Fabric vs steel: which is most cost effective for a free-standing structure?


Fabric vs steel: which is most cost effective for a free-standing structure?

For operators of commercial and industrial projects with a need for high quality shelter solutions, it may come as a surprise to know that there is a viable alternative to traditional steel buildings, in the form of custom-made fabric structures. If you have long-term shelter requirements, you may wonder why you would you choose a fabric shelter solution over a steel structure.

By comparing the benefits and value of free-standing fabric structures to steel structures, we will see which structure comes out on top.

At first glance it seems pretty straight forward: steel buildings are more expensive and fabric structures are cheaper, when all factors are considered, the initial outlay costs are often very similar. This is due in part to the increasing technology and quality of fabric structures and at the same time steel building products are reducing in price.

So, if initial outlay costs are on par, what are the most cost-effective differences between a steel building and a fabric structure? We are going to discuss the cost effective benefits in regards to design flexibility, speed of delivery and construction, proven durability and lower ongoing costs.


Design Flexibility

Flexible design means an fabric free-standing structure can evolve as your needs do, changing in size or location. A custom designed structure, gives you the option of shelters that have been designed, engineered and manufactured to suit your specific needs or unique operations in terms of size, shape, clear span, access, vehicle movement, climate and terrain. If your project changes over time and you find you need additional shelters or changes to your existing setup; this can be easily managed with the use of a fabric structure. The versatile foundation options means a fabric structures can be either a permanent or portable solution, depending on your choices. Fabric structures can also be installed and removed quickly, so you can adjust them to the changing requirements of your project


Speed of Construction

With the pre-engineered design of a fabric structure, the speed of construction is vastly shorter than a conventional steel building. Fabric structures can be manufactured within six weeks of ordering and on-site within days of dispatch, and installed within a week or two. With a fabric structure, the costs are reduced onsite, as there is less requirement for the site preparation, trades, and labour hire that is needed for a solid building, or for building upgrades and extensions if your needs change over time. Fabric structures can also be dismantled in a short space of time, and moved elsewhere if required – something that wouldn’t be possible with a steel structure.


Proven Durability

Through years of industry experience, fabric structures have been proven in the most demanding environments of extreme wind and heat.

Wind: Fabric Free-standing structures are designed and engineered to highest building codes. Using start of the art technology fabric can withstanding cyclonic wind speeds up to and over 300 km/hr, this means that Fabric structures are proven durable to even the fiercest winds.

Heat: The curved shape of a free-standing structure creates a large volume of interior air space, drawing the hot moist air away from machinery, equipment and personnel. Fabric structures have been proven to be up to 30% cooler than a conventional steel building.


Lower Ongoing Costs

With a fabric shelter there are low ongoing maintenance costs, further reducing costs for ongoing and future building maintenance and upgrades. Maintenance costs savings could include lighting, painting, or cleaning. Fabric structures allow for up to 12% light transmission through the fabric, meaning your require less lights. Painting or cleaning of a fabric structure is not required because the fabric is dust-repellent and rain will give the structure a clean when it needs it.

Fabric structures are an excellent alternative to conventional steel buildings. Fabric is fast becoming a popular cost-effective solution in the building marketplace. When you are considering your next building, consider a fabric building. Contact Allshelter today to find out it how the cost savings of a fabric free-standing structure can benefit your business.


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