Company Profile & Information

Flexible Structures c.c. was formed in 1984 by Edward Howard, then a lecturer in Civil & Structural Engineering at the University of Natal. Flexible Structures International, (FSI) as it is known today, undertakes the design detailing and project management of fabric tension structures and air-supported structures. Flexible Structures pioneers of fabric tensile structures in South Africa has executed work locally and internationally and offers its services through its South African office & through its European office. Flexible Structures key personal, Edward Howard, Gloria Howard & Gina Lenferna de la Motte comprises, structural engineers, architects, designers & project managers.

Membrane structures are essentially non-linear in their behaviour and require special computer software for form-finding and structural analysis and the production of cutting patterns. A high degree of accuracy is required for the fabric strip patterns. FSI use a computer driven automated plotting and cutting table for cutting the fabric patterns. Attachment of the fabric membrane to the anchorage points requires careful attention both in respect of the way in which the forces are transferred and appearance. Despite the inherent lightweight of the fabric membrane, large forces can be generated, requiring substantial fittings and anchorages.

Fabric membrane structures are not cheap alternatives to conventional construction - they have a different architecture, are dynamic and visual and can have a dramatic effect on the appearance and ambience of the built environment.

See some projects (refer Projects) undertaken by FSI. A range of projects from domestic covers to arenas and special projects internationally have been successfully executed. Projects are either “turnkey”, design, procure and erect, contracted to FSI directly by the client while others require only part services (refer Services) by engineering and architectural firms, project planners or tent manufacturers.