Big Topics-News & Insights

What Is a Translucent Roof & What Benefits Does it Provide for Our Temporary Buildings?

What Is a Translucent Roof?The hallmark feature of a Big Top structure is the roof, which is translucent, meaning it allows natural sunlight to flow through. This provides the excellent benefit of the interior of the building being illuminated naturally, supplying ample light for your production, warehousing, and other operational needs. In fact, our translucent roof provides enough light on its own that you won’t need to use an artificial lighting source, saving you the cost of having such a system installed and the energy costs of running it.

While this is certainly one of the key benefits that makes Big Top’s fabric structures so popular across myriad industries, it is only the beginning of what our roof can do. Our fabric roofs are also:

Heat-Reflective

Big Top’s fabric roofs repel up to 99.95 percent of harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation, which goes a long way toward protecting your environmentally sensitive materials, the electronics of your equipment, and the paint jobs of your vehicles. Additionally, your staff will be protected from sun exposure and feel much more comfortable than if they were working outside. That’s because the thermal-reflective technology of our roofs helps to naturally keep the interior of the structure at a pleasant temperature that is 15 degrees cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, on average, than the outside temperature. For this reason, many of our customers have been able to improve production by moving their staff out from the elements and under the protective roof of a Big Top fabric shelter.

Made to Stand the Test of Time

Big Top’s translucent roofs are rip resistant and secured to an industrial-grade steel frame. With proper upkeep, your fabric structure will remain functional year after year while holding strong against the elements. And, the roof is NFPA701 flame retardant for peace of mind.

Other Benefits That Our Fabric Shelters Provide

The fabric roof of our shelters is the hallmark feature, but the structure as a whole can provide a wealth of benefits for your operations, no matter which industry you serve. For instance, a Big Top fabric structure can be:

  • Anchored to nearly any foundation, including asphalt, shipping containers, and ecology blocks, making them a versatile choice for operations in the field
  • Engineered to meet local building codes, such as for heavy snow and wind loads
  • Outfitted with any number of accessories, including HVAC systems, durable flooring, bay doors, lightning protection, and more
  • Designed to operate telescopically for crane access with an automated rail system

Additionally, a fabric shelter from Big Top can be moved around your property with a crane, and it can be disassembled and shipped to another location should your operations relocate. With this level of versatility, not to mention the cost savings, it’s easy to see why businesses across myriad industries prefer our shelters over traditional, permanent buildings.

To speak more in depth about the benefits that one of our fabric buildings can provide for your company, contact Big Top today. When you do, we’ll be happy to design the perfect solution for your operational needs.

Modern ShipbuildingWhen Huntington-Ingalls Industries, the No.1 name in military shipbuilding in the country, took over the historic Avondale shipyard from a rival company, it acquired structures from Big Top that had been used at the previous facility and recognized the many benefits that the covers provided. To further their goal of becoming one of the most modern shipbuilding companies in the industry, HII approached Big Top to see if it was possible to create rolling covers on a much larger scale for their operations in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

A Collaborative Approach

A Collaborative ApproachAt Big Top, we are more than just a manufacturer – we are a vital resource for shelter solutions across nearly every industry. For this project, our design, engineering, and production teams all came together to work closely with the shipyard’s engineering department, state representatives, and architectural firms to find the perfect solution for HII’s production.

A Telescopic Design for Modern Shipbuilding

Telescopic DesignBig Top was able to help HII realize its goal of being the shipbuilder of the future by engineering large-scale rolling covers with telescopic maneuverability. We installed an automated railing system that allows segments of the structure to slide under one another, providing access for a crane and streamlining the modular nature of the shipbuilding process. Now, prefabricated sections can be built under the shelter, then lifted out by crane and welded to the ship. By installing these custom, automated rolling covers, we were able to help HII construct ships on a larger and faster scale, improve its chances of getting more business in the future, and lead the industry in shipbuilding design.

Better Working Conditions for Shipbuilders

Military ShipbuildingAn added benefit that HII’s rolling covers provided is the improved working conditions for its staff. Working under the hot southern sun and in the notorious Mississippi humidity before the covers were installed was a grueling effort for laborers, who often had to take breaks to avoid heat-related illnesses caused by prolonged exposure to the elements. Dianna Grenton, Manager of Manufacturing and Engineering, notes that the human factor element was considered when choosing Big Top because her staff needed to perform their duties safely sheltered from the heat and rain.

