Hanson Silo Precast Concrete Panels Used in Innovative Fabric Fertilizer Storage Building

Fabric buildings have come a long way. In fact, it’s hard to tell that the exterior of a new fertilizer plant in west central Iowa is made of fabric.

Legacy Building Solutions recently completed construction of a new bulk fertilizer storage facility for Agriland FS, Inc., in Woodbine, Iowa.

“They wanted to be able to store their product, have all of their loading equipment, mixing equipment, as well as loading out to a truck all underneath one roof,” said Paul Smith, Legacy Building Solutions.

“That has been done a lot with traditional buildings,” he continued, “but never really done with a fabric building.”

The bulk fertilizer storage facility has a total square footage of 19,458 feet. The main body cavity is 48- by 243-feet and has three attached lean-tos, measuring 84- by 40-feet, 129- by 60-feet and 84- by 40-feet.

Based out of South Haven, Minn., located between St. Cloud and Litchfield, Legacy Building Solutions combines the benefits of a fabric building with the structural soundness of a traditional steel facility.

The building uses solid steel hot dip galvanized I-beams that allow the building to support greater amounts of weight. Each frame of the fertilizer storage facility is designed to support a 350-pound conveyor and catwalk load.

Precast concrete panels from Hanson Silo line the walls and fertilizer storage bins. They not only add support, but also act as an effective form of insulation. Professionally manufactured in a factory environment, each concrete panel is consistent in size and quality. This means installation is quick and efficient, cutting down both construction time and cost.

Using 27-ounce ExxoTec™ Elite fabric cladding, the facility features a 10-foot overhang with mesh soffit and air roof ventilators. The roof is designed for a 25 pound per square foot snow load, a 105-mph wind load, and a wind exposure C category. The C category means the building is sufficient to handle the wind common in flat open country.

The design features offset peaks, traditional roof pitches and a traditional roof design.

“Specifically, it has never been done with this particular layout in a fabric building,” Smith said. “It is very unique and one of a kind, and the first structure that has encompassed all those requirements under one roof.”

The fabric exterior carries a standard 25-year warranty and the steel frame has a 15-year warranty, he added.

“We can actually do some maintenance on those frames and extend the service life,” he said, adding that the overall life cycle of the building should be over 40 years.

“We have given them everything they could get with a traditional building system – as far as the quality, longevity, design, operations – but we’ve done it at a lesser cost than your traditional building would be.”