Base connection for a tension membrane structure - Dubai, UAE

Base connection for a tension membrane structure - Dubai, UAE

Wade Design Engineers
In this project in Dubai, the main challenge for the designer – an Australian consulting company, Wade Design Engineers – was to check a very complex steel joint for a large tension membrane structure.


The base connection for this large tension structure in Dubai presented an interesting challenge. The design was initially prepared using fabric structure software and hand calculations, but due to the importance of this connection and high forces involved, the Designer sought a further assessment. Here, the ability of IDEA StatiCa to model a custom geometry of the steel joint without any topology limitations and check it according to various national standards was therefore of great interest.

Large tension membrane structure

The Tie-Down connection at the base of the fabric structure.

Connection detail


The connection was detailed in Tekla Structures. The Tekla BIM link to IDEA StatiCa provided a convenient way to create the geometry quickly and efficiently. The connection model was then developed to include holding down bolts and welds. Also, twin plate members and large custom-sized bolts were added to model tension loading from cables and pins. (Some additional code checks are required for pins.) 

Tekla Structures model prior to importing into IDEA StatiCa

Overall check - utilization of the steel joint in IDEA StatiCa

Equivalent stress check of the steel connection in IDEA StatiCa


In this project, IDEA StatiCa provided the desired separate check plus the ability to assess fillet welds vs. butt and other potential optimizations via the visually rich results. The main advantage of using IDEA StatiCa in this project was the possibility to design and check a very complex steel connection. Using the BIM link with Tekla Structures improved modeling speed and accuracy.

Wade Design Engineers

Wade Design Engineers

Wade Design Engineers are consulting structural engineers with internationally recognized expertise in all aspects of tensile fabric engineering. We also service niche markets in transportable building design, domestic, commercial and industrial engineering and detailing.