Fabric Buildings Create Innovative Indoor Recreational Facilities

The Many Benefits of Recreation

Recreation is not just about relaxing and enjoying yourself. The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) issued a 2014 report that highlights the benefits of recreational activities.

Benefits of Physical Activity

Public recreation areas offer communities a place to meet the national physical activity guidelines of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for adults and 60 minutes of MVPA for children and teens. Moving the body benefits cardiovascular and musculoskeletal strength. Inactivity is believed to be responsible for many ills, including:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Breast and Colon Cancer


Societal Benefits of Recreation Facilities

Physical benefits aside, communities that have recreational facilities to host social events, recreational activities, and meetings has been shown to help strengthen bonds and build relationships. People are more likely to help others when a sense of community connects them.

Economic Benefits of Recreational Facilities

The economic health of a city can improve with the addition of recreational facilities. For example, the mayor of a Florida city decided, during a recession, to redevelop a park with the intention of revitalizing its downtown area. The result of the investment was that it not only drew people to the park, but to the surrounding downtown area as well. New restaurants and stores have opened in the wake of this resurgence, and the city is now more financially stable.

The Need for Innovative Recreation Facilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports in their 2018 national health statistics report that only 23 percent of adults met the national physical activity guidelines. Some of the reasons that people stay inactive are:

  • They don’t like to exercise in the cold or heat.
  • They don’t like to exercise in the rain.
  • They don’t want to go out when it is dark and cold.

If the goal is to motivate people to become more active, some innovative thinking may be necessary to get them moving. In a recent NRPA poll, adults over the age of 18 say they want their local recreation centers to offer more nontraditional services, including:

  • Classes
  • Programs for older adults
  • Nature-based activities
  • Computer and internet access
  • Health clinics
  • Inclusivity for all abilities and needs

While a park is not always feasible or even necessary, a place for people to stay active, recreate, and build a greater sense of community is a valuable asset. The point is to provide a particular community — be it a school, an organization like the YMCA, city parks, or the recreation department — with unique, accessible, and safe places to gather and be active. Some innovative ideas for indoor recreational facilities include:

  • Give indoor training facilities and recreation facilities a sense of the outdoors by lining the interior with plants.
  • Combine a kids’ play zone with a yoga space for adults.
  • Provide community services for at-risk kids with an on-site bowling alley or climbing walls.
  • House physical therapy services under the same roof as an indoor pool.
  • Create weight training facilities for schools with limited budgets and space.
  • Blend mind and body wellness with a meditation space that offers cooking classes.
  • Build a base camp with exercise facilities for mountain climbers waiting out inclement weather.

The only thing limiting these building choices is the imagination of the planners.

The Benefits of Choosing Engineered Fabric Buildings

WeatherPort Shelter Systems™ provides engineered fabric buildings designed to meet your specific recreation or indoor athletic facility needs. No facility is too big or too small! Available from 8’ wide to 150’ wide, and custom designed to any height or length, WeatherPort has 50 years of experience creating custom-built structures to boost community events and activities. Our knowledgeable and friendly building specialists are available to assist with all aspects of planning and designing the ultimate indoor community center, recreation facility, or event pavilion to meet your community’s needs.  

Tensioned fabric structures have many advantages over traditional wood, brick, concrete, or metal buildings. Read on to learn about the benefits and features of WeatherPort engineered fabric buildings!

Permanent or Temporary Recreation Facilities

Organizations such as sports teams, parks departments, and YMCAs all use some sort of indoor facility for their operations. WeatherPort’s engineered fabric buildings can be assembled in a fraction of the time that traditional wood and steel buildings take to build. Depending on the size and scope of the facility, the setup can happen in days or weeks, compared to the months or years that traditional buildings take to construct. Once set up, an indoor recreation facility using WeatherPort building systems can be left in place as a permanent structure, or they can be easily taken down and transported to a new location.

WeatherPort’s fabric structures have minimal foundation requirements, meaning that our buildings can be installed onto virtually any level surface or ground type, even in extreme environments, such as areas in Alaska where permafrost makes digging difficult.

