Winter Marquees

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Marquee at RHS Wisley. 8″ snow on the ground, heaters melted it off the roofs.

WINTER MARQUEES pose a few extra difficulties. Careful consideration must be given to heating flooring and entry/exit options. In snowy conditions there may also be issues with delivery, snow clearance & snow build-up on marquee roofs. It is also a good idea to book a marquee attendant for winter events; we are able to respond much faster to a heating or power failure if we have a man on site.

Heating

Unless otherwise instructed we will quote for a suitable heating installation for your marquee based on average past temperatures for the time of year of your event. Should forecasts suggest temperatures significantly lower than these averages, it may be necessary to increase your heating requirements, and we will notify you of the relevant costs and risks so that you can make a decision. Proper doors are also a factor to consider when making effective heating arrangements.

Wind

In winter as well as autumn and spring we experience much stronger winds than during the traditional summer marquee season. Obviously it is better to have your marquee in summer but not all events can wait for this. It is even more important to use a company like Claremont Marquees during these periods as our modern tents are well constructed, and our staff know exactly how to build and secure them properly. Link to reviews/storm Katie  

Delivery and snow clearance

After a heavy snow fall it is possible that we may not be able to get vehicles to your site to deliver the marquee. Happily in spite of some very difficult conditions this has never happened to us.

If your marquee site is covered in snow it will need to be cleared before we can erect the marquee. Of course we will do what we can, but it is your responsibility to provide us with a suitable site, so you must make all possible efforts to clear the snow. Again despite some very difficult conditions this has never stopped us completing a marquee installation.

Snow loadings

It is common practice among European marquee manufacturers (ours included) not to build snow loadings into marquee design. The idea is to heat the marquee sufficiently to melt the snow before there is a significant build up on the roof. Of course you may need additional fuel to achieve this as for most 1 day events only 10 hrs fuel for continuous running (+ a reasonable margin) is provided with our heaters. We will of course supply additional fuel if required, but you will be charged for this. In very severe conditions it is possible that further steps may be required to clear snow from marquee roofs, and if this is not successful your event may need to be cancelled for safety reasons. Again this has never happened to us.

CASE HISTORY

In December 2010 we provided 4 marquees joined together with a total of 20,000 sq ft of roofs for a craft fair. During the build for this event, we had the worst & earliest December snowfall in living memory, and over 6″ of fresh snow settled overnight on the marquee roofs. Because we took quick action to run up over 700 kW of heating we were able to melt the snow rapidly and avoid any further build up. The estimated total weight of snow before we cleared it was over 20 Tons, which with a little arithmetic and a change of units gives a snow load of about 11kg/sqm. So whilst our marquees do not have snow loadings included in their design calculations, we have a practical example from one event of four marquees which coped with a snow load of over 10Kg/sqm without ill effect. We also have many other examples of smaller events over the last 20 years where snow had an impact but caused no damage to our marquees.

The worst problem we encountered in this case was getting vehicles to site when many roads were closed, but even this we overcame. For the event organiser the practical difficulties associated with widespread heavy snow were far more of a problem than any marquee related matters. The first day of the 4 day event had to be cancelled as it was not safe to allow visitors on to the site until roads, paths and car parks were cleared. In any case few visitors would have been able to get there on the first day! Though overall visitor numbers were fewer than expected due to the conditions, the show did go on!

The overall effect of winter conditions on your event it would seem is more important than whether you hold it in a marquee or not!