Fabric Covered Buildings and Canvas Buildings: How it Provides More Flexibility to Industrial Structures

Industrial buildings or facilities like bulk storage, factories, workshops or vehicle depots need to be more flexible. Expanding the business or landing a new contract, sometimes put any industrial enterprises in the market a lot faster. To find the right solution for their application, clients, as well as architects, should define their needs as well as their constraints of their new building depending on the use of the structure, the locations, its conditions, lead time and its life cycle. While there are a lot of modular as well as pre-fabricated options available in the market today, fabric covered buildings are a very flexible solution for a lot of different applications.

Foundation and soil

One of the most significant issues, when you are constructing any structure, is the location. Finding a safe and suitable place where you can put a level concrete pad can be very challenging, especially far-flung locations or in rural areas with logistics or mining operations. According to one respectable steel building seller; peat, loose backfill and clay are perfect examples of soils that are not good for both concrete footings and slab foundation.

If you put a large etablishment on top of poor soil, it could shift or worse, the structure can sink and can jeopardize your entire investment. Usually, builders will recommend removing the poor soil and replaced it with a good ground like packed gravel. If your site’s frost line is too deep, the cost will be much higher.

Another option is to choose a different location with better soil. Both options are inconvenient, and both make you spend an unnecessary cost to your project. Buildings with steel framed fabric are lighter in weight compared to conventional concrete structures. It makes them a suitable choice when it comes to unfavorable soil conditions.

There are companies, especially those who need extensive storage facilities, are starting to look for locations that can accommodate business growth. The problem is, some of the sites have poor soil conditions and requires a lot of money for soil replacement. Because there are locations that has soil issues, investors could not merely afford to construct a conventional etablishment. The lightweight design of their building allowed them to reach a compromise between the cost of the project and the soil condition.

Energy uses

For clients that energy-conscious and likes to be off-the-grid, finding a way to heat, light, ventilate and provide power to a large industrial complex can be quite a handful. Fabric covered establishments integrate some of the critical elements that will make them one of the best materials for energy-constrained deployments.

For example, a famous aircraft designer and maker that operate on solar power, Solar Ship, designed a hangar that is committed to be a fully solar-powered structure and operate off-the-grid. A fabric-covered, steel-framed building from one of the most respectable contractors, Legacy Building Solutions, was picked by Solar Ship.

The building’s steel frame was designed to support a rooftop full of solar panels. Not only that, but they are also engineered to carry a24,64 psf or 1.18 kPa rain-on-snow load. In addition to supporting the necessary solar panels to power the wholeestablishment, it has atranslucent fabric sheeting that allows abundant daylight into the structure, eliminating the structure’s need to use a lot of electricity to light up the place during their daytime operations.

The fabric also don’t conduct a lot of heat, thus keeping the structure at a more favorable and consistent

temperature when the weather condition changes. Fiberglass battery insulation, soffit vents or linings are optional in case you want to control the coldness or hotness of the environment inside

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Passive ventilation choices

Some fabric covered buildings like hoop barns, do not have eaves since the walls and the roof is all covered by a single panel. Because of this, it limits passive ventilation to exhaust vents and open end walls near the ceiling. Most fabric structure contractors use panel attachment systems.

It means that the structure has a combination of eaves, soffits and steep walls. Open walls, ridge vents or Soffit vents allow fresh and cool air to flow all over the building. It allows exhaust heat to exit at the edge while the cooler and heavier air can flow with ease under the overhangs.

Shapes and dimensions

Modular and pre-fabricated solutions do not address a vital design need that most industrial clients have: their need for unique and custom shapes and dimensions of the structure. An excellent example of this issue is the hoop barn, the Quonset hut or any building with a semicircular roof and wall inside the structure. It is an essential requirement of most applications like storage of bulk materials or pallets.

There are a lot of companies that choose fabric covered establishment because of this exact reason. The majority of these companies like the sidewall columns that are going straight up and not curving down just like in hoop buildings, it lets them put a lot of product in there. Their front-end loaders can also get much closer to the structure’s walls and drove straight to the sides.

It gives them a lot of working room and increases the company’s efficiency. Steel-framed fabric covered buildings can comfortably accommodate custom shapes and dimensions. For example, in Owensboro, Kentucky, their Regional Water Resource Agency needed a structure that will share their existing settling water tanks from direct sunlight and prevent algae growth.

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The contractor they hired designed and constructed a sizeable open-walled pavilion that can cover the tanks, at least 130 feet wide and 115 feet long. They built the pavilion while the water treatment system in the area was running, causing less downtime to the place. The fabric covered roof keeps the sun from reaching the water tanks, while the open walls will maintain the unrestricted flow of fresh air from the inside.

Fast construction

Fabric covered structures do not always get the credit that they deserve, but their customizability and flexibility makes them more superior compared to traditional and pre-engineered buildings. A lot of contractors use a variety of engineering approach than other fabric covered establishments available in the market. According to most companies, it was the first time they combined the steel frame of a conventional structure with fabric panels that are held under biaxial tension. The panel system will also allow the building to be constructed a lot faster.

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About the Author: Jacob Wyatt