Don’t let the word “temporary” fool you—a well-maintained temporary structure can last for years. It’s much more than a flimsy structure. Temporary fabric structures can provide years of service, regardless of model or application, so that you can get the most out of your investment. If you’re looking to capitalize on the benefits of temporary buildings, let’s look at the different types and determine the best one for your application.

Container-Mounted Structures

Container-mounted structures are among the most cost-effective storage solutions. Shipping containers anchor the fabric membrane and add height. You can use the shipping containers for storage, office space, lunch rooms, or all of the above! If you need to store or move your structure, you can disassemble the tent, put it in one of the shipping containers, and move it to your next job site.

Warehouse Tents

When most people think of temporary structures, they think of warehouses. Fabric buildings don’t require pillars for structural stability, which means the interior is entirely free. You can choose from a variety of add-ons and installations to ensure the interior is perfect for whatever you’re storing. For example, you can add insulation, HVAC systems, and heaters if you need a temperature-controlled warehouse.

Hangars and Sunshades

Hangars and sunshades are much cheaper alternatives to expensive airplane hangars—they provide the same durability and protection. The best part is you can disassemble and transport fabric hangars and sunshades to a different location. It’s also much easier to anchor a fabric structure to a foundation, unlike metal hangars. If you need to erect and anchor your structure in a pinch, you can do so on dirt, wood piling, and asphalt.

Medical Tents

Aside from their industrial applications, medical and disaster relief tents are among the most common types of temporary building structures. They’re fast and easy to erect, and you can keep disaster victims safe and comfortable. Volunteers know how important it is to provide victims with comforts, even something as simple as a cool, comfortable, dry room to sleep in. Medical temporary structures are much more than a set of four walls and a roof. Our designs keep people in mind so disaster victims and volunteers don’t suffer in uncomfortable conditions. Instead, they can focus on healing and rebuilding.

At Big Top Manufacturing, we specialize in crafting high-quality, large temporary buildings designed to meet your needs. If these styles don’t meet your needs, we can customize a structure that’s tailored to your requirements.

The fabric structures that we know today are rather modern inventions. There’s a massive amount of mathematics and engineering involved to make them safe and durable. However, many brilliant minds came long before modern fabric structures that gave today’s engineers the foundational knowledge necessary to craft their buildings. Without them, modern architecture simply wouldn’t be where it is today. To celebrate this portion of architectural history, let’s take a look at the history of temporary fabric structures.

Tents vs. Fabric Structures

It’s important to recognize that tents are part of the historical foundation of fabric structures. While they’re not the same thing, fabric structures wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the invention of the tent. However, before we can review their history, we must look at the difference between tents and fabric structures. Generally, tents use hinges to secure the structure, weakening the frame, while fabric structures use tension to support the material. A fabric structure evenly distributes the tension across the fabric membrane, making it stronger and more durable than a traditional tent.

Bedouin Tents

The origins of fabric structures can be traced back to early man during the Ice Age, when shelters consisted of animal skins and sticks. As the inhabitants of the Siberian Steppes were nomads, these shelters were portable, much like modern fabric structures. However, we can attribute the invention of the earliest fabric structure to the nomadic Bedouin tribes throughout the Arabian Peninsula. Bedouin tents served as shelter and shade. They consisted of animal hair tightly stretched over wooden support posts. They were short, but their fabric served as the roof of the structure.

Royal Tents of the 12th Century

Over time, these structures became more and more lavish and used throughout the globe. However, the design varied greatly, as some areas needed more weatherproof structures than others. Still, the designs remained similar. Most of the larger tents at this time had a t-shaped post, with the fabric at the top being taught and the fabric at the bottom being a little looser. The tents remained stable due to the support posts and guy ropes that builders would attach to the ground. Today, we recognize and call this structure a pavilion. However, at this time, these structures were used in nomadic tribes to house soldiers and for royal parties.

Field of the Cloth of Gold

Most notably, tents went from a necessity to an indulgence in Europe during the 1500s. On June 7, 1520, Francois I of France and Henry VIII of England met in Calais to hold a festival that would ease tensions between the two kingdoms. This festival was called the Field of the Cloth of Gold, with music, jousting, and much more entertainment.

Large, extensive, and beautiful tents housed these events and quite literally acted as portable palaces. While many of them, as you may have guessed, were yellowish gold, they also came in vibrant blues, greens, and reds to show off their kingdoms’ wealth. Structurally, they used the same engineering as the smaller pavilions of the 12th century.

The First Circus Tent

Although it wasn’t a circus tent, history recognizes the similar structure and appearance of a tent erected on Westminster Bridge in 1770. It was an incredibly large linen structure that would give rise to circus tents later in the mid-1800s. In 1825, Joshuah Purdy Brown used the first large canvas tent for his circus. Then, Taplin Cooke brought the design to England in 1838. By 1867, circuses were touring by railway across America, often transporting their tents with them.

Seeing the opportunity these conical structures made, Stromeyer and Co. made a business out of setting up these tents. As a result, they became an incredibly popular tent manufacturer, paving the way for future fabric structures.

