Up to 50 design decisions to consider in a high-performance roof

Up to 50 design decisions to consider in a high-performance roof

The design and construction of a roofing system is a complex undertaking that can involve up to 50 considerations. To ensure that state-of-the-art roofing practice is incorporated into the finished product, the licensed design professional, architect, engineer, building owner, facility manager or roofing contractor should have the latitude to select the most suitable product, system and assembly available on the market.

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The factors that will impact roofing system design include:

Type of structure that needs to be protected.
Interior usage of the structure.
Geography and climate where the building is l

ocated.
Extreme weather conditions the roof will need to withstand (hail, high winds, etc.).
Orientation of the building.
Climatic impacts of the building.
Planned longevity of the roofing system and structure, as well as the recyclability of the roofing membrane.
Environmental impact of the materials to be used in the construction process.
Given these factors, the roofing professional can then determine the specifics of the roofing system design. This will include basic considerations such as how will the roofing membrane be attached to the roof deck. Options such as fully adhered, mechanically attached, and ballasted systems each offer unique benefits: a fully adhered system, for instance, which is attached to the substrate with adhesives, is essential to protect a roofing system in an area that frequently experiences high winds.

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The roofing professional must also accommodate any special requirements presented by the overall design of the building (such as the presence of solar panels, plant equipment, generators, or other equipment adhered to the roofing surface). Will the roof be used for materials storage? How much insulation is needed, and how might that impact the choice of a roofing membrane? How will future access to the roof be managed safely to facilitate ease of maintenance? And finally, how will the construction of the roof be sequenced properly to ensure that a durable finished product is delivered on time, on budget and adhering to local building codes?

This complex orchestration of interdependent design and construction decisions requires a steady hand, a wealth of experience and access to a broad range of design solutions, not prescriptive requirements that limit creative choice.

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