A ballast guide

Definition: `Heavy material, such as gravel, sand, iron or lead, placed low on a structure to improve its stability. Something that gives stability or substance’.

For safe use, any environmentally susceptible structure should be anchored to the surface on which it has been installed. Variables such as environmental aggressors (wind and rain), engineering criteria (mainstay horizontal and vertical position, angle and ballast type) and surface types (dry or wet tar-surface, dry or wet concrete, smooth or rough surfaces, grass, dirt or gravel) are all taken into consideration. Written specifications for anchoring are conveyed via installation instructions from on-site engineers.

Elements taken into consideration:

  • Site wind exposure
  • Terrain category
  • Wind Region
  • 5 day forecast
  • Duration of tent on site
  • Soil density for staking (holding power)
  • Soil water saturation (drought or muddy)
  • Nearby structures (buildings, trees)
  • Size of the tent (surface area)

Ballasts should be placed on all four corners of a marquee (for example) 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. There are several anchoring options available for all surface types.

OPTIONS:

  • Anchoring with screw connections:

Marquee bolted into concrete

The feet of a structure are 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.

  • Anchoring with ballast:

Stretch Tents using ballasts

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. See some examples here:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331647960033139662/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331647960032723800/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331647960031897218/

In this example the ballast is hidden under planters – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/331647960031839055/

  • Ballast using Integrated Wooden/Cassette Flooring

This method 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.

  • Specific ballast bags accompany product:

Axion square tent with ballast bags

Stretch Structures AXION range of products offers options to add ballast bags to each leg of the product. These can be filled with either sand or water.  Please find an example here for the Axion Flower.

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. Please see example here.
  • Water tanks in various formats (IBC or water + truss: 3 tanks of water contained within truss structure).
  • Sand bags
  • Metal shot bag 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 every ballast option. 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).