The Invention of the Standard Field Hospital

Field tents were used for many years and can be traced back to Queen Isabella of Spain in 1484. She sent medical tents to the field with surgeons, physicians, and attendants for free during the siege of Granada. However, an English Army captain named Godfrey Rhodes created the first standardized field hospital tent in 1858. His design was lightweight and easily portable.

The First Tensile Structure

In 1896, the Russian engineer Vladimir Shukhov developed the earliest known steel fabric structure for the Nizhny Novgorod Fair—an industrial conference and exhibition—of that same year. He was the first to figure out the calculations and mathematics involved in creating tensile structures and fabric membranes when he designed eight tensile and thin-shelled structures for the fair. Most incredibly, the building consisted of a hanging steel lattice.

The 1972 Summer Olympics

German engineer and architect Frei Otto constructed a massive pavilion in Montreal. It covered over 8,000 square meters and featured a large steel mesh web of pre-stressed cable. He suspended the webbing over eight steel masts, which brace cables supported. Using this design, he created the roof for the stadium at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. Amazingly, the maximum capacity was 75,000 people, but that didn’t stop crowds from fitting into the stadium at numbers that soared well over 80,000.

Fabric Structures Today

Today, fabric structures are quick and easy to erect at a relatively low cost. Despite their simple design, they’re still incredibly durable, lightweight, and easy to move from one site to another. Much like their predecessors, modern-day fabric structures still find use in the military, as medical tents, and to host large events. Due to the wonders of PVC vinyl, these structures can now be fire retardant and provide comfort with the ability to block UV rays.

Looking back at the history of temporary fabric structures gives us the ability to truly admire and appreciate the intelligence of our ancestors and just how innovative humans are. At Big Top Manufacturing, our industrial fabric structures refine the science used throughout history to create a structure that meets and exceeds expectations. With over 30 years of experience, we’ve seen how far modern science and architecture have come and remain dedicated to providing you with a structure that represents the pinnacle of that science.

The History of Temporary Fabric Structures

Various industries use fabric coverall buildings, and all of these industries require strength and durability in every aspect of the job. Whether military, aerospace, or automotive industries, they need reliable temporary structures that can withstand environmental pressures and structural loads. With our rust-resistant galvanized steel frames and our rip-resistant PVC-vinyl, that’s exactly what Big Top’s structures are built to do.

However, no matter how resilient and sturdy a building is, nothing is indestructible. Nevertheless, with the right knowledge and the right set of tools, you can extend the lifespan of your fabric building. To help you get more out of your investment and your structure, let’s take a close look at five preventative maintenance tips for fabric coverall buildings.

Why Preventative Maintenance Is Important

In the right conditions, a small perforation can lead to leaks, and even galvanized steel will rust over time. Sooner or later, that small hole will lead to a structural problem. The best-case scenario is you only have to replace a few parts; worst-case scenario is the entire frame needs to be redone. Either way, the bigger the problem becomes, the more time and money you’ll have to spend, which is never good for business. Additionally, if your warranty requires you to conduct specific maintenance measures, you’ll safeguard your warranty and avoid unnecessary costs if your structure ever needs repair.

We understand that a fabric coverall building of any size is no small investment, so it’s understandable that you’d want your structure to last you as long as possible. Preventive maintenance can help you do just that. When you follow the tips below, you’ll be able to pinpoint any issues before they have the chance to become bigger problems.

Conduct Regular Maintenance Checks

Now that you know why preventative maintenance is important, let’s get into the details of how to do it. Fortunately, coverall storage buildings and structures are relatively simple and have two main components: the metal framework and the fabric membrane. When you first install and erect your fabric structure, take pictures of as much of the structure as you can. It’s likely that you won’t be observing the outside very often, so having pictures of it is a great way to have a frame of reference during inspections.

What counts as regular maintenance checks depends on the typical loads your structure experiences and the typical environment inside of the structure itself. This means that you may want to conduct an inspection anywhere from once a month to about once every three months. If you aren’t sure, you can always look at the OEM instructions for further clarification. However, no matter how often you conduct your inspections, there are a few things you should always look for.

First, if your structure is near a public or populated area, you should always inspect it for signs of vandalism. It’s unfortunate, but people are people, so look for graffiti, trash, cigarette burn holes, or punctures. Next, check the fabric for stains, thinning, or sagging. While the fabric is considerably difficult to rip, it’s not indestructible, especially if it’s located in a particularly harsh environment.

Finally, take the time to inspect the posts and the joints of the metal framework for rust, degradation, or loose parts. Depending on the size of your structure, you may need a crane to do so; you should consider doing that part of the inspection in phases if it’s large enough. The last thing you want to do is overlook a structural issue because of eye fatigue.

Inspect Your Structure After Inclement Weather

Inclement weather is simply a formal way of describing a weather event that makes outdoor conditions undesirable or unsafe, such as rain, snow, hail, and tornadoes. Depending on the quality of your manufacturer, it’s likely that they built your structure with the local climate in mind. Therefore, it should be able to withstand the average weather in your area. Despite this, you should always check to asses if any damage has occurred, especially after severe weather.

Not only should you follow your regular inspection protocols, but you should also observe the overall tension and connection points of your structure. During weather events like storms and blizzards, a strong-enough wind could comprise the fabric. So inspection after inclement weather will safeguard the structure and your jobsite from dangerous structural damages.

