In efforts to design and create more liveable and exotic buildings, architects are moving to designs which harmonise with the environment. The need for effective use of space, natural light and energy efficiency has led today's designers to search for new applications for one of the oldest materials available...glass. While glass does have a high tensile strength, its brittle nature has traditionally limited its application. The introduction of a tension element in the form of a rod or cable truss now allows limitless applications for glazing.
Cable Truss Systems
Cable truss systems cleverly utilise the unique cable properties of being flexible and its exceptional tensile strength to mass ratio. This is especially ideal when the facade design is very tall. Cables are tensioned to create sub-trusses with minimal visual obstruction. The result is a cost effective, easy-to-maintain facade construction that retains minimal vertical trusses. The disadvantage of a cable system is primarily its engineering complexity relative to the other systems. It needs to work solely on a tension design whereas rod and metal frame systems may use both tension and compression. Thus small facade design would tend to avoid this higher cost of engineering.