Why Do Commercial Buildings Have Flat Roofs?

flat roof for commercial buildings
Why Do Commercial Buildings Have Flat Roofs?

Take a look at the buildings in your community. Can you identify what are the commercial ones from the residential ones just by looking at them? One way to identify them apart is the appearance of their roof. 

Although this is not the standard or a requirement, it is quite common for commercial buildings to have flat roofs. Have you ever wondered why commercial buildings have flat roofs? We’ll reveal that mystery today!

The Size

Commercial buildings are often larger than residential buildings. Just imagine having to install one shingle at a time and cover a huge area. It is a daunting task that would take a long while to be completed. 

Doubles As Place For HVAC

For residential areas, the air conditioning equipment can simply go into a window. However, commercial areas have larger HVAC equipment. That is why they need a bigger area to go into. Instead of occupying space elsewhere on the ground floor, the roof is a great place for them. While the roof keeps them safely away, it also doesn’t occupy precious space anywhere in the building. 

Flat roofs make it possible for HVAC equipment to be installed properly. With a slope, it wouldn’t be securely placed and would be difficult to maintain and repair. A flat roof allows people better access to it so the HVAC system can be maintained or repaired.

Optimal Drainage

With residential areas, you make use of gutter systems for water drainage from the roof when it rains. With larger areas like commercial buildings, you can expect that there would be more water collected at a time. 

The typical gutter system for residential areas just won’t do here. There could be a backlog of water and when that happens, the roofing material can easily get damaged due to it. The water can spill off the edge and onto pedestrians or it could also damage other properties. 

Drainage system for commercial buildings would be more elaborate than those for residential areas. They are able to accommodate huge amounts of water that needs to be drained. There are efficient drainage options for flat roofs.

No Need For Wooden Frames

Wooden frames are typically used for pitched roofs. However, it can be challenging to connect them to other materials that the building is made of like concrete and steel. Additionally, wood could expand and contract depending on the temperature. In huge structures such as commercial buildings, this can make the roof unstable. 

With flat roofs, there is no need for a wooden frame. Furthermore, materials used for the flat roof like asphalt are easier to combine with other modern materials like concrete and steel.

Aesthetic Reasons

Flat roofs can also look beautiful. They can improve the overall look of the building. They may look plain and simple but that’s part of the appeal. With it, you can better put emphasis on the sides of the building. It wouldn’t compete with the attractiveness of the materials that are selected for the building.

More Space

Like giving room for HVAC equipment to reside on, flat roofs can provide even more space for the building owner. It can be turned into a garden or a patio. A green roof is great and could be more work but it could be beneficial not only to the building owner but to everyone too. 

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