Why choose a fabric structure over traditional construction?
By Bruce Wright, AIA
Advantages of fabric structures over more traditional construction:
- Manufacturing and erection time is considerably less than with conventional construction.
- Many fabric structures do not require local planning agency consent if the structures are temporary in use.
- Structures can be packed and stored in a small space when not required.
- Many fabric structures do not require permanent foundations and need minimal site preparation.
- Many fabric structures can be relocated after first use, reducing cost to the client.
- The modular nature of the structures makes them easy to re-purpose at the end of first life.
- Frames can be made from recycled steel, and fabric covers can be recycled after first use.
- Translucent fabric cladding means that natural light can reduce the need for electric lighting inside, reducing the carbon footprint (in tandem with recycled materials).
- Transportation requirements to get structural parts to site are considerably lower than normal construction because of the components’ lower initial weight. Structures can be shipped on a typical flatbed truck and transported to many types of flat surfaces.
- The manufacture of fabric and employment of lightweight framing metals uses significantly less raw material than brick-and-mortar construction, and produces a significantly lower carbon footprint.