This is traditionally the period of summer when folks are getting a bit tired of the heat of the summer and looking forward to some autumn relief. This summer has been particularly long and hot, and most of us are sort of “over” the whole summer thing.
Staying cool in the heat has been an ongoing challenge this year. It might be a good time to remember that fabric, especially the fabric Legacy uses, is cool.
Legacy uses a proprietary PVC-based fabric called ExxoTec™. It’s a tough industrial fabric that is ideal for the walls and roof panels of our structures because it’s very durable. It is also UV resistant and the Elite ExxoTec™ comes with a 25 year warranty..
What many building owners don’t realize is that, even though the fabric makes a very air-tight envelope for the structure, it’s actually cooler than buildings made from traditional materials. It’s not hard to see why.
The fabric cladding we use has thermally non-conductive properties. That means that the temperature on the outside of the building, either hot air or cold winds, is not transmitted into the interior as readily as traditional materials such as steel or concrete.
It’s easy to imagine being in a metal building on a hot day. The metal heats up all day, holding onto the heat and naturally radiating it into the interior. Without proper ventilation and mechanical cooling systems, it can become very much like an oven. Brick and mortar structures conduct a lot of heat as well. That’s why fabric is just cooler.
It’s a little counterintuitive but you don’t need to give up on natural sunlight just because you want to be cooler. Our white cladding is 12% translucent, so it lets in plenty of natural light during the day without heating up the interior. The benefits of working in a naturally lit building are well documented. The energy savings are also considerable when you don’t need to use electric lighting for much of the day. Finally, if you need to have a structure that’s off the grid, a naturally lit tension fabric structure fits the bill.
If you want to do an insulated fabric structure, Legacy does that too. All our projects are custom designed and custom manufactured, so adding insulation to a building is something we do often. Our solid steel frames can be engineered to support additional loads, so hanging an HVAC system (and any number of other things) from the roof beams is an easy way to add mechanical ventilation.
A fabric building with insulation consists of the exterior cladding, a layer of commercial fiberglass insulation, and an interior fabric liner that creates a continuous vapor barrier for the building. Our passive ventilation allows air flow through the cavity keeping the insulation dry.
We already mentioned the thermally non-conductive properties of our fabric. Those properties make the insulation in the insulated structure work even better. It’s one more reason why fabric is cooler.
Of course, the properties of a fabric building that make it cooler in the summer also make it warmer in the winter. That saves our customers money year-round, whether its in the hurricane regions of south Florida or the frozen fields of Northern Alberta. As we cross the finish line of this hot summer, it’s time to remember: Winter is Coming.