Failure of roof-mounted equipment (RME) during high-wind events can cause significant damage to the building where the RME is mounted as well as other buildings down wind. The failure of these elements can lead to tearing of the roofing membrane, which may result in a partial or total loss of the roof cover system. Ensuing water intrusion can cause substantial damage to the building and its contents. Sensitive electronic equipment, manufacturing equipment and other types of building contents frequently require a lead time for replacement, and building material shortages are common following a major hurricane. Building material availability and equipment replacement delays can prevent a business owner from returning to a normal level of service following a wind event. The combination of property damage and business interruption not only results in a significant increase in insured losses, but also may affect the insured’s market share and the ability of the business to stay open following a disaster.
IBHS conducted a detailed investigation into the wind loads of roof-mounted equipment (RME) under numerous configurations. This investigation examined the effects that unit porosity, location and elevation had on wind loads, using custom-designed force balances specifically designed by IBHS for this study.