SA’s Green Building Convention in its 8th year

This year’s Green Building Convention is Inspiring Better Buildings. SA’s Green Building Council acknowledges that it is no longer enough to simply think green while building but that to achieve green building, technologies need to be part of the design from conception; and taking it a step further – as part of the business process.

The convention runs from the 2 – 6 November, 2015 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Key-Note speakers include Jochen Zeitz from Kering (sponsored by NedBank and GrowthPoint) and founder of the Foundation of Intercultural Ecosphere Safety which supports creative sustainable projects and builds sustainable businesses; Professor Michael Braungart pioneer of Cradle to Cradle design which models human industry on nature’s processes; among others.

The programme line-up includes workshops, building tours and activities as well as speakers and discussion sessions on the importance of green building as a part of business processes; how to build better businesses and economising green building; and more.

“If your business is committed to a future where the foundations are green, this is an event you do not want to miss” – Green Building Convention.

For more information, visit the conference website here.

Umbrellas and Gazebos this Summer!

Tension Structures has launched a new range of products suitable for home installation at a private residence as they are available in standard sizes, greatly reducing the cost, while conserving the integrity of the structure.

These structures are permanent, and fabric choice is critical. Life expectancy varies widely between manufactures, and it is for this reason that Tension Structures has formed a dedicated relationship with fabric manufacturers Serge Ferrari and Verseidag both of whose products boast extensive lifespans. The fabric also controls light intensities below the structures allowing for muted comfortable light on a glaringly hot day; and when artificially lit, illuminating the space below – and it is fire retardant as well. Read more about our fabric here.

Installation of these structures is effortless. Simply choose a structure size suited to your space, and Tension Structures will bring it to your home.

Read more about the structures types and sizes available here.


by Kim O’Hanlon, B.Jrn –

For more information please contact Tension Structures | | +27 21 794 1898

First in Africa – Tension Structures to use Serge Ferrari’s TX30 at Garden City Mall, Lusaka

Due for completion in August 2016, Tension Structures will be undertaking a project at the new Garden City Mall in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. This project is to be made using Serge Ferrari’s new fabric, TX30 – for the first time in Africa. TX30 boasts a useful design life in excess of 30 years, and has a significantly higher translucency than standard PVC fabrics.


A 3D render of the structures to be installed at the Garden City Mall, Lusaka by Tension Structures due for completion in August 2016.

As leading fabric structure engineers, Tension Structures transforms the skyline with a multitude of tensile structures that revolutionise architecture.

Choice of fabric is vital as life expectancy varies widely between fabric types, and the manufacturer is critical. Tension Structures’ abiding collaboration with Serge Ferrari ensures that the structures we produce ensure longevity.

Tension Structures will be manufacturing and installing the covered access walkways running throughout the centre of the mall, as well as structures at the entrances, covering a total area of 2,500 m2.


TX30 was used to cover the Lyon Rugby Stadium in France. Image supplied by Serge Ferrari.

TX30 benefits from Serge Ferrari’s Précontraint technology, where bi-directional pre-tensioning of the polyester micro-fibres provides greater dimensional stability and consistency, and, as it is flatter, it has a thicker protective coating at the tops of the fibres. This PVC protective coating formula is resistant to the erosion generated by weather aggressions such as UV, dust and rain. In addition, its top coating has a non-weldable Crosslink PVDF formula for additional durability.

TX30 was used for the Christchurch Rugby Stadium in New Zealand, and in the Lyon Rugby Stadium in France.


For more information: Tension Structures | | +27 21 794 1898


by Kim O’Hanlon, B.Jrn |

Hotel Verde – Now, a global first in green design

Coming up on their second birthday, Hotel Verde has much to celebrate having recently been awarded a second Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Green Building Certificate by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) – a global first.

Tension Structures installed a 152 m2 fabric structure at the hotel’s entrance, welcoming guests as they pass three 17m-tall wind turbines. View the project here.

In keeping with the hotel’s sustainability ethos, the fabric structure offers an extended life span, both in the fabric as well as the stainless steel tension cables used, which are also 100% recyclable.

