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Green glamping

February 17th, 2017 / By: / Fabric Structures, Markets

Eco-friendly glamping structures designed to keep Mother Nature smiling.

Glamping brings together the best of two worlds—all the splendor Mother Nature has to offer in posh, elegant accommodations. As if that weren’t enough, glamping structures are usually designed with fabrics that blend into the surroundings that leave less of a footprint to challenge the environment.

“Our focus and passion is to provide canvas and fabric structures which have a low impact on the surrounding environment,” says Paul Zway, owner and founder of Belize-based Exclusive Tents International. “In doing so, we have opened the door for many architects looking to develop in environmentally sensitive areas. This in turn, means that places like beaches and islands, which are protected, can now be enjoyed without any harm to the area.”

Ivy Fife, marketing manager for Colorado Yurt Co. in Montrose, Colo., agrees. “Fabric yurts leave a very light footprint on the earth making them extremely environmentally friendly,” she says. “The simple design of the yurt also requires far fewer of the earth’s resources than a traditional stick-built home. Yurts are a very eco-friendly alternative for those resolved to living a more sustainable and simple lifestyle.”

Which fabrics are used to skin glamping structures depends on the customer’s needs and the environment. “We use a wide array of fabrics, from proprietary polymers, acrylics and laminates to marine cottons and blends,” Fife says. “We’re always looking for a higher level of sustainability throughout the supply chain.”

BubbleTree, created in 2006 by the French designer Pierre-Stéphane Dumas, approaches temporary accommodation for leisure and eco-tourism “based on minimum energy, minimum material, maximum comfort and maximum interaction with the environment,” Dumas says.

Fabricated from specially designed material, Bubbles are inflated by a silent turbine that is constantly renewing the air and correcting the humidity level. “We applied the ecological approach to enable these light structures to be set up on savage and preserved sites without impacting the environment,” Dumas says. “The Bubbles have also become the first temporary accommodation allowing power autonomy and using bio-thermoregulation.”

Sustainability for the glamping market extends further than the structures themselves. Many companies that design and manufacture the structures also embrace environmentally friendly practices for furnishings and support elements.

Emmeloord, The Netherlands-based Luxetenten.com manufactures furniture to furnish its deluxe tents. The company creates minimalist Dutch furniture upcycled from scrap wood. “The furniture is cool, strong and easy to maintain,” says Marcel Boot, Luxetenten.com’s local field manager. “In addition, the wood is PEFC-certified.”

Madrid, Spain-based ERebull S.A., designs and manufactures Ctents, modular structures made with fiberglass ribs and steel that support the poly-cotton and PVC fabric skins. The company also provides accessories at the customer’s request, including energy-saving components such as LED lighting and solar energy panels.

Sigrid Tornquist, a writer and editor based in St. Paul, Minn., is a frequent contributor to IFAI publications.

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