Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Comparing the Building Costs & the Benefits of a Fabric Structure

Your building is a major investment and you take it seriously; so do we. Our vision is not just about buildings, it's about providing innovative building solutions. By comparing the benefits and value of a building from Britespan to a conventional structure, it's easy to see where a fabric structure comes out on top.
Our buildings are constructed in a fraction of the time when compared to a conventional structure, and are built to last with quality North American steel trusses and truss components. Britespan buildings have less environmental impact and are more energy efficient that a conventional structure.
With the widest product line of engineered structures in the industry, it's easy to see that a building from Britespan is the ideal building solution for your operations.  
Steel vs Fabric Roof Systems
There are many benefits of choosing a fabric building over a traditional building. The fabric roof is one of the first benefits over a traditional style building. Unlike conventional buildings, for example, where the outer covering is often punctured thousands of times to attach the roofing and wall cladding, steel framed fabric structures are much more airtight reducing air and heat loss. The fabric cover has non-conductive properties that reduce the transmission of heat and cold, making the building feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The translucent properties of the fabric covers allow natural daylight into the building, reducing or eliminating daytime lighting costs, and creating safe environments for workers.
Without the daytime sunlight, most buildings will require some form of daytime and nighttime lighting. Equipment costs, installation costs, and operational costs must all be considered. For a wood or steel construction building, the owner will need to add enough lumens of light to properly light the working area of the building during the day and night, consuming electricity every minute of use. A fabric building will require typically 1/3 of the lighting capital costs as the bright white underside of the fabric roof reflects and disperses the artificial lighting broadly and evenly, reducing shadows and reaching all areas of the building. In addition, the lights will generally not be turned on during the day in a fabric building, due to its transparency.


Fabric buildings feature a high roof design which results in a large volume of interior air space. In agricultural uses, this draws the warm moist air up and away from equipment, machinery, commodities, or livestock. With the ability to offer side ventilation, end wall ventilation and roof ventilation, warm moist air, including odours, can easily be vented from buildings. In commercial, retail and industrial uses, the non-permeable fabric cover allows for increased control and air management. Ventilation and heating/cooling systems are easy to install and manage.
Construction Time
Fabric structures are pre-engineered and manufactured, ready to be shipped unless the building is a custom design. This allows a fabric structure to be erected in weeks instead of months. The end user can move into the building quickly, with minimal interruptions to daily operations. Choosing a fabric structure also reduces the costs associated with constructing the building. Wood and steel buildings tend to have a labour intensive construction process. Steel buildings can be costly, difficult to ship to remote areas, can be time consuming to construct, and are essentially permanent structures. Fabric structures are engineered as permanent buildings and are also easily erected in remote areas because of their design.
Portability & Temporary Options

The fact that fabric structures can be built on portable and temporary foundation systems are really what sets them apart from traditional buildings. By simply choosing a temporary foundation type like blocks, sea containers, or a base rail anchor foundation, end users are able to take down and move their buildings to a new job site, or store them until they are needed again. In addition, these types of foundations create little to no environmental impact. If the end user decides to move from the current building location to another, the site the building was constructed on can easily return to its original state. 
Galvanized Steel Trusses & Components
All galvanizing is not the same. There are two different types of galvanized pipe: in-line (triple coat/Gatorshield or pre-galvanized) and post production hot dipped galvanized. While both use zinc coating, the application is the most critical part.
Britespan applies hot dipped galvanizing to all of their trusses post production (after all fabrication is complete), which uses an entirely different process to ensure lifelong corrosion protection and a much longer service life. We start with untreated black structural steel.  We bend and weld the raw steel into our trusses.  Holes are drilled into the pipe to ensure the galvanizing reaches every surface.  After that, the trusses are submerged in a bath of molten zinc where they receive a coating on every surface inside and out that is three times thicker than the coating  on the outside of  in-line galvanized pipe.  This process means that your building will offer a service life that is approximately three times longer than the in-line galvanized alternative.
In-line galvanized pipe is rolled through a waterfall of zinc and the pipe is coated on the outside, painted on the inside, and is then sent out to be manufactured. The pipe is bent, welded into trusses, and shipped out.  Unfortunately, the welding of the trusses burns off the paint on the inside of the pipe, leaving it unprotected and susceptible to rust before it ever gets erected.
Engineered vs Designed

The engineered Britespan building you are quoted up front will withstand the conditions of the site to which it has been engineered without all of the surprise price increases.
Supplying strong, safe and reliable buildings is a top priority for us when we design and engineer our buildings. Britespan incorporates all of the critical design factors into our buildings so you do not have to worry about your building's safety.  Before you get a quote on your building we will have made sure to comply with all North American and International building codes for:
  • wind and snow loads
  • thermal factors
  • importance categories
  • enclosure categories
  • exposure factors
Quality Materials
Britespan's steel trusses and building components are made of North American steel. What does that mean to you, the end user? It's an assurance of quality.
Steel from outside of North America has often been recycled and repurposed so many times, that the quality and lifespan is very poor. When you purchase a steel framed fabric building from Britespan, you know that you are purchasing a structure that been engineered to stand the test of time, but also constructed out of materials that will stand the test of time.
When you buy North American steel products, you are buying a product that meets the highest quality standards backed by certified steel manufacturers.

Engineering. Customization. Flexibility. Quality.
Visit our website and learn how Britespan is truly leading the fabric building industry.