Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Vincent Blouin, Committee Co-chair

Committee Member

Dr. Brandon Ross, Committee Co-chair

Committee Member

Dr. Weichiang Pang


Event tents are large structures made of fabric covers attached to a structural frame and poles. Every year, many temporarily installed tents are subjected to large wind conditions that lead to sliding or lift of the frame due to improper anchoring to the ground. When ballasted, as opposed to anchored using stakes that penetrate the ground, non-certified tents are generally installed without proper analysis of sufficient ballast weights, which results into tent movements and lack of safety. The objective of this thesis is to determine load factors for non-certified tents affected by high wind loads. The load requirements (load factors) are determined for typical frame tents to provide ballasting guidelines to tent installers.

. A Design of Experiments (DOE) simulation for calculating the responses of different tent configurations under different loading scenarios is developed and conducted. The parameters included in the analysis that defines the size and shape of the tents include: height, width, roof height, roof slope, bay width and wind orientation. The loading scenarios include wind loads from different directions with different intensities prescribed by code. A parameterized finite element model allows to determine the tension forces applied to the attachments points to prevent lift-off and sliding. These forces are then used to determine the safe weight of the ballasts used by installers based on the type of ballast, such as plastic water barrels, steel drum, and concrete blocks, and the type of ground surface, such as asphalt, smooth and rough concrete, grass, dirt, and gravel. These different sets of conditions for any given ballasting configuration are defined by the known friction coefficient between surfaces.

The developed guidelines are intended to be made available to tent installers who will then have more confidence in the safety of any tent installation.

Supplementary file.pdf (34542 kB)
Supplemental File



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