How To Choose Your Rooftop-Mounted Electrical Equipment Screening?

Anything that provides heating, cooling, heat, water supply, electricity, and waste management are considered mechanical equipment. This includes chillers, condensers HVAC, compressors and compactors. Because it is on a rooftop, this equipment is more at risk from wind damage and is often directly in the line of sight of pedestrians.

Rooftop screening for mechanical equipment requires a building permit. To make sure it matches the surrounding area and meets the requirements of the building envelope, this approval will usually be required by the community. To obtain the appropriate approval process requirements, please contact your local building inspector or city planning department. These drawings should conform to the community’s appearance standards as well as guidelines for rooftop mechanical equipment screening. The community must set guidelines that address material selection by the design of the community, surrounding buildings, and public view considerations. Many communities have very strict guidelines about rooftop screening and architectural screening. These community guidelines will often follow a “line-of-sight” approach concerning the location, height, and coverage. These guidelines and assistance are not meant to replace community standards.

Screening Considerations

Designers should consider the following when designing a rooftop-mounted HVAC screen walls for mechanical equipment:

Material, Scale And Colour Of The Building Envelope: The screening for rooftop equipment should be compatible in colour, style and structure with the existing envelope. For example, if your roof is vertical, you might consider vertical slats/louvers.

Line Of Sight: Consider how the equipment will be seen from every vantage point when designing a roof-mounted screen. Rooftop equipment that is not visible from all vantage points may not require screening if it is higher than the immediate surroundings. In this case, the equipment may require protection due to wind load. Designers may recommend a rooftop equipment screen that has a roof, or an overhang, for buildings near elevated structures or roads. For more information, please consult your local code.

The Equipment To Be Screened: Rooftop mechanical equipment screening should consider both the equipment and its intended use. Because of space, height, ventilation, and other requirements, screening all rooftop equipment may not be feasible. Keep in mind that equipment may need to have local appearance standards adhered to. Some stacks require ventilation to be at the required height. These stacks can then be framed using materials that match the building envelope.

Structural Considerations: A structural engineer from your area should determine wind load based on the site conditions.

Visibility: Rooftop mechanical equipment screening is customizable to give you the level of visibility you need or as required by local codes. The most popular roof mechanical equipment screen design is the louvered panel. It can provide direct visual screening of 100% to 80% when looking straight on.

Grade Of Openness: The degree of visibility and the direct visual screening mentioned above have an impact on the level of transparency. The open space between louvers, holes, planks and other obstructions is called the degree of openness. A specific area is covered. The airflow between infill elements is determined by the area that is open or closed off. It is common for rooftop equipment to have a minimum amount of space. You may need to allow for a certain amount of airflow according to community guidelines.

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