Routinely Clean Your Fabric Coverall Building

Routinely cleaning your structure doesn’t just improve the way it looks; it protects the fabric from degradation and helps you catch smaller problems that you may not notice during inspection. If you don’t particularly care about the overall aesthetics of your structure, you don’t have to clean as often. However, if there are any corrosive spills or stains, such as corrosive chemicals or excessive bird droppings, you should clean them off as soon as possible.

Fortunately, cleaning your fabric structure is relatively easy and only involves a few simple steps. The specifics of what you need depend on your OEM instructions, and you should never use harsh chemicals like bleach before contacting your manufacturer. In general, however, cleaning requires gentle soap, a soft-bristled brush, and a low-pressure power sprayer. You can easily clean off surface dirt with a decent hose job, but you’ll need to put some elbow grease into any tough stains you’re looking to get rid of. Cleaning is as easy as applying the soap, dampening your soft bristle brush, and lathering it up. Once it’s to your liking, all you have to do is rinse it off and let the sun and air do the rest!

Consider Your Location

If you haven’t yet installed your fabric structure, you may want to consider where it will be located before installation. Remember, the environment can significantly impact the building’s overall structural integrity. Consider erecting the structure near other buildings, trees, or shrubbery if you can.

While it may not seem like much, this can take some of the stress off the coverall building by allowing another object to take the brunt of the weather’s impact. If your structure isn’t too tall and will be there for quite some time, think about adding some preventative landscaping if trees and shrubs aren’t already around. Just makes sure there aren’t any branches that will continuously poke or scrape at the fabric.

Store Structure When Not in Use

Fabric coverall structures are easily reusable, and you can move them to future job sites at your discretion. However, when your structure isn’t in use, you don’t want to leave it sitting out and exposed to the elements at an old job site. The less load and impact your structure has to withstand, the longer it will last, so the best thing you can do is store it when not in use.

The ideal storage space is cool and dry without exposure to things like sun or rain. If you’re unsure how to disassemble your structure, the original installer company should be able to send out a team to do it for you.

With these five preventative maintenance tips, you’ll be able to get the most out of your fabric coverall building. If you’re looking for a fabric building manufacturer, contact Big Top Manufacturing today—we’re just as reliable as our structures. We’ll work with you to ensure that your fabric coverall storage building meets your specific needs and lasts you for years to come.

5 Preventative Maintenance Tips for Fabric Coverall Buildings

It’s true that jobsites, whether they’re in the construction, aerospace, marine, or aviation industry, can have quite an impact on the environment. Given how much energy and money it takes to erect a building and maintain a jobsite, it’s no wonder why managers are looking to cut down on energy usage and make things more environmentally friendly. If you want to make their industrial work more eco-conscious, look at some of the environmental benefits of fabric storage buildings.

They Use Less Energy

Don’t let the name fool you—fabric storage buildings can serve for a lot more than warehousing. If you’re looking for a building to house your jobsite that will definitely save you money on energy bills, fabric structures are your best bet. Due to their roofing materials, you can use the sun to naturally illuminate your jobsite, significantly reducing energy usage. But that’s not all! Their open structure naturally funnels air, and with the sun protection that fabric structures offer, you don’t have to spend more money on keeping things cool. You can also customize your fabric building with insulation so that you can stay refreshed during the warmer months and cozy during the cooler months.

They Take Less Labor and Fewer Materials To Build

Fabric structures are primarily metal frameworks with fabric membranes. You don’t need lumber, concrete, or a vast array of materials to build one. These structures also require less machinery and fewer workers to erect, with only a few cranes and a small handful of crewmembers necessary. Smaller fabric structures can take as little as a few hours to set up, while larger structures average out at two to three days. Less labor and fewer materials equal an eco-friendlier structure.

They’re Easily Reusable

One of the main environmental benefits of fabric storage buildings is that they’re incredibly reusable. You may be wondering how to reuse a structure of fabric and metal. The answer is very simple. Once you purchase and pay off your fabric structure, it’s yours. You can reuse it, take it to other jobsites, or rent it out to others. Not only does this cut down on how much goes into our local landfills, but it’s an easy way to save money or make some extra cash if you so choose.

If you’re ready to reap the environmental benefits of owning a commercial storage tent, Big Top Manufacturing has your jobsite covered. Contact us today to get a quote, or feel free to ask us any questions you have about our fabric structures. We’re here to make jobsites safer and more environmentally friendly, one tent at a time.

Low Maintenance Fabric Buildings

Low Maintenance Option for Big Businesses

When it comes to choosing a low maintenance option for big businesses, fabric buildings are an excellent choice. They offer many advantages over traditional building materials, including cost savings, durability, and versatility. In this article, we will explore the benefits of fabric buildings and why they are a great option for big businesses.

Cost Savings

One of the most significant advantages of fabric buildings is their cost-effectiveness. Fabric buildings are much less expensive than traditional building materials like concrete, steel, or wood. This makes them an attractive option for big businesses looking to save money on construction costs.

In addition to being less expensive to build, fabric buildings are also less expensive to maintain. They require little to no maintenance, reducing upkeep costs and allowing businesses to allocate funds to other areas of their operations.


