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Deciding what type of structure you will build is one of the most crucial decisions to make when you embark on a building project. Keep reading to learn more about fabric structures versus concrete structures, so you can understand which type of building is right for you.

Future Maintenance and Costs

Just as important as the up-front cost of your tension fabric structures or concrete building is the future cost of maintenance. Fabric buildings have the advantage. Concrete is known for cracking and chipping and repairs are expensive and difficult. On the other hand, fabric buildings are durable, sturdy, and easy to patch and repair. Tension fabric structures cost significantly less per square foot to manufacture than concrete buildings. You can save up to 30% by opting for a tension fabric structure.


Fabric buildings will stand for several decades and are just as permanent as concrete buildings. However, they are extremely portable. You may have the ideal location for your business now, but if you lease the land you are building on, or ever need to move your building, the portability of fabric structures beats out concrete buildings every time.


There are unique advantages and disadvantages to every building type, but insulation is a feature where fabric structures and concrete buildings are nearly a draw. Both types of buildings are good at maintaining moderate temperatures all year, staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They can also both be insulated for further protection from the elements. The advantage that fabric structures have over concrete is it lets additional sunlight in and is flexible enough for integrating a passive or active ventilation system into the building design.

Natural Light

Fabric structures are great for letting natural light in versus concrete. This allows your workers to work with natural sunlight streaming inside the building and significantly reduces the need to run expensive electricity in your building. Research has also shown that sunlight improves mood and boosts productivity. A fabric structure will lead to happier, more productive workers, lower electric costs, and less frequent replacement of light bulbs.


As your business grows, your buildings will need to grow, too. Fabric structures are ideal for this purpose because they are easily expandable. They are also easier to manufacture into any size or shape your business needs. You can easily add multiple open or closed lean-to’s of any size to your fabric structure. The building can be built against an existing wall using varying column heights. You can improve the functionality of your building and create a unique aesthetic appeal by adding overhangs to protect the ground next to the building. You can create fabric structures with an offset peak. The opportunities are endless.

Overall, the upfront, operational and future maintenance costs are significantly lower than concrete structures. Fabric structures are much more portable and the customization opportunities are endless. Fabric structures let in natural light and are very well insulated.


You might also be interested in reading about Engineered vs. Non-Engineered Fabric Structures: Why It Matters.