Ballast guide

What is ballast and when do I need it?

For safe use, any environmentally susceptible structure should be anchored to the surface on which it has been installed. Ballast definition: `Heavy material, such as concrete, gravel, sand, iron or lead, placed low on a structure to improve its stability. Something that gives stability or substance’. stretch tent concrete ballast install - ballast guide

Elements to take into consideration

  • Site wind exposure
  • Terrain category
  • Wind Region
  • 5 day forecast
  • Duration of structure on site
  • Soil density for staking (holding power)
  • Soil water saturation (drought or muddy)
  • Nearby structures (buildings, trees)
  • Size of the structure (surface area)
Anchoring your structure with pegs is the cheapest and easiest anchorage method. But when ground penetration is not possible, or the quality of the surface (soil type, water penetration) is not conducive, you need to use ballast anchorage. Ballasts should be placed on all four corners of a marquee. However, if requested, additional smaller-sized anchor points can also be used, giving extra support for side walls. Every leg should have a ballast point, or the leg becomes a ‘floating’ leg and if exposed to high winds, becomes a danger.

Anchoring options available for different surface types

  • Anchoring with screw connections

Marquee bolted into concrete - ballast guide The feet of a structure is fixed on a hard surface using concrete screws, anchor bolts or special plugs. This is an ideal installation method for hard surfaces that can be drilled. Read more about fixing a stretch tent to concrete and walls.
  • Anchoring with ballast

Stretch Tents using ballasts - ballast guide For temporary structures or those that are required to leave minimal environmental impact, anchoring can be achieved by using a ballast plate. Commonly available concrete ballast tiles are used with this method (conveniently, these do not interrupt connecting units or the installation of side panels). If required, the ballast tiles can be covered to create a bench or demo table. In the below example the ballast is hidden under planters. stretch tent ballast hidden in planters - ballast guide

  • Ballast using Integrated Wooden/Cassette Flooring

integrated wooden flooring - ballast guide Integrated wooden/cassette flooring uses the weight of the floor to provide ballast-security for the structure. Additional weighed ballasts are easy to add as it is a system which is integrated into the flooring of the structure.
  • Product specific Axion ballast bags

Axion square tent with ballast bags - ballast guide Stretch Structures AXION range of products offers options to add axion ballast bags to each leg of the product. These can be filled with either sand or water.  The Axion Flower ballast bags can be viewed here.

Additional ballast anchoring

  • Concrete or cage ballast blocks in proportioned weight distribution can be placed at each leg. It is important to place these on rubber matts to avoid skid.
  • Water tanks in various formats (IBC or water + truss: 3 tanks of water contained within truss structure).
  • Sand bags & Metal shot bags ideal for stabilising objects or marquees (available in weights 5kg to 20kg)
Note: All of the structures that we manufacture are designed with the ability to work with multiple ballast options. We put forward our recommendations knowing our products and its needs (both finished look and safety). Ballasting and the overall safety of our customers and the structures they purchase are paramount to us. International ballast guidelines are closely adhered to. Our UK standards are set according to MUTA guidelines (http://www.muta.org.uk) and our Australian standards are set according to HRIA guidelines (https://www.hireandrental.com.au). Contact us at info@stretchstructures.com for further information or to discuss purchasing one of our unique event structures.