The 20th Anniversary Celebration of Membrane Structure Innovation and Development and the 11th National Membrane Structure Technology Exchange Conference hosted by the Spatial Structure Sub-association of China Steel Construction Association and undertaken by Beijing University of Technology was successfully held this spring in Beijing, China. Nearly 400 delegates from all over the country participated. Fifteen well-known experts and scholars including industry masters were invited to give special reports. Five young industrial experts for technical exchanges, nine technical reports and three product presentations were also organized.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Deputy Secretary-General Li Xiongyan, Chairman Xue Suduo, Executive Vice President of China Steel Construction Association Liu Yi and industry association leaders, experts and representatives of holding units. The participants remembered Mr. Lan Tian, the founder of China’s spatial structure, and reviewed his outstanding contribution to the development of China’s spatial structure. Deputy Secretary-General Sun Guojun introduced the “Technology Innovation Award” of China Steel Construction Association. Wu Jinzhi, secretary general of the Sub-association, chairman Xue and the delegates reviewed the development of membrane structures in China.
China’s membrane structure started relatively late. By the 1990s, some membrane structure projects were completed in China, and at the same time specialized membrane structure engineering companies began to appear in China, which marked that membrane structure as a new type of architecture, and the development of China’s membrane structure officially started.
In the early two decades of reform and opening up, the rapid development of social economy, through the introduction of foreign advanced technology, membrane structure began to be applied to the construction of China’s large-scale stadiums. Shanghai Stadium was completed in 1997 and opened a new chapter in China’s membrane structure engineering construction.
In 2004, China’s first membrane structure standard “Technical Regulations for Membrane Structure” (CECS 158) was released and implemented, which opened the construction of China’s membrane structure industry standard system and provided a solid foundation for the healthy development of the membrane structure industry.
The successful holding of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo has greatly promoted the engineering application and technological innovation of membrane structures, and the use of materials has also developed from a single PVC in the early stage to a variety of membrane materials such as PTFE and ETFE, and the structural form and building function have been further diversified. Relying on these, China Membrane Structure has achieved a series of innovative results and developed a professional design software for membrane structure with independent intellectual property rights.
Since 2016, with the adjustment of China’s industrial policy and the rise of the national fitness movement, the amount of air-supported membrane structure has grown by a spurt, becoming a new growth point in the membrane structure industry. In the past five years, hundreds of air-supported membrane structures have been built every year, with a construction area of more than 10 million square meters.
After more than 20 years of rapid development, China’s membrane structure has been widely used in large-scale stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, commercial centers, entertainment venues, national fitness venues, factories, warehousing, material yard closure and other buildings. It has realized an industrial system integrating R&D, design, production and installation. However, it is also necessary to cope with future industrial adjustments and give full play to the advantages of the membrane structure itself. At the same time, relying on the characteristics of “lightweight, high strength and beautiful shape”, the membrane structure is deeply integrated into urban renewal and transformation, and the application field of the membrane structure continues to be broadened.
In addition, a number of large-scale membrane structure projects built in the early stage of China are about to face renovation. The Shanghai Stadium has completed renovation work, which also provides new ideas for the sustainable development of the membrane structure industry.
Since 1996, the Spatial Structure Sub-association has played an active role in promoting the development of the membrane structure industry, and since 1996, the Sub-Association has more than 300 membrane structure member enterprises, and nearly 40 enterprises engaged in membrane material research and development, production and sales. Over the past 10 years, the average number of new members has exceeded 30 per year.