When manufacturing tarps, choosing the right material is crucial. PVC and polyethylene are two of the most common tarp materials, but which is the better option? Leave it up to the experts to help you compare PVC and polyethylene and see which comes out on top.

PVC and Its Key Characteristics

PVC is a synthetic thermoplastic material that comes from ethylene and chlorine. It has impressive strength, durability, and resistance to various chemical and environmental factors. Some of the key characteristics of PVC include:

  • High tensile strength: PVC boasts impressive tensile strength, making it a sturdy and reliable material for various applications.
  • Weather resistance: PVC exhibits excellent resistance to weathering, including exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, water, and extreme temperatures.
  • Chemical resistance: PVC is highly resistant to acids, bases, and salts, making it an ideal material for various industrial and chemical applications.
  • Low cost: PVC is generally less expensive than other plastic materials, so it’s an enticing option for large-scale projects or budget-conscious buyers.

Polyethylene and Its Key Characteristics

Polyethylene is a member of the polyolefin family and comes from ethylene through a polymerization process. It’s lightweight, flexible, and corrosion resistant, making it ideal for various applications. Key characteristics of polyethylene include:

  • Flexibility: Polyethylene is highly flexible, allowing it to easily conform to various shapes and designs without cracking or breaking.
  • Impact resistance: Polyethylene offers excellent impact resistance, so it’s a durable option for applications that require materials to resist impact or sudden forces.
  • Chemical resistance: Like PVC, polyethylene is highly resistant to most chemicals, making it suitable for industrial and chemical applications.

Comparing PVC and Polyethylene

Now that we know more about PVC and polyethylene, the real question is, “Which one comes out on top?” To answer that question, let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

Advantages of PVC

PVC stands out primarily due to its high tensile strength, making it an excellent choice for heavy-duty applications. Its superb weather resistance renders it suitable for outdoor applications, as it can withstand harsh environmental conditions without significant degradation.

Disadvantages of PVC

Although engineers are working on creating more sustainable forms of PVC, there’s still lots of room for improvement in this respect. The PVC production process releases harmful toxins and isn’t typically recyclable, leading to a large amount of plastic waste. Furthermore, PVC’s resistance to UV radiation is imperfect. As a result, it’ll degrade with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Advantages of Polyethylene

This material’s superior impact resistance also makes it an ideal choice for applications requiring resilience against sudden physical forces. Like PVC, polyethylene possesses commendable chemical resistance, making it suitable for use in industrial and chemical arenas where exposure to harsh chemicals is common.

Disadvantages of Polyethylene

Polyethylene lacks the high tensile strength that PVC boasts, which can limit its use in applications where high structural strength is necessary. Furthermore, weather-resistant polyethylene is less resistant to UV radiation than PVC and, therefore, can degrade over time when exposed to prolonged sunlight.

For heavy-duty, rugged applications, PVC is often the best and most affordable option. That’s why, at Big Top Manufacturing, we make all our large fabric structures with PVC tarps so that you can rely on your structure regardless of the conditions.

When you need quality, durable storage space quickly, a commercial storage tent is a customizable and convenient option, especially compared to traditional brick-and-mortar buildings. However, storage tents are still an investment and require decent funding to design and erect. We know that fabric structures are more affordable, but the question is, are commercial storage tents worth the investment?

Lasts for Years

Many people fall into the trap of believing that a fabric structure simply can’t match the durability of a brick-and-mortar building. The truth is a little more complex than that. Indeed, fabric can’t last as long as stone and concrete, but this doesn’t mean fabric structures can’t meet the same challenges. At Big Top Manufacturing, we use a flame-retardant, tear-resistant PVC fabric for our roofing and galvanized steel as the metal frame. With proper care and maintenance, our structure will protect your tools, materials, or products, and it can last up to 10 years.

Fewer Building Materials

Commercial storage tents require two main components to build—a fabric membrane and a steel frame. Traditional brick-and-mortar buildings require brick, concrete, wood, and steel, in addition to all the pipe and roofing materials. With the price of building materials rising, industries are looking for storage solutions that require the least amount of building materials possible. However, using a structure made with fewer and cheaper materials can often come with the risk of losing durability. Fortunately, with a fabric structure, you don’t have to sacrifice durability for affordability.

Lower Labor Costs

Due to the materials required and their relatively simple design, fabric structures don’t take long to erect and, therefore, require less labor. Small structures are quick and easy to erect and only need a small crew of about four or five people, with some only taking a few hours to build. Larger structures will require a bigger team and some heavy equipment, but it will only take two or three days to finish. With how little overall labor is needed, these structures significantly cut down on labor costs. This is especially beneficial when you compare them to the time, labor, and machinery required to erect a brick-and-mortar building.

