A tensile structure is a construction of elements carrying only tension and no compression or bending. The term tensile should not be confused with tensegrity, which is a structural form with both tension and compression elements. Tensile structures are the most common type of thin-shell structures.
A tensile membrane structure is most often used as a roof, as they can economically and attractively span large distances. Tensile membrane structures may also be used as complete buildings, with a few common applications being sports facilities, warehousing and storage buildings, and exhibition venues.