Despite their lightweight and flexible nature, fabric buildings are incredibly durable. They are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, including heavy snow, rain, and wind. The fabric material used in these buildings is treated to resist UV rays and is fire-resistant, ensuring that the building is safe and long-lasting.


Fabric buildings are incredibly versatile, making them an excellent option for big businesses. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including storage, manufacturing, warehousing, and more. Fabric buildings can also be customized to meet the specific needs of a business, allowing for unique designs and layouts.

Environmental Sustainability:

Warehouse Structure

Another advantage of fabric buildings is their environmental sustainability. They are made from recyclable materials, and their lightweight design reduces the amount of energy required to transport and construct them. Additionally, fabric buildings require little to no additional energy to maintain, making them an eco-friendly option for big businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint.


In conclusion, Big Top fabric buildings are a great low maintenance option for big businesses. They offer many advantages over traditional building materials, including cost savings, durability, versatility, and environmental sustainability. Whether a business needs extra storage space, a manufacturing facility, or a warehousing facility, a fabric building can provide an affordable, long-lasting, and eco-friendly solution.

Different Types of Temporary Storage Enclosures To Consider

Temporary storage is a must-have, whether you work in the construction, environmental, mining, or oil and gas industries. However, not every temporary storage solution fits every project. You need to consider a few different types of temporary storage enclosures to guarantee you find the right short-term solution to fit your project’s needs.

Container Mounted

If you need a temporary storage solution designed to fit and protect tall objects but don’t want to pay the extra price of erecting a tall building, container-mounted structures are for you. You can use the containers as extra storage space, an office, a lunchroom, or anything else you can think of!

The storage containers provide extra side-wall height for a fraction of the price. When you no longer need the structure, you can store it in the containers. If you want to sell, rent, or ship it to the next location, you can easily do so. With container-mounted structures, you get more storage for less money.

Ecology Block

Ecology blocks are strong, stackable bricks made from recycled concrete and construction debris that are used as an eco-friendly way to add height or a foundation to a temporary structure. You get all of the strength and stability that comes with brick for less money and less environmental impact when you use a fabric structure attached to ecology blocks. This is a great storage solution for containment facilities, salt or sand storage, or any other industry that needs sturdy, cost-effective, low-impact storage.

Fabric Storage Building

Fabric storage buildings can be made in an incredible array of sizes and can be expanded upon if desired. Because these structures can include HVAC systems, ventilation, insulation, ad other accessories, they’re perfect solutions for industries that need temperature-controlled storage. The design eliminates the need for tension cables or support columns, so you can get as much storage space as possible.

The same applies to temporary fabric warehouse structures. Warehouse storage and industrial storage may seem like the same thing, but you can also use your industrial storage space to assemble and package products or hold meetings. It’s generally more versatile, while warehouse storage typically houses goods, materials, and other products.

At Big Top Manufacturing, any of our temporary building enclosures can be customized with a wide array of accessories to fit your needs. Whether it’s climate control, HVAC systems, crane systems, or hydraulic-powered doors, we can help you protect and secure any materials, tools, or machinery.

Now that you know the different types of temporary storage enclosures to consider, it’s time to determine which one best suits your project! If you have any questions or need a quote, contact us today so we can meet your storage needs as soon as possible.

Fabric Building Sizes: What Works Best For Your Business

Fabric buildings, also known as a tension fabric structures, are a versatile and cost-effective solution for a wide range of industries. From storage and warehousing to office spaces and sports facilities, fabric buildings can be customized to meet your specific needs. However, one of the most important decisions to make when planning a fabric building is choosing the right size. In this article, we’ll discuss fabric building sizes and what works best for your business.

Understanding Fabric Building Sizes

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to fabric buildings. The size of your fabric building will depend on several factors, including the intended use, the amount of space needed, and the budget. Here are some common fabric building sizes and their intended uses:

  • Small fabric buildings (20′ x 20′ to 40′ x 40′): These buildings are ideal for small storage or outdoor recreational spaces.
  • Medium fabric buildings (50′ x 50′ to 100′ x 100′): These buildings are suitable for larger storage needs, as well as light industrial and commercial uses. 
  • Large fabric buildings (100′ x 100′ or larger): These buildings are ideal for large-scale industrial and commercial applications, including warehouses, distribution centers, and sports facilities.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Fabric Building Sizes

When deciding on the size of your fabric building, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Intended Use: The intended use of your fabric building will play a significant role in determining the size you need. For example, a warehouse will require more space than a small storage building.
  • Space Availability: The amount of space you have available will also play a role in determining the size of your fabric building. Make sure to measure the area where you plan to place the building to ensure it will fit.
  • Budget: Your budget will also play a role in determining the size of your fabric building. Larger buildings will generally cost more than smaller ones, so it’s important to consider your budget when making your decision.

