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Reaching for the stars

November 1, 2015

Tectoniks pioneers inflatable technology in developing high-value asset protection for Lockheed Martin U.K. To help provide environmental protection to its high-value assets, aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin U.K. needed a robust, portable and retractable structure that met specific and rigorous functional and technical requirements—and everything had to be accomplished in a compressed timeframe. After …

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Protecting those who serve

A fabric cover at an army heliport shields against the Arizona sun. The Silverbell Army Heliport, located near Marana, Ariz., about 30 miles northwest of Tucson, is a training site for the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA). There, aviation training is conducted using several different types of helicopters, which are stored and …

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Powering up

September 1, 2015

The demand for inflatables used for shelters, rescue and training is strong and growing, as new applications for a well-known but developing technology attract more attention worldwide. Air is a powerful force. Properly harnessed, it can be completely transformed, becoming an integral player in products that serve all manner of purposes, from strictly fun to …

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Fabric meets frac sand

A fast-growing industry relies on fabric architecture for a long-term, large-format storage facility. Wind and sand are like oil and water; they don’t mix. When Source Energy Services (SES), Eau Claire, Wis., enlisted the assistance of Legacy Building Solutions Inc., South Haven, Minn., to build the largest regional frac sand storage facility in Alberta, Canada, …

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A healthy living

Inflatable products need not be oversized to have a big impact; small can be mighty, especially when it comes to inflatables designed to provide relief on an individual basis, such as those popping up in wellness centers, hospitals, nursing homes and even on clothing racks and in closets. Here’s a quick overview of three companies …

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Air support

July 1, 2015

Advances in materials and technology mean advantages for air-supported fabric structures in durability and sustainability. In May 2009, the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility collapsed under a freak microburst of 60mph winds, injuring a dozen people and leaving at least one person partially paralyzed. It has taken the industry years to overcome the impact of this …

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Beyond the competition

Patty and Charly Smail build their business by learning from each new customer—and finding gaps in what the competition offers. We’ve always been service-oriented people. That’s our style,” says Patty Smail, president of Shelter Structures Inc. in Philadelphia, Pa. “We wanted to find markets where they valued quality over price and where we could provide …

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5 top reasons for using an air-supported structure

Many of the manufacturers interviewed for the air-supported structure feature in the July issue used similar arguments when pitching to clients on the benefits of air-supported structures. The top five: 1. Quick to erect. Air-supported fabric structures are significantly faster to erect than traditional “brick-and-mortar” structures. They do not require permanent foundations and generally need minimal …

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Lessons in community, ecology

June 1, 2015

The Longbush Ecosanctuary protects native plants, birds and wildlife in a rare lowland bush near Gisbourne, on New Zealand’s eastern coast. Longbush Ecological Trust wanted an inviting environmental education space to serve as a symbolic gateway to the 296-acre sanctuary and commissioned architect Sarosh Mulla to design and build the shelter. Mulla, whose doctoral research …

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Transformed by textiles

Two case studies highlight the use of fabric to renovate and convert stadium spaces. By Jake Kulju Cities are full of movement and change. Parks, public spaces and businesses all reflect the shifting tastes and trends of their urban neighborhoods. To adapt, many urban planners, business owners and architects are incorporating industrial fabrics into their …