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Engineered fabric structure

Engineered Fabric Structures vs. Pole Tents: How to Choose

Fabric structures and pole tents: which option would you choose for your industrial or construction site? While both structures appear similar, they have distinct qualities and features you’ll want to consider before deciding which is best.

Essentially, they are both temporary fabric-building structures that provide a fabric cover or canopy, various load capacity and strength levels, weather protection, UV resistance, and durability.


How Are Fabric Building Structures Different From Pole Tents?


One of the most popular questions asked is, what is the main difference between engineered fabric structures and pole tents?

At first glance, they appear to have many of the same characteristics and advantages of the temporary fabric architecture, with several components and designs that set them apart. The best tension fabric structure depends on your project and the purpose of installing pole tents or fabric buildings.


Pole Tents


Most people prefer pole tents because of their quick assembly and convenience. Pole tents are made of durable material and can be ordered, delivered, and installed within a short time.

They are ideal for meeting a short deadline and starting a restoration project fast. These temporary shelters work well for outdoor events, concerts, weddings, and company lunches.

The framework is simple and lightweight, making installing one or several pole tents easy. This structure is built on a frame, which makes the fabric’s fit looser, which means it's ideal for short-term use and unsuitable as a semi-permanent industrial structure or building.

Since the material isn’t as firmly attached to the base or frame of a pole tent, it can twist or sag over time, reducing the structure's effectiveness.

The main benefits of pole tents include the following:

  • Less expensive and easy to assemble than other temporary fabric structures.
  • They make great shade structures that can cover a lot of outdoor space for events.
  • Temporary space for storage of food, water, and other supplies and equipment for outdoor activities.
  • They work best for day-use or short-term purposes.
  • Fabric coating can be fire-resistant and ideal for shelter from light rain.

Are there any drawbacks to using pole tents?

  • They are not certified to handle high wind or snow and can provide protection from winds that reach up to 50 miles per hour.
  • Tents are designed to handle a light rain, though moderate to heavy rain can compromise the structure.

On many sites, pole tents make great companions with industrial-grade semi-permanent structures, as they can provide covered space for a visitor or information desk, food concession, and guest services.


Fabric Structures


Fabric structure buildings may incorporate the same type of fabric material as pole tents, though they offer significant advantages, including increased durability.

There are two main components in fabric buildings: framing and fabric, and they offer several benefits, including the following:

  • Robust and durable fabric that can withstand weather changes, including rain and wind.
  • With the right amount of tension, fabric structures can last significantly longer than pole tents.
  • A strong frame can support a fabric structure for semi-permanent projects, which makes it highly cost-effective.
  • Withstands high winds of at least 90 miles per hour and snow loads of up to 25 pounds per square foot.
  • They are more versatile than traditional structures and portable, so you can transport or relocate fabric buildings from one site to another.

Extreme weather can be a major concern, especially when it’s unexpected. High winds, heavy rain, and flying debris can pose a serious risk to safety and a structure’s stability. If you construct a temporary installation in a region prone to high winds or sudden weather changes, fabric buildings offer a better solution. These offer essential protection for people and equipment on your job site.


What Are the Important Key Factors in Selecting the Proper Structure?


You’ll need to consider several factors when deciding which type of fabric structure to install. Measuring the space and determining how much space you’ll want to cover is essential.

While pole tents are available in standard or fixed sizes, they allow for minimal customization and small adjustments as needed. On the other hand, fabric structures are engineered to fit more securely with greater customization options. Engineered fabric structures can be sized to fit a unique surface or land.

When working with ground or space that includes fixed structures, poles, beams, or other items, a customized fabric structure can accommodate these changes with careful planning. You can install an air-supported structure to provide greater support or consider various foundation options and materials to create a robust, resistant structure.


Keep the End Result in Mind


When you think about the features each fabric structure offers, focus on the end result and how the temporary tent or structure will provide greater value to your project. It’s also a good idea to consider how the addition of semi-permanent fabric structures and tents may impact ongoing work on the site and the amount of maintenance and set-up required.

When you lease or rent an engineered fabric structure, you can access professional support, installation, and disassembly. You’ll benefit from full service set up, clean up, and removal once the project or event is complete. Engineered fabric structures are easy to install and can be ready within a day or two to meet the needs of your business.


Final Thoughts


Many excellent fabric structure sizes and designs support conventional building construction or new, innovative projects. When you discuss your semi-permanent and fabric structure needs with our experts at Sunbelt Rentals, you’ll have access to the ideal solution for industrial, commercial, or residential use.

We have all the tools, professional services, and materials you’ll need to construct a customized fabric structure that provides your project or event's storage, work, or entertainment functions.

Contact our knowledgeable team at Sunbelt Rentals to find suitable architectural fabrics, frameworks, accessories, and our impressive line of new products for all your business and construction needs.