Specialty Fabrics Review June 2019 - 45

abric is typically the star of the show in any
fabrication project. What often gets overlooked,
however, is the role supporting metal frameworks play-often behind the scenes-in fabric
structures. The metal framework may frequently
be an unheralded bit player, but it's critical to any
project and can often be used as a selling point for
fabricators who emphasize the frame and know
how to market its importance.

Part of the reason framework doesn't get its due is
a lack of education on the part of customers, says Chuck
Auger, marketing manager for Rubb Building Systems,
which makes fabric tension structures, buildings and
shelters in Sanford, Maine.
"So many people see a fabric structure and perceive it
to be a tent," says Auger. "Our biggest task is to educate
potential customers that there are tents out there, but we
do not build tents. We build a permanent building, or
a relocatable permanent building. We actually consider
ourselves steel fabricators more than fabric."
In addition, metal framework has traditionally been
hidden away behind the fabric-intended, especially
in residential settings, to "blend in with fabrics or wall
paints," says Edward Skrzynski, owner of Marco Canvas
& Upholstery LLC, in Marco Island, Fla.
PUSH FOR TOUGH QUESTIONS
When customers perceive a fabric structure to be a tent,
Auger says, the metal framework may get short shrift. But
the consequences of skimping on the metal framework can
be significant, he says, so Rubb emphasizes the strength
of its tensile structures.
"I don't think the marketplace fully understands
code and how it applies to fabric structures," Auger says.
"Over the years a lot of flimsy buildings have gone up at
a low price, and some of them have failed. That's hurt
our industry. People see a building blow down and they
assume they are all the same. They aren't."
The task, according to Auger, is getting the customer
to ask the tough questions.
www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com 45


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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2019

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