Commercial and industrial buildings

  • Industriefassade

    Industrial façade

  • Lichtkuppeln für Industriebauten

    Light domes for flat rooftops

  • Sheddach

    Shed rooftop

Definition industrial rooftop

There is no universal definition of the term “industrial rooftop” in the building industry. The term is used mostly for rooftops of large hall constructions. The form is chosen in dependence of the functional conditions.

A more precise definition is given by the industrial building guideline and its conditions for the fire prevention under the norm DIN 18234: “constructional fire prevention of extensive rooftops – the fire stress from below”. These guidelines regulate the arrangement of fire compartments or fire sub-sections of the rooftop that measures more than 2500 m2. The norm DIN 18234 also defines the rooftop structure and implementation of the roof penetrations.

Which rooftop form is used for industrial or commercial buildings?

Barrel rooftop

The barrel rooftop is a semicircular barrel vault. It is ideal for extensive canopies.

Flat rooftop

Flat rooftops seem to be even but have a slightly slope. Only then can the rainwater pass. The great advantage of flat rooftops is the usage of the whole building structure without bevels. This is the reason why they are used often for industrial and commercial buildings. In addition is a usage of green rooftops or solar systems and photovoltaics possible. The hall space can be used almost without restriction with a pressure drainage.

The pent roof

The pent roof is the simplest rooftop form with only one slanting roof surface it is rather cost-efficient. A special form of the pent roof is the shed roof. It is often used for industrial buildings.

The shed roof

The shed roof is often used for buildings with large surface areas. It is the combination of several small pent or pitched rooftop structures in a row. The glazing of the vertical areas allows a lot of natural light to enter the building. This natural incidence of light (mostly from the north) is dazzle-free and doesn’t cast a hard shadow.

Arch rooftop

The term “arch rooftop” isn’t defined properly. It is used mostly as a synonymous for crooked rooftop structures. It indicates in our case all rooftops that have a geometry or support structure made of arches.

Are there special requirements for the sealing of industrial rooftops?

For every different sealing area at an industrial or commercial building there are specific material characteristics. The safest sealing alternative has to be chosen for every rooftop area individually. You can only use those products that comply with the building rules list or the universal technical certificates. In addition, the sealing has to correspond with the product data sheet of the rulebook of the roofing trade.

The future building sealing has to adapt to the changing requirements because of the climatic change. Any further increase of the average temperature is causing extreme climatic events. Because of this, it is important, that the sealing reacts to this development and adapts to withstand the much higher summer temperatures and pending threats such as heavy rain, hail and snow. Even today there is strong hail and the perforation safety has to be a high priority for sealings.

Do I have to take the regional building regulations into account?

Yes, you have to consider the regional building regulations as well as the industrial building guidelines, that regulate the most important requirements.

What is there to consider regarding the fire prevention for industrial rooftops?

The industrial building guideline declares, that the roofing of fire compartments with a rooftop area larger than 2500 m2 are to be built to hinder fire from spreading over the rooftop. The fire prevention for rooftops is fulfilled, if rooftops are built after the norm DIN 18234 with a supporting roof-shell with non-flammable building materials (for example concrete).

What does the norm DIN 18234 mean exactly for industrial/ commercial buildings?

The norm DIN 18234 essentially describes the test criteria for a fire testing, as well as the permitted roof structures and the solutions for the roof penetrations and connections. An important ratio of the guideline is the rooftop size. Is the whole rooftop or single fire compartment larger then 2500 m2 is the roofing (consisting of the roof membrane, insulation, vapor barriers and sub construction) to be built to hinder a fire spreading within the fire sub-section. As a minimum roof-pitch are 2 % (1,2°) required. These requirements don’t count for single-story ground floor warehouses with a rooftop area of a maximum of 3000 m2, if the warehouse is only used to store non-flammable goods.

Even for a smaller rooftop area we recommend to build the rooftop structure accordingly to the norm DIN 18234. It gives a higher security level and you won’t have any problems if you want to enlarge your hall later on.

Light domes and light bands build in the rooftop are not only for illuminating your production area, but to create an additional ventilation possibility. To prevent fire even more you can install smoke and heat outlet flaps. Numerous variants and dimensions can be selected.

The drainage of industrial or commercial buildings

To dissipate rainwater safely, you have to build in roof gullies at all low points of your rooftop and have a roof-pitch of 2 % (1,2°). That does not only guarantee the fast discharge of the rainwater, but also takes care in the long-term, that the sealing won’t get any damage because of ponding. There are two possible drainage systems for flat rooftops.

