning.

Being a pioneer in the field of textile constructions, within the scope of various research projects, the ILEK has worked out the fundamental principles for the building physical simulation and measurement of the relevant building physical properties of textile- and foil-based skins as well as ground breaking research results for the design and the construction of multi-layer textile- and foil-based façade systems.

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