Use Less Power

Traditional buildings require complex wiring and insulation to keep the space powered and temperature controlled. With a fabric building, you can customize your installation with electrical systems and insulation or use the natural heating and cooling fabric buildings provide. Our PVC fabric membrane blocks 99 percent of UV rays while allowing natural light to flood the space underneath. Not only does this protect the area from heat and weather, but it also means that you don’t have to use your lighting nearly as much. Our fabric structures allow you to stay cool during the summer and warm during the cooler months without running your electricity all day.

Plus, open-air fabric structure models funnel air in a way that allows air to flow freely through the building, lowering the overall environmental impact of your structure.

Save on Electricity Bill

It’s no secret that warehousing and managing a job site is expensive, and you want to cut costs in the right places without sacrificing quality or safety. By using the natural heating, cooling, and lighting that comes with your fabric structure, not only are you safeguarding the environment, but you’re protecting your wallet as well. Again, we can install HVAC, insulation, and lighting systems within your structure if necessary. However, the luxury of a fabric building comes with the bonus of not having to use these systems 24/7.

You get to use your power your way and save on your electricity bill without having to forgo comfort. We can also include a solar power system on your fabric structure so you can harness the natural light and power of the sun to run your electrical systems.

Easy Relocation

Once your construction crew erects a traditional brick-and-mortar building, it stays there until its demolished, and moving it from job site to job site isn’t an option. This is fine for businesses that remain in one place, but if your company is on the move, it’s impossible to simply erect a brick-and-mortar building wherever you go. Not only would this take a preposterous amount of money, but it would also take a ridiculous amount of time. At Big Top, we can include a mobility system in your structure so a crane can easily move your structure to different areas of your job site. Also, disassembling and shipping our structures is easy, meaning your structure goes where you go.

Rent Out Your Structure

If you don’t need your fabric structure anymore or only use it during certain seasons, you don’t have to let it sit around and collect dust. Your fabric structure belongs to you, and you can rent it out for a profit whenever you’re not using it. As you likely already know, businesses are always looking for a way to cut operation costs, and you can help them do that! Renting out your structure can help your investment pay for itself, and everybody wins in this scenario.

Buy Used Structures

There are plenty of ways a commercial storage tent can help you save money and make your investment worthwhile. However, if buying a completely new structure isn’t within your budget, or there isn’t one to rent nearby, we understand! That’s why Big Top Manufacturing also has used fabric structures for sale that you can buy for a discount. You can buy directly from us or our clients, who can already attest to the quality of our structures.

Whether commercial storage tents are worth the investment depends on your business and storage needs. If your job site doesn’t have a warehouse or storage building nearby, or you need quick, durable, and affordable storage, commercial tents are your best bet.

If you need a storage tent, contact Big Top Manufacturing today. We sell fire and weather-resistant commercial storage tents that we’ll design to meet your area’s building codes and local climate challenges like wind, rain, and snow. If you have a specific budget, we’ll work with you to find a structure that meets your needs and fits within your financial plan. At Big Top, we’re dedicated to providing industries with affordable, versatile, and quality storage solutions.

Is a Commercial Storage Tent Worth the Investment?

Sun damage can ruin materials, and rain and snow can damage sensitive equipment. If your jobsite is outdoors, changing your storage space according to the weather isn’t viable either. This is especially true for projects and businesses that need consistent storage throughout the year. So what can you do? If you need a versatile storage solution that meets the needs of your application, look at why coverall buildings are perfect for seasonal storage.

They’re Perfect for Any Climate

Fabric storage buildings can withstand various building loads, such as wind and snow. They can also withstand many conditions and climates. The fabric membrane that makes up the tent is polyethylene, so it’s tear resistant and fire retardant. While it blocks up to 99.5 percent of UVA and UVB rays, it still allows you to use the sunlight to your advantage. You can use it to light up your space while keeping stored items at your desired temperature.

They Use Solar Panels To Save Energy

While many warehouses need temperature control, they don’t need to use the same amount of energy throughout the year. For example, if you need to keep your machinery cool and dry, there’s no need to run the AC in the cooler months the same way you would during peak winter or summer months. Your coverall building is easy to temperature control and has the added benefit of being able to include solar panels. You can use the stored energy from them to keep your equipment cool as temperatures start to rise and spend less while you do so.

