A Tensile stainless steel system for a facade or vertical garden creates an installation that is particularly robust and durable. There are many other advantages to Tensile systems as well, especially when compared to green walls or surface-mounted systems created from rigid reinforcement mesh.
Let’s look at what’s involved in a Tensile system and compare the three solutions for facades.
What a Tensile system entails
A lot of factors go into developing Tensile solutions. These include facade design, site and structural analysis, load requirements, best trellis support structure and stainless steel materials, engineering, and building integration and maintenance considerations.
This all has to happen well before we get to the supply and installation stages, which require planning and scheduling, project management, coordination of trades and more.
Once the groundwork is in place though, Tensile stainless steel systems can be remarkably quick to install. For example, car park facades like this one in Melbourne can often be installed within a matter of weeks.
How does a Tensile solution compare to other systems?
Green facades and green walls are two quite different systems.
For example, green walls usually involve placing herbaceous and shrub-like plants across the wall face in containers or via modular green panels. Green facades on the other hand use light stainless-steel trellis systems to support climbing plants, and they provide coverage that is less dense than that of a green wall.
The advantages of a Tensile facade solution over green walls are numerous, including:
- Greater cost effectiveness – e.g. green facades cost $200-$400 per sqm compared to $1,100 for green walls.
- Lighter in weight – 5-8kg vs 12-20kg per sqm.
- Lower maintenance – a well-designed stainless steel facade only requires maintenance once or twice a year, compared to a green wall which may need intervention every couple of months.
- Larger spans – a Tensile solution can span a facade with minimal additional structure. This compares well to green walls which require fixings at approximately 600mm centres in both directions.
- Natural light entry – green facades allow natural light to filter through whereas the dense coverage of green walls tends to mean that the light gets blocked out.
- Greater ventilation – as well as allowing in more light facades also enable greater air flow and ventilation than green walls.
Tensile stainless steel systems for facades also offer benefits compared to rigid-mesh surface-mounted systems. These include:
- Greater flexibility – rigid-mesh systems do not have the same versatility as those created from more pliable materials, such as the stainless steel Webnet mesh used in Tensile systems.
- More cost-effective – e.g. $200-$400 per sqm for Tensile facades compared to $400-$600.
- Lighter in weight – 5-8kg vs 10-12kg per sqm.
- Longer-lasting – Tensile systems last for 25 years or more compared to 5-10 years for reinforcement mesh.
- Larger spans – rigid mesh systems have similar requirements to green walls in this regard (see above).
- Full backup – Tensile solutions come with full engineering, certification and documentation. These things tend to be lacking in rigid-mesh systems.
Some facade and vertical garden project examples
Here are a few examples of Tensile solutions in action:
- Green screens at Taronga Zoo – Jakob 4mm stainless steel wire vertical cables support the native climbing plants on the green barriers on the Zoo’s new accommodation centre balconies.
- Hanging Gardens at Vance apartments – the stunning hanging gardens at the Vance apartments in Harold Park were created using a planter box approach supported by 6mm stainless steel cables and Webnet mesh finished in black.
- The Workshop in inner Sydney – the recent fitout of the Workshop included a central atrium with a glass ceiling and a series of large hanging planters up to 1.8m in diameter and 260kg in weight. Jakob stainless-steel wire rope supports the planters in combination with a specially designed frame that prevents tilt. The result is a stunning hanging plant indoor garden that is truly unique.
Need help bringing your facade idea to life?
If you have a facade project idea you would like to discuss, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.