Shipyard of the FutureIndeed, Big Top’s shelters are designed for just such a situation. The fabric roof of the rolling covers is heat reflective and repels up to 99.95 percent of harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation. Thanks to this unique feature, the interiors of HII’s shelters naturally stay at a comfortable temperature that is, on average, 15 degrees cooler than the hot Mississippi climate, without help from an HVAC system. HII’s employees now work comfortably under the fabric roof, requiring far fewer breaks and therefore increasing production. By providing “a mechanism for them to get out of the heat and out of the rain,” Dianna Grenton continues, “it’s really going to transform the way we do business.”

Modern ShipyardConsidering the savings that HII enjoyed after eliminating the costs associated with employees getting sick due to heat exposure, the shelters essentially paid for themselves. Additionally, now that HII’s staff can continue to work even during inclement weather, production downtime is reduced, allowing it to stay on budget and complete projects ahead of time.

Big Top is proud to have served the marine and military industries since our founding in 1979. The versatility and myriad benefits that our fabric structures provide have helped countless companies improve their operations. If you’d like to learn more about our shelter systems and how we can custom build one to meet the needs of your business, contact Big Top today.

NBA Academy Africa - Big Top Fabric StructuresWhen NBA Academy Africa, in partnership with the SEED Project, needed a sports facility to train young players and find the next professional basketball superstar, they knew to turn to Big Top Fabric Structures. We designed and built a first-class sports facility – the first of its kind in Africa – where young athletes receive high-quality education and NBA-level training to become the next generation of leaders.

The SEED Project – Developing Young African Leaders Through Sports & Education

The SEED Project (Sports for Education and Economic Development) is a non-profit organization based in Senegal that uses basketball as a way to teach young Africans valuable life and vocational skills to prepare for a successful future, and the results have been stunning – 92 percent of SEED students secure a job or matriculate to university upon graduating from the program. Perhaps its most well-known success story is that of Gorgui Dieng, a Senegalese athlete who went on to secure a multi-million dollar contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

How We Custom-Designed a State-of-the-Art Sports Facility

When Big Top was first approached about this project, we were beyond excited to step up to the challenge of designing not just an enclosed basketball court, but an entire training facility. The versatile nature of our fabric structures allowed us to meet this challenge. For instance, we included the following in the design:

  • Repurposed shipping containers – By anchoring the building to shipping containers, we were able to provide an economical alternative to pouring a concrete foundation. The shipping containers were then repurposed into locker rooms, bathrooms, a weight room, educational centers, conference rooms, and dormitories, saving on costs that would have been needed to build out each of these rooms separately.
  • Ventilation package – Thanks to the thermal-reflective nature of our buildings, the interior of the facility maintains a comfortable temperature that is on average 15 degrees cooler than the hot Senegalese climate outside. For added climate control, we included exhaust fans and motorized louvre vents in the design, ensuring a cool training environment free of expensive HVAC systems.
  • Translucent roof – The fabric roof of NBA Academy Africa’s training facility floods the interior with natural light, eliminating the need for artificial lighting and the energy expenses that come with it.

A Bright Future for Africa’s Youth

SEED Project - Big Top Fabric StructuresAt Big Top, we couldn’t be more proud of our involvement with this project. The state-of-the-art sports training and educational facility that we designed and built for NBA Academy Africa and the SEED Project will be a haven for Africa’s youths for years to come, providing a place for students to further their education, athleticism, and life skills to better their future. As Amadou Gallo Fall, vice president of NBA Africa, said, “This facility will provide aspiring players from across the continent with state-of-the-art courts and training equipment, under the tutelage of our NBA coaches and our world-class academic staff.”

If you’d like to learn more about our custom fabric structures, contact Big Top today. We have had numerous success stories just like this since our founding in 1979.

Fabric Shelter Golf CourseSometimes when new golf courses are built, the clubhouse is the last piece of infrastructure to be constructed. This was the case for a golf management company in South Florida that needed a shelter to protect their equipment. When left out in the elements for long periods of time, the rubber, plastics, and electronics of golf carts can deteriorate under the hot sun. As a solution, this golf company made the right choice by turning to Big Top.

Our consultants visited the site of the new golf course and met with executives to precisely measure the area where they needed a shelter to house their golf carts. From there, we were able to customize a fabric structure to meet their needs. The final shelter measured 40’ x 80’, with a height of 16’. We included a 14’ x 14’ access door for easy entry and exit of golf carts, and a personnel door on each end panel for staff members.

