WG Sustainability and Comfort

Leader: Carol Monticelli

Mission: The aim of this WG is going to review the current status on membrane materials and typical membrane structures with regard to sustainability, comfort and LCA issues, that can be used as a key evaluation criterion in the objectification of the discussion on membrane materials. This state of the art systematic collection aims to demonstrate the advantages of the Life Cycle Design strategy answering to the environmental sustainability, in the case of ultra-lightweight structures.

During TENSINANTES2023 one of the main topics was dedicated to STRUCTURAL MEMBRANE: an answer to issues of the 21st century with a focus on lightweight design, well-being, environmental impact, energy and acoustic performance, life cycle of materials and structures, end of life of membrane structures. The keynote lecture “The Pathways to Zero Carbon for Tensioned Membrane Architecture: ongoing actions and next steps” by Bruce Danziger and Carol Monticelli has been further discussed in the WG sustainability & comfort meeting.

The WG sustainability & comfort meeting focused on the consultation on Product Category Rule of Structural membranes (coated technical textiles, technical textiles and foils) under development and on the PFAS restrictions for Fluoropolymers materials: in both cases, the opinions of participants and the good and productive discussion demonstrated that now is the time to shift to new approaches based on lifecycle thinking and environmental impacts.

The Product Category Rules Part B: Requirements on the EPD for structural membranes (fabrics, coated fabrics and foils) was submitted to IBU (Institut Bauen und Umwelt) for revision on behalf of the TensiNet Association on 15 February 2023 and was published on 5 January 2024! Please find the link to this PCR.

FINAL PUBLIC structural membranes 1 1 page 00012

Not yet active in this WG and interested to join? Send an email to info@tensinet.com


STATEMENT PFAS restriction

The per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) restriction proposal was pre-published on the ECHA (European Chemical Agency) portal on 7 February 2023.
This so-called Universal PFAS Restriction would prohibit the manufacture, use and placing on the market of around 10 000 PFAS, including fluoropolymers, F-gases and C6 fluorotelomers.

The TensiNet Association, promoting the quality of tensile surface structures since 2000, formulates the following statement with respect to the PFAS restriction proposal:

For more than half a century, structural membranes, including PTFE-coated glass fabric, PVC-coated polyester fabric, ETFE-foils, and other variants, have found widespread use. These Fluoropolymers are classified as Polymers of Low Concern (PLC).

Unfortunately, there is currently no alternative material with comparable performance in terms of longevity, durability, strength, and fire-resistance, and the consequences of the PFAS restriction for the tensile surface structures sector (membrane structures sector) would have a non-compensatable negative impact.

Given that tensile surface structures occupy a specialised niche, it is needed to group effort to ensure an effective communication. The TensiNet Association wants also to speak for modest companies, engineers, architects, and other stakeholders.

If you share this point of view, we cordially invite you to support the petition, thereby helping to preserve the future of membrane structure. It was possible to sign the online petition until 15.09.2023.


Document for the WG Sustainability and Comfort - including information on PFAS restrictions

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