In the fabric building industry, Cladding is the term utilized to describe the materials used to cover or enclose a building’s framework. Choosing the best suited cladding – the cladding that optimizes effectiveness and minimizes maintenance and cost – is an important decision in creating your building solution.
Structural membrane fabric or simply ‘fabric’ – is the dominant cladding used on fabric buildings. Other claddings used – generally on side walls or end walls – include wood and corrugated metal sheeting. ‘Hybrid’ buildings are buildings that utilize fabric and/or wood, metal sheeting or other common materials.
Modern fabric cladding offers many advantages. Today’s high performance fabrics are engineered for all-weather durability and long life. They offer excellent physical properties, outstanding light translucency and great value. And, importantly, fabric cladding is repairable, relocatable, replaceable and – in some areas – recyclable.
Polyethylene (aka PE) and polyvinyl chloride (aka vinyl coated polyester, vinyl and PVC) are the two primary fabric claddings in the fabric building industry. PE is the overwhelmingly dominant fabric due to its superior strength-to-weight ratio, dimensional stability, translucency and value. We offer PE as our standard fabric and a wide selection of PVC fabrics.
Generally speaking, a building’s fabric-related components are supplied in two groups – those required for the top cover and those required for the end wall covers. Top covers generally enclose the ‘roof’ and ‘side walls’ of a building’s framework while end wall covers enclose the vertical ends. End wall covers are supplied in one or more interconnecting pieces, depending on the size of the end wall. Top covers are predominantly supplied in two general configurations – Mono covers and Keder covers.
Mono covers are basically large, one-piece fabric panels designed to cover a building’s entire framework – excluding the vertical end walls. Mono covers are designed to rest atop a building’s framework and are secured and tensioned around its perimeter. Mono covers for wider and/or longer buildings may be supplied in two or more overlapping sections. Mono covers are generally used on small-to-medium sized buildings in both Arch and Gable profiles.
Like Mono covers, Keder covers are designed to cover a building’s entire framework – excluding the vertical end walls. However, Keder top covers are made up of multiple fabric panels (Keder panels). In basic terms, Keder panels are configured with Keder edges that slide into Keder tracks mounted to a building’s individual truss frames. Keder covers provide a continuous connection to the framework for superior tension. Keder covers are generally used for medium-to-large buildings in Gable profiles.