The primary difference between a tension fabric building and other types of buildings is the fabric! Although any type of building will be created with a steel frame, a fabric structure will then have fabric applied to the outside of the building. Some buildings may also have a fabric liner on the inside to cover insulation or create a smooth look.
There are two types of fabric used in fabric buildings: polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Either type of fabric has translucency up to 12% (which may eliminate the need for artificial lighting during the day). Both PE and PVC fabric are sturdy and long lasting – in fact, your building will be guaranteed for up to 20 years. Because fabric will not corrode, this is one major advantage of fabric buildings when compared to steel.
Fabric buildings also have a naturally high albedo (solar reflectance). Higher albedo means that more sunlight is reflected off the building, keeping the inside a comfortable temperature. This unique property of a fabric cover helps keep your energy costs down and makes your building more sustainable.
Recent technological innovations have improved the quality of polyethylene fabrics. PE fabric is available with or without a flame-retardant coating. This type of fabric does not stretch, and is an economical choice for your fabric cover.
Polyvinyl chloride fabric has long been used for athletic facilities as well as military and aviation structures. PVC fabric is available in a wide variety of weights and colors.
No matter which type of fabric you choose, an experienced crew will apply it to a rigid steel frame using tensioning to keep the cover watertight, wrinkle-free, durable and attractive. All our fabric covers are specially applied with a process that keeps the building off the steel frame, reducing the risk of tears.
Your building will be specially customized to meet your needs – right down to the type of fabric. From enhancing your comfort to building your brand, the fabric is an integral part of your tension fabric structure.