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Rotting plywood decking on grandstand

A firm that undertakes visual structural inspections of temporary demountable grandstands for a number of sporting venues in the UK has published a report on plywood decking timber following an inspection of a grandstand, when a decking board failed whilst being walked on due to rotting.

Although temporary in nature, demountable structures can remain standing for several months exposed to the elements. In some cases, it is known that venues utilise them as permanent structures.

The report highlights the importance of the various stand suppliers/installers working together to develop a coordinated approach to the management of these types of structures.  Robust pre-inspection regimes or indeed insitu tests need to be developed which are backed up with comprehensive audit trails that clients and event organisers can rely on.

Other key learning outcomes from the report are:

  • Inspection regimes should take into account how long a structure has been standing, or has been in storage, since it was last dismantled and checked.
  • Consider the potential for degradation of all elements and check for hidden defects, particularly in timber decking.
  • Temporary demountable structures: Guidance on procurement, design and use provides significant guidance.
  • Stand suppliers should be aware of the potential for hidden degradation at the edges of plywood decking.


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