HomeContact UsOur WritersMedia KitAdvertisersWhite PapersArchives
Main Menu
Issue Archive
Managers Forum
Help Wanted
Used Equipment
Product Directory
Issue Archive Print E-mail


Pavilion Structures—Building structures, building networks
by Christopher Clukey

Strong, versatile, transportable and…fabric covered?

The custom-engineered fabric buildings offered by Pavilion Structures can look very much like other commercial buildings, but definitely stand out. Their marketing approach does too.

Pavilion Buildings

A Canadian company based in Alberta, Pavilion has been in business for more than a decade but only began selling buildings in the U.S. in late 2005. “We could see that the American market was developing a need for this kind of structure,” says Conrad Larson, director of Pavilion’s American operations.

Pavilion plans to relate to that market by using several American fabricators to make the buildings and hundreds of dealers to ensure that every customer has a regional or local contact. “Our goal is the development of a large American market based on service,” Larson says. “We’re getting calls from all over the country.” Though they’re still building their network, they already can build for customers anywhere in America.

Currently, Pavilion uses three manufacturers: Marcus Manufacturing of Willmar, Minnesota, Mast Engineering of Emporia, Kansas and Montana Fabricators, of Great Falls Montana. Marcus Manufacturing is a brand new company spun off from Marcus Construction of Prinsburg, Minnesota just to handle their Pavilion business. Each is independent, manufacturing the buildings under license and running their own marketing organization with Pavilion’s support. Larson plans to bring in additional manufacturers in the West Coast, Southeast and Northeast regions. Construction is handled by two national contractors and 40 dealer-installers. Larson puts a “heavy emphasis” on bringing in more dealers. John Mast of Mast Engineering notes that his company tries to find installers in the customer’s area and “turn them into a dealer if possible.”

“These buildings looked like the best available,” Mast says, describing his first impression when a mutual customer made him aware of Pavilion last July. “They’re very, very strong, and we’d rather build quality at a slightly higher price. They’re structures that are going to be there a long time.”

“They’re also energy saving buildings,” Larson says. “The fabric panels let light through and that not only saves electricity but helps reduce moisture and biological contaminants in stored products.” The buildings are also easily customized and many customers install conveyors or other handling equipment.

Most customers use the buildings as permanent structures, but they are portable. “You can unbolt the structural frame, remove the fabric and reassemble it on a different site,” Marcus says. Because of their portable nature, Pavilion buildings aren’t taxed as permanent additions to a property.

The buildings are also ideal for storing abrasive materials, rust-promoting substances, fertilizers and ethanol byproducts because the steel trusses only make up 10% of the building. The frames are built with hollow square tubing and can be assembled into buildings ranging in width from 44 to 300 feet. Column-supported structures are available, and theoretically the building can be built to any length. Mast notes that a 300 foot span is perfect for grain storage, allowing the users to employ long conveyors. “I’ve talked to several customers recently about corn storage,” he says.

Mast also says that some customers are skeptical that mere fabric will protect their stores. “I ask them if they’ve ever seen hail bounce off a tarp on the back of their truck,” he says. “But on top of that, these poly covers are very strong and have excellent UV coverage. It’s been about 15 years since they were introduced, so they’re proven, and we expect them to last 25-40 years. I’d also estimate that Pavilion buildings are 30-40% stronger than similar buildings on the market because we include more struts.”

Bruce Marcus, CEO of Marcus Construction, points out that the buildings cost less than other types of storage and can be built much more quickly. “A pre-engineered steel building takes about eight to nine months to build. You pretty much have to have it ordered by now or it won’t be there for your fall fill. With a Pavilion building we do a custom design from the foundation up, and you have a finished structure on the site in nine to twelve weeks. There’s nothing like that kind of speed.” It also costs less than steel structures or the equivalent bin storage, and can be built over existing bunkers or foundations.

“We want to make the customer comfortable,” Larson says. “These structures are designed to create an atmosphere of quality.”

Pavilion Structures

Marcus Construction
Phone: (800) 367-3424

Mast Engineering

Back to Articles