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Durability, Sustainability, and Reliability in Clamshell Building Aviation Hangars

tension fabric aircraft hangar using clamshell building design

Sustainability is more than an idea in today’s world–it’s a major business goal. Most industries now take “green” choices into consideration for day-to-day operations with vehicles, materials and supplies, as well as when designing and investing in new buildings. Beyond the environmental benefits, there are many economic benefits associated with sustainable business practices, ranging from lower cost recycled materials to energy efficiency to tax incentives.

Aviation Industry Addresses Sustainability Challenges

modern aircraft taking off on runway

The aviation industry is actively moving toward a sustainable future. Innovative practices across the industry are achieving reductions in energy use, pollution, and waste generation, even as they improve their bottom line. These aviation industry solutions are critical in addressing environmental impact.

Airline Fuel Alternatives

For an industry dependent on moving large equipment long distances, fuel is a major cost with a damaging environmental impact. Aircraft use of fossil fuels is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases, and aviation companies must now face the challenge of transitioning to a low carbon future. As the world seeks to limit the impact of climate change, research is creating a path to alternative aircraft energy sources, such as Rocky Mountain Institute’s sustainable aviation initiative to develop biofuels and other propellants.

Innovative Aircraft Design

Aircraft design is also undergoing transformative change as engineers seek to reduce fuel requirements with more efficient engines, lighter materials, and more aerodynamic designs. Advanced aircraft designs use the principles of fluid dynamics between air and aircraft to reduce drag and maximize fuel efficiency. Even solar-powered aircraft and electric hybrid options are being explored for future aircraft design.

Improved Durability

high quality aircraft interior showing red leather seats and overhead bins

Airlines invest heavily in each of their aircraft and expect them to last several decades of service in return. Mechanical inspection and maintenance is a major investment, a major reason for the improving record of worldwide airline safety and aircraft service life. In addition to ensuring aircraft are in working mechanical condition, it is in an airline’s best financial interest to ensure other components are cared for as well. One trend is to build more durable interiors. Passenger-proofing ensures the constant flow of people in and out of an airplane results in minimal cushion tearing, cracking and breaking of seats, tray tables, and other amenities. Needing to order fewer replacements for armrests and overhead doors saves a lot of money over time for large airlines. And sturdier, better built aircraft that last longer means aircraft companies use fewer resources, reducing the amount of discarded plastic and metal parts contaminating the environment.

Energy Efficient Hangars

Aviation hangars have not been neglected in the move toward sustainability. LEED certification has become the standard for energy-efficient, environmentally friendly buildings, lowering operating costs for owners. The first LEED Platinum aircraft hangar was installed in Burbank, CA in 2007. This steel-framed building included elements like solar panels, large-rotor fans, and translucent roof panels in its proprietary design. Green building is a growing trend around the world, a natural fit for an aviation industry that operates costly, large-scale facilities like airports, passenger terminals, and aircraft hangars.

Environment Friendly Clamshell Building Hangars Keep Costs Down

Allsite metal framed tension fabric hangar with large aircraft and bright lighting

As an alternative to traditional hangars, tension fabric aircraft hangars have become a reliable answer to meeting the need for temporary or permanent hangar space for aircraft storage and maintenance activities. These modular hangars are easily transported and made from sustainable aluminum frame structures, offering a solution for any airline in need of an energy-efficient, low impact structure. A TFS clamshell building can provide all the services of a traditional hangar without the environmental footprint of a brick-and-mortar structure. They are easily moved or removed when no longer needed, leaving no waste or pollution behind. As reusable structures, they are environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional construction options. Durable and stable, with equivalent wind resistance ratings to traditional buildings, they serve the same function as permanent structures at a lower financial and environmental cost.

The tension fabric hangar design features an environmentally-friendly, high strength extruded aluminum frame that can be used indefinitely and is fully recyclable at end of life. Heavy-duty PVC fabric is tensioned over the frame, creating a stable structure that can handle all types of weather and offers same amenities as a traditional building. The hangar can provide ample natural ventilation with the installation of vents, louvers, and industrial fans. Overhead truss systems support necessary aircraft maintenance and safety equipment.

Tension fabric structures offer large, open hangar space that can be placed anywhere, anytime. These temporary hangars can be built as wide or long as needed, accommodating both large and small aircraft, and are adaptable to available space at the location. Optional translucent panels made from high-quality PVC fabric allow ambient light to enter, reducing lighting costs. In addition, our white fabric interior panels increase interior brightness, further reducing use of artificial lighting. The white external PVC fabric reflects UV radiation and sunlight, deflecting heat away from the structure and keeping the building interior cool while further reducing energy use.

Customize your Fabric Aircraft Hangar Solution

Fabric pre-engineered building with space shuttle craft

Allsite’s modular, lightweight aluminum frame tension fabric aircraft hangars can be transported and installed anywhere. They can be equipped for harsh climates with a variety of weatherproofing and insulation options. A variety of anchor types allow use on any terrain with no advance preparation or foundation required, lowering installation costs (environmental or otherwise).

The structures can be equipped with a choice of openings including freight and personnel entryways, as well as clamshell aviation doors to protect aircraft and equipment. There are many other options to consider when choosing a clamshell building hangar, which we have covered at length. Each pre-engineered building is given a custom configuration before delivery, delivering exactly the space and amenities required and ensuring our client’s needs are met with an efficient and economical product.

As part of a sustainable business strategy, fabric hangars are a perfect fit when looking for efficient ways to temporarily or permanently expand hangar capacity without a large environmental impact or a financial investment. For more information on tension fabric aircraft hangars to help your business expand sustainably and control costs, contact Allsite today.

Author Peter Milligan

Peter Milligan is a Business Development Manager at Allsite, with degree in Psychology from Lafayette College and 14 years experience in matching customers with Tension Fabric Structure solutions. Read more about Peter and the rest of our team at

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