The paper presents the analysis of the thermal performance of a lightweight pavilion for temporary events realized through the use of architectural fabrics combined with the Tensairity® system. The Tensairity® system combines the lightness and simplicity of an airbeam with the load bearing capacity of a truss structure however its thermal performance has never been investigated due to the main focus on the structural aspects. This paper aims to analyse the critical aspects related to the use of translucent architectural fabrics characterised by an intrinsic low thermal inertia and a complex building physic driven by radiation input and losses. The research investigated the impact of several variable factors, such as size, orientation, geographical location and number of users, on the environmental quality of the inner spaces. Through the results it has been possible to develop the initial design idea in order to provide the required level of comfort through efficacious passive and active strategies. The computerised analysis has been carried out by means of the software package Energy Plus which allowed the simulation of a wide range of alternatives for the external envelope (materials, layers, air gaps etc.) and the comparison of the performance in several climatic conditions, different orientations and final usages. Finally, the results has been validated through physical tests and in situ measurements.
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