Rigid Frames and Flexible Designs

    Fabric buildings with rigid steel frames allow for flexible design
    December 29, 2021 | Fertilizer Storage Building, Advantages of Tension Fabric Structures, Building Design

    In a world where flexible is defined as good and rigid is bad, we at Legacy are not afraid to say we like rigid. We are all about rigid, especially when we start talking about our frames.

    One of the features of our tension fabric structures is our rigid, solid steel, I-beam frames. They became the foundation for many of the innovations that we have pursued over the years.

    What exactly can we do with rigid frames that you can’t do with other frames (such and hollow-tube web trusses)?

    Snow, Wind, Seismic

    Engineered rigid frame fabric building for all locations

    With rigid frames, we can design buildings with “engineering certainty”. That means our structures abide by the principles of engineering that govern traditional buildings. An engineer can look at our plans and instantly understand the thinking and design that went into the drawings. That means our confidence can be your confidence.

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    We build all over the world, so our structures face some challenging weather. Customers sometimes assume since we make fabric buildings, they won’t stand up to storms. Our engineering certainty also translates into building structures that can stand up to snow, wind and seismic activity. In fact, our buildings are rated on those three factors, whether you are in Hurricane alley in Florida or in the Andes Mountains.


    While our buildings can be moved, we typically don’t create temporary structures. We build them to last decades, and our rigid frames are integral to that intention. Our solid frames support the building; they don’t rely on the fabric as a source of support. When we add the PVC industrial fabric—our own proprietary fabric called ExxoTec™--the structure we build for you is designed to last a long time. Rigid frames are fundamental to our construction model.

    Hanging Loads

    Fabric structures support multiple hanging loadsOur strong frames can give your building options that you don’t get with other fabric structures because we can support not just the building but also equipment from the roof beams. What kind of equipment?

    • Cranes
    • Conveyor systems
    • Catwalks
    • HVAC equipment
    • Fire suppression systems
    • Lighting
    • Stairs

    Rigid Meets Flexible

    As much as we are proud of our rigid frames, we can do flexible too. All of our structures are custom jobs, so there are no off-the-shelf buildings. Every project is tailor-made by our Design and Engineering Team to meet our customers’ needs and requirements.

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    One Size Does Not Fit All

    When we determined to meet the specific needs of our customers, customization of each project was the only thing that made sense. It’s a building, after all, not a shirt. Buying a structure off-the-rack doesn’t feel right, especially since it will be part of your company’s infrastructure. Imagine if your Department of Transportation ordered roads from a catalog.

    Because we customize, our customers can request special features for the design—for example, having their field house match the other buildings on campus—and we can do it. Need to fit your warehouse on the side of the mountain? We can do that too.

    A Building That Works for You

    That list of equipment we mentioned before (cranes, conveyors, etc.) are only possible because we customize our projects. Our rigid beams are flexibly designed to handle the extra loads, and because we use traditional design software, we can include anything you would expect from a non-fabric structure. Being able to add all these features and architectural elements gives you a building that is more than just a big empty structure. It can be a building that works for you, with equipment storage right next to offices right next to a conference room.

    Custom tension fabric fertilizer storage buildingFertilizer storage is a great example. When you add a conveyor and precast walls, you now have a mixing facility that can serve the diverse needs of your customers—not just a storage building.

    If you want a structure that is solid, that will last for years and stand up to the elements, you should consider our tension fabric structures. In addition, if you want a building that will be customized to your needs at a very granular level, find out more about Legacy’s buildings. If you want both, we should talk.