Benefits of Air-Supported Buildings and When They Are The Right Choice

fabric buildings have long fascinating history

The advantages of an Air-Supported Structure, or ASB, are numerous. Since the dawn of civilization, humankind has been constructing buildings from wood – but wood has some serious drawbacks: rotting and termites. These problems are solved with air space below the structure and add considerable enjoyability to your building. The benefits of adding an air-supported structure range from cost to energy savings – in today’s world, that’s a win-win for any project.

Brick-and-mortar construction has been around for hundreds of years, and for good reason too. Bricks have withstood the test of time, and it isn’t easy to replace something that works. Why would you alter your hammer if it still sinks in nails? However, there are situations when you are handed a screw, and your hammer will not cut it. Air domes, like different tools for different operations, are specialized structures that are better for specific uses. Here are a few examples of how air structures outperform the rest.

Uses of Air-Supported Buildings

Air-supported structures, like many new advancements in industry and technology, arose from military uses. The so-called air-supported structures were and continue to be utilized to provide safe zones for warehousing, weapon assembly, vehicle and aircraft repair, radar equipment storage, and mobile hospitals.

When equipment passes military testing, it quickly finds commercial use, and pneumatic construction for structures was no exception. Military constructions were typically followed by commercial services, with good outcomes.

Storage Deposits

Covered warehouses have long been an issue for industrial enterprises since space requirements can change significantly from one instant to the next. The frequent swings in demand make permanent structures impracticable. While it is true that warehouse space can be leased, the forced decision to choose a warehouse far from the company’s premises may be one reason for inefficiencies in stock reordering.

The air-supported structure solves this problem by providing an enclosed and variable-size space. Although environmental control is not required for many storage applications, some items, such as foodstuffs, must be stored in a carefully controlled atmosphere, which air-supported buildings can do. 

Construction

The use of air-supported buildings in the construction industry is beneficial. In the winter, the construction phase of a building involves additional expenditures due to underutilized labor on days when the weather is terrible, as well as the necessity to safeguard supplies and keep them at temperatures that allow them to be used.

Air-supported structures are an appropriate solution for these applications due to their ability to cover large spaces. They have been used to great economic advantage in the military sector and in the realization of major civil engineering projects, or even the simple construction of buildings.

Industry

As with fluctuations in storage space requirements, there are instances when output must be rapidly extended. Production flexibility might be one of the most important aspects determining commercial success in the manufacturing industry.

Traditional buildings, once again, do not allow for rapid changes in available space. In contrast, the employment of pneumatic structures (depending on the scenario and requirements in the self-supporting pneumatic tent form) can also result in an immediate boost in productivity.

The need to restart a big Italian industrial enterprise in Friuli, which experienced total infrastructure collapse following the 1976 earthquake, is an excellent illustration. In this scenario, thanks to the dedication of the employees of the earthquake-affected company and the assistance of an Italian company that provided an air-supported structure, the complete work cycle was able to resume after only 45 days!

Many manufacturing processes require strict environmental control. Enterprises that create miniaturized electronics demand dust-free facilities, while food preparation necessitates a high level of hygiene.

These are only two of the many manufacturing processes that demand conditions regulated within exact and defined parameters, which air-supported structures can readily meet.

Agriculture

The growing population has led to expectations of a commensurate growth in agricultural productivity throughout the years; regrettably, this hoped-for increase has only occurred in part. As a result, it is necessary to be able to make products, even those parcels of land that are inherently unfit for agriculture and may only be attainable through the establishment of an artificial environment.

A solution has been discovered by relocating agriculture within unique installations, which consist of enormous expanses of sand and gravel covered by air-supported buildings with a computerized control system that provides an optimum atmosphere for plant life.

Unprecedented levels of output distinguish these “factories.”

Social Applications

The air-supported structure has yet to be as successful in commercial applications as in sports and leisure facilities: sports and leisure facilities account for more than 70% of all air-supported structures built.