Advantages of Fabric Buildings of Different Sizes

Each size of fabric building has its own unique advantages, and it’s important to choose the size that will best meet your needs. Here are some of the advantages of each size of fabric building:

  • Small fabric buildings: These buildings are more cost-effective and easier to install than larger buildings. They are also ideal for small businesses or organizations that don’t require a lot of space.
  • Medium fabric buildings: These buildings provide a balance between cost and space, making them a good choice for businesses that need more space but still want to stay within a budget. They are also easier to heat and cool than larger buildings.
  • Large fabric buildings: These buildings offer the most space and can be customized to meet a wide range of needs, including industrial and commercial uses. They are also ideal for businesses that require a large amount of space for storage or production.

“Why Fabric Buildings are the Future of Industrial Construction: NASA leads the way”

Nasa Fabric Building

In recent years, the use of fabric buildings has become increasingly popular in the industrial construction sector. Companies like NASA have been at the forefront of this trend, recognizing the many benefits that these structures offer over traditional construction methods. From their versatility to their cost-effectiveness, and sustainability, fabric buildings are revolutionizing the way companies approach their construction needs. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why fabric buildings are being used by companies like NASA and why they are quickly becoming the future of industrial construction.

The Advantages of Fabric Buildings

Temporary Building

One of the biggest advantages of fabric buildings is their versatility. Fabric buildings can be designed and manufactured to meet specific requirements, making them ideal for a wide range of applications. This flexibility means that fabric buildings can be used for everything from storage and warehousing to industrial workshops and manufacturing facilities.

Another key benefit of fabric buildings is their cost-effectiveness. Unlike traditional construction methods, fabric buildings can be installed quickly and easily, reducing the time and labor costs associated with traditional construction. Additionally, the materials used to construct fabric buildings are significantly less expensive than traditional building materials, making fabric buildings a cost-effective solution for companies like NASA.

Fabric buildings are also a more sustainable option compared to traditional construction methods. The materials used to construct fabric buildings are typically made from recycled materials, and the structures themselves can be easily relocated or repurposed when no longer needed. This reduces waste and helps to minimize the environmental impact of industrial construction.

The Durability of Fabric Buildings

Despite their cost-effectiveness and sustainability, many people are skeptical about the durability of fabric buildings. However, this concern is unfounded, as fabric buildings are designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. The materials used to construct fabric buildings are tough, resistant to UV light and mold, and are designed to last for many years with minimal maintenance.

In addition to their durability, Big Top fabric buildings are also designed to be fire-resistant, making them a safer option for companies like NASA. With traditional construction methods, the risk of fire is a major concern, particularly in industrial settings where there are often large amounts of flammable materials and hazardous chemicals present. Big Top fabric buildings, on the other hand, are constructed using fire-resistant materials, reducing the risk of fire and ensuring the safety of workers and equipment.

Why Companies like NASA are Choosing Fabric Buildings

NASA and other companies are choosing fabric buildings because they offer a range of benefits over traditional construction methods. From their versatility and cost-effectiveness to their durability and sustainability, fabric buildings offer a compelling solution for industrial construction needs.

Furthermore, fabric buildings are highly customizable, allowing companies like NASA to create structures that meet their specific requirements. Whether it’s for storage, manufacturing, or any other industrial application, fabric buildings can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each company.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are fabric buildings made of? Fabric buildings are made of a strong, durable fabric material that is stretched over a steel frame. The fabric used in fabric buildings is typically made from recycled materials and is designed to last for many years with minimal maintenance.
  2. Are fabric buildings fire-resistant? Yes, our fabric buildings are designed to be fire-resistant, making them a safer option for companies like NASA. The materials used to construct fabric buildings are fire-resistant, reducing the risk of fire and ensuring the safety of workers and equipment.
  3. Are fabric buildings sustainable? Yes, fabric buildings are more sustainable compared to traditional construction methods. The materials used to construct fabric buildings are typically made from recycled materials, and the structures themselves can be easily relocated or repurposed when no longer needed. This reduces waste and helps to minimize the environmental impact of industrial construction.
    1. How long do fabric buildings last? Fabric buildings are designed to last for many years (10+) with minimal maintenance. The materials used to construct fabric buildings are tough, resistant to UV light and mold, and are designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
    2. Are fabric buildings cost-effective? Yes, fabric buildings are a cost-effective solution for companies like NASA. Unlike traditional construction methods, fabric buildings can be installed quickly and easily, reducing the time and labor costs associated with traditional construction. Additionally, the materials used to construct fabric buildings are significantly less expensive than traditional building materials.



    In conclusion, fabric buildings are becoming the future of industrial construction, offering a range of benefits over traditional construction methods. From their versatility and cost-effectiveness to their durability and sustainability, fabric buildings are the ideal solution for companies like NASA. Whether it’s for storage, manufacturing, or any other industrial application, fabric buildings are a versatile and highly customizable option for industrial construction needs. So, if you’re looking for an innovative and sustainable solution for your next construction project, consider a fabric building from Nasa’s trusted provider of fabric buildings, BIG TOP MANUFACTURING! 

The Ultimate Guide to Fabric Buildings: What You Need to Know

Fabric buildings are a versatile and cost-effective solution for a wide range of applications, from industrial and commercial storage to agricultural and equestrian facilities. They offer many benefits over traditional structures, including quick and easy installation, energy efficiency, and customizable options. Whether you’re looking to expand your storage space, protect your equipment, or provide shelter for your livestock, a fabric building is the right choice for you.

