Insulated Translucent Membrane

Tensotherm™ (U.S. Patent No. 8,899,000) is a world first insulated membrane developed by Taiyo Group’s USA division, Birdair, Inc., in collaboration with Cabot Corporation and Geiger Engineers.

It can be as thin as 9mm and it’s the only translucent and insulated tensile fabric roofing material that delivers diffused glare free natural daylight, enhanced temperature control (even in extreme instances) and innovative sustainability.

To create Tensotherm, a thin translucent blanket, embedded with aerogel, is placed between a PTFE or PVC-coated fabric membrane exterior skin and a thinner and lighter acoustic or vapor barrier interior liner.

This is how the triple-layer composite works

  1.  PTFE; Lightweight and translucent, PTFE glass fibre is completely immune to UV radiation. The outer PTFE layer of Tensotherm™ comes standard with a TiO² coating that helps keep the roof clean and pristine.
  2. Nanogel® blanket; Nanogel® aerogel, created by Cabot Corporation, is the world’s most effective thermal insulation and the world’s lightest solid material. Most importantly, Nanoge® is highly translucent just like PTFE glass fibre.
  3. PTFE; Tensotherm™’s PTFE glass fibre interior liner can provide a continuous vapour barrier and effective acoustical barrier depending on climate conditions and mechanical requirements.

Tensotherm™ Tensile Fabric Roofing Advantages

  • Innovative sustainability
  • Can increase the original roof’s thermal insulation performance by 4+ times, producing a value as low as 0.4 W/m²K and natural light transmission of 3.5%.
  • Energy efficient inner layer maintains translucency and promotes glare free natural daylighting.
  • Hydrophobic material provides 100% moisture resistance.
  • Superb sound insulation.
  • Fade resistant.
  • Durable – performance features won’t break down.
  • Outstanding temperature control even in extreme situations.
  • Extreme flexibility – Tensotherm™’s insulation value can be tailored to suit individual needs by adding additional layers of Nanogel®-filled blankets.
  • Tensotherm™’s insulation reduces HVAC energy consumption, requirements and costs.
  • The remarkable insulation effectiveness cannot deteriorate over time or under compression as with traditional insulations.
  • Energy and cost savings on interior lighting plus increase in productivity, learning and healing.
  • All the aesthetic appeal of traditional PTFE roofing.
  • Tensotherm™ also allows design freedom unmatched by any other insulated roofing option.
Khalifa International Stadium, Doha

A world-first, Tensotherm™ insulated membrane has been used in the Khalifa International Stadium fabric roof to keep FIFA World Cup 2022 spectators cool and comfortable.

Nanogel® Aerogel

Aerogel® is 95% air and the world’s lightest solid material. This makes Cabot Corporation’s Nanogel® brand Aerogel® a perfect component of their lightweight PTFE glass fibre fabric membrane. The combination of materials produces a bonded system lighter than any other insulated roofing option. The advantages are minimised material and usage costs, reduced energy consumption for shipping and installation plus no need for heavy supporting structures.

Technical Information


Since its installation in 1973, the world’s first PTFE glass fibre fabric membrane roof in the USA continues to look and function to specified standards. Life spans in excess of 30 years are standard.

Wrap Up

Unlike traditional insulations, the unique composition of Nanogel® aerogel prevents it from losing any of its insulating value over time. Nanogel® is a hydrophobic material, making it resistant to moisture and mould. Maintenance. With the outer layer treated with environmentally safe TiO², there is no build-up of dirt and therefore, no need to clean.


The world’s first facility to benefit from a Tensotherm™ roof is Dedmon Centre on the campus of Radford University in Radford, Virginia. Tensotherm™ was retrofitted over the Centre’s gymnasium and natatorium using a truss system. The project was completed in January 2009.


Tensotherm™ changes the way people see, feel and hear within any building type. It provides occupants with wide ranging benefits while also allowing for design freedom unparalleled by any other insulated roofing option.

Cost & Energy Savings

Functionally, the Tensotherm™ system will contribute significantly to overall cost savings in mechanical systems as well as long-term operational cost reductions due to increased efficiency.

Would You Like More Information?

Contact us today to discuss your project requirements. We are the market leader in the design, engineering, fabrication and installation of custom fabric structures for a wide variety of applications and industries. We have extensive project experience and offer endless possibilities when it comes to custom design solutions to meet your needs.