farm-fabric-building

Extra Farm Storage Building Space in a Weekend

It’s like a high tech version of a good ol fashioned barn raising.  Drive past the farm yard on a Friday afternoon and you can see a front end loader off-loading the trusses and crates from a flat bed trailer.  Drive past again on the following Monday morning and that pile of steel and crates has turned into a 38 foot x 80 foot FastCover fabric covered storage building ready for use.  This is a common sight happening all across North America.  The FastCover Portable Engineered Truss Structures are becoming a popular choice for farmers and ranchers who need more covered storage space but don’t have the time to spare to fuss with weeks of building a traditional material structure.  These fully engineered portable buildings provide the strength and portability that is required to meet the varied storage needs, from equipment storage to hay and feed storage.  

A Weekend is All You Need

FastCover buildings are manufactured and shipped in modular components.

Hay Storage Building - Preserve Your Hay
Hay Storage Fabric Structures

A full truss span will consist of 4 to 6 truss pieces which are then bolted on site and stood in place.  Repeat the process and connect each truss with the cross member support purlins and continue until your steel superstructure is in place.  The fabric cover is then secured to the base on one side of the building.  Using guide ropes slung over the building’s frame work, the fabric cover is pulled into place and secured on the opposite side and ends.  While the building installation instructions are quite a bit more detailed than this high level overview, this installation process is intended to take several days, as compared to several weeks, stretching in to a month long project, for traditional building materials.

Flexible Foundation Options

With FastCover’s ingenious Base Rail system, the options are nearly endless regarding building location and foundation choices.  Some farm/ranch owners choose to build their storage building mounted on wood or concrete posts, some are built mounted to the ground, others on a temporary concrete block wall.  one of the common storage building installation techniques is use engineered ground screw anchors which are located to match the connection points for the building.  This results in both a building and a foundation that is portable and can be re-used at another location.

Flexible Storage Space

A FastCover fabric covered storage building is well suited to a wide variety of

Farm Equipment Storage Building
Farm Equipment Storage

storage uses.  Many times the building will serve dual purposes.  One end of the building is utilized as an equipment / machinery storage and maintenance building.  The clear-span space with no internal columns to restrict movement is ideal for a weather protected storage area and the fabric covers bright allow a tremendous amount of natural daylight to pass to the interior of the building.  This makes for an excellent location to perform repairs and scheduled maintenance to your equipment.  While one end of the building is utilized by machinery, the other end is used for hay storage, feed storage, fertilizer storage, or crop storage.  The weather-proof covers keep materials dry and with properly designed ventilation the buildings are ideal for crop / feed storage.

Got your weekend plans ready?  Take advantage of the FastCover QuickShip program to get an available building on it’s way to you right away.

How to Save Money on Your Next Building Purchase

When making your next building purchase, there are many financial considerations.  There are many ways a fabric building from FastCover Buildings can help you save money as described below.

Cost of Land and Taxes

Land is expensive and location factors often dictate the price.  When making the decision on where to locate your building, sometimes you have the option of several locations.  No matter what, there is a value to the land where your building will be placed.  Because of the unique characteristics of a FastCover building, it will often qualify as a temporary structure, even though it is built to meet the local building code requirements for factors such as wind and snow load.  When classified as a temporary structure, it will most often incur a lower property tax as it is not considered a permanent improvement to the property.

As will be described below, due to foundation options, a FastCover building can be erected on a wider range of terrain that may not be suitable for other building types.  This means less suitable land, possibly less expensive land, can be selected.

Foundation

Related to the above, one of the features of FastCover fabric buildings is the ability to be erected on a wide array of foundation types.  From permanent foundations to concrete block foundations to large engineered screw anchors.  The continuous outer base rail frame included in the FastCover building design allows the structure to be built almost anywhere.

Assembly Construction Time

Would you rather be using your building, or waiting on construction to be completed?  A FastCover fabric building can save you weeks to months on labour and equipment expenses.  A typical FastCover building installation is often measured in days.  Because the buildings are shipped in large component pieces, including truss sections, purlins, cross bracing, winches, and cover sections, the assembly of a building occurs rapidly.  Truss sections are bolted into completed trusses then raised into place and secured with bracing.  When all trusses are standing and braced, the fabric cover is pulled into place.

The time frame for expensive lift equipment rental is minimized along with the overall construction time.