What are Fabric Buildings?

Fabric buildings, also known as tension fabric structures, are buildings made of steel frames and fabric membranes. The steel frame provides the structure’s strength, while the fabric membrane provides the insulation and weather protection. Fabric buildings are also customizable, making them a great option for a variety of applications.

Advantages of Fabric Buildings

There are several advantages to choosing a fabric building for your needs, including: 

Quick and Easy Installation

Fabric buildings are quick and easy to install, making them a great option for those who need a building in a hurry. They can be installed in a matter of days /weeks, compared to months for traditional structures. This makes them a great choice for temporary or seasonal use.

Energy Efficiency

Fabric buildings are highly energy-efficient, providing insulation and protection from the elements that traditional structures can’t match. They also offer the option for additional insulation and ventilation, making them even more energy efficient.

Customizable Options

Fabric buildings are customizable, offering a range of options to meet your specific needs. You can choose from a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and styles to create the perfect building for your needs. Additionally, they can be easily modified or expanded as your needs change.


Fabric buildings are cost-effective compared to traditional structures, making them a great option for those on a budget. They are also a great choice for those who need a building for a short-term use, as they can be easily disassembled and relocated.

Applications for Fabric Buildings

Questions To Ask Before Constructing a Fabric Building

Fabric buildings have a wide range of applications, including:

Industrial and Commercial Storage

Fabric buildings are a great option for industrial and commercial storage, providing a secure and weather-resistant space for your equipment and supplies. They can also be easily expanded as your storage needs grow.

Agricultural and Equestrian Facilities

Fabric buildings are ideal for agricultural and equestrian facilities, providing protection for your livestock and equipment. They offer a range of options for ventilation, insulation, and lighting, making them perfect for use in all weather conditions.

Sports Facilities

Fabric buildings can also be used as sports facilities, providing a versatile and cost-effective solution for sports training and events. They can be customized to meet the specific needs of your sport, making them perfect for use in all weather conditions.

Disaster Relief and Emergency Shelters

Fabric buildings can also be used for disaster relief and emergency shelters, providing a quick and easy solution for those in need. They can be easily assembled and disassembled, making them a great option for use in disaster-prone areas.

Choosing the Right Fabric Building for Your Needs

When choosing a fabric building for your needs, there are several factors to consider, including size, shape, color, and style. You should also consider your budget, as well as the specific needs of your application. Additionally, it’s important to choose a reputable manufacturer like Big Top Manufacturing who can provide the quality and support you need.


Fabric buildings are a versatile and cost-effective solution. 

Tips for Choosing the Right-Sized Temporary Fabric Building

Many factors go into finding the perfect fabric building to suit your needs—location, use, customization needs, local weather, and, most importantly, size. Here are a few tips for choosing the right-sized temporary fabric building that suits your needs.


Ultimately, the purpose of your temporary fabric building will determine its size. Warehouses, events, medical facilities, and breakrooms all require a different amount of space. When you know what you need the building for, you can make more informed decisions in terms of size. For example, most mid-sized warehouses will need about 5,000 square feet of space, while an aviation hangar needs over 45,000 square feet! That’s a pretty big size difference.

Space Needs

After determining the temporary structure’s purpose, it’s much easier to calculate your space needs. If you already have a warehouse and are moving storage, you’re in luck! You have a template of the dimensions that you’ll need.

If you’re holding an event or need a break room, a good rule of thumb is that each person requires six square feet in order to keep things safe. Break rooms are easier to estimate, as you likely have a good idea of how many employees will be onsite. However, if you’re holding an event, consider asking guests to RSVP so you can calculate a better size estimation.



Despite all of these things, the location can make or break the size of your structure. If you don’t have enough space at the location, then you can’t install a structure there. Simply put, if you’re holding an event with 150 people and need 5,000 square feet but only have 4,000, it’s just not going to work out. If you follow the last two steps, you’ll have a good idea of how much space you need and if you should move the location beforehand.

Fortunately, choosing the right-sized temporary fabric building is easy once you know what to keep in mind. Big Top Manufacturing is here to help if you have any questions or need help estimating the structure size for your space. We sell small and large temporary structures and can customize any of them to suit your specific needs.

7 Advantages of Fabric Buildings (Hint: They’re More Than Just Cost-Effective!)

Fabric buildings, also known as Big Tops, Hoop Buildings, Coverall Shelters, etc. have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their cost-effectiveness, versatility, and many other advantages. They are suitable for a variety of uses, from temporary construction sites to permanent industrial facilities. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top 7 advantages of fabric buildings so you can decide if they’re right for your needs. From their portability to their energy efficiency, fabric buildings have a lot to offer. 

1) They’re quick to construct

Fabric buildings are designed to be quick and easy to set up. In most cases, they can be assembled in a matter of hours with minimal tools and experience. This makes them ideal for a wide range of applications, from temporary event tents to permanent structures. They also offer the benefit of being able to be taken down quickly and stored away when not in use. For those who need a fast solution to their building needs, fabric buildings are the perfect choice.

