Design Criteria

Before you Buy: Design Considerations for Your Custom Fabric Structure

Legacy Building Solutions designs and builds fabric structures to fit your specific needs while ensuring safety, longevity and functionality. We take into account every detail of the structure’s purpose, daily use, site environmental factors and building code requirements. Our fabric building design criteria ensures your fabric structure is optimized to maximize efficiency and your return on investment.

Collateral Loads on the Structure

A collateral load is the weight applied to the frame. Buildings with different collateral loads have different design needs. Our design-build and design-assist associates work with you at the outset to determine the loads for collateral equipment as well as building code regulations.

Typical collateral loads include:

  • Indoor Lighting
  • Sprinklers and Fire Suppression Systems
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems (HVAC)

Hanging Loads on the Structure

Equipment loads affixed to the structure’s frames are calculated into the roof-load specifications of your fabric structure. During the fabric building design process, we balance hanging loads with all other structural and collateral loads to ensure the appropriate reinforcement is built into the frame and foundation.

Common hanging loads include:

  • Conveyor Systems
  • Overhead Cranes
  • Mezzanines and Shelves

Concrete Walls for Flat Storage

For Bulk commodity and other storage buildings, we recommend pre-cast or cast-in-place (CIP) concrete walls. Pre-cast walls provide flexible and adaptable walls that are perfect for the increasingly popular flat storage or bulk materials. Cast-in-place concrete walls have a high load-bearing capacity, allowing bulk piles to extend to the very edges of the building. Whether you chose pre-cast or cast-in-place, Legacy can easily accommodate into the design of your fabric building.

Environmental Loads

Legacy designs and builds structures to withstand not just one of these possible environmental factors, but the possibility of more than one of these events occurring at once.

  • Seismic Loads
  • Wind Loads
  • Snow Loads

Thermal Factors

The heating and cooling requirements of a fabric building can also affect the overall structure load and frame design. For instance, if you plan to heat the interior of your fabric building, the heating system and insulation must be considered in the material specifications.

Use and Occupancy/Importance Category

Your fabric structure must be strong enough to support all associated equipment and environmental loads, which is then multiplied by an importance factor. Occupancy factors become particularly important in fabric structures intended for public use.

Building codes include a “hazard rating” or “importance category” that relates directly to the maximum use and occupancy that the building is expected to receive. Legacy specializes in designing and constructing long-lasting buildings that meet or exceed all hazard requirements.

Enclosure Category

Each structure is sorted into an enclosure category depending on the number of open external walls in the design. The Legacy engineering team works with your engineers and architects to produce a strong, balanced frame design, regardless of your building’s enclosure category.

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