The selection process for buying a fabric building is similar to purchasing a car. When you consider which car to purchase, you want a guarantee it will provide a safe means of transportation for you and your family, requires little maintenance, offers a high degree of efficiency, and provides transportation for many years to come. The same goes with selecting an engineered fabric building provider. This guide will help you determine which is the best option for your project requirements and overall building goals.
When it comes to designing and producing an ‘engineered fabric structure’, most fabric building providers utilize a linear elastic portal frame analysis. This basic test is cheap to perform, and is based on many assumptions that do not accurately predict the amount of force applied to each point of the fabric structure, but defines the load capacity of a single portal (arch) without further modeling and independent of the lengths, heights, or environment of the fabric structure. Companies that utilize only this technique tend to ‘blanket engineer’ their fabric buildings, stating their structures can be used anywhere that will meet the approximated wind and snow loads. These buildings are often mass produced, made cheaply overseas, with little quality control, and sold as engineered structures.
At Alaska Structures, we take engineering and the safety of our fabric buildings very seriously. It is engrained in our corporate identity, and is a driving force in our daily goals. So what sets Alaska Structures apart from other companies producing an ‘engineered fabric building’? Beyond a clarity of purpose, our “secret sauce” is that we take a unique and multi-pronged approach to engineering fabric structures for durability and safety.
Our in-house team of engineers are an integral part of every project, and take into account information about the site location, environment, wind and snow loads, the building use or occupancy, and utilize the latest building codes (local and international) to design an engineered fabric building that will meet our customer’s specific building requirement. This information is then used to create a detailed three-dimensional (3D) model. Our engineers use this 3D model to perform a nonlinear analysis in respect of the AISC 13 steel code and design guide specifications, along with finite element analysis studies, to determine the specific response and behaviors of our fabric structures. This engineering process is far superior at predicting loads and stresses of actual points on the structure, compared to the linear portal frame analysis performed by other companies claiming to produce an 'engineered fabric structure'. Due to the time and cost associated with generating detailed 3D models, this method of engineering is cost prohibitive for most fabric structure companies to perform on every model they produce. No other fabric building provider places such an emphasis (and investment in both time and cost) to ensure the safety and durability of their fabric buildings.
Alaska Structures has designed, produced, delivered, and installed more than 65,000 engineered fabric structures to more than 70 countries, on time and under budget. No other fabric building provider comes close to matching our level of technical expertise or proven experience. Alaska Structures tension fabric buildings have been used for decades in extreme places such as the base camp of Mt. Everest (17,500 ft. elevation), on the North Slope of Alaska, the ice shelf of Antarctica, the jungles of South America, and the deserts of Africa.
By design, Alaska Structures' fabric buildings feature low-cube packaging for quick and economical shipping anywhere in the world. With over 40 years of proven experience, our logistics team has built amazing relationships with shipping and freight companies around the globe to ensure the safe and timely arrival of your fabric buildings or camp systems.
Do you require installation assistance? Have a building requirement with a very short construction schedule? No problem. While most of our buildings can be installed without our help, we can offer experienced supervisors to work with hired local labor, or send complete setup crews to guarantee your building or camp project is setup on-time and according to budget.
We use high-strength architectural membranes made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) for all of our engineered building systems. Our architectural membranes provide a greater abrasion resistance, are mold and mildew resistant, will not rot, are UV stabilized for prolonged exposure to high solar loads, exceed the fire safety requirements outlined in the California Code of Regulations for membrane structures, and are laboratory and field tested to withstand extreme temperatures from -80˚F to +130˚F for unmatched longevity. Many other fabric building providers choose to use polyethylene (PE) membranes. Not only are PE membranes cheaper to produce, but lack the durability to withstand and endure the extreme environments where our engineered fabric buildings are typically installed.
An optional electrostatically applied powder coat (available in a large selection of colors) provides an added level of protection from rust, salt air, oxidation, humidity, and other environmental factors. Powder coating is available for both our lightweight aluminum and high-strength galvanized steel frame systems.
We design, engineer, manufacture and ship our building systems from a state-of-the-art 325,000 square foot manufacturing facility, located in the United States. Each Alaska Structures tension fabric building is made by hard working Americans using the highest quality materials capable of enduring year-round use in extreme conditions. We are serious and stand behind our motto, Quality taken to extremes®.
If you would like to discuss using an engineered fabric building from Alaska Structures for your building project, please call us at +1-907-344-1565, email firstname.lastname@example.org, chat with one our building specialists, or contact us online.