2) They’re highly versatile

Fabric buildings offer a wide range of potential uses and applications, making them ideal for a variety of industries. They can be used as temporary or permanent structures and can be easily adapted to meet your specific needs. This means they can be used for industrial and commercial projects, as well as for events and agricultural purposes.
Their versatility also makes them an excellent option for retail stores, offices, warehouses, hangars, greenhouses, data storage, workshops, and more. Additionally, fabric buildings are extremely customizable. You can choose from a variety of colors and styles to match the look and feel of any environment. You can also add windows, doors, insulation, air conditioning, and other features to ensure your fabric building meets all of your requirements. Making them a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable solution.

3) They can be relocatable

One of the greatest advantages of fabric buildings is that they can be moved and relocated as needed. This makes them an ideal solution for businesses and organizations who may need to expand or move to a different location. Fabric buildings are also great for temporary purposes, such as a concert venue or temporary retail space. Because they can be quickly and easily relocated, fabric buildings are becoming more popular in construction, agriculture, and other industries. The flexibility and portability of fabric buildings make them perfect for seasonal events or occasions when a permanent structure may not be practical. Fabric buildings provide a convenient way to expand, relocate, or add a temporary structure quickly and efficiently.

4) They offer superior energy efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, fabric buildings are a great choice. With proper insulation, these buildings are able to keep the temperature comfortable and consistent, while reducing energy costs. The construction of these buildings is designed to minimize air leakage and provide a strong thermal envelope that helps retain the heat inside during cold winters and keeps the interior cool during warm summers. This insulation also helps keep sound out and make for quieter spaces. All of these features make fabric buildings incredibly energy-efficient and cost-effective.

5) They require minimal maintenance

Fabric buildings are incredibly easy to maintain, making them an ideal solution for those who want to keep operational costs low. Unlike traditional buildings, fabric buildings don’t require regular painting, caulking, and other upkeep. Because the cover is made of a durable material, it’s also more resistant to wear and tear than other materials.  As long as you take the proper steps to protect your building from the elements, you won’t need to invest in costly maintenance services.

6) They can withstand severe weather conditions

Fabric buildings are designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions, from rain and snow to strong winds and extreme temperatures. Fabric structures are extremely resilient and can be adapted to cope with strong winds and heavy rain. Their ability to withstand severe weather is due to their durable materials, engineered design and the fact that they can be securely anchored to the ground.

The fabric we use to make these buildings is highly resistant to ultraviolet rays, so it won’t degrade over time. It also has excellent tensile strength, which means it will remain secure in high winds and storms. The tension of the fabric is evenly distributed along the structure, reducing the stress on the material and helping to keep it secure even in the most extreme weather conditions.

In addition, the shape of fabric buildings helps them stand up to strong winds by creating an aerodynamic structure that deflects wind away from it. This reduces the amount of strain on the building and helps keep it secure during even the strongest winds. Overall, our fabric buildings are designed to be incredibly resilient and able to withstand whatever nature throws at them. 

7) They’re an eco-friendly option

One of the main advantages of fabric buildings is that they are an eco-friendly choice for your building needs. Fabric buildings are manufactured from recyclable materials, making them a sustainable and green building solution. The breathable nature of the fabric also helps to reduce energy consumption in the structure, as it allows for natural ventilation and cooling. Furthermore, since these structures can be reused and relocated, they have less environmental impact than traditional structures, which require more resources to construct. As such, they are an excellent choice for businesses looking to reduce their environmental footprint.

Advantages of Fabric Buildings for Commercial and Industrial Use

When it comes to choosing a building option for commercial and industrial use, fabric buildings provide many advantages over traditional building types. Not only are they cost-effective, but they are also fast to install, durable, and require minimal maintenance. In this blog post, we’ll explore the four primary advantages of fabric buildings that make them an attractive option for commercial and industrial use. Keep reading to learn more!

1) Cost-effective

When it comes to commercial and industrial buildings, fabric structures are a great option because they are very cost-effective. Fabric structures are much less expensive than traditional metal or wood framed buildings, making them an attractive alternative for businesses looking to save money. Fabric structures are also easy to transport, which means that companies can often save money on shipping costs as well. Additionally, fabric structures require less material than traditional structures, meaning businesses can save money on material costs as well. Furthermore, fabric structures are much easier to assemble and disassemble than other types of buildings, which reduces labor costs significantly. All of these advantages make fabric structures a great choice for businesses looking to save money while still having a strong and durable building.

2) Quick and easy to construct

Fabric buildings are incredibly easy to construct and can be done in a fraction of the time that it takes to construct a traditional building. The fabric components are pre-engineered and manufactured right here at Big Top Manufacturing, then delivered to the job site for assembly. This eliminates the need for large construction teams and means that your building can be up and ready to use in no time. Our materials are also lightweight, which makes them easier to handle onsite and they require fewer tools and resources to assemble. Additionally, our buildings can be expanded or reconfigured without major structural changes, allowing you to customize the space for your needs.

3) Versatile

Fabric buildings offer many versatile uses for commercial and industrial applications. They can be used to create a storage facility, lunchrooms, data storage, office space, or any other type of workspace. Because they are made of fabric, they can be designed in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit the needs of any business. The flexibility that these structures provide allows businesses to easily modify them if their needs change. They are also easy to move from one location to another if needed. This makes them ideal for businesses that may need to expand or relocate in the future. Additionally, fabric buildings can be used in areas where traditional buildings are not allowed, such as close to wetlands or bodies of water, due to their lightweight design. All these features make fabric buildings a great option for many commercial and industrial applications.

