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Fabric Buildings Information for Engineers

Legacy’s innovative fabric buildings are created to be practical and efficient. Our design-build system accounts for soil type, fabric tension, external and drop loads, and other factors that impact the soundness of each building.

During the design-build process, the building frames are computer tested for strength and durability. If needed, frames are widened or spaced closer together for structural integrity. All end bays are cross braced, and additional bay bracing is added as required.

Many fabric buildings are constructed utilizing lighter-weight aluminum frames or open web trusses. Although this is a less expensive option, it is also less structurally sound. We were the first to combine solid steel with corrosion-proof fabric. Our innovative system ensures longevity by keeping the fabric out of contact with the steel frame. The attachment system also ensures proper fabric tensioning both vertically and horizontally. This tension contributes to the resiliency and quality of the building and creates a wrinkle-free finish — especially at corners and around door frames.

The Legacy team is dedicated to safety and quality. In addition to designing buildings to last, we take immense pride in the details. There are varying quality standards in the tension fabric building industry, and some competitors rely on the tensile fabric to provide reinforcement to the building trusses. We rely exclusively on steel bracing, purlins and similar time-tested methods used in traditional construction. While the fabric may provide additional stability, we consider that an add-on rather than a replacement for structural soundness.

Fabric buildings are typically designed as working structures. Each building is created to accommodate required loads such as cranes or conveyors that may enhance the functionality of the building. The steel frame enables our team to mount HVAC equipment, wet and dry fire suppression systems, smoke curtains and additional safety and functionality enhancements. Even heavy loads and multiple loads will be safely integrated into the final building design.

Our experienced on-staff engineer is currently licensed in 25 states and 5 Canadian provinces. In other jurisdictions, a locally licensed engineer stamps all building designs. Computer-aided design allows us to provide clients with 3-D renderings and blueprints to assist in the permit process and show a realistic image of the completed building.

One of the primary advantages of fabric buildings is the infusion of natural light. Depending on the type and weight of the fabric, a fabric building has up to 12% natural translucency. On a sunny day, even 5% translucency will provide up to 500 foot-candles of diffuse natural light. Uninsulated fabric buildings are ideal for daylighting. For overcast days or nighttime work, lighting systems can be mounted to the steel building frame. Artificial lights will reflect on the interior fabric and multiply to reduce the lighting needed.

Fabric buildings can be incorporated into nearly any building system. Our design-build engineers create custom structures to meet your needs.

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