The mining industry can benefit greatly from alternative solutions to brick-and-mortar structures for buildings and facilities needs. MINExpo 2016 is just a few weeks away, and as companies in the mining industry look for new technologies and systems improve their operations, tension fabric buildings are a legitimate consideration.
Fabric structures offer a more versatile, portable solution for mining operations. There are three great uses for fabric buildings in the mining industry. These customizable buildings last for decades, and are optimal structures for workforce housing, protecting and storing equipment and supplies, and serving as repair and maintenance facilities.
1. Workforce Housing
Since mining operations are often located in extreme environments, the safety of the workforce is an important factor when comparing staff housing options. Tension fabric buildings are just as secure and durable as traditional brick-and-mortar barracks and housing structures. In fact, some fabric building manufacturers employ independent tests and certifications on their engineering to prove the strength and longevity of their products – especially helpful for buildings in harsh climates and severe weather conditions.
Billeting the workforce in a fabric structure offers greater flexibility and customization. You can house your workers in large bunk rooms or smaller, more private accommodations such as personal cabins. Fabric structures can be easily expanded with additional square footage as your workforce grows, and shower/latrine facilities are also available to provide the necessary hygiene stations that your staff needs to be healthy and comfortable.
Many fabric buildings are so much more than a high-strength tent, with additional features to make them first-class standalone facilities. They can be fitted with their own environmental controls, HVAC and lighting/electrical systems, or treated with powder coating or additional UV-protective layers to enhance their functionality and longevity.
2. Equipment Protection & On-Site Storage
While most mining equipment is hardy and weather-proof, designed for long-term use outside in the elements, the more sensitive data tracking and electrical equipment needs protection from the weather and oxidation. Fabric buildings provide the secure and durable shelter needed to keep sensitive equipment secure and operational. They can also be more easily moved around the excavation site to provide more efficient access to the equipment, if needed.
In addition to protecting sensitive mining equipment, tension fabric buildings can be optimally used as portable storage and warehousing facilities for supplies and even the mined resources themselves. A durable fabric warehouse provides secure storage of these valued assets prior to their shipment off-site.
Some fabric structures are engineered to stand strong without interior supports to create a completely open and useable space for storage. The clear-span design of the interiors in these fabric buildings allows for maximum use of space to accommodate more inventory of supplies and/or assets as well as stored equipment or machinery with protruding features that get in the way of cross beams and pillars.
3. Repair & Maintenance Buildings
The heavy work involved with mining inevitably leads to mechanical breakdowns or malfunctions that require repair, and this kind of machinery certainly operates optimally with ongoing maintenance. But traditional brick-and-mortar repair and maintenance buildings do not offer the portability that is available with a tension fabric structure.
Fabric buildings for equipment repair and maintenance are more than a massive canopy tent; these structures can be fully enclosed and fitted with extensions and special systems to support distinct needs. Electrical, environmental control, heating, energy efficient insulation and other product options are often available to customize your fabric repair and maintenance building. Some manufacturers also provide special flooring systems and foundations to make the building correctly supportive for heavy machinery. Rail systems can be added on to allow for easier load-in and out of equipment before and after repairs or maintenance work.
The possibilities with fabric buildings are almost endless. With a wide range of additional features and add-on systems to customize the structure for your exact needs, a fabric building is the solution for many industries and applications, including mining operations. In addition to these three great uses for fabric buildings in the mining industry, fabric structures are ideal for use as haul truck facilities, garages, remote camp systems, remediation shelters, and even health clinics, recreational centers, and mobile kitchens for the support of your workforce.
Consider portable fabric structures for your mining facilities needs as you plan for the future of your business’ growth in this rapidly changing industry.