The correct choice of material for your structure depends on many factors. Your personal preferences, budget, spending in the time you need to build come into play. For fabrics vs steel, they have their advantages in disadvantage according to your needs.
The fabrics are naturally translucent, which allows natural light to penetrate through the fabric without windows. Depending on whether you opt for a non-combustible cloth or a flame-retardant material, the transparency is between 16% and 19% transparency. Natural lighting provides a comfortable working space and proves fatigue for cattle and workers. There is a strong link between exposure to natural daylight and sleep, activity and overall quality of life of workers. The steel is opaque, which creates less than an optimal environment for health and productivity if the windows are not added to the structure.
In addition to reducing the electrical lighting required for fabrics due to the transparency of the fabric, the fabrics are naturally thermally non-conductive, in summer fuller colder and in winter warmer. A passive and active ventilation system can add fabric structure to ease the air flow and save energy costs throughout the year. On the other hand, the steel is thermally conductive. Without heating and cooling systems, the steel structure can become summer and cold in winter. In addition, the metal lining is attached to a frame with thousands of holes for screws that leave air over time and create a less energy-efficient structure. The fabrics are airtight, which eliminates the loss of heating or cooling.
Permanent versus Portable or Temporary
Fabric structures are placed much faster and more efficient than steel and can be mounted on various foundations that allow them to be permanently, portably or temporarily used. This is an important factor if you are renting land on which you are dealing or doing business. Fabric structures can also be easily expanded if you need more space. On the contrary, the steel structure is built in such a way that it provides constant less flexibility if your needs or circumstances change.
In most conditions, the fabric lasts from 15 to 20 years before it needs a minor repair. Calhoun's fabric is made of polyethylene fabric of high density or PVC fabric, which is designed to withstand the elements. In addition, Calhoun's fabric structure uses hot galvanized steel frames. These frames give you the strength of the steel without worrying or constant maintenance to prevent corrosion. In most cases, the inner steel frames have lasted for several generations. On the contrary, steel roofing systems will eventually be damaged by external exposure to pollution and moisture that speeds up the process compared to the fabric. In addition, steel buildings must be washed once a year to wash winter construction, while regular painting keeps the steel structure fresh. However, washing and painting is not necessary for fabrics that create a lower maintenance structure.