Temporary Structures on Campus (Including Tents)
To ensure compliance with the provisions of the Florida Building Code Building (FBCB) Section 3103, Temporary Construction and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), Life Safety Code (LSC) 101, Section 11.11 Tents, temporary structures greater than 120 square feet (s.f.) shall be permitted prior to installation. A temporary structure is defined as a structure erected for 180 days or less. Any structure erected longer than 180 days is defined as a structure, and must comply with the requirements of the FBCB. A tent greater than 120 s.f. is considered a temporary structure.
In order to ensure compliance with the requirements of temporary structures greater than 120 s.f. a building permit is required to be obtained prior to the installation of the structure. A permit may be obtained by applying for a permit through the University of Florida Environmental Health &Safety (EH&S) Building Code Enforcement Program. The temporary structure permit application may be obtained at http://webfiles.ehs.ufl.edu/temp_bldg_permit_app.pdf.
Environmental Health and Safety’s Facility Support Services, Building Codes Enforcement has been assigned to enforce the provisions of FBCB Section 3103 and NFPA 101 Section 11.11.
Faculty, Students, Staff, and Contractors
- All faculty, students, staff and vendors and vendors wishing to erect temporary structures including tents for a period of less than 180 days must follow this policy.
- They must obtain permits and ensure other permissions, where applicable, are obtained.
- They must ensure that, at the conclusion of the event, the temporary structure is promptly removed (see details in PROCUDURE section).
Environmental Health and Safety
- Reviews the permit application.
- Issues permit when approved.
- Inspects site after temporary structure has been erected.
- Verifies fire safety requirements are in place.
The entity (not the sponsor) erecting the temporary structure(s) including tents for a period of less than 180 days, must first obtain a permit from EH&S Building Codes Enforcement department. The applicant must complete the temporary structure building permit application and include a site plan that indicates the location of the structure, distance from buildings (if located within 25 feet of any structure), occupant loads and means of egress.
Obtaining a permit from EH&S does not relieve the sponsoring organization and contractor from obtaining permission via a special events form and dig permit from Physical Plant Division.
- Student organizations may obtain information about special event forms at
- University departments and the general public may obtain an event form by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs at
- Information on the dig permit may be obtained at
After receipt of the permit application, construction plans (2 copies), and payment of fees (check only), EH&S will review all applications for temporary structures and will either issue a permit based on the application or reject the permit application and provide reasons for rejection in a timely manner. After issuance of the permit, erection, and prior to occupancy of the temporary structure, EH&S will inspect the structure to verify compliance with the submitted site plan.
At the discretion of EH&S staff, temporary structures erected without proper permitting and approval may direct the event staff to remove or relocate the structure.
Fees for erection of temporary structures shall be the minimum permit and plans review fee charged for a building permit by the EH&S Building Code Enforcement fee schedule. An applicant with multiple tents for a single event at a single location will not be charged for each individual tent. A grouping of tents will be considered as one allotment for the purpose of fee calculation. Permit fees for failure to obtain a permit prior to erection of a temporary structure shall result in a fee double the usual permit fee.
- Current fee schedule may be viewed at http://www.ehs.ufl.edu/programs/buildcode/codes/fees/.
Erection of the temporary structure shall not begin earlier than 48 hours prior to the event without written permission. At the conclusion of the event the temporary structure shall be promptly removed. In no case shall the temporary structure remain in place longer than 24 hours after the conclusion of the event. Clean up of the site and restoration to original state of all grounds is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization and vendor.
The preferred method of erecting temporary structures is to use ballasted supports. Using stakes driven into the ground to erect a temporary structure requires special permission from the Vice President for Business Affairs. A minimum of 10’ between guy wires must be maintained regardless of erection method. All tents must be constructed of flame retardant material. If the structure has enclosed sides, exit signs will be required above all designated exits. Egress requirements must comply with the FBCB & NFPA LSC.
Temporary structures greater than 1,000 s.f. or any structure regardless of size that has open flame devices, shall provide a 2-A:10-B:C type extinguisher. The extinguisher must have a current inspection tag from a licensed Florida fire equipment dealer. A sufficient number of extinguishers shall be supplied such that the travel distance to the extinguisher does not exceed 75’ (seventy five feet).
Temporary structures shall not be erected within 10’ (ten feet) such that they block any egress or mechanical room doors from any building, fire lanes, fire hydrants, fire department connections and/or any other appurtenance determined to be critical to the operation of the building during normal or emergency conditions.
After issuance of the permit and erection of the temporary structure, the “vendor” shall request an inspection through our permitting software. Failure to obtain a permit may result in removal of the temporary structure by the structure owner and denial of future temporary structure permits.
Generators and other internal combustion power sources shall be separated from the temporary structure by a minimum of 5’. Fuel tanks shall be of sufficient capacity for the duration of the event. Refueling shall only be conducted when not in use. All generators shall be provided with a 2-A:10-B:C type extinguisher. The extinguisher must have a current inspection tag from a licensed Florida fire equipment dealer.
Issued December 18, 2015; Revised December 1, 2016.