Engineered vs. Non-Engineered Fabric Structures: Why It Matters

January 26, 2018

 Inside a Fertilizer Fabric Building

Fabric structures have the potential to revolutionize the way you look at outdoor storage facilities or traditional hoop barns. Whether you’re adding to an existing structure or building from the ground up, you’ll be able to install your new structure quickly, easily, and affordably when you opt for a fabric structure. In order to be sure that your building will stand the test of time, it’s important that you understand all the facets of how the installation of the structure can impact your decision–including the difference between engineered and non-engineered fabric structures.

What’s the Difference?

Engineered fabric structures are built with exactly your needs in mind. You’re able to specify exactly what you expect out of your new fabric structure. The poles, supports, and fabric used to make up that structure will then be designed exactly according to your specifications–including careful testing to ensure that each support element receives the proper load in order to ensure maximum durability over the lifetime of your facility. This also means a greater measure of safety since your engineered structure will be more extensively tested for exactly that purpose.

Non-engineered structures, on the other hand, tend to be a generic solution that is intended for a broad range of purposes. While they must still meet detailed industry specifications, they won’t be tested against the exact purpose you plan to put them to or the unique demands of your environment. As a result, they may not be as functional, durable, or as safe as an engineered structure.

Why Does It Matter?

Often, non-engineered fabric structures have a lower price tag than engineered models. Many people find themselves wondering whether or not the difference is really worth it. Won’t the inexpensive model meet their needs just as well? The reality, however, is that there are several reasons why you should seek to invest in an engineered fabric structure.

Engineered fabric structures are designed with your environment in mind. This includes both hazardous weather conditions and the normal weather that you experience on a daily basis. Rain, sun, and wind are all normal parts of your day, but you also want to know that your fabric structure will be able to weather whatever storms come along. They are specifically designed to withstand the elements where you plan to place them. Your engineers will take into consideration details like snowfall in the area and how it’s likely to collect, how rain may collect on the surface of your fabric structure, and other key details that will make a big difference in the maintenance needed for your structure over time. Not only that, they’re designed with placement and terrain in mind to ensure that they are suited specifically for your environment.

In an engineered fabric structure, every joint and pressure point has been examined for maximum effectiveness. In a non-engineered structure, you may not know whether or not the structure, from the fabric to the supports, are up to exactly the pressure that will be placed on it until you take a look at it after it’s been set up. In some cases, the signs of excess wear may not show up until years later–and at that point, the damage can go from frustrating to catastrophic. Rest assured that every detail of engineered fabric structures are carefully considered.

Engineered structures are easy to customize according to your needs. Why should you have to make do with a generic structure that vaguely fits the bill of what you’re looking for? With an engineered fabric structure, you can get exactly what you want and need out of your structure. Since these durable structures are intended to last for years, you want to be sure that you like the choices you’ve made–and custom engineering ensures that all of your needs have been taken into account, not just the generic needs of the masses.

How You Can Ensure Your Fabric Structure Will Be Engineered Properly

If you want to be sure that your fabric structure has been engineered properly, the best way is to check the plans. Fabric structure companies that genuinely care about quality engineering will provide a detailed document. A proper document will be several pages long and include extensive specifications and stamped drawings. It will also included engineering pertaining to both the structure itself, and the site in which the structure will be built. Buyer beware: not all companies provide this, so be sure to ask before agreeing to your project.

Engineered fabric structures are one of the most effective ways to ensure that all of your needs are met. It might not make a big difference in the earliest days of your installation, but throughout the lifetime of your fabric structure, you’ll discover exactly why so many customers opt for custom engineering to meet their fabric structure needs. If you’re ready to embark on your engineered fabric structure product, contact us today to learn more about how we’ll work with you in order to ensure that you get everything you need out of your new addition.