Big Topics-News & Insights

“We have nearly $5 million worth of equipment and use Big Top to cover everything. It’s worked out very well for us so we can crush rock year-round now which we couldn’t do before.”

Terry White- Owner & President, B.E.T.-ER Mix Inc., Hudson, FL


Weather and Concrete Don’t Mix

Dry material is a critical component of concrete recycling and production. On the coast of Florida especially during the rainy season this can be a challenging endeavor without cover. Yet, installing permanent steel structures would require a lengthy permitting process and can’t be moved as business fluctuates and needs change. With a clever self-installation of 11 Big Top structures on top of their own concrete block at a fraction of the cost of traditional structures, B.E.T.-ER Mix concrete addressed this head on and now cover both their expensive equipment and valuable material.

Big Top Structures – Solid As a Rock

Now in their 14th year at their Hudson, Florida location they can crush rock and produce material in the worst of weather year-round, a feat not possible before. Large loaders and dump trucks are able to move in and out of the massive clear span structures morning and night, rain or shine. As business needs change throughout the year they are able to move the structures around their maintaining production efficiency.

Humidity Challenges the Recycling Process

With rows of biosolid waste covering acres and acres of paved land, open air composting, a common process, is a bit more challenging in the rainy summer months of southwest Florida. The aerobic process halts when the material gets wet thus causing an unforeseen delay. Synagro needed a solution for their Charlotte County Bio-Recycling Center.

Big Top Solution Works for Synagro

Synagro’s Charlotte County Bio-Recycling Center solution was to cover the process with two massive 162’ x 280’ Big Top structures towering at 64’ tall. Now the rows of compost can be turned five times a day and reach the required 131 degree temperature to turn the material into a sellable all-purpose Class AA composting product within a short 15 days. The solid waste typically mixed with wood waste and now diverted from the landfill and 100% recyclable. This all-weather solution allows Charlotte County to cost effectively produce 100,000 cubic yards of compost regardless of the season.

U.S. Border Patrol Faces Ever-increasing Challenges

Stretching more than 2,000 miles from California to Texas, the border between the US and Mexico is plagued with scorching sun and extreme heat. Border control historically has focused on preventing illegal immigrants and drugs from crossing into the US. With the rise of the cartels, gun and money trafficking out of the US is now a problem. Establishing new outbound checkpoints in the open under the blistering sun and within sight of prying eyes on the other side of the border was not an option.

Big Top at the Border

The US Border Patrol needed a flexible solution to cover and protect their inspectors at 17 different checkpoints along the border each with very unique and specific dimensions. They turned to Big Top. At locations such as San Ysidro, the busiest land port of entry in the world, the work was on active highways and logistically challenging. Installations were completed at night and mostly in remote locations. In a coordinated effort with Border Patrol, Big Top was able to complete all 17 structures within a year and half and now cover the outbound checkpoints keeping the officers out of the sun and the inspections out of sight.

Direct Sunlight Heats Up Aircraft and Damages Equipment

Decades ago AV-8B Harriers dotted the flight line at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. In the blazing hot Arizona sun window canopy temperatures reached a staggering 198°F and pilots entering the aircraft would be greeted by seat temperatures at a startling (or butt frying) 168°F. For both pilot safety and performance it was clear that the aircraft needed to be covered. And this is where the Big Top relationship with the US military began.

The Big Top Flight Line

Now, under Big Top fabric structures window canopies are 125°F and the seats are a manageable 98°F. The program was such a success the story spread. Big Top structures can now be found covering aircraft at China Lake NB, Edwards AFB, Moody AFB and Eglin AFB, to name a few. And, as a nod to their confidence in the structures the USAF chose Big Top to cover the 33rd Fighter Squadron’s elite F-35’s adding a full year to their paint cycle.

Major Construction GC Sets-up in the Andes

In the remote high elevations of the Andes Mountains in Peru, a leading Construction GC needed areas for warehouse storage, fabrication out of the elements, locations to conduct routine preventative and corrective maintenance, and safe comfortable dining and office settings. [Read more…]

Searing Heat and Heavy Rains

Constantly battling high heat and heavy rains in the Lagos region of Nigeria, Sonergy needed a solution in which they could concurrently fabricate two sections of an offshore oil platform. For previous projects during the six-month rainy season their employees would constantly have to stop work and cover sections of a project and repeat the sand blasting and paint process. Their steel shot and steel grit needed to stay dry but was stored outside in bags that were often found torn. This was a frustrating, expensive and inefficient process.