1. The gravity drainage

The gravity drainage is the traditional and up to this date most used method for the drainage of a flat rooftop. Every roof gully is linked to its own downpipe. These will divide the warehouse with pillars, that contain the downpipes to lead to the underground pipe. Even the underground pipe has to have a slope to function.

As a space-saving alternative you can use a pressure drainage.

2. The pressure drainage

The main advantage of this system lies in the connection of many roof outlets in one single collector pipe, that has no descent and runs directly below the ceiling, so that only a few downpipes are needed. That equals in place and material savings in the warehouse.

The pressure drainage can be implemented at large rooftop areas from 150 m2 upwards. A minimum height from 4,2 m between rooftop and backflow level must exist for the system to work.

The precise planning, a fitting material choice and the calculation of the gullies are indispensable. This is coordinated to the occurrences of your rooftop, because different slopes and greening areas have different calculation grounds. You can learn more about the advantages here.

Solar thermal energy and photovoltaics for industrial or commercial buildings

Due to their size, industrial building rooftops are an ideal location for solar thermal energy. Depending on the operating modes, you can choose the solar energy (warm water) or photovoltaics (power). For the installation of a solar system you have to consider the building regulation criteria such as stability, static, fire prevention as well as thermal and sound insulation. The chosen carrier system for the solar system has to support it even with a flat sloped roof. Furthermore, the construction has to defy the wind pressure as well as dead load and snow load.

It has to be considered, that the given functionality of the sealing has to be guaranteed. That means, that the water drain has to function, the roof gullies remain the lowest point and the solar system doesn’t start ponding.

We summarized all pending questions and answers to this topic here.

Green rooftops for industrial or commercial buildings

A flat rooftop can be expanded to a green rooftop. There are many advantages for you and the environment. We answer all questions and possibilities regarding a green rooftop here.

Do I need insulation for an industrial or commercial building?

The insulation has to fit into the fire prevention guidelines and he energy-saving ordinance for industrial buildings. The precise measures have to be planned individually regarding to your project. A subsequent insulation is possible.

What special fall protection measures are there?

Anchor devices in the norm DIN EN 795

There are 5 variants of anchor devices in the norm DIN EN 795 for the German market:

  • Typ A: single attachment points permanently anchored to the mounting surface
  • Typ B: anchor points that can be removed after the usage
  • Typ C: lifeline systems
  • Typ D: track fallback systems
  • Typ E: anchor points, that are weighted with a load (such as concrete plates, gravel)

Flat roof safeguards

It is a collective term for the different measures for the protection of the downfall from rooftop areas. The flat roof safeguards describe individual as well as collective protective measures, that don’t call for a personal fall protective equipment (for example side protection through a railing or a scaffold).

Security railing

Railings are meant to hinder the workers to get close to the edge or above it. Railings are a preventive measure against deadly or life-threatening falls form high above. They are attributed to the collective protection, because they protect more than one person without the person being familiar with an individual protective equipment. The regulation states that the collective protection is preferable to the individual protection with personal safety equipment.

Railings can be built in permanently or temporarily with weights or other loads to weight them down. They are mostly made of weather-resistant aluminum, so they are easier to transport and don’t weight down onto the roof structure.

Regarding to the norm DIN EN 13374, railings have to have a minimum of 100 cm. Set up directly at an edge or an attic with a minimum of 100 cm, they need a skirting board in addition to the handrail and knee rail.

Anchor points

Single anchor points are an individual form of fall protection for rooftops, façades or other bases. They are used as a restraining system as well as a retention tank. Anchor points count as an individual fall protection, because they protect trained technical staff, that dispose of a personal protection equipment.

Single anchor points offer the possibility to attach yourself to a joining means. These are for example equipped with an anchorage point to attach a carbine.

Fall-through protection of light domes

Light bands and light domes, that aren’t permanently fall-through protected, have to be executed with a suitable covering or net to hinder a person of falling down.

What do I have to consider with renovations of industrial or commercial buildings?

Renovations have to be executed with the industrial building guidelines. They regulate the insulation and fire prevention measures. You also have to consider the different roof and façade areas.

The industrial façade

The façade of a modern industrial and technical building has numerous advantages. It protects the building structure against all environmental influences such as rain, heat, cold and it takes care of a constant temperature, it is sound insulation and has an excellent fire prevention characteristic.

We recommend façades made of titanium zinc, that not only show a long durability and maintenance-freedom but also have a unique optics.

Is the energy saving regulation affecting the industrial or commercial building?

If the energy saving regulation (German: EnEV) affects your industrial building, depends on the construction elements and functionalities of your building and have to be discussed with the architect in charge and the craftsmen. With a new building you should consider possible changes to the operation and production procedure in the future and plan ahead. A subsequent customizing to the regulations could be more expensive than building accordingly to the regulations from the beginning.