Commercial Tensile Membrane Shade Structures

Want to make a statement and improve the usability of outdoor spaces at your business or organisation with a new shade structure?

Look no further than Greenline’s tensile membrane shade solutions.

With quality and innovation at the heart of what we do, we transform our clients’ desired environment for the better with every one of our tensile membrane projects.


Wondering how much a fabric structure or custom shelter may cost? Try our Project Estimator Tool.

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What is a tensile membrane structure?

A tensile membrane structure consists of a fabric, usually plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC), stretched and tensioned over a steel framework, creating a rain-protected and UV-proof area. 

A tensile structure is supported by tension rather than compression, allowing for a range of bold and innovative designs to be created with different geometry and architecture. 

Multi purpose area roof

Common applications of tensile membranes

We provide tensile structures for a wide variety of business and organisation spaces. They are well suited to larger spaces, and the possibilities are endless.

So feel free to enquire about the possibility of Greenline engineering a structure for any other applications.

Here are some of the most common applications of our tensile membrane structures:

  • Sports courts
  • Arena seating areas
  • Carparks
  • Outdoor eating/entertainment spaces

Our range of tensile membrane structures

We offer a wide range of designs for our tensile commercial shade structures and other types of shade solutions. Although every Greenline project is completely customisable, here are some of our most common designs that consistently leave our clients 100% satisfied. 

Hypar shade sails

A hypar shade sail tensile structure uses durable UV and waterproof fabrics to transform a simple hyperbolic parabolic shade sail design into a durable and highly effective tensile shade solution. 

Our PVC hypar shade sails offer the same look and design as a simple shade cloth sail, with all the more protection so that the desired area is completely protected from harmful UV and rainfall. 

Covered basketball courts at St Francis Xavier College

Barrel vault

The barrel vault, also known as a PVC COLA or a membrane structure, is often a top choice for permanent shading solutions. Its curved design ensures ample headroom for sports while effectively minimising exposure to harsh weather and allowing natural light to pour through the membrane. 

Barrel vaults can span large distances and are most commonly fit by Greenline for settings like sports courts, bowling greens, pools, and school quadrangles. 

A picture of a cantilever.


Cantilever shade structures rely on one-sided posts and curved supports to offer overhead shelter. These structures can be widely found in walkways, restaurants, and areas where dual-end posts aren’t a viable option. 

Their curved design ensures proper water drainage and unobstructed shade below the sail, covering vast areas with minimal columns at one end, creating a sleek and effective shade solution. 

Star Structures at Bundoora PS

Star structures

Star fabric structures, featuring a single pole and extended arms, effectively shield smaller areas from rain and UV rays without taking up too much space on the ground. 

The star structure is a cost-effective tensile structure that can provide more protection than a shade cloth sail when a UV absorption PVC membrane is used. They are perfect for playgrounds and smaller zones within sports clubs, schools or outdoor dining spots. 

Ballina fair shade umbrella conic structure


Conic structures, adopting an umbrella or pavilion layout, shield outdoor spaces without obstructive metal frameworks on the ground. 

A single central pole preserves uninterrupted space beneath. Easily adjustable in size and height, these fabric structures can be applied in various settings and locations. This makes for a versatile tensile structure that can transform the outdoor spaces of your business or organisation with simplicity. 

The benefits of a tension membrane structure

Straightforward to build

The beauty of tension membrane structures is their ability to offer quality protection from the elements with minimal materials and construction inputs. All that’s needed to build one of our tensile-shaded areas is a steel structural frame and the PVC membrane to be stretched and tensioned over the top.


A tension membrane structure is very cost-effective compared to a traditional building due to the design, minimal materials required and lesser construction time. This is beneficial especially over larger areas like arenas or warehouses where a steel or other metal-based building would require more intensive structural elements. 

Environmentally friendly

Reducing the necessity for materials in tension fabric structures contributes to their sustainability. Tension membrane structures can protect extensive areas while minimising the consumption of Earth’s resources compared to alternative outdoor covering methods.

Noise reduction capability

Choosing a PVC tensile fabric structure can decrease noise levels in the given area. PVC possesses sound-absorbing characteristics, allowing for a quieter atmosphere for activities compared to conventional materials such as steel, known for generating echoes in crowded and loud environments such as sports courts.

Permits natural light

In contrast to materials like steel, PVC fabric allows natural light to filter through while shielding against harmful UV rays. This promotes energy efficiency, enabling savings on daytime artificial lighting expenses thus contributing to the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of your tension membrane structure. 

Offers versatility

Tensile structures offer remarkable versatility. Their easy installation and removal cater to temporary or seasonal needs while their durability renders them suitable for permanent use. Moreover, crafting a tensile membrane over a frame enables the creation of diverse and impressive structures, allowing for bold artistic choices.

Greg Donovan | Project Manager

Transform your outdoor space with a Greenline tensile membrane structure

Contact us at Greenline today to enquire about one of our tensioned fabric structures for your business or organisation. We work with an experienced team of professionals who get the job done right, every step of the way so that your outdoor spaces are transformed beyond your wildest imaginations. 

Protect your outside areas with one of our tension membrane structures to receive a modern, low-maintenance space that is usable year-round. In rain, hail or shine, our tensile structures provide an unmatched sense of comfort to all who use it. 

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Frequently asked questions

How does a tensile structure work?

Tensile structures find stability through tension, not compression, as they rely on tension for stability. This is unlike conventional structures, which depend on gravity and mass for stability through compression rather than tension.

What are the properties of tensile membranes?

The membrane of a tensile structure is generally a flexible and durable fabric such as plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coated fibreglass which can be stretched over the steel structure and provides waterproofing and UV protection, as well as longevity. 

Why use a tensile structure?

Tensile structures offer several benefits: adaptable shapes, the ability to cover vast areas at a lower cost, minimal maintenance needs, and decreased material demand. Additionally, they are perfect for temporary setups that can be easily put up and relocated to new sites when needed.