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Take a Load Off Your Mind – Make the Right Structural Roof Deck Choice Every Time!

21 February 2011 No Comment

In an economic climate where cutting costs is an essential factor in virtually all construction projects, there is a real possibility that the drive to save money can result in specification compromises that go too far, in terms of having a very negative, or even dangerous, impact on building performance.

D35 Structural Roof Deck under single-ply membrane

When it comes to roof decking, there is an obvious “short cut” that may tempt the cost conscious building professional. Namely, selecting, for example, standard 32mm and 38mm roofing and cladding sheets as what seems, on the face of it, a viable substitute to a bona fide structural roof deck.

This has the potential to be a disastrous mistake… Standard sheets are simply not designed to replicate the role of a structural roof deck. This is especially true in the area of point loads. Normal profiled sheeting is notoriously poor at resisting this type of load. In essence, this opens the door to a number of problems, associated with damage, or even complete failure, due to foot traffic and concentrated load areas, especially if the cladding sheet is not treated with care during the installation phase.

BS 5950 Part 6. “Code of practice for design of light gauge steel sheeting” gives line load equivalents to the point loads of BS 6399 Part 3. 1.5kN/m line load is equivalent to 0.9kN point load, 3kN/m to 1.8kN. This means that the ability of a profile to resist 1.5kN/m makes it adequate in service for a roof without access. However, BS 5950 Part 6 recognises that the worst conditions often arise during periods of heavy roof traffic in the construction period and thus specifically recommends a minimum level of 2kN/m. This is something that is all too easy to overlook in the design process.

Clearly, choosing the right product that is fit for its intended purpose is imperative.

All Tata Steel structural roof decks are manufactured to fully conform to these requirements. Please contact our technical support team today for the very best advice in this crucial area.

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