They Can Store Various Goods

Things like dry goods and freezer products need to stay in very particular conditions that a coverall building can easily meet. Your coverall building installer can add heaters, insulation, and an HVAC system to your structure so that you can store whatever you need. Building materials, equipment, machinery, food, and more will stay protected and in good condition throughout the year.

Now that you know why coverall buildings are perfect for seasonal storage, what’s stopping you from finding your ideal solution? At Big Top Manufacturing, we can design, manufacture, and install a coverall fabric building where, when, and how you need it.

The Pros and Cons of Using Temporary Building Structures

With the rising cost of labor and building materials, many jobsites are looking to cut down on costs as much as possible. Temporary fabric buildings perform similarly to brick-and-mortar buildings and are cost effective, but that doesn’t mean they’re a suitable option for every project. If you’re trying to determine if a fabric building is right for your jobsite, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of using temporary building structures.

The Pros of Using a Temporary Building Structure

Pro: Flexible and Customizable

When compared to a brick-and-mortar building, temporary structures are easier to customize and have more options. Workers can attach the structure to a variety of foundations and can have lighting, HVAC systems, insulation, and solar panels installed.

Pro: Cost Effective

The components used to build a fabric structure are minimal, including a steel metal framework and a tensioned fabric membrane. This means temporary structures are much more affordable than traditional brick-and-mortar buildings and are a great option for jobsites looking to stay on budget.

Pro: Quick and Easy To Build

Due to the minimal amount of material used to make the structure, only a small crew is required to erect it, which is relatively quick and easy to do. Smaller structures take only a few hours to erect, while large temporary buildings take around two to three days to complete.

The Cons of Using a Temporary Building Structure

Con: Difficult To Transport

Temporary structures can have mobility accessories installed so you can move them from one jobsite to the other. However, the additions cost more, and if you need to move the building a considerable distance, the disassembly and assembly process adds more time.

Con: Hard To Connect Utilities

Again, temporary buildings can also have electrical systems added to the structure, but it’s at an additional cost. Comparatively, hooking up utilities in a brick-and-mortar building is a lot simpler, and electrical systems typically come included within the base cost of construction.

Con: Less Durable in Comparison

Temporary structures are durable, built to last, and can handle heavy snow and wind loads. However, there’s just no way to beat the durability of brick-and-mortar buildings. At the end of the day, the fabric isn’t going to surpass the endurance of brick, concrete, and steel.

Is a Temporary Building Structure Right for Your Project?

Now that you know the pros and cons of using temporary building structures, it’s time to ask the ultimate question—are they right for your jobsite? Ultimately, the answer depends on what you need the building for and the time and resources you have at your disposal.

If you need a structure that will last for years to come and have the time and money to put into construction, a brick-and-mortar building is the better option. However, if you’re looking for a fast and cost-effective way to safely house and store machinery and materials, you should consider using a temporary structure.



Sustainable Construction with Fabric Structures: The Future of Green Building

What are Fabric Structures and How do they Contribute to Sustainable Construction?

Fabric structures are large, tensioned fabric membranes that are used to create temporary or permanent building structures. They are made from high-tech materials that are designed to be strong, durable and lightweight. The materials used in fabric structures are 100% recyclable, making them an eco-friendly option for construction.

The use of fabric structures in construction helps in reducing the carbon footprint of a building by reducing the amount of energy required to heat, cool, and light the structure. They also provide insulation, helping to reduce the energy needed to heat and cool the building. Fabric structures are also easy to install, reducing the amount of time required for construction and the amount of waste produced during the process.

Introduction to Fabric Structures

Fabric structures are a type of building made from lightweight and durable materials, such as PVC or Teflon. They offer numerous benefits over traditional building methods, including improved sustainability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness. With their growing popularity in the construction industry, fabric structures are becoming a key solution to the challenges faced by the sector.

Advantages of Using Fabric Structures

Improved Sustainability

One of the most significant advantages of fabric structures is their sustainability. These buildings are typically made from recyclable materials, which have a much lower carbon footprint compared to traditional building materials like concrete and steel. Additionally, fabric structures are designed to be easily disassembled and relocated, making them a great choice for temporary or seasonal construction projects.


Another advantage of fabric structures is their versatility. These buildings can be designed to fit a wide range of construction projects, from small one-room structures to large multi-story buildings. They are also suitable for various applications, including event and exhibition venues, sports facilities, warehousing, and disaster relief shelters.


