Acoustical performance challenges in tensile membrane structure

Acoustical performance challenges in tensile membrane structures!


  • High Reflectivity: Tensile membrane fabrics tend to reflect sound waves, particularly in the mid-frequency range from 500-2000 Hz. This can be beneficial in controlling noise transmission from outside the structure, but it can also lead to reverberation and echo issues within the space, making it difficult to hear clearly.
  • Geometrical Impact: Certain design shapes, for example curve arches, can trap sound waves and worsen acoustic performance within the structure. Curved surfaces can focus sound in specific areas, creating uneven sound distribution.
  • Sound Transmission Loss: Large open spaces with tensile membrane roofs can experience low sound attenuation. This means sound travels easily across the space without being absorbed, leading to excessive noise levels and difficulty with conversations.


  • Lightweight Porous Liner Fabrics: As you mentioned, incorporating a lightweight porous liner fabric within the design is a common solution. These liners absorb sound waves, helping to reduce reverberation and echo, and improve overall acoustic performance in the space.
  • Design Considerations: Architects and engineers can design tensile membrane structures with acoustics in mind. Minimizing curved surfaces and incorporating sound-absorbing materials like baffles or panels can significantly improve the acoustic environment.
  • Fabric Material: The choice of fabric for the tensile membrane itself can also influence acoustics. Some fabrics have higher sound absorption coefficients than others..


Acoustics is a crucial aspect to consider when designing large and enclosed tensile membrane structures. By understanding the challenges posed by the reflective nature of the fabrics and the potential impact of geometry, you can create solutions that incorporate sound-absorbing materials and thoughtful design strategies. This will ensure the space is not only visually appealing but also comfortable and acoustically functional.

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