Design Philosophy

With over 50 years of fabric manufacturing, we at Dolphin Tensile Structures are passionate about what can be achieved, with a combination of art, science and skilled craftsmanship with fabric to realize beautiful awnings. We make awnings of distinction for our clients, achieving high quality architectural installations through engineering, turning our customer’s visions into reality.

Our team of designers and engineers have extensive experience in tensile membrane design engineering, as well as general engineering that allows us to offer a high quality, bespoke services to ensure customer satisfaction with attention to detail.

Tensile Membrane Analysis

Utilising CAD information together with 3D on site measurements we produce conceptual images for discussion with the client.

Form Finding

The computerised ‘form finding’ process is then used to produce stable awnings that have been analysed to resist the effects of any applied loads including wind and snow.

Our computer analysis tools include software that was used to design the Millennium O2 Dome amongst many others. Our form found membrane designs are able to blend seamlessly with the body of the structure of any building, yacht, roofline or freestanding structure.


Architectural and Industrial Projects


PVC is the most cost effective membrane material and, therefore, an ideal choice for both temporary and permanent tension structures. The material is soft, pliable and less expensive than other fabrics and films. It is available in a variety of types to meet a wide range of structural requirements for tensile fabric roofs. It has a minimum of stretch in a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions and the coating process prevents mildew, stain and streaking.

The French manufacturing group Serge Ferrari is a leader in the flexible composite material sector. Find out more.


PTFE is used worldwide as the preferred material for large-scale permanent tensile structures or structures requiring long life and with specific construction code compliance requirements. PTFE has excellent weather, temperature and chemical resistance in addition to its durability and strength. This tensile fabric roof material has a lifespan of over 25 years. PTFE varies in translucency from 7% to 15% and reflects between 68%-75% of incident sunlight. The quality of light transmitted is colour balanced, diffused and free of shadows and glare.


ETFE is a film used as an alternative to structural glass. ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) film is durable, highly transparent and very lightweight in comparison to glass structures. ETFE is being considered the material of choice for traditional skylight applications to long span structures and building facades. Few building materials can match ETFE for its impact or presence when you want a structure that stands out from the crowd.

Marine Awnings

Dolphin Marine Tensile Structures generally use WeatherMax 80, a polymer yarn fabric using a stronger Ottoman weave to offer the following benefits over traditional acrylic;

  • 6 times more resistant to abrasion* (using Taber abrasion resistance test)
  • 75% stronger and 44% more water resistant
  • Lightweight cloth reduces stowage volume of the awning WeatherMax 80 – WeatherMax is a fabric that combines breakthrough UV technology with water resistance and durability.

The WeatherMax has a HydroMax finish, which ensures there is no need for extra coatings. This makes the WeatherMax lightweight, water resistant, durable and does not sag. The HydroMax finish also provides excellent breathability to help reduce condensation and mildew.

WeatherMax fabric is highly breathable but still water resistant. Find out more.

Create a new lifestyle....

  • For a Marine based project we can turn previously unusable deck space into a safe and protected area to enjoy the company of friends and guests
  • Stunning and sophisticated designs to impress
  • A perfect environment for all weather entertaining
  • Creates a new secluded and private sanctuary
  • A shaded area offering high UV protection
  • The perfect accompaniment to a beautiful house or corporate venue