Are Tension Fabric Structures Permanent or Temporary?

    Temporary Tension Fabric Buildings
    January 29, 2020 | Advantages of Tension Fabric Structures, Tension Fabric Structures, Bulk Storage, Building Design

    We get this question a lot, and we don’t mind it too much, because a lot of people simply assume our buildings are temporary and never bother to ask. People naturally assume that a structure with a fabric exterior is de facto temporary but that is not the case. In fact, most our of buildings are permanent.

    Our ExxoTec™ fabrics, on Legacy buildings, depending on which you choose, have 20-25 year warranties. That doesn’t feel temporary to us. That’s a lot of years with minimal maintenance—no painting, no rusting, no peeling. In fact, our fabrics are for the most part self-cleaning, so your maintenance budget might be close to zero.

    Solid Steel, For the Long Run

    We use built up rigid I-beam solid steel frames for our buildings because the engineering is proven and it has a long history of being the strongest and most stable. We design them to stand up to winds and seismic forces in some of the toughest environments. In fact, our fabric and fabric attachment system have passed Florida Product Approval testing, the toughest in the building industry. Anything sounding temporary yet?

    Our steel frames can withstand a lot of pounding from the elements, but we also use them in a lot of highly corrosive environments. Fertilizer storage is a big market for Legacy, as well as salt storage, mining storage and various humid environments like aquatic centers. Consequently we are very serious about protecting our steel (which eventually becomes your steel).

    Can Fast be Strong?

    Here’s the hitch. We create buildings that are designed to be permanent. However, we also manufacture and design them so that our crews can install them rather quickly. When a building such as ours, which can often be quite sizable, goes up in a couple of weeks, people are amazed at how strong the building is and how quickly it went up.   

    In addition, when our buildings are installed quickly, folks assume they can be disassembled just as fast. That might be true, but not in all cases. In any case, we would highly recommend using one of our trained crews if you choose this path. In our history, very few customers have done this, but it is possible. For our military clients, who prefer buildings to be both strong and temporary, we usually say our structures are permanent but mobile.

    Make no mistake—our buildings are permanent. The only temporary thing about them is where they are sitting, if you so choose.

    Legacy is in the business of designing, manufacturing and installing the highest quality buildings. Every step of the way, we have had to challenge a lot of conventional wisdom about the nature of buildings. That’s Ok, we are used to it. All we ask is that you suspend your assumptions about “what is a building” long enough to find out more about of tension fabric structures.



    Pat Hamilton
    Building and Project Design Consultant

    Pat focuses on Military customers and the Federal Government Procurement sector. He has worked on projects at Edwards Air Force Base, Nellis Air Force Base and the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.