Big Top Provides Protection in an Unforgiving Climate

Now two 90’ x 80’ Big Top structures towering at 45’ tall with large access end panels allow Sonergy to fabricate the massive platform sections and easily roll them out when complete. The sections are out of the rain and dry while workers are out of the sun and cooler. The Big Top structures can withstand the steel abrasive media and contain it. Efficiency is up and Company X can now produce platform sections at an unprecedented rate.

West High School Gym was Destroyed

In 2013, an explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility in West, Texas. At least fifteen people were lost, more than 160 were injured, and more than 150 buildings were damaged or destroyed. One of the casualties of the explosion was the gymnasium at West High School. FEMA and the West Independent District School Board employed Huckabee Architects on August 8, 2013 to find a way to have a new gymnasium functional before the start of the school year on August 27, 2013.

Big Top Responds Quickly

Thankfully, Huckabee found Big Top. Ramping up production, Big Top built an 80’ x 100’ fully insulated and lit structure that was 36’ tall in just 2 weeks. The project was finalized 3 days prior to its due date and West High school had an operational gym ready for the school year.

FedExField Is All About The Fans

FedExField, home to the Washington Redskins traditionally used A-frame lightweight structures for their extensive exterior hospitality services. After only a few years of wear it became readily apparent that the structures were not durable enough to withstand either the wind or snow loads during the winter months in Maryland. The VIP areas needed cover suited to their patrons.

Big Top Plays Ball

They contacted Big Top and started with two custom colored structures – one stretching 120’ and the other 180’. They now have a total of nine VIP structures dotting the exterior landscape of FedExField. The Big Top fabric structures are kept up year-round and have exceeded expectations. Their VIP’s dine and socialize in the befitting covered indoor/outdoor areas.


“As we add Big Top structures we continue to save labor hours on every project, Of course that means our bottom line improves, profits go up and that makes everybody happy.”

Matt Nichols, CEO, Nichols Bros. Boat Builders, WA


Building Boats in the Pacific Northwest

Nichols Bros. Boat Builders in Freeland, Washington just north of Seattle builds and refurbishes ships and barges for companies around the world. They refit, sandblast and paint vessels hundreds of feet long. In an open-air environment this work is laborious and nearly impossible to contain. Traditionally shipbuilders have used run of the mill tarps on a large scale to cover vessels throughout the process. It is time consuming to tie and re-tie the tarps as work progresses down the vessel. The space is tight and it’s tough to move around with welding torches and sandblasting equipment. Historically, it’s been a challenging work environment.

Big Top Helps Nichols Improve the Bottom Line

Both accommodating in width and height, eleven Big Top structures now cover their yard providing shelter for their ongoing projects. They easily move the structures from one job to the next or down the length of their larger vessels as they complete work section by section. Sandblasting and overspray are contained and they can work through the harsh wet and windy winter months of the Pacific Northwest, a feat nearly impossible before.

“After Hurricane Charlie destroyed our traditional hangars in 2004, we needed new structures that performed but at a price point that our customers could afford. And that was Big Top.”

Kim Showalter, President, Showalter Flying Service, FLA


Hurricane Destroys Showalter’s Client Hangers

Showalter Aviation at Orlando Executive Airport is Florida’s oldest and largest family-owned FBO with a reputation for outstanding service and quality. Showalter has supported both travellers and residents of central Florida for nearly 70 years and relationships are very important to them. A decade ago Hurricane Charlie struck demolishing $2 million worth of their hangars. The structures had been long since paid for and thus Showalter was able to lease them to their customers at a rate that was incredibly affordable for Florida, yet remained as a solid revenue center for the FBO. Replacing the hangars as fixed, conventional structures would be an expensive proposition resulting in a rate increase that would be nearly threefold to their existing customers.

Big Top Helps Showalter Save a Profit Center

They turned to Big Top and for a fraction of the cost were able to quickly install 17 new structures that can accommodate 35 aircraft and continue to serve a particular segment of their customer base. Ten years later the structures are still keeping airframes out of the rain, hail and especially sun minimizing internal cabin heat thus protecting costly avionics at a monthly rate that keeps their owners and Showalter quite happy.

WHEN IT CAME TO VEHICLE MAINTENANCE, O-TEX NEEDED COVERAGE

O-Tex Pumping is an aggressive service company that provides unrivaled primary and secondary cementing and specialty pumping services throughout most major shales. O-Tex quickly became the largest independent cementing service company in the lower 48 by investing heavily in advanced technologies, dual-fuel fleets and customized cement programs for primary and secondary applications. But with all that success came a problem: they were losing a great deal of time and money traveling back and forth from jobsite to office, performing maintenance on their vehicles. They needed a solution to make their operation more efficient and cost-effective.

