Traditionally, commercial, and public safety barriers on buildings, bridges and other structures have been made from hard materials like glass, steel, or concrete. These materials are robust and excellent for meeting safety compliance. However, they can be heavy in both weight and appearance, and expensive to install.
In recent years, lightweight tensile solutions – such as tensioned stainless-steel mesh or cables – have been offering a viable alternative for commercial barriers. These materials were initially developed in Europe in the 1990s and are growing in popularity due to their flexibility and usefulness.
The benefits of tensile solutions for barriers
Tensile barrier materials provide the following practical benefits:
- Excellent longevity and strength – enabling barriers that last up to 25 years.
- Light in weight and appearance – which allows for barriers that are highly transparent, quick to install, and that facilitate light and airflow. The transparency of the materials can also facilitate a sense of openness and community.
- Low maintenance needs and costs – due to the anti-corrosive properties of marine-grade stainless steel.
- Large span capability – making the materials suitable for barriers that extend over multiple levels.
- Compliance – tensile barriers can be configured to meet safety codes in terms of fall protection, anti-throw, and non-climbability.
- Sustainability – the stainless steel we use at Tensile is made from 70% recycled content using 90-100% renewable energy, making it a good solution where environmental sustainability is a priority.
Tensile solutions can complement or enhance aesthetics and architectural design in many ways as well:
- The material’s transparency allows the design features of the structure to shine through.
- The materials can be sized, configured and coloured to suit the project, not the other way around.
- Stainless steel mesh and cables are highly malleable materials. This makes them adaptable to all kinds of geometric shapes and asymmetric structures, contributing to design freedom.
- Both Webnet mesh and cables can be used to support climbing plants or planter boxes to create attractive green barriers.
- Webnet can be ‘adorned’ with decorative metal plates to enhance the design of a structure if required.
How Tensile’s innovative solutions are leading the way
At Tensile, we use tensioned Jakob Webnet mesh and cables for all our barriers and facades to provide bespoke and innovative solutions.
Here are some examples.
Nightingale ParkLife Building
For this innovative and sustainable development, we installed safety barriers across the common areas using Webnet, and supplied green facades to the balconies and rooftop with vertical cabling.
The completed project represents a shift away from traditional methods towards innovative solutions – ones that provide robust safety while facilitating community and aesthetics.
Bendigo Law Courts
This building has a highly innovative copper mosaic facade that required an equally innovative solution to support it!
We were able to accommodate this using 8mm stainless steel cables that span 18 metres – with the result representing the first artistic facade of its size in Australia.
The project came with some unique challenges, but we were able to draw on the experience and expertise of our team to provide an innovative and elegant solution.
Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
The atrium at the centre of the conservatorium was not uniform in shape over the three levels of the building. This meant it needed a specialised solution for a safety barrier.
We were able to accommodate this by using vertical stainless-steel cables that span the height of the building and move and splay between the different levels – something no other material on the market today would have been able to achieve.
Interested in knowing more about innovative Tensile solutions for barriers and facades? Please get in touch!