MUTA’s position on structural calculations

Following requests from members, MUTA has set out its position on structural calculations for marquees, tents and structures.

MUTA is of the view that all structures, regardless of size or age, should have structural calculations, undertaken by a competent structural engineer.

The role of a manufacturer is to manufacture a structure in accordance with the design specification and calculations provided by a qualified structural engineer. The manufacturer should also produce instructions with key safety considerations for the hirer.

MUTA has published comprehensive guidance on managing strong wind conditions. This includes advice on responsibilities, what information manufacturers should provide and how to produce a robust wind management plan. Members can download this by logging in to the members’ website.

A checklist has also been created detailing what steps should be undertaken before, during and after a temporary structure has been erected. Members can also download this by logging in to the members’ website.

A structural engineer is employed by the manufacturer to design a structure in accordance with a suitable standard such as BS EN 13782 or another appropriate code. The design, along with structural calculations, is made available to the manufacturer to ensure the structure is manufactured in accordance with the structural design.

Before purchasing a structure from a manufacturer, a hirer should check that structural calculations and instructions are available.

A hirer’s responsibility is to erect a structure in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Consideration should be given to the suitability of the site location, ground conditions, how long the structure is in use and what measures are in place to maintain its structural stability.

It is likely that any wind loading information supplied by an engineer will be based on a completely sealed structure without any openings. Deviations from these configurations will require additional structural calculations to be undertaken.

For most private events (e.g. weddings and celebrations) a structure may only be in place for around a week. The longer a temporary structure is in situ, the longer it is exposed to the elements and maintenance visits are likely to be required.

Hirers should avoid using structures where there are no calculations or clear guidance concerning the maximum wind gust speed the structure has been designed to withstand. In the event of a structure blowing away and causing an incident or accident, it is likely a hirer would be asked to provide evidence of wind loadings. 

If you have any questions, or require further advice, please email