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Trees and Tensile Structure

Tensile structure with opening for trees.
After 7 years the tree has grown and cover large area over the canopy.

Placing Trees and Tensile Structure together is like mixing water and oil. Tree grows and unstable under wind load. The branches can crash with the membrane/cable and caused structural failure. When the buyer wants both trees and tensile structure put together. We need try to minimize the incoming problems.

Original tensile structure
Original tensile structure when the tree was smaller.

7 years back, when the tree was smaller, the opening shown here doesn't provide enough clearance for the future growth. More trees were added into the scene, and they keep growing 3-4 times the original size.

Tensile structure with trees
Curve and cut out to avoid tree crashing.

The fallen leaves are the main cause of of structural failure. For this particular project, the gardener has to remove a truck load of leaves from the canopy every week. The original tensile structure had flat shape with no steel supports. The weight of the fallen leaves induces sagging and water pounding. The original canopy was then torn down by dead weight of water/leaves.

Tensile structure with arches
Improved with support steel arch

For the new design, I've added 2 arches to support the structure. This creates deeper slope to drain water and fallen leaves.

Steeper slope canopy
Steeper slope canopy

Steeper slope will make fallen leaves fall directly into the rain gutter. This will also cause the gutter to collapse if owner doesn't maintain it properly.

Installing membrane around the trees
Installing membrane around the trees

This is unusual for architecture work. The first one last 7 years, I hope this one will last longer if the owner maintains it properly. (Keep it clean.)

Membrane and fungus
Membrane and fungus

Tree leaves are also source of fungus. Even the membrane has anti fungal coating but there're thousands of fungal species. One of them may survive the chemical and migrate deep into the PVC surface. This could be impossible to remove.

We'll wait and see how this one to go.

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