A BIG TOP STRUCTURE IS THE RIGHT CALL

O-Tex enlisted the help of Big Top, and soon they had a strong, durable, all-weather fabric structure in the field to serve as a facility for vehicle maintenance. No longer did they have to travel back and forth repeatedly between headquarters and job site. In addition, Big Top’s custom heating systems kept the interior of the fabric structure warm, making for happy employees when working in colder climates. Yet another advantage was the durable PVC fabric that is translucent enough to allow light flow to enter the fabric structure, eliminating the need for costly additional lighting during daytime hours.

O-Tex solved their problem quickly and easily with the help of Big Top, and now they can get back to growing their business while keeping their employees and customers satisfied.

THE JETHAWKS NEEDED AN ADDITION TO THEIR HOME

The Lancaster Jethawks are the Class A minor league affiliate for Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros. Part of the excitement of attending a Jethawks game is the wide array of events that take place in and around the stadium. Festivals, parties and other activities are regular occurrences. However, without a suitable venue that would hold up in adverse weather conditions, future events and festivities were in serious jeopardy. The Jethawks needed an industrial strength structure that was also aesthetically pleasing. With the new season rapidly approaching, it was a race against the clock.

BIG TOP COMES THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH

The Jethawks made the right call by investing in a Big Top fabric structure. It was erected in plenty of time for the season opener, and exceeded all of their needs and expectations. They no longer had to worry about adverse weather conditions affecting events, and with so many custom lighting as well as heating and cooling options, they were prepared for any sort of event, any time of year.
Now the Jethawks are back to not only winning baseball games, but entertaining thousands of people each year in the safety and security of a great-looking Big Top fabric structure.

YOU COULD SAY SAC HAD TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

Business was booming for SAC, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of “Portland Cement”, a cement that not only hardens by reacting with water, but also forms a water-resistant product. They were exceeding sales goals and gaining customers each year, setting the standard for quality, safety, health and environmental compliance. But all that growth created a bit of a problem: where to put all the raw materials needed to make cement for their growing stable of customers. SAC needed a way to keep the materials dry, and they needed it in a hurry.

BIG TOP HAS THEM COVERED

SAC approached Big Top about to come up with a solution for this dilemma. A durable, weather-resistant fabric structure was the perfect way to keep sensitive materials dry and environmentally controlled. Big Top Fabric Structures offer wide-open spaces due to their proprietary design, and space is just what SAC desperately needed.

With custom HVAC options as well as several electrical system choices including solar power, Big Top Fabric Structures provide a comfortable, climate-controlled environment for any storage needs. The result is a fabric structure that is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

And SAC didn’t have to worry about the weather anymore – their custom-built fabric structure was made to withstand the most extreme conditions, from rain to snow to wind. SAC now enjoys more profit, less downtime, and a better bottom line, all with the help of Big Top.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: Big Top Fabric Structures are designed to protect large stores of sensitive materials and resources from unfavorable environments, eliminating expensive resource inventory depletion and spoilage costs.


A Resource Management Giant Protects Their Own Resources

This major global corporation has changed the standard by which all wood grinder performance and support is now measured. The company has designed and installed hundreds of purpose-built stationary machines and systems for customers all over the world. From outdoor plants for mulch and fuel production, to entire processing systems turning C&D and MSW into recyclables and RDF, they are positioned as an industry leader and are poised to revolutionize the way we use our global resources.

Due to the rise in the cost of heating fuel, the popularity of wood pellet fuel is growing at a rapid pace. Traditionally, pellets were produced from sawdust. But with the rapid-growing pellet market and a declining sawmill industry, producers have turned to using logs. They chip, grind, dry, pelletize and bag wood pellets – delivering a neat and easy-to-handle fuel for boilers and pellet stoves. The company needed a structure to cover the wood pellets and chips, and to keep rain and outside elements off.

They Called On Big Top To Take The Heat Off

Company leaders realized that Big Top offered the perfect solution. Soon they had a large, durable, weather-resistant fabric structure that was completely mobile and perfect for keeping their materials dry and environmentally controlled. With custom HVAC options as well as several electrical system choices including solar power, our buildings provide a comfortable, climate-controlled environment for all storage needs. The result is a fabric structure that is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
And they didn’t have to worry about the weather anymore – their custom-built Big Top fabric structure was made to withstand the most extreme conditions, from rain to snow to wind. Now the company can continue to revolutionize the industry without worrying about protecting the valuable materials that help make them who they are.

