Environmental health and safety office

Conditions for Use of Tents, Canopies, and Temporary Membrane Structures

The Building Code Division must approve and provide authorization for use of tents, canopies, and temporary membrane structures on University of Minnesota grounds. Contact Scott Holm at 612-625-0826 for approval and authorization.


The following provisions apply to tents and membrane structures having an area in excess of 200 square feet and canopies in excess of 400 square feet.

These structures shall not be used for a period of more than 180 days within a 12-month period on a single location.

Tents, including guy wires and ropes, shall not be located within 20 feet of other tents, temporary membrane structures, buildings, automobiles, or property lines.

These structures shall be properly constructed and erected to prevent weather related collapse. Documentation of structural stability shall be provided upon request.

Tents shall not obstruct fire or rescue apparatus.

These structures shall be constructed of flame-resistant material or shall be treated with a flame retardant in an approved manner. Floor coverings and combustible decorative materials shall be composed of like material. Labels shall be affixed bearing identification of such material.

Portable fire extinguishers shall be provided.
Seating arrangements and maximum occupant load shall be in accordance with the building code.

Exits shall be placed so that all points are 100 feet or less from an exit. The number of required exits shall be based upon occupant load.

Exit signs shall be installed at required exits when serving an occupant load greater than 50. Exit signs shall be illuminated with an occupant load greater than 300.

Sources of ignition, cooking, use of flammable and combustible liquids, and LP gas must be identified and specifically authorized.

Electrical use and wiring must be conducted by or under the approval of Facilities Management.

Smoking is prohibited in tents and membrane structures.