For homes, the maximum load rating on a residential roof is two hundred and fifty pounds per square foot. Also, commercial buildings have a maximum load rating that exceeds four hundred and fifty pounds per square foot. Again, this is for residential use. For a commercial roof to meet the California building code requirements it must meet both the load and the rafter loads required by local agencies. In other words, if a commercial roof were to fail in an earthquake, it would not be covered under the building code and would not be safe for commerce or for people.
The reason for the increased load on residential roofs is not really because they are safer. It is because commercial buildings are usually taller than homes. And when you consider the fact that there are fewer commercial buildings being built these days, more California building core requires that roofs can support 300 pounds concentrated commercial structures are failing every day. In addition, the increased weight on residential ones comes from added load capacity on the roofs. This means that you have to add more nails and more weight to the same roof to make it a safe structure. Add a much higher load on one side of a house and the load on that side of a commercial building is doubled or tripled.
When considering residential structures, the weight on them is less because the homes are much smaller than commercial buildings. The problem comes when the residential roof is older and the loads it can handle are less. And often, the home isn’t constructed well enough to withstand an earthquake. In these cases, an earthquake will more than likely cause a failure in the roof. Add to this that a series of storms may blow through and the damage could be extensive, resulting in leaks and cracks.
For those who own a business, the California Building Code requires them to build their businesses in compliance with the specific regulations of the State. One of the regulations that business owners must follow is the requirement that all buildings used for business must meet earthquake and safety codes. This includes the steel building codes, of which the San Francisco earthquake and fire department are a member.
This means that commercial and industrial buildings are required by law to be constructed using the best building materials and methods. Steel can be used for all different types of construction and is especially suitable for the core construction of commercial structures. Some cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles require a certain number of steel buildings for business, and those aren’t allowed to be less than 50 feet in any width. Any building used for storing combustible material or flammable materials such as oil or gas requires that the steel building be specifically made to withstand those situations. Even within the commercial realm of construction, a steel structure is considered one of the safest and strongest that can be constructed.
This makes steel perfect for commercial buildings, because it’s so strong and sturdy. It’s used not just for commercial structures, but also for residential homes and other types of on-site structures. In fact, steel is even used in the framing of the California State Building, which is why it’s a building code requirement in the state. Another building that many cities require for commercial and industrial use is the roof. No matter what type of structure is being used, a steel roof is usually required to properly support the weight of the materials being placed on top of it. These are just a few examples of how the use of steel goes beyond the basic construction requirements.
Of course, residential buildings cannot be constructed without a building permit, and those regulations are strictly enforced in California. One of the requirements that the California building code has is that the roofing system must be able to withstand rain loads of at least ten percent during the life of the structure. As long as the rains don’t have an impact on the shingles or other materials placed on the roof, the building should be okay. Some areas may have requirements that the roofing system have certain amounts of reinforcing wire or metal incorporated into them, so it’s important to make sure that’s done according to local ordinances.
Those who build commercial buildings in California will typically be required to use steel for their roofs too, but there are a couple of different reasons to prefer it over other materials. For starters, steel is actually more durable than other materials. Additionally, it’s more resistant to fire damage, so it’s used for more high-end commercial structures. All in all, steel is a great choice for any building if you want it to stand up to wear and tear for years to come.