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Tensioned fabric structures are widely used around the globe because of their versatility and the many advantages that they offer over other structure types. In order to determine whether you should use this type of structure there are some things that you need to know about them.


What Components do Tensioned Fabric Structures Have?

Unlike permanent buildings tensioned fabric structures consist of components that include a rigid frame and a durable fabric. The frame is usually a lightweight metal or other material that offers strength and durability without being heavy. The fabric used is typically a heavyweight and durable fabric that is at the very least weatherproof. Additional fabric features are also available.

How are These Structures Built?

The construction of tensioned fabric structures is usually fairly simple. The framing is erected and then the fabric is installed over the existing framework. After the basic structure is in place then any added feature like climate control or lighting can be installed. Construction timeframe can be from one day to several days depending on how complex the specifications are for the project.

How is This Type of Structure Used?

Tensioned fabric structures can be used for many different purposes. These include:

  • Aviation maintenance or storage needs
  • Vehicle maintenance or storage needs
  • Warehousing and storage
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Commercial facilities
  • Agriculture
  • Airplane and helicopter hangars
  • Military shelters
  • Emergency shelters
  • Environmental management and remediation
  • Livestock housing

Take a look at our actual case studies here!

Is a Building Permit Needed?

This is a very common question, and the answer will depend on your location and the local building permit rules that apply where you will be erecting the structure. If there is any doubt about whether this type of permit is required then it may be a good idea to contact the building code department or building inspector in your area to see what the rules and permit requirements actually are.

Temporary Building Permits

Are There Any Other Building Regulations That Apply to a Fabric Structure?

In some areas and cases, a building permit may not be needed for tensioned fabric structures but other building regulations must be met, such as having the structure inspected for safety issues or code violations. Before you plan on using this type of structure make sure you know what the law and building regulations are to avoid problems.

Why are These Structures Chosen?

There are several reasons that someone may choose tensioned fabric structures over other types. These buildings can be put up much faster than traditional structures, and they are usually far less expensive as well, because they are not as involved or complex. This type of structure can offer a large selection of optional features, and they can be relocated with little cost and effort in many cases if necessary.

What Features are Available?

There are many different optional features that you can add to this structure type, although more features can mean a higher cost as well so you should keep this in mind. You can add lighting, heating and cooling, electricity, humidity and moisture controls, clean room environments, dust proofing, and even sterile containment areas.

One of the benefits of using rental temporary structures that appeals across almost all sectors and industries is that these structures can be used in almost any climate or type of environment.

From our article about the benefits of rental temporary structures.

There are also fabric features that can be chosen, such as fire retardant coatings and weatherproofing coatings to help add protection against certain risks and hazards. Wind protection, ice and snow repellant, and other coatings can be added to the fabric chosen. Many durable fabrics will last as long as 20-30 years in some cases.

How Much Will This Structure Type Cost?

The cost for tensioned fabric structures can vary, and will depend on the many variables involved. The frame material, the fabric, the actual finished size, any coatings, any added features, and other factors will help determine the final price for any structure that is needed. It is often possible to adjust the price to meet a specific budget by making small changes.

How to Pick the Right Structure for Your Needs

Before you can start putting together the final specifications for the ideal structure you will need to evaluate two things: your actual structure requirements and your budget. Both of these will help you make your structure selections while helping you stay cost effective at the same time. Once you have a set budget and you know what you need you just have to create a final design.

For more information about tensioned fabric structures, please call us at (888) 599-5112.

Author Jason Cromwell

Jason Cromwell is the General Manager of Allsite Structure Rentals. He has a degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Jason is a 12 year veteran in all matters related to Tension Fabric Structures with Allsite Structure Rentals and has over 20 years of sales, operations, and management experience. Read more about Jason and the rest of our team at

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