In addition to their sustainability and versatility, fabric structures offer cost-effectiveness. They are typically less expensive to manufacture, and construct compared to traditional building methods, and require less maintenance and repair over time. Furthermore, fabric structures are often faster to install, which can save time and money on construction projects.

Getting Started with Sustainable Construction

Choose a Reputable Manufacturer or Supplier

The first step in using fabric structures for sustainable construction is to work with a reputable and experienced manufacturer or supplier. Someone like Big Top Manufacturing! Our team will be able to help you choose the right materials, design, and features for your project.

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. 

Construction projects come with a set of their own unique challenges, many of which can be costly, time-consuming, and or difficult to solve. If you’re looking for simpler, more cost-effective ways to deal with the hurdles that come with construction sites, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn how temporary construction enclosures can help you overcome some of these challenges.

Protects Jobsite, Tools, and Materials From the Elements

Weather changes can feel unpredictable and can change on a dime. If your jobsite isn’t adequately protected, your project, tools, materials, and machinery are all vulnerable to weather damage. If you have to replace or repair damaged goods, that means more money spent and more money wasted.

Temporary fabric buildings can easily protect all of your materials from wind, rain, heat, snow, and more, so you never run the risk of wasting money and extending construction time. This is because galvanized steel and PVC-vinyl fabric make up temporary enclosures, and you can install them with HVAC systems and insulation for temperature control.

Provides Shelter for Workers

Employees are the lynchpin of any construction site—without them, work doesn’t get done! That’s why keeping them safe and comfortable should be the most important thing. Temporary enclosures can act as break rooms, lunchrooms, or as a shelter for inclement weather. This is especially important when your project isn’t near any other buildings and is essentially in the middle of nowhere. The last thing you and your crew needs is to be stuck hours away from the city during a storm or have to take their lunch break in the middle of a blistering high noon.

Construction Is Quick and Efficient

You can construct temporary fabric buildings, large or small, relatively quickly when compared to traditional buildings. This means that when you and your crew are in a pinch, you can assemble a temporary enclosure whenever you need it. Smaller structures require only a crew of about four people, and some can go up in a matter of hours! While larger structures may need some machinery and a few days, it won’t be nearly as long as the weeks or months it takes to construct a brick-and-mortar building. It’s a quick, clean, and quality solution for jobsites in need of shelter.

Is More Cost-Effective Than Traditional Buildings

Homes, shelters, and other buildings take a lot of materials to build up to code. With the high prices of materials, builders have to make sacrifices in material quality to make up for the high cost. Luckily, you can build temporary construction enclosures at a fraction of the cost it takes to assemble a brick-and-mortar building, meaning you don’t have to worry about making that sacrifice. This is because these structures contain lower-priced materials, take less time to install, and won’t need a large crew to assemble, cutting down on labor and material costs.

Designed To Be Energy Efficient

Temporary enclosures allow you to use the natural light of the day, so you only need to use electricity at night. Additionally, these structures can have insulation that shields jobsites from cold or heat. The natural ventilation of the structure can cool workers down on hot days without having stuffy, stagnant air. When you don’t have to worry about keeping the lights on 24 hours a day and don’t need to turn HVAC systems on and off, you reduce your overall operating costs.

Has a Low Environmental Impact

Because temporary fabric structures need fewer materials, fewer people, and fewer resources in general to assemble and run, they have a lower overall environmental impact. In addition, you can reuse and recycle the materials used to build these structures and the structure itself. When you own a temporary enclosure, you can resell it to other sites that need it.

Plus, due to the way you build these structures and the lack of machinery required, they are far less likely to contaminate groundwater. Green building codes are strict and important, and adhering to them is no small task, but temporary enclosures can rise to the challenge.

Can Suit a Variety of Needs

If you’ve read this far into the article, you already know that temporary structures are highly customizable, but there’s more to it than lights and HVAC systems. You can install these enclosures with crane rail systems, hydraulic-powered doors, freezer vinyl flaps, high-load capacity flooring, and even solar panels. With temporary enclosures, you can combine all the benefits of a quality building that meets your jobsite’s needs without putting a dent in your wallet and extending construction time.

Requires Little Maintenance

Cleaning and maintaining your fabric structure is easy, and you can leave most of the work up to the original installers. To clean any stains, all you need is an adjustable pressure hose, gentle soap, and a soft-bristled brush. Generally, if you’re not too concerned about the aesthetics of your structure, you can leave it as is and just clean up harsh chemical spills that can degrade the vinyl.

