Managing the risk of roof structure overloading


Regardless of the assumptions made during building’s construction design process, there is no certainty that the excess load will not overload the roof structure and threaten its safety. Large area facilities with flat roofs are most vulnerable to being overloaded. Problem of abnormal variable loads stemming from residual snow or rainwater accumulated as a result of obstruction of water outflow is growing year after year with the climate change.

In the consensus opinion of experts this phenomenon is no longer a weather anomaly, but the irreversible trend of climate change.

Fortunately, these events can be identified in advance, enabling owners to take preventive action.

Frequently used manual measurements, apart from human errors (in sampling, measuring or notation), are at best an estimate, because it is not known how the measured values relate to the real load of roof structure caused by the residual snow.

Since it is not the amount of residual snow / water, but the deflection of structural elements that is the measure of the overloading risk, the automatic laser WiSeNe® monitoring that measures deflections is a very good tool to track the straining state of roof structure under variable loads.

The WiSeNe® System has a multi-stage mechanism for notifying about the growing threat of roof structure overloading caused by the variable loads, This feature allows to take preventive actions at the right time.

With the information on the actual structure response to variable loads, there is no need to “guess” when it is right time to remove snow and spend money on unnecessary interventions and associated reparations of roof covering or its installations.

One can effectively react to the threat of overloading only when and where it is objectively needed. This is particularly important because the snow removal itself may, in certain circumstances, lead to a disaster due to a local structure overloading.

… and Thrift

Including the WiSeNe® System into facility’s management procedures allows for a significant increase in safety as well as the measurable money savings. Investment in the WiSeNe® System may return even in a single winter season.

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