Not only is their new tension structure large enough to accommodate their entire fleet of golf carts, but it also provides ample protection from the sun thanks to the fabric roof, which blocks 99.95 percent of harmful UV-A and UV-V radiation, prolonging the lifespan of the golf carts and minimizing any necessary maintenance.

When this South Florida golf course needed a shelter solution, Big Top stepped up. We’re confident that we can do the same for you. If you need a protective fabric structure, contact us today and we’ll be glad to discuss how we can build one to meet your needs.

“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.

Big Top Protects a Construction Company from the Sun

Fabric Building

Big Top’s Buildings Keep Employees, Materials & Equipment Safe from the Elements

Construction is a field of work that requires labor and equipment that can be weather sensitive. When rain, sleet, snow, or hail hits, sometimes it can postpone priority tasks or damage valuable equipment. Even when the weather
is nice, construction businesses must be conscious of heat, humidity, and the UV index, as these are all factors that can not only effect the lifecycle of equipment but also the productivity – and health – of those who work outside.

Fabric BuildingThe ideal solution is to have a structure that can protect valuable assets and employees from the elements. In many cases, the need for this type of structure is specific to any given business, which means that the building needs to be adaptable so it can meet a specific set of requirements. At Big Top Fabric Structures, this is our specialty; as a custom manufacturer, we make buildings that are designed to accommodate many different specific needs. Our fabric buildings have been used for a variety of applications by businesses within the construction industry and beyond.

We can look at an example that highlights the usefulness and custom nature of our buildings. A company with a 50 million dollar bulk material handling project based in Portland, Oregon, found itself in need of a structure to provide protection from the elements. After partnering with Big Top, their construction team now has a covered fabrication yard that is immediately adjacent to structural and mechanical work fronts. This not only protects the construction team and its equipment from the elements, but also speeds up the team’s workflow because of their proximity to the work area. Additionally, the shelter serves as a staging ground for the early procurement of material and equipment, which helps to mitigate cost escalation.

Big Top is a custom manufacturer committed to making fabric buildings that improve the bottom lines of our customers. For more information about our products, contact us today.

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ECUA Interim Material Recycling Facility

ECUA Recycling Facility

 

Big Top Helps the ECUA & Escambia & Santa Rosa Counties Progress Toward a Greener Future

ECUA Recycling FacilityBig Top is committed to helping businesses maintain a healthy bottom line. We do so by providing cost-effective buildings that are customized to the needs of our customers. In one case, the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) found itself in need of a new facility so that it could continue its recycling program.

The ECUA called on Big Top to make its new facility. We made a 53,460-square-foot building that accommodates the complex floor plan required by the recycling equipment. Big Top manufactured and shipped the structure within three weeks and had it installed in less than 60 days. We also used translucent fabric to cover the building, so it does not rely on electricity and instead stays well-lit with sunlight throughout the day.

Prior to having its own recycling facility, the ECUA relied on third-party, privately owned processing centers to sort recycling. The first center was abruptly closed, which prompted the ECUA to move to a recycling facility in Loxley, Alabama. Soon thereafter, the center in Loxley tacked on a $12.50 per-ton fee, which made the option cost prohibitive. Now that the ECUA has a Big Top fabric structure, it saves $45.06 per ton of material. And, of course, its recycling program is up and running once again.

Since 1979, Big Top has been making fabric structures for organizations in various industrial and commercial sectors. For more information about our fabric buildings, contact us today.

Big Top Delivers Fabric Structures to the Nicols Brothers Boat Builders

Nicols Brothers Fabric Structures

Big Top’s Buildings Bring More Productivity to the Shipyard

Nicols Brothers Fabric StructuresThe National Geographic Quest is a state-of-the-art exhibition ship that is designed to navigate narrow inlets and wildlife-rich passageways that are inaccessible to larger vessels. With spacious viewing decks and exploration tools like a SplashCam and a hydrophone that allow one to see and hear beneath the waves, not to mention kayaks, snorkeling gear, and other equipment, the National Geographic Quest is truly a one-of-a-kind vessel that allows travelers to experience the outdoors like never before.

The National Geographic Quest was made by the Nicols Brothers Boat Builders in the northwestern United States. The company specializes in steel and aluminum vessel construction, repair, and major conversions, and is capable of completing vessel construction from production engineering to turn-key delivery. The company’s full-service departments include: ship fitting, production welding, pipe systems, electrical, joinery, machine, paint and HVAC, operators, and production support.

Shipbuilding is an intricate and complex process. For example, shipbuilders often have to meet deadlines, but because shipbuilding is a process that takes place outdoors, their schedule can be significantly impacted by the weather. There are many tasks that can be pressured by the weather, too, such as painting and sandblasting.

