The Architecture and Design of Beam Bridges and How the Use of Fabric Covered Buildings Helps During Construction

November 13, 2013

beam bridges - fabric covered buildings can be essential in the building of beam bridgesThere are more than a half million bridges in use across the United States; the beam bridge is made up of a horizontal beam that is supported at each end by piers. The weight of the beam pushes straight down on the piers; the farther apart they are, they weaker the beam becomes which is why these bridges rarely span more than 250 feet.

Bridges have been constructed by humans since ancient times, with initial designs being extremely simple, such as a tree placed over a stream or a river. With the advancement of civilization, other methods were discovered based on using rock, stone, mortar and other materials to create longer and stronger bridges such as the Roman techniques that included the driving of wooden poles at the intended location of bridge columns which were filled in with various construction materials. Following the industrial revolution, the introduction of stronger materials was used such as steel replacing wrought iron.

Beam bridges are the simplest of the four types bridges built today, beam, arch, cantilever and suspension.  It is strong as well as economical.  Due to its simple design, this bridge is the most common of all throughout the world, generally used to span shorter distances and common found along local roads.

Fabric covered buildings can be essential during the construction of these bridges. During the winter, construction areas often need to stay warm, requiring a quality weather protection solution. Fabric covered buildings created by Shelter Structures are made in a way that they can be used on future bridge construction as well, even if the size differs just by adding additional sections to the trusses that hold the shelter. This can help reduce structure and creation costs significantly.

From bridges and other tricky projects, Shelter Structures offers affordable design solutions, including fabric covered buildings which can be utilized for even the largest and most challenging projects.

Combat the Winter Cold with Better Doors and Windows for Your Home: The Use of Construction Shelters is Important During the Process

November 12, 2013
weather proof your house with the help of a construction shelter

image credit –

Preparing your home for cold weather is a great way to help save energy and money. It can help keep energy bills under control and keep your family warmer throughout the winter months.  Making your home draft free may be possible by following these steps:

  • Keep all doors and windows closed as often as possible, including overhead doors on an attached garage.
  • Install plastic-film storm windows which can be purchased at local hardware stores.
  • Seal off any rooms less than 100 square feet in size that are not being used. Keep doors closed and be sure to close all floor or wall registers and return air vents.
  • Keep south-facing curtains, drapes and blinds open during the day and close any window coverings at night to keep the heat in.
  • Weather stripping and caulking windows can also help. Fill any cracks found in window frames with a silicon-based caulk. Putty-like “rope caulk” can also help seal large cracks, saving up to 5 percent on your energy bill.
  • Check all of your home’s exterior doors for air leaks; weather strip and caulk as necessary. Just a 1/8” gap around a door is equal to a 6” square hole in the side of the home, causing significant energy loss.

If you have major air leaks, you may need to update your old doors and windows, installing new energy saving ones which will require the use of construction shelters in order to protect the home from inclement weather during the construction. In the long run, this is well-worth the time and expense as it can help to save massive amounts on energy bills.

Construction shelters are the ideal solution during any home remodel or renovation, but their possible uses are almost unlimited. Construction shelters can be customized to meet all different sizes and needs, keeping inclement weather out while your home is in the process of becoming more energy efficient.

Featured Fabric Shelter Projects Across the U.S. by Shelter Structures, Inc.

October 31, 2013

Weather conditions can heavily dictate the time table of any construction project, big or small. Thankfully there are fabric shelters. Fabric Shelters help to combat against unruly inclement weather that can otherwise hinder construction efforts. Fabric Shelters are made up of a modular design that allows shelters to expand and subdivide structures into multiple units and easily relocate to change. Unobstructed clear span space, with no columns or internal supports allows for optimum space usage. Mobility can provide clear access to the interior. Eco-friendly construction, with recycled steel and a small carbon footprint created during manufacturing, transportation and installation. Don’t let unpredictable weather conditions impede from your construction time, contact Shelter Structures Inc. today for a quote and estimate on their top of the line fabric shelters

Fabric Shelter

Tensioned Fabric Building – Easy to Construct, Durable, & Inexpensive

October 25, 2013

tensioned fabric building No matter what project you are working on whether it be a new home, a storage building, or a scientific research project; you want to make sure your investment is protected.  As such, you want the best quality shelter available at the best price.  As a result of this demand, engineers have designed an easy to construct, inexpensive, and highly durable shelter design which they call a “tensioned fabric building,” in order to satisfy this demand.

A tensioned fabric building is designed using cables and other temporary elements that stretch a highly durable and waterproof type of cloth; or more specifically a PTFE (Teflon®) fiberglass membrane.  This membrane is stretched tight across the supporting structure in the way that a skin is tightened across the head of a drum.  This creates a waterproof and highly impermeable barrier to the elements for whatever project you are engaged in that needs to be protected from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and moisture.

Argentina gives us a great example of how a tensioned fabric building can be effective on a very large scale:

“Featuring 312,545 square feet of tensile roof clad in a PTFE (Teflon®) fiberglass membrane, La Plata is the first fabric-covered stadium in South America and the first South American stadium designed to be fully enclosed, with the option of being partially covered.” (Justin McGar,

La Plata Stadium in Argentina is an amazing twin-peaked building which has a 53,000-seat capacity.  This innovative structure gives the option of being partially covered or fully covered at the whim of the operators.  The stadium concept was so well received that it has been given both a 2012 Engineering Excellence Platinum Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York and the prestigious 2012 Outstanding Structure Award from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering.