Competitive Advantage: Big Top Fabric Structures protect valuable and sensitive equipment from harsh weather – avoiding hefty replacement costs work stoppages.


BIG TOP HELPS A MAJOR ENERGY PROVIDER STAY WARM ALL WINTER

The energy company is one of the nation’s largest combination utilities, providing electric and natural gas service to nearly 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents. To comply with new federal emission standards, one of their electrical generating complexes was scheduled to go through an upgrade to bring the plant into compliance. It was a big job, and environmentally sensitive equipment was being brought in that needed to be covered and protected in a controlled environment.

BIG TOP – 1, MOTHER NATURE – 0

The energy giant called on Big Top to custom design a fabric structure large enough to contain their sensitive equipment, and strong enough to withstand the harsh Michigan winters. In a short period of time, they had a spacious, eco-friendly structure designed just for their needs. With a wide range of custom heating, cooling and ventilation systems to keep the interior of the fabric shelter optimally controlled, their equipment could be protected and operate with maximum efficiency.
And those snowy Michigan winters? Not a problem. Big Top fabric structures have been tested and proven successful at withstanding even the harshest weather conditions. Wind gusts exceeding 100 miles per hour, heavy rains, as well as dense snow are not a problem. The energy company could rest easy knowing their sensitive items were stored in a safe, protective setting that could withstand anything the outside environment could throw at them.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: When time is of the essence, Big Top Structures quickly provide safe, comfortable environments to shelter valuable equipment, vital production processes and personnel.


BIG TOP HELPS GLOBAL DESIGN FIRM PROTECT MAJOR WATER TREATMENT OPERATION

An ENR Top 500 Design Firm, our client is the leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm providing design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services to their clients. The firm was selected to design and build a major water processing facility for biological nutrient removal, filtration, UV disinfection and bio-solids treatment to ensure the required effluent quality is maintained for an area with a substantial population. They needed a dependable, long-term solution to protect their client’s valuable equipment and water reclamation and purification processes from the elements, and they needed it quickly.

A PURELY BRILLIANT SOLUTION FROM BIG TOP

The firm made the right move by turning to Big Top. Big Top is accustomed to working with aggressive deadlines. We designed our custom manufacturing process to provide the highest quality structures to meet virtually any deadline. We were able to custom design a spacious, eco-friendly fabric structure that would cater to their specific necessities. It was large enough to contain their equipment, and strong enough to withstand the bitter cold and snow of winters in the Northeast. And if their needs change, the structure can be dismantled and put into storage, or can be relocated as a whole unit via a wheeled suspension system or crane.

With a wide range of custom heating, cooling and ventilation systems to keep the interior of the fabric shelter optimally controlled, their equipment could be protected and operate with maximum efficiency, and personnel now had a comfortable, spacious clear span working environment.

Big Top fabric structures have been tested and proven successful at withstanding even the harshest weather conditions. Wind gusts exceeding 100 miles per hour, heavy rains, as well as dense snow are not a problem.

Even with an aggressive time frame, Big Top enabled the firm to provide their client with an ideal environment for their biological nutrient removal, UV disinfection and bio-solids treatment; ensuring that the high level of quality is maintained at all times.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: Big Top Fabric Structures provide for safe, comfortable shelter for a large workforce in a remote location – boosting team morale and maximizing efficiency.


ENR TOP 100 CONTRACTOR HELPS AN ENERGY COMPANY GROW

When this leading construction GC does something, they do it big. They are the largest construction and engineering company in the United States, and the 4th-largest privately owned company in the country. So needless to say, they have a large number of employees doing some very big jobs. They were selected for a five-year project to build and expand one of the world’s largest facilities for receiving and re-gasifying liquefied natural gas. The one thing they didn’t have was a structure big enough to not only conduct safety meetings, but to provide lunch and break time for their large number of employees, since their location was in a remote area. The jobsite lay in the Deep South, near the Gulf of Mexico, where the weather can be brutally hot and humid.

BIG TOP GIVES THE CONSTRUCTION TEAM A BREAK

The construction firm called on Big Top to help them solve this oversized challenge. In a very short period of time, they had a fabric structure large enough to conduct meetings, training, and provide lunch for their entire crew – hundreds of workers. The oversized structure was completely weatherproof, creating an oasis from the hot sun in a cool, climate controlled environment. And the translucent fabric allowed enough natural light in during the day to prepare food and eat, eliminating the need for costly additional lighting during daytime hours.

