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The benefits of non-penetrative rooftop support

Big foot Systems Penthouse Arizona

Why choose a non-penetrative support system?

Maintaining the structural integrity of a roof is key when considering rooftop AC support. Traditional methods of support do not always take into account factors such as rooftop load management, or the integrity of the roof membrane which if left unchecked, could lead to expensive and costly rectification should they fail. Traditionally, plant and services are supported by concrete or steel upstands that require a penetration through the roof surface. Big Foot Systems was created to solve issues that resulted from this method, along with adding multiple benefits.

Whether the roof surface is felt, asphalt or a more modern single ply membrane, roof penetrating up-stands break the waterproofing layer and require weathering. This adds cost, often requires additional visits for multiple trades, adding to the project program and inevitably increases the risk of a leak which can be devastating to property owners and tenants. With warm or inverted roof configurations, penetrations affect not only waterproofing but insulation. By breaking through insulation, a thermal gap is created. The upstands transitioning this gap have poor thermal properties and so allow for undesirable heat transfer, otherwise known as cold bridging.

By using a Big Foot support system and avoiding roof penetrations, the roof membrane is left intact and weathering and cold bridging can be avoided. A non-penetrative support system also offers more stability than traditional methods may be able to offer, which is vital when considering high wind speed conditions.

Benefits for engineers

Some of the benefits of using a non-penetrative rooftop support system include avoiding penetrations and leaving waterproofing layers uninterrupted. As well as maintaining roof manufacturers' warranties and reducing risk dramatically. Another major benefit to using Big Foot products is the ease and speed of installation. Big Foot products come flat packed and ready for installation, saving engineers time on site. Furthermore, the products are designed to be adaptable to project needs and can be customized for specific projects. Whether it be a lightweight rooftop, limited space or obstructions a suitable solution can be found for even the most difficult of spaces.

Additional benefits include load management and distribution, coordination flexibility, time and cost savings through offsite manufacture, last-minute design changes and remove/replace feet for roof repair or equipment replacement.

Big Foot Systems products in the US – Phoenix, Arizona

Big Foot Systems are in use across the US, a recent notable project consisted of the supply of two Multi Frame systems to support a VRV unit on the roof of an exclusive penthouse apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona. This particular system was chosen for the “speed and ease of installation” and the quality of construction, as well as the fact that Daikin had the product listed and stocked for sale and quick delivery. Big Foot’s freestanding Multi Frame incorporates anti-vibration mats and negates the need for time-consuming and costly roof penetrations. The Multi Frame can be used to support a variety of different cooling plant; compressors, condensers, VRFs, small AHUs, ASHPs and extractor fans. Furthermore, Big Foot products can be installed in all weather conditions and are all designed with safety, security and simplicity in mind. Finally, the short manufacture and delivery lead times ensure a project can meet its schedule and stay within budget.

Contact Big Foot Systems today to see how a Big Foot support system could work for you.  


Main picture: Camelback Tower Phoenix, AZ, USA. Carousel images left to right: Camelback Tower Phoenix, AZ, USA and Pioneer Building, Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Big Foot Systems Penthouse, Arizona
Big Foot Systems – Pioneer Building, Oklahoma City

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