We are often confronted by customers who are trying to choose between our tension fabric buildings and steel buildings. Let’s get one thing straight: we love steel.
Even if we spend a good amount of time talking about our fabric, we like steel, we use a lot of steel and steel is instrumental to our structures.
The Case for Steel
What we like about steel is it makes the best framework for our buildings. When we bolt our solid steel I-beams together, and then add the supporting purlins and cables, we create a structure that can stand up to almost anything. We create a building that will serve our customers for decades. We create a level of confidence for everyone involved in your project.
That’s why we spend so much time and effort protecting the steel in your building. Corrosion can reduce the longevity of a steel structure, so we can be rather aggressive about preventing corrosion. We also have a lot of buildings that are storage facilities for highly corrosive chemicals such as salt, copper sulfate and chlorine.
In response, we hot-dip galvanize the steel in our buildings, but we don’t stop there. We are now working with some proprietary epoxy coatings to provide even more protection for our steel. Sorry, your steel.
These epoxy coatings can be combined with hot dip galvanizing to provide levels and layers of protection that allow us to guarantee our work against corrosion. To find out more about upcoming developments in our corrosion protection program, please contact us.
The Case Against Steel
As we have said, we love steel in our structures, but when it comes to steel walls, not so much. There are a few reasons fabric wins over steel for the walls of a building.
- Speed of Construction
In terms of insulation, steel walls conduct heat and cold very effectively and that means you need more heat in the winter and more cooling in the summer. Our fabric, on the other hand, is less conductive and insulates better during all the seasons.
Steel walls need maintenance just like any other building. Our patented ExxoTec fabric is designed to be self-cleaning. You don’t need to paint it (in fact, please don’t) and our walls and roofs wash themselves in the rain.
When our excellent, professional crews construct one of our buildings, they can often do it significantly faster than a traditional metal building, That’s due, in part, to our designs and planning back at headquarters. It’s also due to the fact we have awesome, in-house, crews that combine experience with enthusiasm. Finally, fabric walls and roofs go up quickly; steel walls and roofs do not.
We talked about corrosion before. We guard against it in our beams like they are our children. When you have steel walls, however, your corrosion awareness is ongoing and constant. There’s just too much surface that can corrode to stay ahead of it all. Our fabric walls, however, never corrode. Moreover, when the structure is lined, they help to protect our steel beams from corrosion.
So, in review, we at Legacy Building Solutions love steel. When we use steel in the right circumstances, to solve the right problems, it’s ideal. But it’s not the whole solution.