Thanks to Big Top’s affordable yet durable solution, the company was able to ensure the maximum efficiency and safety of their large onsite workforce.

Big Top Fabric Structures Helps Marine Businesses Stay Functional: Container Storage

Fabric StructuresBig Top Fabric Structures is proud to custom-manufacture fabric buildings for a variety of different applications. Let’s dive in and take a look at how one of our buildings was the perfect solution for one business’s specific need:

When it comes to transporting goods, there are many moving pieces, including storage in between modes of transport. One of our clients provides this type of interim storage for marine salt dredgers, and so they needed a structure that could not only protect the imported salt from the outside elements, but also the expensive equipment that they use to separate varying forms of salt crystals. This was a custom application, so they contacted the right place – Big Top Fabric Structures.

Big Top was able to work with this particular company closely to build the perfect salt-storing structure. It is completely enclosed and provides superior protection for the company’s weather-sensitive goods and equipment. It was designed with separate bays that allow for the separation and sorting of different grades of salt. Plus, this structure is complete with a covered loading bay so the salt can be moved to another mode of transport without being exposed to the elements, which helps this business stay busy.

Another great feature of our fabric structures is that they don’t require a permanent concrete foundation, and they can be constructed relatively easily, so they are often more affordable than traditional metal buildings.

For more information about the fabric structures that we custom-manufacture for businesses and organizations across the globe, contact Big Top today. We will be happy to help you build a structure that meets your needs.

Big Top’s Fabric Buildings Help Logistic Coordinators Sterilize Shipments: A Study in U.S. Exports

Fabric BuildingsThe fabric buildings made here at Big Top are incredibly versatile structures that can be customized for endless applications. Let’s take a look at how one of our fabric buildings helped a logistics company deal with a particularly smellysituation:

The brown marmorated stink bug is an insect that is native to China, Japan, and Taiwan. In or around September of 1998, this species was accidentally introduced into the United States and has since become a season-long pest, causing significant damage to a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other types of host plants. This isn’t the first time a stowaway species was introduced to a new continent and certainly won’t be the last; but many countries try to take precautions on incoming shipments to prevent a devastating contamination.

These precautions often involve imposing regulations on imported cargo, making it the responsibility of the exporter to ensure that their shipment is sterile. One such regulation was imposed by Australia on shipments leaving the U.S. East Coast, due to – go figure – an abundance of brown marmorated stink bugs on previous U.S. exports. Here is where Big Top’s fabric buildings come in handy.

One of our clients on the beautiful coast of Maryland found themselves in need of a building that could handle fumigations and flash heating in large scale for the sterilization of bulk exports. We custom-designed their structure – just as we do with all of the fabric buildings that we make – with the proper ventilation to get the job done. Added benefits are that our buildings can be installed quickly, they are more affordable than many alternatives, and they are transportable both as whole units and in pieces.

For more information about the fabric buildings that we manufacture, contact Big Top today. We will be happy to make you a structure that meets your needs.

Equipment Storage Building | A Case Study in Oil & Gas

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Keep Your Bottom Line Heathy With an Equipment Storage Building From Big Top Fabric Structures: A Case Study in Oil & Gas

Equipment Storage BuildingThanks to recent technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the oil and gas industry has been able to tap into energy resources that were previously unavailable. For companies trying to capitalize on this growth, vacant land is a necessity – and so is the need for infrastructure for drilling to take place. We’ll take a look at how a Big Top equipment storage building helped one such company maintain its bottom line.

Our story takes place out in the open plains of Texas, where our client had land to drill but no infrastructure. They couldn’t exactly leave thousands of dollars of equipment and materials out in the open to rust and be damaged by the outside elements. This posed a problem because the construction of a conventional metal warehouse would have been time-consuming and expensive, and it would have delayed the project and significantly impacted capital.

The company made the right choice by contacting Big Top. We planned out an equipment storage building that was 65’ wide by 140’ long by 32’ tall, which was enough room to store all the company’s weather-sensitive assets. It was complete with two 14’ by 14’ metal doors, so equipment could easily enter and exit the structure. Plus, this warehouse building was installed much faster than a metal building would have been, so our client was up and running faster.

If you are interested in purchasing an equipment storage building for your business, contact the experts at Big Top today. Another great feature that our buildings have to offer is that they are portable – they can be disassembled for relocation and, with the addition of a crane-lifting package or another type of mobility kit, they can be moved as whole units.

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