CC series 52×112 Rec Tenniscourt Top

By Dan Dalzell

From state-of-the-art hockey rinks, indoor soccer fields and concert venues, facility safety and durability are top of mind for organizations. To provide an optimal, temperate environment for athletes and attendees, indoor sports and recreation facilities require expansive dimensions, quality lighting, and effective ventilation.

These buildings are commonly composed of wood or metal, but often take about one year to install and pose higher material costs. With reduced material costs and a shorter installation timeframe of under six months, fabric structures offer a higher return on investment over traditional indoor recreation facilities. And, while fabric structures are cost-efficient, they can also be customized to provide customers with a tailored, innovative recreation facility that will last for years to come.

Fabric for Facilities

Indoor fabric sports facilities are ideal for a wide range of athletic and commercial uses, because these activities can be held regardless of high winds, harsh temperatures, and heavy rain or snow falls. However, it is the strong fabric itself that makes this possible. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) fabric is crafted with an effective film for increased UV-resistance, flexibility, seam strength, corrosion-resistance, and longevity.

For sports and recreation facilities, another quality fabric option is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is an amorphous material containing halogens, such as chlorine and fluorine. These elements add a chemical resistance to the fabric, to defend the structure against potential corrosion.

These heavy-weight, quality materials also offer sound control, which promotes a distraction-free environment. Furthermore, the natural lighting from the fabric cover provides a brighter interior than traditional wood or metal sports facilities. This reduces the need for more artificial lighting during the day, resulting in lower energy costs and increased sustainability. Additionally, skylights and solar panels can easily be added to the building, for even more natural light and energy efficiency.

Engineered to Last

When it comes to sports and recreation facilities, there may be need for minor repairs. As such, fabric structures offer a keder panel system – meaning that assemblers can repair individual strips of fabric, rather than having to replace the entire roof. The individual keder panel system is a custom-made aluminum extrusion, mounted at each truss section. The fabric keder panels are secured through the aluminum extrusion and tensioned at both ends – ensuring the fabric does not touch the framework for a quieter environment and no risk of wear.

Additionally, fabric sports facilities can be engineered using a site-specific 3D finite non-linear analysis – a precise assessment that models the true shape of the fabric under a load. This analysis considers the snow, rain, wind, and seismic conditions at the facility’s site, allowing for an effective foundation design.

Indoor sports facility maintenance and repair costs can be quite an investment, especially for wooden and metal buildings. Fabric structures require minimal initial investment and low operation costs, providing an increasingly cost-efficient option for organizations that is engineered to last.

vpseries 110×240 recreation inside

Long-Term Solution

A durable, long-lasting sports and recreation facility starts with quality framework. Implementing stainless steel cables and hot-dip galvanizing (HDG) – submerging fabricated steel into a bath of molten zinc – can help. HDG prevents the pitting, rust and damage that most facilities, like hockey rinks, often endure from poor ventilation and extreme weather. Fabric structures are simple to install, yet carefully engineered to stand the test of time.

Fabric buildings are engineered to uphold the same standards as traditional wood and steel sports and recreation buildings. However, they are significantly easier to assemble – and can even be relocated, if needed. Fabric sports facilities provide organizations with an optimal building solution, crafted to support any activity or season for years to come.

Valuable Ventilation

Indoor sports facilities require advanced ventilation systems to accommodate athletes and attendees, as well as prevent mold and bacterial growth. Regardless of the activity, there are various ways to manage and improve ventilation inside fabric sports and recreation facilities.

Fan and exhaust vents are an efficient, active approach to ventilation. These systems begin and maintain airflow, in addition to blocking weather elements from entering the facility. To avoid leaching and moisture build-up, fans and exhaust vents are optimal to initiate airflow for athletes and guests throughout the indoor facility.

Complete Customization

All indoor sports and recreation facilities must include enough space for activities and attendees. Fabric structures may be fully customized with the precise dimensions and structure style for specific activities – such as tennis courts, wedding venues, trade show pavilions, or gymnasiums. With fabric facilities, spectators can experience an outdoor feel, along with the comfort and ventilation of the indoor structure.

Fabric sports facilities commonly include a free span interior – an open floor plan without any center poles, posts, or beams. In fact, Calhoun Super Structure’s fabric facilities include its innovative, clear span interior concept – allowing space for customers to hold their sport or entertainment events, while maximizing crowd expectancy. This expanded, open space can help increase the facility’s versatility, without sacrificing the safety and security of audiences.

Bringing the Outdoors In

Indoor sports and recreation activities need a reliable, spacious building solution – carefully designed to accommodate large crowds, harsh weather conditions, and exciting activities. Whether permanent or temporary, fabric sports structures allow for a comfortable indoor design, without comprising an  authentic outdoor feel. Working with experienced fabric structure engineers is crucial to ensure your facility is tailored to meet your specific sports and recreational needs. From their increased sustainability to free span interior, fabric facilities are a cutting-edge, innovative solution for indoor sports or entertainment.

About Calhoun Super Structure 

As a pioneer in the fabric structure industry, Calhoun Super Structure has spent nearly 30 years creating the strongest, safest and most reliable series of structures on the market. Calhoun values the strength of your structure, longevity of your investment and an extended warranty. Calhoun’s highly trained engineers and designers have advanced expertise in delivering the customized, reliable structures to protect your valuable assets. Visit calhounsuperstructure.com for more information.


Dan Dalzell is Sales & Operations Manager of Calhoun Super Structure.

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