4) Environmentally friendly

Fabric buildings are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to provide a safe and sustainable environment. As a result of their construction and insulation, fabric buildings require less energy to heat and cool, and reduce the amount of natural resources used in the process. Fabric structures can also be designed to incorporate sustainable energy sources such as Bigass Fans, further reducing the building’s impact on the environment. In addition, fabric buildings are made from materials that are recycled or recyclable, allowing for efficient use of resources. Finally, fabric buildings are often equipped with air filtration systems which can help to improve air quality, reducing the effects of air pollution. All these factors make fabric buildings a great choice for businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact.

Can fabric buildings solve the challenges facing commercial industries?

As commercial industries face increasingly complex challenges, many are searching for solutions that are both efficient and cost effective. One increasingly popular solution is the use of fabric buildings. Fabric buildings offer a variety of advantages to commercial industries, from fast installation and easy relocation to greater energy efficiency and enhanced sustainability. In this blog post, we’ll explore how fabric buildings can be used to solve the challenges facing commercial industries.

The retail industry is struggling

The retail industry is facing some of the toughest challenges in recent history. Businesses have had to grapple with rising competition, changing consumer preferences, and reduced profit margins. These factors are making it difficult for retailers to survive, let alone thrive. With online shopping continuing to grow, brick-and-mortar stores are seeing declining foot traffic and customers who expect more from their shopping experience.

In addition, the cost of running a store has increased significantly. High rent costs, personnel expenses, inventory storage, and other overhead costs can quickly eat away at profits. For those retailers who are able to remain profitable, it’s often only after implementing cost-cutting measures that can negatively impact customer service or product quality.
To make matters worse, the pandemic has forced many stores to close temporarily and some permanently due to social distancing requirements. This has not only had an immediate impact on retail sales but also has led to long-term consequences such as increasing unemployment and reduced consumer spending.
It is clear that the retail industry needs solutions to help them adapt to the current environment and survive. One such potential solution is the use of fabric buildings.

The restaurant industry is under pressure

The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. With social distancing and restrictions on gatherings, restaurants have had to get creative in order to stay afloat. Many have shifted to take-out or delivery models, but this does not provide the same level of revenue as when customers were able to eat in-house. Restaurants are also facing rising costs from food supplies, labor, and rent, which puts pressure on their bottom line. To make matters worse, competition for take-out and delivery customers is high, making it difficult for restaurants to differentiate themselves and stand out in the crowd.

To address these issues, some restaurants are turning to fabric buildings. Fabric buildings are cost effective, flexible structures that can be used as an additional dining area or for other functions like hosting events or storing inventory. They can also be installed quickly and easily, and they offer a variety of aesthetic options that can be used to create a unique experience. With the right fabric building, restaurants can provide a safe and pleasant environment for customers while keeping their overhead costs low.

The hospitality industry is being disrupted

The hospitality industry is undergoing unprecedented changes due to the pandemic. With travel restrictions, more people are opting for staycations and local attractions as opposed to international trips. This has had a dramatic impact on hotels, resorts, and other types of hospitality businesses. Many hospitality companies are now facing challenges such as reduced occupancy rates, increased operational costs, and changes in consumer preferences and behaviors.
At the same time, businesses in the hospitality sector are having to make decisions about how best to adjust their operations. They are exploring ways to adapt to the changing landscape while still providing the same level of customer service and amenities.

Fabric buildings offer a unique solution to these challenges, providing an affordable, flexible, and efficient way to expand or modify existing facilities. These structures can be customized to meet the specific needs of any hospitality business, whether that’s providing additional guest rooms, expanding restaurant space, or creating outdoor areas for social distancing. Fabric buildings are also incredibly durable and require minimal maintenance, allowing businesses to save time and money. In addition, fabric buildings are easy to install and can be up and running in no time at all.

Three reasons fabric buildings help
  1. Fabric buildings are becoming increasingly popular in commercial industries due to their ability to provide cost-effective, sustainable and long-term solutions for the unique challenges faced. Fabric buildings are a great solution for companies that need to build quickly, without sacrificing quality or safety. They provide a strong, durable and economical structure that is also easy to assemble and dismantle.
  2. Fabric buildings are highly versatile, allowing them to be used in a wide range of applications. Whether they need to be used as an extra storage area, a loading dock, a workshop or a mobile retail space, lunch facilities, fabric buildings are perfect for the job. Their portability makes them ideal for expanding businesses, events and temporary use.
  3. Fabric buildings are also extremely energy efficient due to their insulating properties. They reduce the need for additional heating or cooling systems, keeping energy bills low. Fabric buildings also require little maintenance and can last for many years with minimal upkeep.
Overall, fabric buildings provide commercial industries with a cost-effective, energy-efficient and durable solution for their unique challenges.

By choosing fabric buildings over traditional construction methods, companies can save money and time while providing a safe and reliable space for their business 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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.