Mahaffey Blog

Choosing the Right Flooring Option for Your Fabric Building

When it comes to flooring for your temporary fabric structure, you have a lot of options to consider. The first is whether your project requires flooring at all.

Topics: Amenities Clearspan Fabric Structure

Expert Q&A: Maximizing Energy Efficiency in Temporary Fabric Structures

Facilities managers are always looking for new strategies to save energy and cut costs. According to Energy Star, the average commercial building wastes 30 percent of its energy consumption due to inefficiencies. This hits operations where it hurts—the bottom line.

Turnkey fabric structures offer a wide variety of amenities, like climate control and lighting options, to keep your crews comfortable, your materials protected, and your overall energy expenses in check. Selecting the right amenities for your project and properly maintaining them is key to maximizing energy efficiency in your temporary structure. 

Topics: Project Management Manufacturing Warehouses and Storage Amenities Clearspan Fabric Structure

What to Expect When your Fabric Structure Needs are Complete

For many projects, temporary fabric structures are an ideal solution. When you lease a temporary structure--whether it’s for months or a week--you already know you’ve solved a couple of big problems regarding budget and time.

Permanent construction can’t compete with the flexibility instant structures offer. Temporary structures are scalable and mobile.

They are also temporary—not forever. They are there when you need them and removed when your project is complete.

Topics: Amenities Clearspan Fabric Structure Project Management

Expert Q&A: The Science of Anchoring Fabric Buildings, Part 2 

In our first blog in this series, we shared with you an introduction to the engineering behind anchoring temporary structures. This anchoring is powerful enough to cover your most critical long- or short-term operations—ensuring structure integrity and stability you can count on.

A major benefit of temporary structures is that they can be installed on virtually any ground surface from asphalt and concrete foundations to gravel or soil. With correctly engineered anchoring, temporary structures can be strong and stable no matter where they stand.

In Part 2 of this series, engineering expert Brian Szkaradnik explains the role your ground surface plays in determining the right anchoring solution for your structure.


Topics: Extreme Weather Structures Amenities Clearspan Fabric Structure Project Management Warehouses and Storage Entertainment and Events

Expert Q&A: The Science of Anchoring Fabric Buildings, Part 1

Temporary structures or fabric buildings are designed and engineered to protect the people, materials and equipment inside them. And although the focus of customization is often on designing a structure’s amenities like flooring, HVAC, and light, ensuring structural integrity and stability is the most critical element of structure customization.

Brian Szkaradnik, one of Mahaffey’s own technical engineering specialists, took a moment to share his expertise on the science of anchoring clearspan fabric structures. Read on to learn more about anchoring in Part 1 of this two-part series.

Topics: Extreme Weather Structures Amenities Clearspan Fabric Structure

Winter is coming: Now is the time to protect your worksite

Winter will be here before we know it, and now is the time to plan for the harsh climates and unpredictable precipitation that come with it.

Topics: Amenities Business Continuity Custom Structures

Solutions on the Go: Mobile Temporary Structures

In instances of extreme weather or growth, a company may decide it’s time to relocate. Temporary fabric structures are the optimal solution when a project needs to change locations (or expand its current one). Modular fabric tents are completely portable, and can be quickly installed and dismantled. Crews can complete a typical installation of 10,000 square feet per day, something that would not be possible with a brick-and-mortar building.  

Topics: Amenities Custom Structures Environmental Containment Clearspan Fabric Structure

Beat the Heat with Temporary Structures

During the summer season, risk for heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses and accidents is its highest. During this time, precaution must be taken to ensure the safety of employees. 

Topics: Amenities Warehouses and Storage Clearspan Fabric Structure

Doors: Design and Deploy - Part 2

This is the second part in our series highlighting temporary structure door options and their many uses, types and applications. This article will focus on the ever-evolving (or should we say rolling) roll-up door. 

Topics: Amenities

Temporary Turnarounds Call For Temporary Fabric Structures

Refineries, petrochemical and chemical process plants operate around the clock, so it’s unsurprising periodic maintenance is required to keep operations running smoothly. Turnarounds — planned, periodic shutdowns of the processing unit for maintenance — are temporary by nature. Each shutdown is a unique undertaking, rarely performed by the same team, in the same environment or in the same way. That’s why choosing the right company to cover your worksite and protect and assist your employees is imperative to turnaround success.

Plant turnaround maintenance demands a huge amount of planning and manpower due to the sheer volume of maintenance activities that must be completed in a short timeframe. Hundreds of thousands of man-hours may be required, depending on the volume of the work and the window of opportunity.

Since turnarounds involve a myriad of interrelated activities performed at the same time, in the same place and often on different levels of the plant, it’s crucial to provide adequate shelter and space for increased staff and materials. Too many employees working in one area can cause congestion, which increases the chance of accidents, conflicts, errors or confusion, which can stifle operational efficiency and pose a real danger to your turnaround crews. Furthermore, keeping increased staff and materials on-site and close to their work can help increase productivity and keep your operations on track.

When selecting a provider for temporary turnaround structures, you’ll want to find a company that draws from decades of experience and understands:

  • Differences between blast and non-blast shelters. Temporary fabric structures are more like traditional buildings than you might think. Many of these engineered structures can be equipped with HVAC, lighting and virtually any accessory found in new construction, from flooring to water services and everything in between. They offer on-site, climate-controlled accommodation for turnarounds and plant shutdowns, as well as severe weather solutions that can withstand extreme temperatures, heavy snow, rain or wind. Highly specialized blast-resistant tents take these protections a step further, keeping your No. 1 asset — your workforce — safe and secure on hazardous worksites, while still meeting your production goals.
  • API Recommended Practice (RP) 756. This RP provides guidance for managing risks from explosions, fires and toxic material releases to on-site personnel located in tents by providing the guidelines for blast-resistant shelters. Tents that meet API RP 756 standards allow you to position break areas closer to process areas without risking the safety of your crews, which equates to maximum wrench time, flexibility, cost savings and break time. Newer blast-resistant tents can be scaled to meet your needs — 80-500 workers or more — providing a larger footprint to accommodate more people in a single space. Compared to a modular building with smaller capacity for personnel, you would need a great deal more traditional blast-resistant modules.
  • Importance of lightning protection. Lightning strikes are responsible for directly causing fires, explosions, dangerous chemical releases and critical mechanical disruptions. By implementing a two-part protection plan in the construction of a temporary structure — a process that protects both the structure and the internal electrical system — many lightning-related problems can be avoided. A fabric structure lightning protection system intercepts bursts of energy from lightning strikes and conducts them toward the ground, where they are safely dispersed within the earth. With the energy diverted, the structure and all that is within it, including the electrical system, remain safe.

When seeking temporary and semi-permanent industrial fabric structures, look for a company with a documented history of innovation and excellence that you can count on to provide safe and compliant tent solutions, no matter how big or small your project’s needs. Such a company should hold ISNetworld, HAZWOPER, TWIC, DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency), PICS (Pacific Industrial Contractor Screening) and OSHA certifications, as well as site-specific credentials, to ensure the safety of its employees and your workforce on-site.

This article originally appeared in BIC Magazine.

Interested in learning more about our fabric structures and the other services we provide? Contact us today!

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Topics: Amenities Custom Structures Clearspan Fabric Structure