If you are a building owner or contractor looking for flatroof supports for HVAC units or other rooftop services, you may be torn between finding a standard, off-the-shelf solution or opting for a bespoke system to accommodate the specific design challenges you face on your project.

At Roof-Pro Ltd we supply a complete range of flatroof support options, including standard components from both Sure-Foot and Roof-Pro, as well as our Roof-Pro range of specialist and bespoke solutions. In this article we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of standard and bespoke approaches to roof support systems.

Why Choose Standard Rooftop Supports?
The main advantage of standard flatroof HVAC unit supports is cost. A standard solution will typically be modular in nature, resulting in large scale manufacture and a much more economic solution which keeps down project costs. If using Sure-Foot supports, however, you do need to be aware that you will have to carry out load management.

Standard modular solutions are also designed to be easy to assemble on site without requiring special expertise. As well as helping to keep labour costs down, this provides flexibility over the timing of the installation to fit in with existing project timescales, rather than having to schedule in a visit by a specialist installer. This can result in invaluable time savings. Sure-Foot modular frames are supplied as a box of components, while Roof-Pro frames are supplied part-assembled with a project-specific drawing.

A modular solution also makes it easy to extend an existing frame in the future, for instance to support new condensers.

Standard Flatroof Supports for HVAC Units – Sure-FootWhy Choose Bespoke Rooftop Systems?
There are two reasons why a contractor may choose to explore a bespoke option instead.
The first is that there may be a perception that “standard” flatroof supports for HVAC units may be limited or difficult to configure in some way.
The second reason may relate to specific concerns about engineering requirements or features of the rooftop itself such as:

Weight – There may be concerns about the weight of very large or heavy HVAC units and whether a standard system can support them safely. (Our Sure-Foot supports are not designed to support very heavy units, for instance.) Roof-Pro frames can be sized to suit the specific plant and frames are available to support any weight.

Unusual configuration – If there are several units of different sizes, a modular system may not initially appear to be a good solution to accommodate all of them.

Rooftop features – If there are rooftop fixtures, such as risers or vents, or even changes in roof level that need to be avoided or navigated, this may suggest a need for a specially designed support structure. For instance, Roof-Pro frames have pivoting bases which gives added ability to configure the frame to the specific design.

Access issues – As well as providing supports for units and associated cables, pipes and ducts, contractors may also need to provide safe access via steps and walkways between or over units and cabling runs.

Unusual equipment – As well as the HVAC units themselves there may be a variety of associated equipment that also needs support, such as generators, solar panels, water tanks, fans and extraction units.

All these issues are very valid concerns and a reputable contractor will always be keen to ensure that their chosen support and access system is strong enough for the task and provides a practical solution to the range of equipment and rooftop features. Permissible roof loading varies from roof to roof.

If you have any concerns about load management, a fully bespoke solution is the best answer. This type of solution can also be cost effective, because it is value engineered to ensure you have the specific components you need.

At Roof-Pro we supply a range of standard and bespoke roof support systems, to cater for every eventuality:

Flatroof HVAC Unit Supports by Roof-Pro

Our standard supports:
We manufacture and supply a rage of modular rooftop supports including our roof support bases, designed to support all types of HVAC units including AHUs, air conditioning units, chillers and condensers. All Sure-Foot and Roof-Pro frames are non-penetrative.

Our range includes modular frame supports (pictured) for placement of HVAC units themselves, and H-frame supports, designed to support associated ductwork, pipework and cable trays. Our standard supports are lightweight and designed to fit together into service runs of any length, and are fully adjustable. Assembly and adjustment requires no special equipment, so that installation can be carried out by the contractor themselves on site. Spacing of supports can vary depending on the load.

Although standard, our range is designed with customisability firmly in mind. A range of different support feet are available so that contractors can choose the best type of support foot for their application. It is possible to choose extender frames or those in long span form, to accommodate wider and larger units as needed.

In short, even our standard supports provide contractors with a great deal of flexibility in terms of variation and configuration for a wide range of units and arrangements.

Our bespoke supports:
However, despite the versatility of our Sure-Foot standard support range, there will be many occasions when a rooftop installation will require bespoke frames from our Roof-Pro range.

Roof-Pro’s engineering team has a track record of designing bespoke support units and related accessories (e.g. stepovers, platforms and other access systems) for a number of rooftop service installations, including recent projects for buildings used by Waitrose and Boots.

For our Roof-Pro range we provide a complete service which includes engineering calculations for load management and wind stability to ensure complete safety.

Bespoke Flatroof Supports for HVAC Units – by Roof-ProQuality Roof Support Systems
Roof-Pro provides both standard and bespoke support systems where you can be sure of the quality. If you opt for a bespoke system, we can help you design a solution which will ensure that any special project requirements are fully dealt with.

Flatroof HVAC Unit Supports – Find out more about our standard and bespoke options.