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Anatomy of a fabric structure

By: / Fabric Structures

The percentage of the overall cost of a fabric structure can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the design, the material chosen, the location and access of the site, the cost of labor and equipment, and the amount of material needed to be shipped.

Fabric structures are normally priced by surface area because of their unique shapes based on this basic rule:
Plan Area (l x w) X Shape Factor (H) = Surface Area

Shape factor is a number that varies, depending on the form chosen, and is used to estimate the amount of fabric, including waste, used on a project. Mast-supported structures tend to have twice as much material as a hypar and barrel vault design. Today’s computer programs can also provide surface area rather easily:
Surface Area XCost per SQFT= Budget

The budget does not include foundations. The budget does not include foundations.

Samuel J. Armijos, AIA, is an architect and vice president of FabriTec Structures, a brand of USA Shade and Fabric Structures. He is the author of Fabric Architecture: Creative Resources for Shade, Signage and Shelter.

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