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CROSS Safety Report

Wind damage to secondary elements

Report ID: 42 Published: 1 July 2006 Region: CROSS-UK

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A period of storm force winds, with wind speeds approaching design levels, resulted in damage to secondary roofing and cladding elements.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals and design engineers:

  • The design and installation of secondary elements should be given the same degree of attention as the primary structure during both design and construction to improve safety, reliability and longevity

Full Report

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A report from a client which owns a number of large industrial buildings says that a period of storm force winds, with wind speeds approaching design levels, resulted in damage to secondary roofing and cladding elements. The gross areas of roofing and wall cladding performed well. Certain secondary elements however did suffer damage in the extreme wind conditions. Inspections by the owner have shown that localised areas of secondary metal components such as flashings, trims, cappings and the like did become detached or distorted.

Investigations by the owner have also revealed that secondary elements may not attract the same attention in the design, installation and inspection process as do the main roof or wall areas. The detailing, fixing, and inspection of secondary elements must be rigorous to avoid potential damage in high winds and to avoid the resulting hazard of flying debris and any consequential weakening of the main areas of wall and roof coverings.

Expert Panel Comments

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This emphasises the need for designers and contractors to be careful with the detailing and selection of fixings for secondary components. Fixings have been mentioned in previous reports and reports of items falling off buildings. The frequency and severity of strong winds are predicted to increase as climates change so more incidences of such damage may be expected.

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