Shipping and Logistics

Logistically speaking, the component pieces, from trusses, to covers, to hardware, are all sourced from the FastCover manufacturing facility.  When the building shipment arrives, it is ready to be built.  As compared to other building styles, the component pieces may be sourced from multiple suppliers, often causing construction delays when materials do not arrive in the correct sequence or on schedule.

Interior Finishing – Lighting

As buildings have their outer shell completed, attention turns to the all-important inside of the building where actual business activity is planned.  Most buildings require interior lighting so that people, equipment, and goods can move around inside the building.  For a FastCover building, the fabric offers a tremendous advantage of transmitting a high amount of the outside daytime lighting to the building’s interior, usually eliminating the need for daytime artificial lighting.  For a conventional building to achieve the same result, a very large number of windows would be required, increasing construction time and construction costs.  For early morning or nighttime lighting, the bright white underside of the fabric cover helps to disperse artificial lighting further and more evenly requiring fewer light fixtures and lower on-going electricity consumption.

Summary of Building Purchase Savings

When making your next building purchase, we encourage you to go beyond just the invoice cost of the building itself.  Consider the value of the land required, the foundation requirements and preparation, the expense of construction time, the cost of potential delays, and on-going costs such as electricity to light the buildings interior.  We believe the choice of a FastCover fabric building becomes more obvious.

Fabric Buildings Save Maintenance and Utility Costs for Storage Buildings

Reducing maintenance and utility costs associated with your storage buildings is a smart way to improve the operational efficiency of your business operations.  Making a smart purchase decision includes not only taking into account the upfront capital cost of the building but also the on-going operational costs of the building.

Save on Construction Costs/Time

Setting aside the capital outlay for the building, there are a number savings that a FastCover fabric building will provide which may not be immediately obvious.  The first is the time and expense saved to erect the building.  Because the building is shipped in modular components, on-site construction time is drastically reduced where buildings can be completed sometimes in days as compared to weeks or months with buildings which must be completely constructed on-site.  This also means your building is finished and ready for use in your business sooner.

Save on Your Lighting Bill

Now consider the post-construction state of your building, as this is expected to last for many years.  You will have recurring monthly expenses for utilities and maintenance on any style of building.  A FastCover fabric building can help to reduce a number of monthly expenses due to the nature of the materials used to manufacture the building.  The most obvious difference between a fabric building and steel or wood construction building is the use of a fabric cover.  This fabric cover offers numerous advantages.  The first is that it allows a tremendous amount of natural daylight to pass through the cover to the building’s interior, virtually eliminating the need for daytime artificial lighting.  Even on cloudy days, there is often ample light to perform most activities inside the building without flicking on the light switch and having the power meter spinning.  In early morning hours and nighttime when we no longer have the free benefit of the suns light, artificial lights can be used more efficiently as the bright white underside of the cover reflects and disperses light so that typically fewer light fixtures are needed.

Less Heat/Cold Exchange

Unlike a metal roofed building often used for storage buildings, a fabric building cover will not radiate the heat and cold of the extreme weather conditions we experience.  Combine this with a cover that is effectively a one-piece sealed membrane and there will be substantially less air through cracks and perforations traditional buildings tend to have.

Maintenance Costs on Your Roof

Some building styles require that the roofing and siding materials such as roof tar or shingles and exterior wall paint must be frequently maintained or replaced on a periodic basis.  With a FastCover fabric building chosen for your storage building, there is no need to paint or shingle the roof and walls.  The covers should be checked for tension periodically but are otherwise virtually self maintaining.  Dirt and dust have a difficult time adhering to the polyethylene fabric and normally wind and rain are enough to blow off or wash off any that does manage to sit on the covers.

The building’s steel superstructure is post-weld powder-coat painted in our own paint booth.  The extremely smooth finish helps to prevent cover wear and protects the steel framework from rust and corrosion.

Value You Can Re-Use

One cost saving factor that few other storage buildings can match is the ability to take your investment with you if your business circumstance result in a move of locations.  A FastCover building is designed with an exclusive continuous base rail frame system which affords it a tremendous range of options in regards to foundations.  So flexible are these options that the foundation itself may be temporary and if the need arises, a FastCover storage building can be disassembled, building and foundation moved, and re-erected at the new site.

Note: link to this article from commercial equipment storage