The Nicols Brothers Boat Builders have more than 11 Big Top buildings at their shipyard to protect themselves from Mother Nature, keep production moving forward, and increase their bottom line. Our buildings allow the Nicols Brothers to be more efficient in painting and to sandblast in controlled environments. Our shelters can be lifted and moved by crane, which enables the Nicols Brothers to build in modules.

Contact Big Top today for more information about our fabric structures. As a custom manufacturer, we take pride in our ability to work closely with our customers and build structures that accommodate their specific needs.

With summer comes construction’s longtime nemesis: rain. We recently started working with a company that has taken on the daunting task of building a power plant in a “greenfield” sort of situation – they had no existing structures in which they could store their equipment and materials. As the rain started falling, so did their bottom line. Equipment needed extra maintenance, materials were getting ruined, and there were many delays caused by the weather. They needed a shelter and they needed it fast, so they turned to Big Top. They saw that our structures don’t require a permanent foundation and that they could be manufactured quickly and erected easily. Within just a few weeks, they had a fully functional shelter and moved on to finish building the power plant on time and under budget.

In addition to rain, summer also brings warmer weather. We can all remember at least one time when we felt fatigued by high temperatures, or even completely gave up on being outside because it was just too hot and humid. But the fact of the matter is, heat does much more than just simply make us feel uncomfortable – it adds significant stress to our bodies, so high temperatures are hardly productive environments. Worse, they’re dangerous environments, and can result in heat trauma or even death. Ideally, any work that can be done in the shade should be done in the shade, in order to maximize employee efficiency and prevent time loss. Fortunately, Big Top’s structures not only provide shade, but they can also be easily modified to accommodate high temperatures, helping your employees feel more comfortable and more productive, thereby increasing your bottom line.

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Businesses across the United States are required by law to provide safe working environments, and this includes protection from the heat. Big Top is proud to have gone one step further with our recent acceptance into OSHA SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program). This distinction recognizes our commitment to safety in the workplace, as well as providing our employees with exemplary illness and injury prevention programs. So, if you’d like to create a safe and comfortable environment for your employees, protect your equipment from the damages caused by inclement weather, and increase your bottom line, contact Big Top today. Many businesses don’t realize that our fabric structures can do the job of a permanent structure for a fraction of the cost.

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Come Visit Us at the International Work Boat Show

The Big Top team is in Las Vegas at the International Boat Show. Come visit us at booth 2662, let us demonstrate why Big Top Fabric Structures are considered the best for the boating industry. We’ve served the boating industry for decades and have had the good fortune to help companies like Nichols Bros. Boat Builders protect their workforce and their bottom line with Big Top Fabric Structures.

Are You Ready for Winter?

By Jeff Merschman

Whether you’re ready or not, winter is upon us. Soon the temperatures will be dropping, and the snow will be accumulating. Neither of those is particularly helpful when you have an outdoor job to do. In fact, meteorologists predict an especially bitter-cold, snowy winter this year, so the time is now to plan ahead and prepare.
It’s no secret that the winter months can negatively impact productivity, and create more risk. For workers, the colder weather leaves them susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. With more ice and snow, there’s a heightened chance for injury. Even your equipment and materials hate the snow. Cold weather reduces the lifespan of equipment, takes a toll on components, and renders equipment more difficult to utilize. Uncovered, materials can be buried in snow and ice – in some cases ruined. Working with concrete is very difficult in cold weather. Add in the higher fuel and diesel prices necessary to keep workers warm and heavy equipment running. Winter can be tough on a business.

M3361S-3034All of these challenges illustrate why a sturdy, well-constructed fabric structure is a necessity in the winter months. Our fabric structures can be engineered to withstand impressive wind and snow loads per your requirements – basically anything Mother Nature can throw at you. They provide extremely comfortable working environments – and can be customized with options that include heaters, HVAC, insulation, electrical and lighting. This will keep workers safe and warm and productivity up, even with less hours of daylight.

And your equipment will thank you as well. Keeping expensive machinery out of the ice and snow will keep it running at optimum levels, insuring your productivity doesn’t dip with the temperatures. Big Top Fabric Structures are also easy to install, disassemble and extremely mobile. With mobility choices that include crane lifting packages or wheels and rail, the structures can moved to the current project or job site that need attention.

Winter is a wonderful time of year – except when you have a job to do. But Big Top Fabric Structures can help make those cold, short days extremely productive, and comfortable.

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