Potential impact of the Action
The value of global textile manufacture used in the construction industry is currently about €95 billion annually.
To face competition from low cost producers, the textile sector has to diversify into technical and high-tech textiles for different functionalities. Sustainability is identified as a key pillar for the future of the textile industry in Europe. The European textile industry has to transform itself into a knowledge driven sector. To assure growth, the market needs to differentiate their offerings sufficiently and sell high added value products. Technological innovation will allow SMEs to generate significant competitive advantage, in relation to low cost producers. IFAI and others estimate the possible growth of the World market to be ~4% per year.
The European standardisation for the design and analysis of structural skins and tension structures will be influenced by this COST Action. The creation of uniform directives and design rules (Eurocodes) is important for the future construction of optimal and safe membrane structures and crucial for Europe’s role on the international market.
This Action focuses on the stimulation of innovation by creating a network between participants with complementary knowledge and expertise. New applications and cross-disciplinary topics will contribute to the reduction in material, embodied energy and energy consumption of buildings in use. The sustainability, energy performance and Life Cycle Analysis of structural skins are key topics.
Having better communication about the studies, methodologies and results will consolidate and enhance the research output, and it will ensure better continuity in research programmes. Countering the fragmentation of research will avoid unnecessary double work and expand opportunities for new collaborative projects. In addition the sharing of specialized experimental infrastructure is facilitated by being part of the same European network.