legacy building solutions fabric finishing.

Fabric for Tension Membrane Buildings

Tension membrane buildings vary greatly in how they are constructed. At Legacy, we offer two types of fabric – polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The type of fabric, as well as the way the fabric is attached, can determine the longevity of your building.

Attaching Fabric to Tension Membrane Buildings

Many tension membranes for buildings are stretched over the entire frame and attached only at the ends and bottoms. Our fabric roofs are made up of panels that are typically 20 feet wide. Every roof panel on a Legacy building is individually attached with our innovative system. Attaching each panel individually creates the best, most weather-tight attachment and longest-lasting fabric, and is most appropriate structurally. Our innovative attachment system applies the fabric to the building in a way that keeps it out of contact with the steel frame. This protects the fabric in instances where the steel frame is not completely smooth. Fabric is double-layered at the peak and anywhere it is in contact with our steel structure as an extra layer of protection in sensitive areas. Each roof panel is horizontally pre-tensioned and vertically tensioned with our inclusive tensioning system. The top of each sidewall panel is also tensioned for a weather-tight, attractive fit. Proper tensioning keeps the fabric attached to the building frame and eliminates flapping and tearing in the wind. On the end walls, fabric is supported by girts, or “fabric stops,” which ensure proper attachment and add years to the life of the fabric.

types of fabric for tension fabric structures construction

Various weights of polyethylene (PE) fabric or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabrics are available for tension membrane buildings. Our most common fabric is an exclusive 15 oz. per square yard fabric. We offer ripstop fabric from 12 oz. to 28 oz., depending on weather, building application and more. Your experienced building consultant can recommend the right fabric for your building. PVC fabric has a long history in the fabric building industry. PVC fabric is known for its strength, especially in areas with high winds and intense sunlight. Adding ventilation to a PVC-clad building keeps the interior fresh and clean. PE fabric is recyclable and a great value for many buildings. PE fabric has greatly improved in recent years, and more and more fabric buildings are now polyethylene.

Other Advantages of Fabric

Either type of fabric has a translucency of up to 12%. Compare this to zero translucency for steel, and it’s obvious why fabric buildings are flooded with natural light. Bright interiors can nearly eliminate the need for artificial lighting on sunny days, and drastically reduce the lighting needed on overcast days or at night. Using natural sunlight helps lower your energy usage and time spent maintaining lighting systems. Fabric has a higher level of solar reflectance (albedo) than conventional building materials. Higher albedo buildings naturally reflect the sun’s heat rather than magnifying it, keeping the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Whether or not you choose to insulate your fabric building, the natural properties of fabric will keep it more comfortable. In a highly corrosive environment, such as salt or fertilizer storage, fabric will last years longer than steel. Each fabric building is provided with a warranty in any environment. And the replacement cost for fabric is as low as $2 per square foot.


Graphics for Tension Membrane Buildings

Tension membrane buildings can complement your brand. PE or PVC fabric is available in several colors to blend in with or stand out from existing structures. White and sandstone are common colors (offered in either flame retardant or non-flame retardant) for fabric buildings, but we are proud to offer a variety of choices beyond these popular colors. For even more advertising impact, add vinyl graphics to your fabric-covered building. Vinyl graphics or logos can be indelibly applied to the inside or outside of the building for a long-lasting statement. Or print an image directly onto PVC fabric to show off your logo or mascot. No matter how or where your building will be used, there’s a fabric cladding option perfect for you. Let our experienced team help you find the right fabric solution.

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