5 benefits of using ETFE as a building material

Most architects choose ETFE because of its high performance value and design flexibility, but there are more benefits.


1. Longer life expectancy

ETFE does not degrade under exposure to environmental pollution, UV light, harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures, making it an exceptionally long-lasting material. Its life span is extremely long, so it can be used as part of the permanent building envelope:

Mangrove Hall, Arnhem Zoo, the world’s first roof made of ETFE, built in 1982.


2. Self-cleaning properties

Due to the non-adhesive smooth surface of ETFE, deposits are washed away by rain, resulting in a ‘self-cleansing’ effect. Even after years, the foils remain stable and transparent:

Unilever Headquarters Germany, a façade built in 2009. It looks as good as new.


3. Exceptional light transmission

ETFE foils transform enclosed spaces so they feel like outdoor spaces. It allows for the transmission of up to 95% of light and because of this additional lighting, costs can be reduced and energy saved. Did you know that ETFE foils enable UV transmission? Plants and animals thrive under our ETFE canopies:

The Elephant House at Zoo Zurich, a wonderful place for its inhabitants – the elephants – and its visitors.


4. Shading and lighting effects

Additional light or projected images are other ways that ETFE can help create a unique atmosphere for any structure. It has properties that make it more flexible as a construction material, and as a medium for dynamic illumination. Its material properties and print patterns allow for an infinite number of shading options. Almost any size or shape is possible:

A truly gigantic project: The Singapore National Stadium aka The Sports Hub. The Texlon® ETFE system creates one of the largest LED displays in the world.


5. Fire resistant performance

ETFE as a material has low flammability (270°C) and is considered as self-extinguishing. In the event of a fire, the material won’t shatter like glass. Instead, hot smoke will cause the foil to soften, fail and then shrink away from the fire source to create natural ventilation.

The Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center – a “megatent” made of Texlon® ETFE. Impressive, isn’t it?


ETFE architecture continues to evolve and we continue to be an important part of the growth for this versatile material. What can’t be done with glass, can be built with ETFE. We offer the opportunity to create structures of unusual lightness and elegance.

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If you have a project in mind, contact us to get more information about the Texlon® ETFE system.


Date posted