What Is The Difference Between Fabric Buildings And Fabric Structures?

The terms “fabric building” and “fabric structure” are often used interchangeably and lead to misunderstandings due to differences in context and usage. In our business, the differences between the terms are important in finding the best solutions for our customers.

Fabric Buildings (Tension Fabric Buildings)

  • Definition: A fabric building refers to a type of building where the primary material used for the structure’s envelope (the outer covering) is fabric.
  • Usage: It is typically used to describe permanent or semi-permanent buildings that are designed for a wide range of uses such as sports arenas, storage facilities, event spaces, or agricultural buildings.
  • Construction: These buildings have a rigid frame made of steel or aluminum to support the fabric cover. The fabric is tensioned over the frame to create a durable, weather-resistant structure.
  • Examples: Sports domes, warehousing facilities, and greenhouses.
What Is A Fabric Building?
Example of a Fabric Building

Fabric Structures (Tensile Membrane Structures)

  • Definition: A fabric structure is a broader term that encompasses any structure where fabric is a key component of the construction. This can include both permanent and temporary structures.
  • Usage: This term is used more generally and can refer to a wide variety of applications, including tents, awnings, canopies, and pavilions, in addition to fabric buildings.
  • Construction: Fabric structures can range from simple, lightweight frameworks with a fabric covering to complex, engineered structures that use fabric as a primary or secondary component. They can be either temporary or permanent.
  • Examples: Event tents, shade structures, tensile structures, and fabric canopies.
What Is A Fabric Structure?
Example of a Fabric Structure

In summary, fabric buildings are a subset of fabric structures, specifically designed as enclosed buildings, while fabric structures encompass a broader range of applications and designs.

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