I. Policy Information

Policy Title: UIS Temporary Structure Policy
Owner: Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Responsible Official: Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities and Services
Approved by: Chancellor with advice of Cabinet
Date Approved:
Effective Date:
Targeted Review Date: One year from the effective date.
Contact: facilities@uis.edu

Related Policies

II. Scope

This Policy applies to the placement of temporary structures on University of Illinois Springfield property. 

This policy does not apply to:

  • Real property
  • Temporary structures placed on university property for less than 14 days.
  • The short-term placement of tents on the Student Union’s north plaza.
  • The temporary placement of trailers, material, tool and equipment storage containers, or temporary structures required to support construction activities, emergency operations or responses to natural and/or man-made disasters. 

III. Definitions 

Building - Permanent, enclosed structures placed on or in the ground, or attached to another structure in a fixed position, and intended to remain in place for greater than 10 years to house persons or property.

Fixed Equipment – Equipment that cannot be removed from the building without significant physical effort, technical expertise, or costly repairs or alterations to make the space usable for its intended purpose. Examples include, but are not limited to machinery, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, heating system components, and built-in structures that cannot be removed without cutting into walls, ceilings, or floors; or otherwise damaging the buildings or the items being removed. 

Infrastructure – The physical structures needed for the operation of a facility or structure (e.g., pavements, water, electrical, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, natural gas, information technology connections, etc.).

Inhabited Structure – a structure that is regularly occupied in whole or in part by people as a living, learning and/or working environment. Examples of inhabited structures on university property include the dormitories, University Hall, Kiwanis Stadium soccer clubhouse, the Residential Simulation Lab, etc. Examples of uninhabited structures on university property include the Spencer House garage, the Dixie barn, and baseball field dugouts. Although these structures are considered buildings and are used for such things as learning and working, they are not regularly occupied in whole or in part by people.

Real Property - A parcel of land and everything that is permanently attached to the land. Real property refers to land and land improvements, buildings, and permanently attached equipment.

Temporary Structure - a non-permanent structure that meets the following criteria: 1) is portable, 2) is not permanently affixed to or in the ground, 3) often does not conform to the university’s Master Plan, 4) is not considered real property, 5) is not considered fixed equipment, 6) and/or is below the capitalization thresholds identified by the Office of Business and Financial Services’ policies and procedures for property accounting and classifying equipment and property.

IV. Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to:

  1. Ensure the need to place a temporary structure on university property is vetted and the appropriate approval is obtained prior to the acquisition and/or placement of a temporary structure on campus.
  2. Ensure the appropriate stakeholders are notified of the proposed temporary structure’s location and the anticipated removal date, and are given an opportunity to provide input to the university administration and the UIS Space Allocation Committee prior to a decision being made regarding the placement of the temporary structure on university property.  
  3. Maximize the use of space in the university’s existing permanent buildings. As a guideline, the use of existing space should be prioritized over the use of temporary structures even if inconvenient at times. 
  4. Enable the university to create a “sense of place” and provide an enjoyable, aesthetically pleasing and inspirational environment for all to live, learn, work and discover. Temporary structures should not detract from the attractiveness of the university’s buildings and natural environment. To the maximum extent possible, temporary structures should match and fit into the surrounding architectural environment.
  5. Provide for the establishment of guidelines and standards for the placement and construction of temporary structures on university property.

V. Background

Occasionally, temporary structures are needed to accomplish the university’s mission. The university’s existing buildings and/or other built infrastructure sometimes do not have the ability to meet a university office, activity or stakeholder’s requirement. 

Direction, procedures, and the appropriate approval are needed prior to the acquisition and placement of temporary structures on university property to prevent the unwanted expenditure of resources; to prevent any negative effect to other university offices, activities, or stakeholders; and to ensure the university maintains and preserves an aesthetically pleasing living, learning, and work environment. 

VI. Statement of Policy

With Chancellor approval, temporary structures may be placed on university property to meet a short-term need for space, subject to established procedures. 

The placement and construction of temporary structures on university property shall be in accordance with Attachment 1 - Temporary Structure Construction Guidelines, as may be amended from time to time.

