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Innovative automobile manufacturer Tesla recently experienced a production crisis that threatened to impact its reputation as a successful and innovative new automotive manufacturer delivering vehicles designed with ground-breaking technology to an eager marketplace. Tesla Model 3’s, the first mass-market Tesla electric vehicle, were promised, and Tesla was determined to deliver them. But, its small factory in Fremont, CA was at capacity and time was running out to pick up production and meet its promised quotas. They needed a solution, fast.

Extra Factory Building Space Needed to Meet Production Goals

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla faced several problems that many businesses will recognize. He had a great product that the market was clamoring for. Investor money had poured in for the project to produce an affordable electric vehicle under the Tesla brand, and the investors expected a return. Existing production lines were at capacity and faltering with automation issues. Tesla was not able to meet the goal of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles a month off the assembly line.

This is where Elon Musk took Tesla back to its creative and innovative roots. He knew that fixing the existing production line automation bottleneck was going to take a long time. He needed more production capacity and more workers to pick up the pace. Without a building in his Fremont factory to house the new assembly line, what else could he do quickly and affordably? Elon Musk chose a different solution that helped solve the production shortfall and keep costs down to shore up tight margins on the new model.

Add Capacity Fast and Lower Costs with Tension Fabric Buildings

canvas structure for sporting events tension fabric structure

Tesla chose to use a large capacity, engineered fabric building in which to set up its new assembly line. Tension fabric structures are a perfect solution to a problem like Tesla’s. The modular aluminum-framed structure can be assembled quickly. These structures, configured by project engineers to fit the client’s needs, are large with high ceilings and ample width. They are open span, meaning there are no interior columns to impede the placement of equipment or movement of people or vehicles. Heavy-duty fabric stretched over a sturdy, modular frame means the structure can be assembled in an unlimited length, which was perfect for Tesla’s long automotive production line. These buildings are firmly anchored, strong and UV and weather resistant. They can serve for years, even decades, offering the same reliability and functions as a traditional building.

Allsite Engineered Fabric Structure Serves Tesla Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada

Tesla’s decision to go with the “big tent” solution and put in a factory-sized engineered fabric building at the Fremont plant was not out of the blue. Tesla has been using an Allsite Tension Fabric Structure (TFS) at its giant battery plant, the Tesla Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada since May 2017. The Allsite fabric structure is 100 ft wide by 48 ft long, and features freight doors on the side entrance and on the gable end for the easy movement of supplies and equipment in and out of the structure. Originally leased for one year, the fabric membrane building is still in place, located just outside of the massive battery production facility in the Nevada desert, and serving the plant’s extra capacity needs.

When Elon Musk suggested a similar solution for the Tesla Fremont factory problem, naysayers thought it would never work. But the line is up and running, and Tesla Model 3’s are rolling off the new assembly line.

Solve Business and Industrial Space Problems with Fabric Building Solutions

Allsite tension fabric structure permanent airport hangar with large aircraft and bright lighting

Business and industry conditions sometimes move at lightning speed. Successful businesses respond quickly and agilely to changing market conditions. One of the biggest challenges a business can face in the short term is space. Acquiring or disposing of traditional building space is a process that takes time, time that can mean lost revenues or wasted cash when the space lies empty. In today’s fast-paced and sometimes unpredictable business environment, the business that can upsize or downsize capacity quickly has an advantage.

Tension fabric structures are designed for exactly this scenario. Easy and quick to assemble, the structures can be in place in a matter of weeks from order. And, business owners are amazed at how today’s highly engineered fabric structures can deliver the same levels of functionality and comfort as traditional structures. Spacious and open, tension fabric buildings can be configured for any use and outfitted with everything from lighting to air conditioning. Buildings can be fully insulated up to R-30 and equipped with HVAC, fans and vents to create a comfortable working environment. The bright white interior and high peak ceiling height make the building space feel much larger, open and brighter due to the reflective nature of the material. The reflectivity of the white panels mean fewer lights are needed to achieve the desired illumination level, lowering energy costs.

Convenient Lease Programs Make Fabric Buildings an Affordable Solution

cubicles arranged for office space in interior of engineered fabric building

For businesses facing immediate capacity needs, Allsite fabric structures can be shipped and installed anywhere. With affordable rental and lease programs, they are a convenient and budget-friendly solution that doesn’t tie you into long term commitments. When capacity needs decrease, the fabric structure and the cost associated with it can be removed, making this a great solution for today’s tight budgets. Lease only the space you need. Structures come in various widths, and the length can be customized to fit the needs of any size business operation, special event, or short or long-term project. Whether you need a one-time conference venue, extra warehouse and storage space, or automotive or other production space, a tension fabric building can be the right answer. Think outside the box and call Allsite for more information on how to expand your business with extra space in a tension fabric building.

Author Beth Karikari

Beth holds an MBA, Master of Marketing and Bachelor of Business from Griffith University, Australia. Read more about Beth and the rest of our team at

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