To build an ETFE Canopy, you will need to go through four main processes: Design, Engineering, Fabrication and Installation. This generally applies to the project life cycle of most tensile structures, and to demonstrate these processes, we shall take a closer look at one of our ADAS® Single Layer ETFE Skylights at the German European School Singapore (GESS).

ADAS® Single Layer ETFE Skylight @ German European School Singapore

Design and form-finding

Once a general design concept has been chosen by the clients, the first step involves design and form-finding of the ETFE. Parametric modelling can be exploited at this stage to explore and optimise various parameters. This is often done using Grasshopper, an algorithmic modelling plugin for Rhino 3D, which helps our designers in achieving the correct design parameters before any engineering analysis.

Designing with Rhino 3D and Grasshopper

Further form-finding and stress analysis

The next stage in the process involves further form-finding and stress analysis of the single layer ETFE film. Using Windas®, we can carry out non-linear geometrical analysis whilst taking into account the relevant loading conditions according to Eurocode 1. Once we are happy with the results, we can move on to design the steel supporting structure according to Eurocode 3.

Deformation and Stress Analysis with Windas®


Once all design and engineering checks are done, it is time to start producing the 3D fabrication model. Site measurements are carried out at the same time and any site discrepancies can be fed back into the 3D model by changing the design parameters in Grasshopper. After fabricating the ETFE and steel structure as well as all the necessary accessories, the installation process can begin.

Installation of the Steel Supporting Structure

Scaffolding used to access below the ETFE


With our team of IRATA certified technicians, the installation of the single layer ADAS® ETFE skylight was in good hands. With the experience of installing various tensile fabrics, such as PTFE, PVC and Mesh, the ETFE skylight was installed swiftly and accurately.

1.5m Panels of ETFE

ADAS® Single Layer ETFE Skylight @ German European School Singapore

ADAS® Single Layer ETFE Skylight @ German European School Singapore

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