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Association Goals

To represent the interests and concerns of the membrane structures industry, by serving as an information resource on codes, standards and general practices, and promote the use and growth of membrane structures.


Membrane-Covered Frame Structures can be fitted with virtually any accessory system that can be found in other types of construction.


Membrane-Covered Frame Structures have inherent advantages over conventional construction.

Design Options

Membrane-Covered Frame Structures various designations are determined by the shape of the structural spans.


MSMA members have access to documents posted on this site for their exclusive use.

Building codes & standards

Building Code

Structures will meet the building code classifications used in PART 9 and PART 3 of the National Building Code of Canada as combustible construction.

Structural Design

Structures are designed using the structural design requirements of PART 4 of the National Building Code of Canada. Snow, wind and seismic loads can be met for any site requirements. Structures are designed using Limit States design for structures.

Material Standards

The material standards referenced in the structural design requirements of PART 4 of the National Building Code of Canada are met by the support systems. The Part 3 requirements for fire performance are met by the support and membrane cover materials. The major standards met are as follows:

CSA Standards

  • G164-M92, Hot Dip Galvanizing of Irregularly Shaped Articles

  • O80 Series-97, Wood Preservation

  • O86-01, Engineering Design in Wood

  • S16-01, Limit States Design of Steel Structures

  • S136-01, Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members

  • S157-M83, Strength Design in Aluminum

  • W47.1-03, Certification of Companies for Fusion Welding of Steel

  • W47.2-M1987, Certification of Companies for Fusion Welding of Aluminum

  • W59-03, Welded Steel Construction (Metal Arc Welding)

  • W59.2-M1991, Welded Aluminum Construction

  • B111-1974 (R2003), Wire Nails, Spikes and Staples

  • G12-92 (R2003), Zinc-Coated Steel Wire Strand

  • G40.20-04, General Requirements for Rolled or Welded Structural Quality Steel

  • G40.21-04, Structural Quality Steel

ASTM Standards

  • A27/A27 M-93, Specification for Steel Castings, Carbon, for General Application

  • A36/A 36M-94, Specification for Carbon Structural Steel

  • A108-93, Specification for Steel Bars, Carbon, Cold-Finished, Standard Quality

  • A 123/A 123M-97a, Zinc (Hot-Dip Galvanized) Coatings on Iron and Steel Products

  • A148 /A148M-93b, Specification for Steel Castings, High Strength for Structural Purposes

  • A 153-95, Zinc Coating (Hot-Dip) on Iron and Steel Hardware

  • A242/A 242-m93a, Specification for High-Strength Low-Alloy Structural Steel

  • A 283/A 283M-97, Low and Intermediate Tensile Strength Carbon Steel Plates

  • A307-94, Specification for Carbon Steel Bolts and Studs, 60 000 PSI Tensile Strength

  • A325-94, Specification for Structural Bolts, Steel, Heat Treated, 120/105 ksi Minimum Tensile Strength

  • A325M-94, Specification for High-Strength Bolts for Structural Steel Joints (Metric)

  • A370-94, Test Methods and Definitions for Mechanical Testing of Steel Products

  • ASTM A475, Standard Specification for Zinc-Coated steel wire strand

  • A490-93, Specification for Heat-Treated Steel Structural Bolts, 150 ksi Minimum Tensile Strength

  • A490M-93, Specification for High-Strength Steel Bolts, Classes 10.9and 10.9.3, for Structural Steel Joints (Metric)

  • A 500-93, Cold-Formed welded and Seamless Carbon Steel Structural Tubing in Rounds and Shapes

  • A514/A 514M-94a, Specification for High-Yield-Strength, Quenched and Tempered Alloy Steel Plate, Suitable for Welding

  • A521-76 (1992)e1, Specification for Steel, Closed-Impression Die Forgings for General Industrial Use

  • A529/A 529M-94, Specification for High-Strength Carbon-Manganese Steel of Structural Quality

  • A 570/A 570M-96, Steel, Sheet and Strip, Carbon, Hot Rolled, Structural Quality

