An Innovative Building Solution for Warehousing

Nicholas St. Pierre, Contributor

Warehousing requires a reliable, well-designed structure to ensure optimal functionality and efficiency. Traditional buildings, constructed with wood and concrete, have long been the first choice for companies needing a warehouse, despite their high costs and long construction times. However, there is an alternative structure that provides the same utility as a traditional building, with unique benefits and a cost-effective price.

Fabric structures are an innovative building solution whose capabilities match that of traditional buildings, while also offering energy savings and a lower cost per square foot, making them an ideal choice for warehousing. These versatile structures are constructed with durable frames and fabrics to offer structural integrity and protection comparable to traditional buildings; they are also designed to be built quickly. Some manufacturers offer fabric structures with unique characteristics that prove especially beneficial in warehousing applications.

When beginning a search for a new warehouse, companies should be sure to look for fabric structures that are manufactured with high-quality materials. Choosing a structure with a frame constructed from American-made steel is ideal. By working with a manufacturer that offers industry-leading warranties, businesses can add another layer of reassurance that can prove valuable in a warehousing environment.

Cover Story

While the frame is important, the most defining aspect of fabric structures is the cover. Typically constructed with high-tensile composite fabrics, like polyethylene or PVC, the coverings of fabric structures should offer strength and durability in even the most demanding conditions. Covers that are designed to resist high winds and heavy snow loads will ensure companies that their structure will last for years to come.

Businesses should also choose a fabric cover that is designed to filter in natural sunlight. There are several benefits to using a translucent fabric cover for warehousing, starting with the environment it creates. By allowing abundant sunlight into the structure, fabric covers can produce a bright, well-lit environment that doesn’t produce any shadows. The increased visibility creates a comfortable environment for workers, while also improving efficiency and safety. Still, that’s not the only benefit of these fabric covers.

Reduce Energy Use

Reducing energy costs is one of the biggest advantages of owning a fabric structure. With the environment created by a translucent fabric cover’s natural light, warehouses can operate without supplemental daytime lighting. By eliminating the need to run daytime lights, owners of a fabric structure can experience an up to 50% reduction in monthly lighting costs. Companies looking for even further energy savings should opt to work with a manufacturer whose fabric covers are climate-sensitive.

Climate-sensitive fabric covers can maintain interior temperatures that are up to 20 degrees cooler in the summer and 20°F warmer in the winter. The natural ventilation designs offered by some manufacturers also allow a steady flow of fresh, clean air. By choosing a fabric structure that features natural ventilation and a climate-sensitive cover, businesses can experience a reduction in heating and cooling costs as well. Along with durable, energy-saving fabric covers, certain manufacturers also offer structural designs specifically suited to warehousing.

Space + Functionality

Warehousing requires immense storage and precision maneuvering of heavy equipment and machinery, so fabric structures that are designed to provide the maximum usable space offer the most functionality in a warehousing application. ClearSpan, a leading fabric structure manufacturer, offers building designs with a complete lack of internal support posts, allowing owners to take full advantage of the entirety of their warehouse’s space. Aside from the storage capabilities, this lack of internal support beams also prevents interference with warehousing equipment and machinery, like forklifts. This allows much easier maneuvering for loading and unloading, optimizing warehouse efficiency.

Fabric structures are ideal for use as a warehouse because of their versatility and functionality and lower costs per square foot. Decreased construction times and monthly energy savings also make them a cost-effective building solution in any application. Plus, the unique benefits of translucent fabric covers and ClearSpan designs prove especially beneficial in warehousing. There are a variety of reasons to choose a fabric structure for warehousing, but the above attributes highlight the essentials. Businesses in need of a new warehouse should consider these innovative structures for their next project. WMHS

About the Author: Nicholas St. Pierre is a Junior Copywriter for ClearSpan, which specializes in fabric structures and other building solutions. To learn more, visit: www.ClearSpan.com.