Tennis court coverings deserve special notice among sports applications because they continue to have the most significant proportion of use in the industry.

Structures meant to cover swimming pools can also reach unusual heights. The same can be true about coverings constructed for riding stables, bowling greens, volleyball courts, basketball courts, five-a-side football pitches, ice skating rinks, school gymnasiums, and other similar structures. 

When Is an Air Structure the Right Choice?

Money

Regarding construction, the cost is frequently the decisive factor, and air domes are far less expensive. Domes are far cheaper to build because they use far fewer resources per square foot of usable space inside the building.

The building is expensive, and huge sports facilities necessitate a significant investment. If construction costs are prohibitively costly, a bubble may be the best option!

Time

Another barrier to traditional construction is the construction time. Domes are produced off-site at a manufacturing facility and can be installed in a few days if the foundation is ready.

If tournament season is approaching and you require a facility quickly, inflate a dome, and you’re set!

Open Spaces

One of the primary advantages of air-supported structures is that no structural support is required. While this has the advantage of fewer materials and less construction, it also has more open space. The absence of supporting columns makes an ideal atmosphere for sports, huge gatherings, or storage.

If you’ve never been inside an air dome, you’ll be astounded by the amount of space that can be generated.

Portable

Unlike a regular building, a dome does not remain in place indefinitely. Moving a building is nearly impossible, whereas air constructions may be readily deflated and relocated.

Therefore, Domes are suitable for temporary structures, structures on rented land, or in any situation when a permanent installation is not desirable. Take it down, load it onto the back of a truck, and your dome is ready to be relocated.

Seasonal

Indoor sports structures are only utilized seasonally because most sports are seasonal. Sports like soccer and baseball are played outside, but only during the warmer months, and when winter arrives, those outdoor venues are gone.

Sports domes have the advantage of being able to be set up and taken down annually over an outdoor playing area. This works well with sports grounds like tennis courts and recreational facilities like swimming pools. If you have to close something down for the winter, think about putting a dome over it!

Why Choose Air-Supported Buildings

Building construction has significant adverse effects on our environment

Quick To Erect

Air-supported fabric structures can be built much faster than typical brick-and-mortar structures. They do not require permanent foundations or minimal site preparation and frequently do not require planning permission if they are intended for temporary use.

Cheaper Construction 

Given the amount of material needed to produce fabric structures, clients receive more building for their money than they would with traditional construction methods. Environmentally, they require far fewer raw materials in their manufacture, and the fabrics used are frequently recyclable.

Relocatable

Fabric air constructions are incredibly portable and can be quickly carried out while leaving no permanent mark on the site. Inflatable buildings take up much less room and weigh far less than metal-framed or metal-clad structures when packed for transport.

Provide Similar Rigidity Ratios

Air-supported structures are engineered to endure heavy wind and snow loads and exceed most, if not all, code requirements for these safety considerations when adequately anchored.

Lower Carbon Footprint

Air-supported structures can meet the demands for increased sustainability as the energy consumption equation in buildings becomes more sophisticated and quantified. Aside from the decreased material consumption and recyclability considerations mentioned above, building and installing an air structure reduces local impacts and means lower energy use in transport-to-site calculations. Fabrics used in building air structures nowadays may compete with traditional built-up roofs for energy-efficient systems, which is a huge bonus when long-term use is an issue, thanks to modern higher insulation R-values.

Building construction has significant adverse effects on our environment

When it comes to construction, there are several different sources that one can look to when it’s time to build. Many people rely on the tried-and-true brick-and-mortar construction style, but that might not be the right choice for your operation. 

The most important thing to remember about Air-Supported Structures is that you should always hire a professional. The appearance and domicile of your construction project can be a big deal, in addition to stability and safety. An experienced business will not only provide you with options, but they will also make sure that the job gets done right. 

Edge Innovations industry experts assist you in determining the optimal fabric structure for your industry demands. Edge has a wide choice of covered building applications to match your temporary or permanent needs.