  • A572/A 572M-94b, Specification for High-Strength Low-Alloy Columbium-Vanadium Structural Steel

  • A588/A 588M-94, Specification for High-Strength Low-Alloy Structural Steel with 50 ksi (345 MPa) Minimum Yield Point to 4 in. (100 mm) Thick

  • A606-91a (1993)el, Specification for Steel, Sheet and Strip, High-Strength, Low-Alloy, Hot-Rolled and Cold-Rolled, with Improved Atmospheric Corrosion Resistance

  • A607-92a (1993)el, Specification for Steel, Sheet and Strip, High-Strength, Low-Alloy, Columbium or Vanadium, or Both, Hot-Rolled and Cold-Rolled

  • A 611-97, Structural Steel, Sheet, Carbon, Cold-Rolled

  • A641/A 641M-03, Standard Specification for Zinc-Coated (Galvanized) Carbon steel wire

  • A 653/A 653M-97, Steel Sheet, Zinc-Coated (Galvanized) or Zinc-Iron Alloy-Coated (Galvannealed) by the Hot-Dip Process

  • A668/A 668M-93, Specification for Steel Forgings, Carbon and Alloy, for General Industrial Use

  • A715-92a (1993)el, Specification for Steel Sheet and Strip, High-Strength, Low-Alloy, Hot-Rolled, and Steel Sheet, Cold-Rolled, High-Strength, Low-Alloy, with Improved Formability

  • A792/A 792M-94, Specification for Steel Sheet, 55% Aluminum-Zinc, Alloy-Coated by the Hot-Dip Process

  • A924/A 924M-97, Specification for General Requirements for Steel Sheet, Metallic-Coated by the Hot-Dip Process

  • A1011/A1011M-02, Standard Specification for Steel, Sheet and Strip, Hot-Rolled, Carbon, Structural, High-Strength Low-Alloy and High-Strength Low-Alloy with Improved Formability

  • B 117-90, Test Method of Salt Spray (Fog) Testing

  • D245-93, Establishing Structural Grades and Related Allowable Properties for Visually Graded Lumber

  • D 751-00, Standard test Methods for Coated Fabric; Seam Peel strength

  • D2136-94 (1998), Test Method for Coated Fabrics-Low-Temperature Bend Test

  • D 2261-96, Test Method for Tearing Strength of Fabrics by the Tongue (Single Rip) Procedure (Constant-rate-of-Extension Tensile Testing machine)

  • D3786-01, Test Method for Hydraulic Bursting Strength of Textile Fabrics-Diaphragm Bursting Strength Tester Method

  • D 5034-95, Test Method for Breaking Strength and Elongation of Textile Fabrics (Grab Test)

  • D 5035-95, Test Method for Breaking Force and Elongation of Textile Fabrics (Strip Method)

  • D-5055-90, Establishing and Monitoring Structural Capacities of Prefabricated Wood I-joists

  • D 5199-99, Test Method for Measuring the Nominal Thickness of Geosynthetics

  • E 84, Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials

  • E 96-95, Standard test Methods for Water Vapor Transmission of Materials (Procedure A)

  • E 903-96, Test Method for Solar Absorptance, Reflectance, and Transmittance of Materials Using Integrating Spheres

  • F2180 - 02, Standard Specification for Metallic Implantable Strands and Cables

AWPA Standard

  • M4-96, Care of Preservative-Treated Wood Products

ULC Standard

  • CAN/ULC-S102-M88, Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials and Assemblies;

  • CAN/ULC-S109-M87, Flame Tests of Flame-Resistant Fabrics and Films;

NFPA Standard

  • NFPA 701, Fire Tests for Flame propagation of Textiles and Films, 1999;

Building / Fire Codes

  • National Building Code of Canada, 1995;

  • National Fire Code of Canada, 1995;

  • Supplement to National Building Code of Canada, 1995;

  • Commentaries on Part 4 of the National Building Code of Canada, 1995

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