Shelter specializes in this innovative type of structure, and can custom design a tensioned fabric building to meet your needs in any situation.

Temporary Structures Aid in Historic Building Restoration

October 24, 2013

In today’s fast paced world, the idea of having to delay any sort of project because of weather is just not feasible.  Time is money, and with ever progressing technology we are now able to bypass the inconveniences of the natural world by preventing exposure.  For the building and restoration industry, this salvation has come in the form of temporary structures like those provided by Shelter Structures.

What would have been the solution 50 years ago if a town decided to do some restoration work on a historic brick building?  There was really only one solution.  Hope for nice sunny days that were not too hot, not too cold, and not too humid.  That is about as far away from efficient as anyone could imagine.  Of course you could build a permanent shelter over the historic monument to shield it from the elements, but the expense of erecting and then later disassembling a structure like that would be utterly ridiculous.

This is where temporary structures have found their value in the restoration market.  Enormous temporary structures can be erected over buildings, which allow protection from the elements for both the aging structure that is in need of repair, along with protection for the workers so they have the safety and comfort of not being exposed to the weather.

temporary structures These temporary structures have already been proven to be a success in Nashville, TN.  W.L. Hailey reached out to Shelter Structures for a custom shelter in order to protect a historic brick building while it was being rebuilt.  This allowed the workers to pay the attention to the detail that was needed to do a perfect restoration job.  Hailey reports that the job is ahead of schedule, and completely protected, which allows them to work every day on the project without delay.

“We will move the shelter twice during the life of the project, so each section is covered while the work is being done. This was the most economical solution to keep the work on schedule, as there will be no weather damage or delays”.  (Micky Petty, Petty Construction)

Innovative Building with Construction Shelters

October 23, 2013


construction shelters

Jeff Bachner – NY Daily News

According to the New York Daily News, residential construction could be taking a turn for the better by moving toward the future: using pre-fabricated modules in order to fast-track the building construction process.  These new structures are built using modules that are assembled indoors inside construction shelters, such as those available through  These structures allow the carpenters, electricians, and everyone else involved the ability to work both day and night, regardless of the weather.  There is also an incredible increase in the safety of workers since they can build each unit at ground level, as opposed to risking their lives working hundreds of feet in the air.

In Forest City, the Ratner’s plant is rapidly producing pre-fabricated modules which will easily be attached to one another later at the building site.  They are constructed using a method very similar to an assembly line, which allows for a 25% or more increase in production rate.  Along with that, the workers are much more comfortable working inside the construction shelters as opposed to having to battle the elements, which can be quite formidable in the winter months of New York.

“In a building at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Forest City Ratner is creating the building blocks for the tallest pre-fabricated residence in the world, the 322-foot tower whose frame is already rising next to the Barclays Center.” (Matt Chaban, New York Daily News)

This new method of construction is taking off quickly in commercial venues, and many builders think it will soon take over the residential housing market as well.  A residential customer can have their home built much more quickly, efficiently, and cheaply.  They can also avoid any worry about the inside of their home ever being exposed to severe weather during construction, which can cause damage and necessitate expensive interior repairs and replacement.  Once the modules for the home are completed, they will be transported out of the construction shelter and sent the residential plot where they will be quickly assembled, thus leaving no time for harmful exposure to the elements.

“This is the future,” said Dominic Hackshaw, a foreman from Rockland County. “I wanted to get in on the ground floor.”

Portable Warehouse: the Solution for Port of Olympia?

October 22, 2013

portable warehouse A recent article from The Bellingham Herald introduced a new plan of action: one that has recently been launched by the Port of Olympia to build an additional warehouse.  The marine terminal where the current warehouse resides is becoming overrun with an ever growing mass of cargo, and as such, some of the contents are being exposed to the damaging outdoor elements.  Could a portable warehouse be a simple and cost effective solution in this situation?

These new storage plans were released to the public just recently.  The plans are being evaluated and reviewed by the state in what is called an Environmental Policy Act process.  This allows for both the local citizens and government officials to comment on; or possibly appeal the proposed warehouse.  A portable warehouse such as the ones offered by might just be the perfect solution.  They are customizable in terms of size, so the Port would be sure to have exactly the right structure to efficiently cover their cargo without the expense and time it takes to erect a permanent warehouse structure.

This new warehouse would be slightly smaller at 50,000-square-feet, in comparison to the existing 76,000-square-foot-building.  It would most likely be placed between the existing warehouse and the administrative building for the port.  A budget of $2.7 million has been proposed, although with the use of a portable warehouse they could drastically reduce that cost.

One of the issues that have arisen from people that oppose the new warehouse is the fact that the current tenant at the warehouse does not have a guaranteed contract.  As a result, they could leave at any time.  The opponents feel that since the tenant is not guaranteed, the money could be spent helping local businesses instead.   This is another reason that a portable warehouse would be a perfect solution; since it can be disassembled and removed at any time with minimal effort and expense in comparison to a permanent warehouse structure.  Money will be saved in the beginning; and if the current tenant leaves, the leftover money saved by having a temporary structure can still be invested in local business.


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