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IFAI’s Tent Rental Division works toward standard

On the Job, Safety & Codes | October 1, 2016 | By:

IFAI’s Tent Rental Division looks to write an industry standard for tent anchorage.

With final voting on tent-related code revisions for the 2018 Model Code set for late October, IFAI’s Tent Rental Division (TRD) is looking ahead to writing an industry standard that could be taken up in the 2021 code cycle.

“As the 2018 code cycle winds down, we are going to take that energy and apply it to the ASTM F24 standard,” says Tom Markel, TRD code committee chair. “We’re going to try to write over the next year and get it vetted and accepted in 2018, so it can be used for the 2021 code cycle.”

ASTM International is a standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems and services.

The code committee envisions writing into the standard basic information from the TRD tentage handbook, the staking and ballasting studies, and standardize anchorage documentation for pole, frame and clearspan tents.

“We are going to try to write a clear and concise field test for soil testing,” Markel says. “We’re also going to try to simplify documentation so that tent rental companies can handle small and medium size installations, including anchorage planning, without hiring and engineer.  For larger jobs, this simplification could reduce costs.”

To become an ASTM standard, a proposal has to pass a ballot measure twice, a process that could take a year or more. An ASTM F24 tent working group includes TRD representatives, engineers from both within and outside of the industry, code officials, insurance groups, and tent installers and manufacturers.

“With the standardization of the presentation of anchorage requirements for both nonrated and rated tents, we will try to convince code officials to allow the use of ‘nonrated’ tents that do not adhere to ASCE 7-10 or the International Building Code 1609 (wind load),” Markel says.  “We do know what wind load nonrated tents can take and can therefore still utilize this inventory, and manufacturers can still manufacture that style of tent. This would also aid the installer in knowing just how much they’ve got to do for anchorage.”

Group B I-Code development

The International Code Council (ICC) published the “Public Comment Agenda” in early September, after the deadline for this issue of InTents. The monograph includes any public comment received following the April Committee Action Hearing as well as all code proposals that had a successful action at the hearing. TRD will monitor public comments and will attend the ICC’s Public Comment Hearing in October.

“We will defend good or argue against public comments we feel are bad for the industry and we will continue lobbying efforts for the next code cycle for the changes that would be more in line with how the industry operates,” Markel says.

The most significant code proposal anticipated to be approved, F300-16, would require site or engineering documentation for tents with either 1,000 person occupancy and/or 7,500 square feet.

“That will be a major change for the industry in 2018 if and when that code is adopted by local jurisdictions,” he says.

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