Membrane design by seele cover in Obing: Full-service lightweight construction competence, efficient loadbearing structures and innovative materials for economic and original building envelopes.

membrane tensile structures by seele: icons of lightweight construction in ETFE

Lightweight structures by seele are based on light materials, efficient load-bearing structures and intelligent systems. The results are fascinating single-layer plate and shell structures and multi-layer ETFE-cushions. Carrying loads, lighting, aesthetics, building physics and even controlling illumination and interior climate are the functions of mono- or multi-functional membrane and ETFE film concepts. seele is able to create delicate, low-weight building membrane skins that have a very high load-bearing capacity yet also achieve a highly aesthetic eloquence. The credibility of the designs is due to their good transparency, carefully distributed translucency or full shading, depending on needs. Light is therefore specifically used as a controllable design element.

Part of the seele repertoire are high-strength engineering textiles (fabrics, mesh fabrics) and film such as:

  • PVC-coated polyester fabric (PVC-PES)
  • PTFE-coated glass-fibre fabric (PTFE-glass)
  • Silicone-coated glass-fibre fabric (silicone-glass)
  • Coated or uncoated fluoropolymer fabric
  • ETFE-film
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Infrastructure: Through its simplicity and lightness, ETFE lends that final touch, leading to lower costs and better environmental efficiency. (Canary Wharf Crossrail Station, London, UK © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners)
Sports facilities: Membrane architecture is ideal for sports arenas. They are very light in weight and protect against outside elements such as rain and solar and UV radiation, yet still let in enough light to create a pleasant atmosphere. (No.1 Court Wimbledon, London, UK)
Retail & Malls: This lightweight characteristic of membrane tensile structure with large span optimises the overall building costs, from roof down to foundation, which is an important factor in such a competitive environment. (Lyon confluence shopping & leisure complex, FR ©Matthias-Reitmeier)
Office Buildings, Educational Institutions: Best arguments with minimalist design: low energy during manufacture, less material, and 100% recyclable. Additionally, new spaces will be created. (Headquarters of JJA, Gonesse, FR ©Guillaume-Guerin)
Shipbuilding: The use of ETFE film roofs on ships is a new development. seele managed a lot of challenges like vibrations from the ship’s engines, accelera-tion forces due to the motion of the ship, high wind loads, the marine climate plus its different climate zones. (AIDA ©Karsten Moritz)
Canopies: Membranes and ETFE films can also be used for more industrial, more robust applications from cold to hot. They can resist snow loads and high winds and remain safe, as there is no risk of injury in case of breakage. (Suspended roof for the car wash in Kehl, DE ©Georg Hermus)
Latest development: With its aerogel filling, the ETFE fa-çade achieves a U-value of 0.165 W / (m²K) and g value of 0.12. In terms of sustainability, this innovation is an important step for the future – without sacrificing design freedoms. (DFAB, Zürich, CH © Roman Keller)

The lightweight membrane structures principle: low in weight, big in ecology, sustainable throughout the life cycle

Light materials, efficient loadbearing structures and intelligent systems. Carrying loads, lighting, aesthetics, building physics and even controlling illumination and interior climate are the functions of mono - or multi - functional membrane and ETFE film concepts. seele is able to create delicate, lightweight building membrane skins that have a very high loadbearing capacity yet also achieve a high aesthetic eloquence. The credibility of the designs is due to their good transparency, carefully distributed translucency or full shading, depending on needs.
Membrane architecture is unprecedentedly sustainable because you need less material, the lifetime is long and the recycling rate is 100%. In particular, the sorting of the different materials is easy, energy-efficient and they can be used in the same way – without the need for upcycling. ETFE for example is 100% circular economic. Indeed, many other products are combinations of more than one material. But ETFE cladding is made from 100 % pure ETFE and remains a high quality ETFE product even after being melted.

Creating open spaces in ETFE with pleasant climatic conditions

A membrane tensile structure is very light, thus allowing the creation of an atrium roof with the minimum amount of material, which is not only very sustainable but also very enjoyable, as the atmosphere inside such an atrium is as close as you can get to that of the open air! An office atrium roof can create enormous added value in office buildings. The printed membrane tensile structures improve the U-value in winter, but also reduces the build - up of heat in summer. Despite the demanding thermal specification, the membrane construction achieves a brilliant spatial experience for the staff.