I asked Google to search for a 20’X 30’membrane structure/tent image. The photo criteria required that it conformed to the exception rule of 700 sq ft without sides, so I selected the above-featured photo. At first, I failed to recognize the infractions. Upon further review, I discovered the lack of ballasting and then notice that maybe the tent violates the minimum building structure clearance of 12 ft to the existing building but “Come on Man,” you installed the tent in front of a fire hydrant! I do not know who posted this picture, but evidently, code infractions were not high on their list.

“THE GOOD THING ABOUT THE PHOTO IS THAT IT IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE”

The one good thing about the photo is that it is an excellent example of the kind of infraction described in SAFTSE’S online ICC course “Getting the Code Officials and Special Event Partners Under the Same Tent.” It explains to the Code Enforcement Officials how to utilize IFC’S temporary code regulations while inspecting a tent.

“THROW IN THE LACK OF RESOURCES FOR INSPECTION AND CUTTING CORNERS ON THE INSTALLATIONS”

The problem is not just one-sided; the tent installation is suspect, and with a degree of confidence I can speculate there was not a scheduled inspection before the event. There is apparently a shared safety problem between the Code Officials and Special Event Partners. Throw in the lack of resources for inspection and cutting corners on the installations, and we have fallen into a bucket of –  you fill in the blank.

“TWO CENTS WORTH”

May I be so bold as to draw a line in the sand for smaller events and suggest a solution that both sides can participate in by adding their “Two Cents Worth” concerning why or why not to submit construction documents along with the permit application. That is assuming there is a permit.

My list of construction documents for events under 100 – 150 people would consist of:

  • PDF file of the membrane structure/tent from the manufacturer’s suggested installation procedures
  • A PDF file of egress and safety designs
  • A PDF file of the layout that consists of what is under the tent
  • A PDF file, if the event requires it, of HVAC or Power
  • Throw in a site location link using Google Earth and the documents gives the Code Officials resources to justify issuing a permit, and inspection becomes optional with a degree of trust between the event stakeholders.

There you have my suggestions; the ball is now in your hands.

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