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End Walls are Different

In this three-part series, we are breaking down the structural integrity of tension fabric buildings. Part one took us through structural frames v. open web trusses and part two highlighted the Legacy difference when it comes to fabric panels vs. monocovers. The final installment of our blog series describes end walls, and why not all end walls are manufactured the same.


The steel and fabric that make up the walls and roof structures for our buildings are the focus of a lot of our attention, from the choice of PVC fabric right down to the bolts we use to attach the fabric panels to the beams. End walls use a lot of the same materials and techniques, but their purpose is slightly different.

The end wall fabric is tensioned vertically and horizontally and supported by girts. Fabric panels in the end wall are double-reinforced in all areas where they touch steel frame members. End wall columns provide strength at 46 KSI while minimizing the need for lateral bracing.

Reinforced

One other difference in our end walls is that we attach our fabric to both vertical and horizontal braces, which sets us apart from other fabric structure companies , says Legacy’s Operations Manager, Troy Jurek, “We think it is important to secure that fabric to all  end wall steel.” The less the fabric can move, the longer it will last.

Adjusting the Design

Of course, since we customize every building, not all of our end walls are the same. One challenge is when a customer wants a partial open-end wall with very large openings, such as the Southeast County Compost project, or a very large door in one of our hangars at an air force base. In these cases, when we don’t have columns running all the way to the ground, we need to shift some of the support back to the solid steel frames, typically to the next set of beams into the building.

When the wind that blows against that end wall, the force is shifted through additional bracing to the second frame. That frame is unique and uniquely designed to handle those loads.

Our end walls are part of the total package that is Legacy’s tension fabric structure. Our customized approach to buildings gives us the opportunity to carefully innovate and design each element, and that’s what sets us apart from the rest of the industry.


In this three-part series we review structural frames vs. open web trusses, fabric panels vs. monocovers and the benefits of engineered end walls. If you missed any of the first two, click on the links above to get caught up. If you are interested in learning more about Legacy Building Solutions and our innovative tension fabric structures, click the “connect with us” button below and one of our building and project design experts will reach out to you.

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