Clear Span Buildings and Welcoming Accessibility for All

WeatherPort’s clear span design allows for maximum use of interior space. Large recreation facilities can be partitioned with to create separate areas for different activities – allowing for a diverse number of activities to happen under the same roof. Since a traditional concrete foundation and supporting poles are not necessary, you can make our indoor recreation facilities and community event pavilions accessible to all people, allowing room for wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility aids.

We offer the option to incorporate translucent skylight material into the design, which adds a warm and welcoming ambiance to the facility and also reduces energy usage.

Climate Controlled Buildings Make Happier Guests

Give guests a good reason to be more active by designing indoor recreation facilities, training centers, and community event pavilions with climate control systems. All WeatherPort engineered structures can be equipped with our proprietary and optional insulation systems, providing the recreation facility with any R-value of thermal resistance.

Just as you would insulate your home to increase energy efficiency and comfort, a WeatherPort fabric building can also be insulated. Our engineered fabric buildings and insulation systems have been tested to maintain a comfortable interior temperature in extreme low temperatures as low as -80˚F to +130˚F.

In addition to equipping indoor recreation facilities with energy-saving insulation systems, all our building systems can be custom designed and outfitted with HVAC and air distribution systems.

Plug-and-Play Electrical Systems

Our plug-and-play electrical systems are specifically designed for your unique and custom-built structure. Our in-house team of electricians work with our engineers to design and build interior lighting and electrical systems that offer seamless integration with our building systems, and provide customers with the ability to install it themselves or us a general laborer or contractor to install1, saving both time and money!

Our lighting and electrical systems are available in 50 Hz and 60 Hz configurations.

1A certified electrician may be required to connect the electrical distribution panel to shore power or local power utility. Please check with your local or state requirements.

Engineered Fabric Buildings Designed for Longevity

WeatherPort has engineered fabric buildings for some of the most extreme places on Earth. We have provided highly portable buildings for medical clinics and living shelters at the base camp of Mount Everest (located at 17,500’ elevation), structures for archaeological dig sites in remote and tropical environments, research stations in Antarctica, as well as structures for poolside cabanas, canopies for farmer markets, and RV enclosures for winter storage.

The adaptability and versatility of our engineered building systems is unmatched. We use the highest quality materials to design the longest-lasting fabric structures available. It’s not uncommon for customers to contact us 10, 20, or 30+ years later saying they are still using their WeatherPort structure. All WeatherPort building systems are produced in the USA, using lean manufacturing processes to reduce waste, and engineered to meet local and international building codes for safety and durability.

Our building systems utilize an aircraft-grade and lightweight aluminum or high-strength galvanized steel frame systems, depending on the engineering and design specifications, to meet any environmental or functional challenge. For our galvanized steel frames, we offer three standard levels of corrosion protection: bonded zinc, a chromate conversion coating, and a clear organic polymer coating. For locations with high humidity, or coastal areas with sea-spray, we offer a fourth level of corrosion resistance with our optional in-house powder coating. Applied electrostatically, we have many powder coating colors to choose from!

The tensioned fabric that we use for our architectural membranes is made with a proprietary blend of materials, perfected over our 50 years of successful experience. When compared with traditional PVC-based or PE-based fabrics, our engineered membranes offer a greater abrasion resistance, will not rot, are mold and mildew resistant, stabilized (not coated!) to endure prolonged exposure to high solar loads, and exceeds the fire safety requirements outlined in the California Code of Regulations for membrane structures.

Once setup, all WeatherPort building systems, including our indoor recreation facilities are virtually maintenance free, saving communities, city maintenance departments, businesses, and organizations time and costly upkeep to maintain a similar sized facility made of wood, brick and mortar, tilt-up concrete, or a metal building.

Contact Us Today to Design a Recreational Facility

WeatherPort’s friendly building specialists will help you turn your recreational facility concept into a reality. Our engineered fabric buildings can turn any outdoor or seasonal activity into an activity that is enjoyed year-round and protected from the weather!

We offer a large selection of building models, styles, options, colors, and logo printing services. Contact us today to get started!

Call: +1-970-399-5909

Email: info@weatherport.com

Online Inquiry: contact form

One Comment

  1. Kelley-Reply
    August 13, 2018 at 7:38 am

    I am glad I found this blog. Choosing a fabric building is a smart and practical choice. Thank you for sharing this helpful information.

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