Fabric Buildings Cost: What Impacts Fabric Building Prices?

Tension fabric structures are known across dozens of industries for their versatility, as well as their budget-friendly nature. This is especially true when compared to more traditional structures, which can carry a steep price tag due to their cost-intensive designs, extensive construction requirements and high long-term operating costs.

Despite fabric structures generally being less expensive, a new building is still a significant investment for any operation to make, and it’s important for them to be aware of the different elements that impact building cost. This way, they can get the ideal structure for their business, without overspending and compromising their budget.

Fabric building prices can be impacted by a wide variety of factors, from the design of the structure itself to the site it’s being built on. This resource is intended to provide operations with a detailed breakdown of those differentiators, giving them an in-depth look at what fabric buildings cost.

How Much Does A Fabric Building Cost?

The cost of a fabric building is largely determined by location and site conditions, building size and materials, labor demands and long-term operating expenses. In most cases, these structures are highly customizable, so fabric building prices tend to change from project to project.

As a result of customization, fabric buildings cost only what operations need them to. Through ClearSpan, businesses can create a detailed design plan that fits within their specific budget, without sacrificing on quality or functionality. These operations should then continue to benefit from their structure over time, saving money on reduced energy costs and the building’s limited maintenance requirements.

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Building Sites And Foundation Options

Fabric structures are incredibly versatile, providing a valuable solution for hundreds of applications. Due to their multi-purpose designs, they need to be able to utilize many different foundation options. The building site may have an impact on fabric building cost per square foot, as well as construction and installation costs, because different land conditions may require additional excavation or certain foundations for adequate stability.

Fortunately, most fabric structures can be built on a variety of foundations, which can all impact pricing differently. Some more conventional options include concrete blocks and pads, wooden posts and pony walls, but there are also more innovative choices available that may help reduce costs.

Helical anchors are a versatile foundation system that provide operations with long-term reliability and the option to relocate their structure. They drill directly into the ground and require minimal sitework or excavation, so they are great for speeding up project timelines and reducing overall construction costs.

Helical anchoring systems can be removed and reused, making them an effective option for businesses who need to move around between different sites. Although they can be used as a temporary foundation, they still offer the strength of a permanent structure and create a stable, dependable base for any building application.

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Shipping containers are another cost-effective option, as they provide additional clearance and storage space, while acting as a stable foundation. Containers are incredibly functional, allowing operations to lock up expensive tools and equipment at the end of the day, or keep them out of the way when they’re not in use.

When considering what fabric buildings cost, operations also typically have to take into account the taxes imposed on them by cities and states. However, helical anchors and shipping containers are able to help a fabric structure be classified as temporary, giving operations a potential tax break that helps them save more on their project.

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Building Shape, Size And Materials

Fabric buildings come in a number of designs with numerous frames, covers and profiles. Each of these variables can have an impact on how much fabric buildings cost. The needs of the operation should always be the first consideration before examining cost, as this helps determine the ideal frame and cover combination for their specific application.

Structural design has one of the largest bearings on fabric building prices. ClearSpan offers fabric buildings in several unique profiles, including round, gable, open-sided designs and more, each of which carries a different cost. These structures also come in two different steel frame options, the truss frame and I-beam frame, and an operation’s preferred choice will further affect their total price.

Regardless of budget, users should always choose a building that is constructed with a high-quality metal, like steel. In particular, triple-galvanized steel offers the most benefits for operations, providing a longer lifespan and limited maintenance.

The size of the building is another variable that directly influences fabric building prices. Smaller structures with round designs tend to be more economical, but they won’t be ideal for every operation. Larger buildings with clear span designs may be a bit more costly, but the improvements in usable space and efficiency will prove invaluable for most businesses, especially those in manufacturing or warehousing.

Fabric structures can also be clad with different cover options, so the material businesses choose can help determine how much fabric buildings cost. There are heavier fabric covers that employ multi-layer construction for maximum strength and durability, but operations can also choose a lighter, more economic fabric that prioritizes other benefits, like natural lighting.

After a time, businesses may need to get their building recovered, leading to an additional cost that should be planned for. The lifespan of a fabric cover can vary between manufacturers, but ClearSpan’s cladding options are backed by 20 and 30 year warranties, so operations always know they’re getting the most out of their investment.

I-Beam Fabric Building
gable fabric building surrounded by trucks and materials

Custom or Turnkey Structural Designs And Fabric Buildings Cost

Fabric structures are available in both custom and turnkey designs, so operations are able to get a solution that meets any specification, including local building codes. When it comes to how much fabric buildings cost, there is a clear difference between turnkey and custom designs, but there is more to consider than just the upfront expense.

Turnkey designs come in a variety of sizes and are a cost-effective choice for businesses in need of a structure without any specifications. Because their design generally remains the same, they won’t meet every operation’s unique needs or regional snow and wind loads. This makes turnkey structures ideal for low risk applications in regions with a moderate climate.

On the other hand, custom fabric buildings may cost more, but they are tailored around an operation’s exact requirements and will excel in their intended application. Fabric structures can be customized around even the smallest details, whether it’s the dimensions, end walls, custom-engineering or through a wide range of building accessories.

Cost-Effective Design For Low Fabric Building Prices

With versatile designs and a number of features for operations to incorporate into their structure, it can be challenging to get the most value out of a designated budget. The process as a whole can be overwhelming, but getting these different design elements right is vital to creating the most cost-efficient building possible.

The simplest way for operations to complete their project, while maximizing quality and still achieving a lower fabric building price, is to work with a reputable manufacturer. ClearSpan is an expert in designing structural solutions that work for each individual operation, meeting the needs of their industry and application, but still keeping the overall cost of a building down.

For over forty years, ClearSpan has been helping customers with every type of budget get their ideal fabric structure. To learn more about fabric building prices or to start designing your own structure, call or REQUEST A QUOTE  today.

This post was originally published in April, 2020 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.


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