ADS | Cocoon Shelters: Fast and Affordable Structures | ADS, Inc.
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Cocoon Shelters: Fast and Affordable Structures

The Department of Defense military construction program (MILCON) oversees facility planning, programming and budgeting, project design, and construction.

Semi-permanent structures such as Cocoon fabric shelters qualify for support through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and their Tailored Logistic Support (TLS) program. TLS contracts allow authorized government agency customers to receive funds outside the standard MILCON process. This allows the military to approve, fund, and construct time-sensitive projects more quickly than the traditional routes.

Check out our breakdown of the difference between MILCON vs. TLS processes and timelines for more information on these two programs.

The TLS program allows ADS to create fabric shelter solutions for our clients and their varying requirements, budgets, and timelines. We work with leading industry vendors like Cocoon to quickly design and erect fabric structures in significantly less time than the typical MILCON process.

Cocoon projects are known for delivering high-quality fabric structures that don’t compromise durability or safety.

The Benefits of Cocoon Fabric Shelters

Steel-framed fabric shelters have many advantages.

By nature, these structures provide a blank slate that can be easily adapted to meet your needs. Fabric shelters are also popular because they are more affordable to build and take less time to construct than traditional brick-and-mortar buildings. Cocoon fabric structures are known for their durability and are carefully engineered to endure even the harshest environments, from arctic blizzards to hurricane winds.


Fabric structures can meet a variety of needs and environments. These versatile shelters can be retracted or expanded if more or less space is needed and can easily be incorporated into other architecture and spaces, even shipboard.

Cocoon fabric shelters are commonly used as hangers, warehouses, and sunshades. In addition to shielding and protecting aircraft, sunshades can be used for weapon systems, entry control points, and other equipment.

You can adapt and adjust different aspects of your fabric structure to fit your needs. Customizable Cocoon fabric shelter options include:

  • Power and lighting systems
  • Overhead cranes (even in expeditionary, rapid deployment structures)
  • Fire suppression HVAC systems
  • Different door types and locations
  • Up to 300-foot clear span
  • Exhaust systems to ventilate and depressurize the building
  • External insulation to avoid thermal loss
  • Modular interior spaces to maximize functionality


Fabric structures cost significantly less than traditional construction projects without sacrificing durability or safety.

Why is this? Traditional buildings require lots of materials and resources, which have to be purchased and transported to the construction site. Skilled construction workers then have to prep the site, create a foundation, build the structure, etc.

Fabric shelters use fewer materials and don’t require a lot of equipment or special tools to install the structure. Little site preparation is needed because the foundation requirements for fabric structures are minimal.

Fabric structures are usually more affordable than traditional buildings, but you will still encounter different price points depending on your needs.

In addition to lower construction costs, the sustainment costs for fabric structures are typically lower than for conventional buildings. Not only are you saving on the initial cost of construction, but you’re also saving on future sustainment and maintenance costs.


MILCON funding is in high demand and difficult to obtain. The entire MILCON process, from start to finish, can take anywhere from five to seven years (or more).

Compared to traditional buildings, fabric structures that go through TLS can be approved, funded, constructed, and fully operational in just three to twelve months (depending on the size of the build and project).

Certain elements of fabric structure construction, such as temporary foundations, allow the building process to move more quickly. Although many fabric structures are constructed with temporary foundations, they are still durable enough for semi-permanent, long-time use.

Because these shelters are made with steel frames covered in fabric, they use fewer resources and take less time to erect. This leads to significantly shorter construction time and allows you to move into your new space and start running your operations more quickly.

Cocoon fabric structure projects are manufactured offsite and assembled on-site, which maximizes efficiency and causes fewer disruptions.


When we hear fabric, we tend to think of the clothes on our backs; it’s important to understand that Cocoon fabric shelters aren’t constructed with the same kind of lightweight cotton as a t-shirt. Fabric structures can be built to be as strong as typical buildings – and in some cases, even stronger.

Although they are called semi-permanent structures, they have been thoughtfully engineered to withstand severe weather and last for many years of continued use. They can hold their own against the intense wind, snow, and even earthquakes.

Reputable manufacturers will provide Professional Engineer (PE) stamped drawings that ensure the reliability and longevity of the structure. PE-stamped drawings indicate that the engineering meets building code for that location, the proposed design is structurally sound, and the suggested materials are the proper type and weight.

All Cocoon fabric shelters are constructed according to building code. They use regional codes and information to ensure that their structures are designed to withstand the specific weather conditions encountered in the area. These fabric shelters are built to last, with virtually no sustainment costs for at least 20 years. Many of their structures are designed to be corrosion-free, extending the life of the shelter.

Master the Elements with Cocoon

Cocoon fabric shelters can be found on military bases throughout the country and worldwide. They have run hundreds of projects and built structures in every kind of climate, and their success speaks for itself.

Cocoon fabric shelters are constructed with high-quality materials, designed to building code (with PE-stamped drawings), and are durable enough to withstand nasty weather. They can be built quickly, affordably, and designed to meet your specific requirements.

ADS proudly partners with Cocoon to provide our clients with top-of-the-line fabric shelters. Contact ADS today if you’re looking for a structural solution to meet your operational needs.

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