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Contex-T: Textile architecture – Textile structures and buildings of the future

Executive Summary

The Contex-T project aimed at transforming the traditional resource-driven textile industry into a knowledge based, sustainable and competitive industry by creating breakthrough innovation in the high-tech area technical textiles for construction. Because this area is a driver for innovation it creates significant spill-over to other important textile technological areas such as, but not limited to, protective clothing, automotive textiles, textile for transportation & packaging, fibre reinforced structural elements, upholstery materials, etc. Contex-T addressed the development of radically new concepts and new knowledge in multi-functional technical textile materials using nanotechnology, nano-structured materials. Following a holistic approach, the project developed breakthrough solutions in textile architecture, lightweight textile reinforced structures and tension fabric structures industry. The approach comprised not only the development of new materials but also addressed the intelligent use of the materials in the applications. The technology, which was developed in this project, will lead to textile buildings of the future, which combine creativity and aesthetics with multi-functional, resource-conserving materials utilization, short construction periods, long life and low costs and thus lead to a new building technology for safe, healthy and comfortable shelters.

The three main objectives of the project were:

  1. The development of new lightweight building using textile structure with a lifetime up to 60 years which meet the highest requirements on noise reduction, acoustic absorption, thermal insulation, light transmission and reflection,
  2. the development of safety, healthy and economic buildings offering comfort and a safe shelter for its inhabitants and
  3. easy & fast construction of customized structures and buildings.

In order to achieve this breakthrough the project brought together a multi-disciplinary group of 33 partners where high-tech SMEs, research institutes and universities integrated their activities to develop a new generation of multifunctional textile materials which reshaped the complete value-chain of textile architecture. By carefully selecting partners from the different industrial sectors involved, an integration of the textile sector, the architects and the construction sector was achieved.


Jan Laperre

Duration / Number

1st September 2006 - 31st August 2010