Engineering of Fabric Structures

fabric structure with rolling coversUnlike similar shelters designed for short-term applications, Big Top’s fabric structures are engineered for lasting performance. In fact, they are trusted by companies in many different industries, including oil and gas, mining and mineral, aviation, waste management, and more, that need a long-term shelter for their operations. Let’s take a closer look at the engineering that goes into a Big Top fabric structure.

Industrial-Grade Steel Frame

Though our buildings are considered temporary, they can last for several decades with very little maintenance required. That’s because they’re supported by an industrial-grade, galvanized steel frame that is rust-resistant and will stand strong season after season, year after year.

High-Performance Fabric

The high-quality fabric used in the cover of our structures is also designed for long-term performance and is rip resistant and NFPA701 flame retardant. Additionally, the fabric cover is energy efficient because it:

Reflects UV Radiation

The fabric cover is formulated to repel 99.95% of harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation, delivering a UPF rating of 2,000 and a conventional rating of 50 plus. This outstanding thermal performance keeps everyone within the shelter safe and comfortable. It will naturally maintain a pleasant interior temperature that is, on average, 15 degrees cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than the temperature outside. This means you won’t have to burn energy costs on artificial climate control.

Allows Sunlight to Flood the Interior

The fabric cover is translucent and allows natural light to fully illuminate the interior without aid from electric lighting. The energy savings from not having to run artificial lighting and climate control can quickly add up, helping pay for your investment over time.

Weather Resistance

As durable as our fabric structures are, we can make them even stronger by engineering them to meet building codes for heavy wind and snow loads. We can also include lightning protection in the design, which will allow you to use your temporary shelter as a muster station where your employees can safely gather during a storm.

Versatile Installations

At Big Top, we engineer our fabric structures for easy deployment—they can be erected at a rate of 2,500 square feet per day, and they do not require a concrete pad as a foundation. In fact, our shelters can be anchored to nearly anything, including asphalt and dirt, making them a viable option for both on-site and field operations. For your convenience, Big Top offers turnkey installation services.


The structure of our fabric buildings is so strong that the entire shelter can be lifted and moved with a crane while remaining intact. Disassembly and redeployment at a different location is also possible should your base of operations relocate.

Engineered for Your Needs

At Big Top, we don’t sell cookie-cutter fabric structures. Rather, we custom design each one to meet the individual needs of our customers. Your temporary building can range in size from 20 feet to 174 feet wide and nearly any length. And we can outfit your shelter with high-quality accessories, such as HVACs, flooring, doors, internal partitions, and more.

For more information about how our fabric structures are engineered for lasting performance, contact the experts at Big Top today.

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