Tensile Canopy Structures

Downer International design engineer supply and install Tensile Canopy structures. All fabric structures are either a Conic Hypar or Barrel  Vault shape or a derivative of these shapes.

The 3D shapes which can be achieved allow the fabric to be highly tensioned and therefore perform very efficiently under wind and snow load. The three most commonly used fabrics are PVC, Silicon Coated Glass Fibre and PTFE.


Conic as the name suggests are cone shaped and are tensioned by pushing the fabric up at the high point or in the case of inverted conics by pulling the fabric down at the low point.


The Hypar series provides a unique design element featuring a twisted membrane with overhead support structure. Modules can be linked together offering a variety of plan layouts. The Hypar is ideal for applications that require a contemporary shade solution with maximum coverage. This range also offers a durable, attractive alternative to traditional shade sails.


Barrel vault structures are curved and dip between each fixing edge to create a valley which allows the fabric to flow freely between these points. It is a very efficient design and can span large areas.


The fabric is tensioned flat and at an angle.

The fabric panels are tensioned either up or down to allow rain water to fall off the canopy and to reduce the possibility of snow ponding on the membrane.


The hardware which is designed to complement the structure also plays a significant role in the tensioning of the membrane.

The hardware pieces commonly used in permanent canopy structures are membrane plates, keder track, head rings and catenary cables.


During the design process of the canopy structure a lot of thought and emphasis goes into how the canopy will actually be installed tensioned and maintained.

Reducing the risk of damaging the fabric whilst trying to lift it into position is also in the forefront of the design.