VII. Procedures

  1. The requesting unit/office/activity shall coordinate with UIS Facilities and Services on:
    • The proposed location.
    • The temporary structure’s compliance with this policy’s Temporary Structure Construction Guidelines (Attachment 1). 
    • Any provision and/or infrastructure needed to support the temporary structure (e.g., utilities, pedestrian and/or vehicular access, exterior lighting, signage, landscaping alterations, etc.).
    • Ensure all applicable building and safety codes are met.
    • Ensure the temporary structure does not present a hazard to others and/or university property due to construction of the structure and/or environmental factors (wind, snow loads, ground/foundation the structure is placed on, etc.).
  2. The requesting unit/office/activity shall notify all units neighboring and potentially affected by the intended location of the temporary structure. That notification shall be directed to the leadership of those neighboring/affected units and shall include: 1) a detailed description of the proposed temporary structure, 2) a picture or representative image/drawing of the structure, 3) the intended use of the structure, and 4) the anticipated dates for installation and removal of the structure.
  3. The requesting unit/office/activity shall coordinate with the UIS Police Department on:
    • Security considerations to include but not limited to locks, individuals authorized to access the temporary structure, expectations of the Police Department to patrol and monitor, etc.
    • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) considerations to ensure the placement of the structure does not present an unwanted risk to those using or in the proximity of the temporary structure.
  4. The requesting unit/office/activity shall coordinate with UIS Information Technology Services (ITS) on:
    • The installation and support of ITS systems needed to support the unit/offices’ operation or temporary structure’s needs to include, but not limited to, telephones, internet access, audio/visual equipment, security cameras, electronic building access systems, etc.  
  5. The unit/office/activity requesting the placement of the temporary structure on university property shall submit a Space Allocation Request (https://www.uis.edu/spaceallocation), with the concurrence of their division head via signature, to the UIS Space Allocation Committee for review. The Space Allocation Request shall provide:
    • A list of potentially affected stakeholders that have been notified of the proposed temporary structure.
    • A detailed description and picture or representative image/drawing of the proposed temporary structure and its intended use.
    • A diagram depicting the proposed location of the temporary structure to neighboring buildings, spaces, and infrastructure to include units occupying or using space near the proposed site.
    • Justification for why a temporary structure is needed as opposed to using an existing structure.
    •  A list of infrastructure requirements and/or provisions needed to support the temporary structure.  
    • Proof of funding available to install, support, and remove the temporary structure.
    • A detailed description of the anticipated impact of the temporary structure on the surrounding environment.
    • The anticipated dates for the installation and removal of the temporary structure.
  6. The Space Allocation Committee will review the proposal and consult with the appropriate stakeholders. Should the Space Allocation Committee require additional information, the Space Allocation Committee Chair will provide written comments to the proposing unit/office/activity requesting the temporary structure. The Space Allocation Committee Chair will provide a recommendation to the Chancellor in accordance with the UIS Space Allocation Policy. 
  7. The source of funding and estimated amount to procure, transport, construct, support, sustain, and make reasonable repairs to the temporary structure shall be identified prior to the acquisition of the temporary structure. 
  8. All costs associated with the placement of any temporary structure, including the costs to mitigate any adverse environmental impacts, site improvements (e.g., pavements, construction of walls or fences on site), cost of utilities, the services of the Campus Police, Information Technology Services, Facilities and Services, or other services required for supporting the temporary structure, are to be borne by the unit initiating the request. 
  9. Funding to dismantle and/or remove the structure from university property and the costs to repair/restore the site back to its original condition are borne by the requesting unit and shall be set aside in a plant fund prior to the construction of the temporary structure. 
  10. Approval to continue to retain a temporary structure on university property will be obtained from the Chancellor two times a year: once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester. No later than October 31 and April 30 of each academic year the unit/office/activity using the temporary structure shall make the request via the procedures outlined in paragraph VII of this policy. 
  11. Upon notification from the Chancellor to remove a temporary structure, the unit/office/activity shall remove the temporary structure within 30 calendar days. 
  12. In the interest of safety or to prevent the potential loss of property and/or life endangerment, the Space Allocation Committee Chair may review a proposal to place a temporary structure on university property and provide a recommendation to the Chancellor without formally convening the Space Allocation Committee. 
  13. University units/offices/activities shall not acquire temporary structures and/or place them on university property without the approval of the Chancellor.

Attachment 1 - Temporary Structure Construction Guidelines


  1. Temporary structures shall be compact in form with simple, efficient designs.
  2. Temporary structures should be sited in locations where visibility from major roads and paths will be obscured to the maximum extent possible by existing buildings and/or dense existing vegetation. Locations should be sensitive to access/service requirements of existing nearby buildings. 
  3. Signed and sealed plans by a licensed architect or professional engineer registered in the State of Illinois are required for the construction of any temporary structure that is not prefabricated, modular and/or not assembled as a self-contained unit. Plans shall be submitted to UIS Facilities and Services for approval before entering into any contract or procuring materials for construction. 
  4. The use, presence and/or storage of any hazardous, flammable or combustible materials or chemicals in the temporary structure must be approved by the University Environmental Health and Safety Office and follow all university, state, federal and OSHA regulations, policies and procedures. 
  5. The activity or use of the temporary structure will have no adverse environmental effects on the property or surrounding properties resulting from noise, vibration, discharges, air pollution, glare and/or odor, unless such impacts can be mitigated in a manner that satisfies all parties affected by the construction of the temporary structure. 
  6. New vehicle or pedestrian traffic movements that are created will not conflict with existing vehicle and pedestrian corridors.


