Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 606242
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: Spain

‘Sensitive’ buildings adapt to changes

A highly innovative construction system promises freeform and flexible structures via technological solutions never before used in architecture.
‘Sensitive’ buildings adapt to changes
Construction is one of the most traditional and less technified industries. This situation has negative consequences on the quality of its products as well as exportability, to name a few. To become more competitive, the construction sector needs support in research and development.

The EU-funded project HYPERMEMBRANE-DEMO (Demonstration of an adaptable structure for architecture applications) was launched to provide the construction market with a standardised technology for the erection of light-weight architectonic structures that can reproduce complex geometrical surfaces.

The extremely innovative technology had been under development since 2003. Over the years, it was recognised through many awards and exhibitions, until in 2011, it was chosen for funding under FP7. The project ended with a prototype system on which validation tests were carried out.

HYPERMEMBRANE has a flexible self-supporting structure exploiting the elastic properties of thermoplastic composite materials. With the incorporation of intelligent actuators, construction can take on an endless list of shapes starting from absolutely the basic elements.

Among its many applications, this revolutionary architectural solution can be used for the coverage of stages and in smart buildings. Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene membranes used are lightweight compared to glass, and importantly, allow the structure to react independently to changes in temperature.

By combining physical and digital elements, HYPERMEMBRANE proved able to support geometric shapes that are malleable to spatial requirements, light conditions and energy needs. Through dedicated software, the roofing system has also achieved bending capacity similar to that of human muscles.

The HYPERMEMBRANE-DEMO team demonstrated the new technology through a 20-metre long adaptive installation at the Design Hub Museum in Barcelona, presented in this video. The installation is a unique example of biomimetic architecture.

Related information


Architecture, HYPERMEMBRANE-DEMO, thermoplastic composite, actuators, geometric shapes
Record Number: 198909 / Last updated on: 2017-06-19
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