Textile Membrane for Façade Retrofitting: Exploring Fabric Potentialities for the Development of Innovative Strategies

Giulia Procaccini*, Alejandro Prieto, U. Knaack, Carol Monticelli, T. Konstantinou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The European building stock demands urgent renovation due to the age of the buildings, their expected lifetime, and their excessive energy consumption, which accounts for more than a third of the EU’s total emissions. However, the complexities involved, such as time, costs, and structural modifications, often discourage clients, tenants, and occupants from undergoing a building renovation process. Textile membranes, despite their long history in various architectural applications, have only been employed in façades in the last decades. Their intrinsic properties, such as lightness and flexibility, together with rapid assembly and low maintenance make these materials particularly suitable for façade retrofitting. Therefore, they are worth exploring as a way to promote the development of lightweight and easy-to-assemble façade products that could help overcome the current limitations of building retrofitting efforts. This paper aims to establish relationships between textile membranes and potential building retrofit applications. To this end, this study builds on the categorization of traditional façade retrofit strategies and proposes a new classification for textile façade retrofit products. The methodology includes a comprehensive literature review of textile properties and characteristics, along with a thorough assessment through case studies, of membrane use in façade applications. A sequential investigation leads to the main outcome of identifying three clear pathways for the development of new textile-based façade products for building retrofit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number86
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Façade retrofit
  • textile façade
  • membrane
  • innovative strategies
  • resilient constructions
  • Sustainability
  • lightweight structures


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