  1. Setbacks for temporary structures should respect existing topography, mature vegetation, environmental constraints and permanent development. 
  2. Setbacks between buildings and temporary structures should be a minimum of 20 feet or as dictated by Fire Codes.
  3. Creation of long narrow spaces between structures should be avoided. Where adjacent structures are proposed to be parallel to one another, structures should be offset for at least half of the structures’ lengths to minimize undesirable views by avoiding direct window views of blank exterior walls.

Foundation and Under-Floor Treatment

  1. Grading should be minimal for the placement of temporary structures. Grading that would remove existing plant material, landscape and hardscape is strongly discouraged. 
  2. Whenever possible, temporary structures should be sited on pavement (preferably concrete or asphalt surfaces). As a minimum, an aggregate rock base that extends out no less than 2 feet from the perimeter of the temporary structure shall be used. The siting of a temporary structure directly on the ground for longer than 14 days is prohibited. The use of loose unfilled concrete masonry units (CMU) on grade to support a temporary structure is prohibited. 
  3. Pit-set temporary structures are permissible to eliminate ramping and stairs, and to minimize the mass of the structures. Excavation to accommodate pit-set temporary structures is acceptable.
  4. Temporary structure installations that are not pit-set must include a full-skirt treatment around the entire perimeter to screen unsightly under-floor anchoring supports and ties.

Access (Service, Vehicular and Pedestrian)

  1. For inhabited temporary structures:
    • Access to the structure and active outdoor spaces must meet accessibility requirements in accordance with Federal and State ADA requirements. 
    • The structure must accommodate access for fire apparatus. 
    • Convenient access for service vehicles should be considered and accommodated where feasible. 
  2. The structure(s) shall not restrict access to or egress from existing building entrances or exits.  

Temporary Structure Material Standards

  1. Materials:
    • Siding shall be made of metal, vinyl, cement board and/or T-111 wood plywood or similar quality. 
    • Roof materials shall be standing metal seam, composite shingles or a rubber membrane (e.g., EPDM, TPO, etc.). The use of organic roofing shingle material is prohibited.
    • Building envelope materials that are prone to corrosion, decay or rotting (e.g. wood, metal, etc.) must be protected from the elements (e.g. paint, stain, coated aluminum, plastic, or vinyl wrap, sheet metal flashing/trim, etc.).
    • Unprotected wood structural components resting on, within 4 inches of the ground or foundation, or otherwise prone to being exposed to moisture must be constructed out of pre-treated lumber.
    • Sharp edges and points of contact must be protected, trip hazards eliminated, the potential for head bumping mitigated, and the structure must be designed or supervised to prevent people from climbing on it. Guy wires must be well marked and/or barricaded to prevent accidental contact.
    • All materials used in the construction of a temporary structure must be secured to the structure to prevent an unwanted safety hazard.
  2. Color Standards
    • The use of bright or reflective colors are prohibited on temporary structures. Colors must blend with nearby environmental conditions and permanent buildings are required. Colors should conform to the color palette of the surrounding area. 
    • Corner trim should be painted the same color as the body color. 
  3. Security 
    • The selection and installation of door hardware, locks, keys, electronic safety and security equipment, access control, video surveillance equipment, etc., must be coordinated with the UIS Police Department, Facilities and Services, and Information Technology Services.

Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Utility Equipment

  1. Mechanical equipment should be located in the most unobtrusive location and screened with landscape or architectural elements. If possible, equipment should be painted to blend visually with the body of the temporary structure if mounted on the temporary structure or into the landscape if surrounded by landscape. The paint color of the temporary structure mounted equipment should be consistent with the color specifications for the complex. Noise impacts to adjacent structures should be considered in the placement of equipment.
  2. Coordinate with Facilities & Services to specify the appropriate location and setback of electrical transformer to structure.

Service Areas/Trash Facilities


  1. The trash service area for the complex should be located in an unobtrusive location and screened with an enclosure and/or landscape material. 
  2. Coordinate with Facilities and Services for trash and recycling service.


  1. Landscape Concept: Preservation of the existing landscape (plant material, mature trees, grading, etc.) is strongly preferred and removals should be avoided, if possible.
  2. Temporary structures sited on enhanced pavement may utilize landscape containers to achieve suitable landscaping outcomes.
  3. New plantings must be approved by the UIS Superintendent of Grounds and conform to applicable campus landscape guidelines.
  4. All open space areas within consolidation areas not planted or paved must be seeded or covered with appropriate mulch materials.

Site Furnishings

  1. Outdoor amenities may include manufactured benches, tables and chairs. 
  2. Bicycle racks should be provided at all inhabited temporary structures and conveniently located. 
  3. All signage must conform to UIS Design Narratives and Standard Specifications.
  4. All exterior lighting should conform to the UIS Design Narratives and Standard Specifications.

Variances and Changes

  1. Requests to vary from this policy’s Temporary Structure Construction Guidelines shall be submitted via the procedures outlined in paragraph VII of this policy. 
  2. Recommendations to change this policy’s Temporary Structure Construction Guidelines shall be submitted via the procedures outlined in paragraph VII of this policy.


Unit Head
Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities and Services