You’ll also need to conduct the occasional inspection, especially after a major weather event. This is as easy as inspecting the exterior and structural support beams for tears or damage and keeping tabs on how customizations are functioning. If you notice any issues, you can contact the original installer and have them repair them for you. However, repairs are usually unnecessary, as the materials used are durable and rip-resistant.

Can Be Transported to Other Sites

As previously mentioned, you can sell or recycle your temporary enclosure to have a lower environmental impact, but you can also reuse them yourself. These structures are easy to transport from jobsite to jobsite, meaning you don’t have to buy and rebuild one wherever you go. With how portable, customizable, and cost-effective these structures are, it’s no wonder that construction site managers and other industry professionals prefer them.

Now that you know a little bit more about how temporary construction enclosures can help you overcome jobsite challenges, it’s our turn to help you with the next step. Here at Big Top Manufacturing, we specialize in constructing temporary enclosures to meet a variety of applications and jobsite needs. From marine, military, construction applications, and more, Big Top Manufacturing has your jobsite covered.

Overcoming Challenges With Temporary Construction Enclosures

Over the past two decades, tensile fabric building structures have become increasingly popular among architects, designers, and businesses alike due to their beauty, flexibility, strength, and cost-effectiveness. More than that, though, there are many reasons why tension fabric buildings are the wave of the future in terms of sustainable construction methods and green design strategies that will make a positive impact on the planet and people’s lives for years to come. Here are just a few examples…

Green construction trends fabric buildings

In recent years, green construction has become a major focus for eco-conscious building owners. As a result, alternative forms of construction that can minimize environmental impact have gained popularity in both private and commercial settings. One such trend is architectural fabric structures, which combine green components with innovative design to create structures that maintain energy efficiency while reducing waste and environmental damage during manufacturing and installation. Because they are made from lightweight, biodegradable materials, textile buildings can be transported to locations that lack infrastructure without causing excessive stress on roadways or nearby ecosystems. They also eliminate some of the waste created by traditional construction materials because metal poles or beams are not necessary in fabrication.

Cost savings from prefabrication

Portable Fabric Buildings, Structures

Since fabric buildings can be constructed quickly with minimal labor, they can save you a considerable amount of money on labor costs. Plus, since fabric buildings utilize both prefabricated and on-site components, they tend to have quicker turnaround times and shorter project schedules than other building methods. This not only saves you money—it also helps ensure that your projects stay on schedule and on budget!

The environmental benefits of fabric buildings

Building a fabric structure is better for Mother Earth. Because fabric buildings have no foundation, you can place them anywhere: on a flat surface, on ground that’s too rocky to support traditional structures, or even underwater! It doesn’t matter if it rains or snows—even if your surroundings change over time (like if a lake expands). There’s no risk of land erosion, damage from flooding or cracking. In fact, studies show that these types of big top structures actually improve land around them by creating an environment that encourages plant growth. As long as you make sure your structure is attached to a solid beam and secure enough so winds won’t destroy it during storms, it should be able to last for a very long time! In fact some fabric structurers erected in WWII still stand today.

Low labor costs

Similar to stick-built construction, tension fabric buildings are easy to assemble. They do not require expensive scaffolding or hoisting services that many steel and concrete structures rely on. Everything is can be done with simple hand tools. Due to their simplicity, fabric membrane structures can be erected much more quickly than other types of building methods. While it takes an experienced crew around a week to erect a steel structure and around six weeks for something made from concrete, tension fabric buildings can take less than a week (size and assembly team depending). Most parts are pre-assembled and manufactured in our warehouse, maximizing productivity and speeding up assembly time, improving cost-effectiveness even further while reducing risk factors associated with weather delays.

Flexibility to build on tough sites

Because you can install a tension fabric building without a crane (if you’d like), it’s ideal for spaces that wouldn’t otherwise be suitable for construction. These structures can be installed on difficult and awkwardly shaped terrain—and they can even be built over existing buildings. There’s no need to tear anything down or waste time doing construction work in tight areas; instead, you get to create something new and flexible.

Innovation in design and technology with fabric buildings

Fabric buildings continue to expand their place in commercial and industrial applications, particularly as an alternative to traditional architectural designs. Thanks to advanced technology and lighter-weight, innovative materials that don’t sacrifice quality or strength, designers can build bigger and better structures faster than ever before. This means you’ll always be at least one step ahead when it comes to design preferences, budgeting and efficiency with a Big Top Manufacturing fabric building over our traditional counterparts.

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.

“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.

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.


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.

Big Top Protects a Construction Company from the Sun

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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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