Large-area free-field membrane from Lightspace
1. The free span membrane
In collaboration with several specialized companies Buitink
Technology developped a light diffusing tent fabric. The large free
span membrane hall of Lightspace is developped as a permanent
construction for large spanning.
Those halls have a free span of at least 60 m and are mainly
adapted for storage halls, sport halls, exhibition places etc.
where aesthetic, dayight and free installation play an important
Lightspace large free span membrane
with a segmented arch construction provided with a single layer
One possible free span is 60 m with a distance of 15 m between the
arches. The hall is constructed with steel and concrete arches,
provided with tension cables and curtains for stability. The steel
construction can be produced as segmented arches (the cheapest
solution) or as round arches.
This construction can be provided with a (single layered) tensed
or (double curved) membrane, membrane aircushion ot transparent
ETFE air-cushion roof.
1.1 The skin as a single layer tensed
In this option the lightspace hall will be provided with a
single layer, tensed and double curved membrane skin. The membrane
is made of a polyester fabric coated with pvc, specifically adapted
for permanent use. The material is fire resistant and
The standard single layered membrane has about 8%
1.2 The skin as membrane air-cushions
An alternative for a single layered skin is the use of
air-cushions that can be placed between the main arches ( from
concrete or steel). The use of air-cushions gives a completely
different architectural aspect and a higher insulation capacity.
The air-cushions are made of the same material as the single layer
skin. (a polyester curtain with pvc coating).
Depending on the number of layers and thus air chambers, the
u-value will vary from 1.5 to 2.69 W/m2K. By filling one or more
chambers with rock wool the u-value still can be reduced.
In a two layers solution (so one air chamber), where 20cm of
rock wool is placed, the u-capacity will be approximately 0.17
1.3 The skin as ETFE air-cushions
The skin of the Lightspace can also be made as an ETFE
air-cushion roof. This material is completely transparent (being an
alternative for a glass roof). The free span of the cushions of
about 15 meters requires a cable net (of SS cables) placed on top
and bottom side of the ETFE air-cushions.
Click here for more general
information over ETFE air-cushions.
2. Charactristics of the Lightspace large free span
The Lightspace that we designed and developped has a certain
number of important characteristics summarized below:
- A specific and attractive aestethical expression is achieved
through the doubble curved shape of the skin or the round shape of
- The Lightspace is completely calculated as a permenent building
(according to NEN 6702 TGB 2001, 6720 TGB 1990 en 6770 TGB 1990;
reference time 50 years; fire resistance class 3).
- The hall has a large free span with no columns inside.
- All used materials are reusable/ can be recycled. The membrane
- as a polyester fabric coated with pvc will be recycled by e.g.
Textyloop. See also Sustainability.
- The skin as a membrane or air-cushion is relatively light ( in
single layer 1.5kg/m2), compact and easy to transport when folded.
This is favorable for the environment because of the favourable so
- The time necessary for the assembly on site is relatively
short, considering the different elements from which the skin and
the prefabricated elements are build.
- The option with single layers membrane is translucent and about
8% of theday light is transferred to inside, which results in a
lower energy consumption for lighting and gives a pleasent inner
- The option with ETFE air-cushions is even competely
- The option with membrane -aircushions can be provided with
extra insulation in the cussions. The u-capacity can then be
preferably reach the 0,17 W/ m2 K.
The Lighspace hall has numerous possible applications. We can
deliver not only a permanent hall that provides protection against
climate influences and keeps dust out for example, but also one
that provides an insulated working space.
Thanks to the collaboration with the architect office Guido Bakker
we could respond to the needs reffering to the construction and
realization of the Lightspace hall.E.g. the building permit,
discussion with the local authorities, the integration of working
spaces, construction management, check installation techniques,
realization of the lightning plan etcetera. Buitink Technology take
care of the whole development process from first concept to
delivery of the project.
Few examples of possible uses:
- Highway covering;
- Covering for activities influenced by whether changes;
- Event hall;
- Sport facilities;
- Exhibition hall;
- Drying room;
- Storage hall;
4. The producers
Lightspace is a co-production by several specialized companies.
The large free span membrane hall of Lightspace is developed in
collaboration with the following parties:
- Light-Space, Veenendaal, www.light-space.nl
- Architectenbureau Guido Bakker, Veenendaal, www.guidobakker.nl
- Architectenbureau, ontwerp van de Lightspace hal
- Buitink Technology, Duiven, www.buitink-technology.com
- H.Hardeman BV, Veenendaal, www.hardeman.nl
- Semplonius Adviesbureau, Laag Soeren
- Tentech BV, Utrecht, www.tentech.nl