1 Norwich Univeristy (UNITED STATES)
2 ArroDesign (UNITED STATES)
3 Engineering Ventures (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 1726-1737
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
This paper provides a general overview of an innovative building technique called fabric forming and illustrates the immense potential of the construction techniques. The concepts of tension forming and its application to the design and construction of rectilinear and curvilinear wall forming will be discussed as it relates to sustainable and contemporary design in a quickly developing rural and historical region of New England, the Mad River Valley.

The practical application of fabric forming allows for more complex shapes and structural configurations than previously possible. Replacing rigid formwork panels and casting forms with a flexible polyolefin textile membrane allows for the economical production of simple and sophisticated concrete members with increased structural efficiency and exceptional physical beauty. The permeable fabric membrane allows air bubbles and excess bleed water to move through the membrane wall, resulting in increased strength and durability of the concrete. The concept of the fabric membrane as a “skin” over the form skeleton can produce sophisticated details responding both to bioclimatic site requirements and a local vernacular aesthetic. Fabric formwork techniques can be designed to conform to precise structural requirements resulting in a significant reduction in materials used. The immense potential of fabric forming includes constructing high efficiency, engineered structures, an alternative vernacular aesthetic to post and beam residential construction, and an accessible and economical construction methodology for underdeveloped communities.

Finally the paper will report on a one-week educational and collaborative workshop to be held in August 2009. The techniques are uniquely accessible to a broad, public audience. This one-week event will bring together the world's leading innovators in the field to share techniques and strategies, while forming and pouring a series of concrete architectural components that allow for high efficiency, thermally massive, durable and sustainable structures. Participants include researchers, architects, builders, and students of design.
innovation, technology, research projects.