The hotel’s first LEED Platinum Green Building Certificate was awarded in May 2014 for New Construction in the Green Building Design and Construction – a first in Africa. Its second award was for Existing Building Operations & Maintenance, making it the world’s only hotel to achieve double-platinum status. Read more on the hotel’s green initiatives here.

The hotel said it was the on-going efforts of the hotel’s team and their dedication to a sustainable work lifestyle that contributed to their accolades.

A delighted Mario Delicio, hotel owner and chief executive said, “We are only at the beginning, but we are very much ahead of our time… I quickly realised that my dream to provide something luxurious and sustainable was not only possible, but it was also a business model worth sharing.” Delicio said they would take the green hotel concept to Kenya next, with plans for the new hotel being finalised.

For more information: Tension Structures | | +27 21 794 1898


by Kim O’Hanlon, B.Jrn |



The Soweto Theatre – Seemingly effortless ingenuity

The iconic Soweto Theatre, in Jabulani Soweto is said to have changed the landscape of the area. Designed by Afritects, it has been hailed as an architectural masterpiece, and is described by the architects as a “culmination of both national and global best practices in theatre design”.

In 2012, Tension Structures won the public tender to take on the significant task of erecting the tensile fabric structure which was to double up as both a covered entrance as well as an outdoor intermission area.

By proposing an alternative concept design, Tension Structures was able to offer the architects and the client a structure which saved them a third of the cost, and omitted the bulk of the heavy steel structure which was in the initial design.

Instead, Tension Structures used cables which extended through the three story glass façade of the entrance hall and were secured above the open atrium. The position of each cable had to be predicted precisely in order to drill small holes out of the glass façade at the exact entry point of each cable.

Despite the structure’s need for a great deal of forward planning, and the complexity of the on-site tensioning of the structure, the cables fitted perfectly through the glass façade and this approach minimised the need for structural supports and opened up the entrance way.


For more information: Tension Structures | | +27 21 794 1898


by Kim O’Hanlon, B.Jrn |

Architectural Umbrellas and Gazebos – Easy Installation

We offer architectural umbrellas and gazebos in a set variety of sizes and structures for ease of installation. These structures are available in two types of umbrellas and three types of gazebos. The gazebos are modular systems, where several units can be joined together. Our straight edged gazebos also have the option of drop down clear fabric walls.

Why choose Tension Structures for your entertainment area?

Tension Structures has over 40 years’ experience in the tensile fabric structure industry and these structures have been tailor made to suit the outside entertainment area at your restaurant or home. Taking into consideration Cape Town’s turbulent climate, the structures have been designed to withstand wind up to gusts of 145km/hour to SANS building regulations 10160. The fabric used is of the highest quality imported from Serge Ferrari, France and has up to a 20 year life expectancy. It is also UV resistant and fire retardant.

For sizes and further specifications read more about our New Architectural Umbrellas and Gazebos on our website here.


For more information: Tension Structures | | +27 21 794 1898


by Kim O’Hanlon, B.Jrn |

A new online look for Tension Structures

We are proud to announce our new website built in the first half of this year, and launched this month. The website was built by Creative Engineering Studio, and we feel they have done a fantastic job of capturing the essence of Tension Structures: it’s legacy and its innovation.


Easily browse through Tension Structures’ projects with our new categories menu. Whether you’re looking for a structure to finish a specific area or for a particular purpose, our projects are on display under a range of categories which filter for just what you are looking for.

Architectural Umbrellas and Gazebos:

Along with our website, Tension Structures is also launching a new product range: Architectural Umbrellas and Gazebos. These structures are predesigned for ease of installation to a variety of sizes and structures and are perfect for entertainment areas for commercial spaces or at home. Read more here.

News on the go:

Not only will Tension Structures’ site now send out regular company and industry news, but as our new site is responsive, you will be able to read our news on your desktop or laptop, tablet or smartphone in an easy to view display.

Visit our new site now or read more news.


For more information: Tension Structures | | +27 21 794 1898


by Kim O’Hanlon, B.Jrn |