Understanding Terrain Category & Building Importance Levels


Allshelter fabric dome engineered to the correct terrain category

Regarding fabric shelters and engineering, having a deep understanding of terrain category and building importance level is essential. These terms, often determined by specific standards and regulations, play a vital role in guaranteeing fabric structures’ safety, longevity, and excellence. In this blog post, we will look into the complexities of terrain category and building importance levels, shedding light on their significance within the context of Allshelter’s groundbreaking fabric shelters.

What is Terrain Category?

The terrain category refers to the classification of the terrain surrounding a site. This classification is essential for determining the wind load a structure may experience. It considers factors such as the roughness of the terrain, including natural obstructions like trees and hills, and assesses how these elements influence the wind forces exerted on the building.

The four terrain categories we base our calculations on are:

Category 1:

Unsheltered, expansive terrain with minimal obstructions and water surfaces at serviceability wind speeds. This category often pertains to locations near the coastline.

Category 2:

Bodies of water and unsheltered terrain, including sparse grassland with scattered obstructions typically ranging from 1.5m to 5m in height

Category 3: 

Terrain featuring numerous closely spaced obstructions ranging from 3m to 10m in height, commonly found in suburban areas.

Category 4: 

Terrain characterised by numerous, large, closely spaced obstructions, with heights ranging from 10m to 30m. Typically found in expansive city centres and well-developed industrial complexes.

What is the Building Importance Level?

The categorisation of building importance levels highlights the significance of a building in terms of its function and therefore, the potential repercussions if it were to fail. Generally, buildings are classified into various importance levels based on their purpose, occupancy, and impact on society.

The four importance levels are:

Level 1:

Structures that pose minimal risk to life and property in the event of failure.

Level 2: 

This level is the standard classification for buildings or structures that have a moderate impact on human life and significant economic repercussions in the event of failure.

Level 3:

Buildings and structures with severe implications for human life and significant economic, social, or environmental consequences in the event of failure.

Level 4:

Buildings and structures crucial for post-disaster recovery or associated with hazardous facilities.

Australian Wind Ratings - AS1170.2:2021

Why Are Terrain Category and Building Importance Levels Important for Fabric Shelters?

Understanding the terrain category and building importance level is essential when considering a fabric shelter. This knowledge allows for designing structures that can effectively withstand the specific wind loads experienced at each site. Fabric shelters that adhere to Australian Standards and regulations are engineered precisely. This ensures the safety of occupants and the overall integrity of the structure.

How Does Allshelter’s Fabric Structure Meet Safety and Quality Requirements?

Allshelter takes pride in its commitment to engineering excellence and safety. Our fabric shelters are meticulously designed, considering the terrain category and building importance level specific to each project. Therefore, they adhere to the latest Australian Standards, including AS/NZS1170.2:2021. Advanced engineering techniques make these structures robustly and precisely tailored to meet each site’s unique requirements. This ensures a customised and reliable solution for diverse environments, unlike cheaper shelters on the market..

Allshelter’s fabric structures undergo rigorous testing and quality checks to ensure they meet and exceed safety requirements. These shelters are built to withstand challenging weather conditions, making them ideal for various applications, including industrial storage, manufacturing, and mining sites.

Understanding terrain category and building importance level is crucial for engineering safe and quality fabric shelters. Hence, it ensures that the fundamental aspects of shelter design are met. Allshelter’s unwavering commitment to these principles ensures that their fabric structures meet and exceed industry standards, providing clients with reliable and durable shelter solutions.

Contact our team today for more information on Allshelter’s fabric structures and how they can cater to your specific requirements. Explore the range of fabric shelter options designed to enhance your operations’ safety, durability, and efficiency.


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