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As the equipment on farms has evolved at record rates, the evolution in building structures has remained relatively stagnant. Wooden buildings were used for hundreds of years, then came steel buildings—both are still go-to structures for farmers and ranchers store their hay, equipment, supplies, and cattle. But over the last few decades, the latest innovation in hoop buildings has begun to take over as the preferred building material for the agriculture and cattle industries: engineered fabric buildings.

Engineered fabric hoop building structures are superior to traditional wooden and steel hoop buildings in many ways. They are healthier for the livestock, long-lasting, more adaptable, and cost-effective.

1.Healthier for Livestock

Windows are expensive, so a steel or wood hoop building can be dark and have limited options for natural light. Lighting is a critical factor in keeping animals calm and productive. A fabric hoop building uses translucent fabric that introduces daylight and creates a more natural atmosphere for the animals.

A fabric hoop building also offers many methods for proper ventilation of the space. The shape of the buildings allows for more air volume. With the option of skylights and openings in the fabric to allow air ventilation as well as the large ventilation fans, there is plenty of quality air for animals to breathe.

Engineered fabric buildings are created using treated, non-corrosive materials that combat damp environments created through weather conditions and animal respiration. The truss structures also eliminate the need for supporting pillars that break up the interior of more traditional building structures. In this way, engineered fabric buildings create wide open, airy spaces that are as close to feeling like the outdoors as possible.

2.Adaptable to Your Needs

Fabric buildings are incredibly adaptable. They can be constructed to nearly any dimension, with any roof pitch or peak height. The structures can include offset peaks, varying column heights, sidewall dormers, and mono-slope roofs.

A fabric structure with a free span interior is perfect for all your farming needs. The structure can be built to the perfect clearance for any truck size so you will have plenty of room to load and unload hay and fill feed bunks. Free span buildings don’t need pillars, so there is no impediment to driving your truck straight into the building. Many customers even use fabric structures as garage storage for their trucks.

In addition, all of Calhoun’s buildings come with straight side walls and end walls that make every square foot of the area available for storage, livestock pens, or any other use. Fabric buildings are used on farms across the country to accommodate livestock feed trucks and to store hay, feed, and other supplies. The lack of columns and the straight walls ensure you get the maximum storage possible.

Fabric structures can be designed to accommodate any variety of uses, but they can also be adapted after installation. Unlike steel and wood buildings, fabric buildings are easily moved. Engineered fabric buildings take only a matter of days to construct and deconstruct for relocation. You can also easily expand your fabric buildings if you find that you need more room for storage or livestock.

3.Long Lasting Fabric Structures

Steel clad buildings corrode and weaken from moisture damage. Engineered fabric buildings are resistant to rust and corrosion. All Calhoun structures benefit from two decades of experience and innovation. The truss posts in our structures go through a hot dip galvanizing process that extends the life of the structure. Hot dip galvanization is completed after fabrication and coats all surfaces including unseen inside surfaces.

Hot dipped galvanized steel can last from 50-100 years. This means the only thing you will have to replace in the course of your career as a farmer is the fabric covering. Customers also have the option of adding a corrosion resistant Super Shield coating. This gives you the maximum protection against rust and corrosion.

The fabric is built to last as well. As more reliable fabrics have developed over the years, fabric structures have become more versatile and hardy, able to withstand strong winds, rains, and heavy snows. Engineered fabric structures take your location’s weather into account and are specifically designed to withstand the elements in your area. If you experience higher than average snowfall, the engineers designing your building take that into account and adjust the strength of the trusses and the slope of the roof. Every joint and pressure point is planned for maximum effectiveness and longevity for your terrain.


Fabric buildings are more energy efficient than wooden or steel structures because the fabric lets natural light through. The need for artificial lighting during the day is significantly reduced if not eliminated. The savings in energy costs alone can be worth the switch to fabric buildings. You can increase those savings by adding solar panels to the outside of our engineered fabric buildings.

In addition to cost savings from lighting, you also save on heating and cooling costs. The fabric is virtually airtight, and with the variety of options for air flaps and other ventilation options, your structure will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer with less money spent on heating and cooling than with a traditional structure.

Engineered fabric structures with hot dip galvanized trusses can last up to 100 years. The fabric coverings are the only part of the building you will have to replace. Fabric lasts from 15-20 years under normal conditions as weather and sunlight wear down the material. Replacing the fabric every couple of decades is much less expensive than having to build an entirely new building. It can also be the opportune time to move the structure if need be.

As your buildings become outdated and in need of replacing, why not update them with the latest innovations in hoop buildings. Engineered fabric structures offer benefits that a traditional wood or steel hoop building can’t provide. Built to your specifications for your intended use and local weather, these customized buildings are the perfect solution for your farming needs—whether that be hay storage, equipment storage, or cattle housing. Contact us to find out more about our structures and get a quote for your next project.


To see how Calhoun can solve your agriculture storage needs, visit our Hay Storage and Farming Equipment page

Or visit our Livestock Production and Ranching page.