BUILDING ROOFS Summarized Introduction

on October 12 at 09:56 PM
The exterior enclosures of the buildings in their upper part are called roofs. The fundamental function of this constructive element is the protection of buildings from climatic agents. Other functions of the roofs are protection, the intimacy of the building, and the acoustic and thermal insulation.

The roof protects the buildings at the top and at the same time protects the structure that supports the roof.

The roof and the structure as a whole are called roofing. If the roof is made up of tiles, it takes the name of the roof, although the roof is usually understood as any type of roof that has a sloping position.

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The buildings, from time immemorial, originated from the need to create covered spaces to protect people and things from the inclemency of climatic factors.
Over time, the buildings were drifting into spaces that were not only protected from the weather but also offered privacy to their inhabitants. And the other social uses of the buildings that also required roofs.


Differentiation can be made into three large groups for covers:
  • When the roof does not differ from the enclosure. That is, the roof is identical to the exterior treatment that has been given to the building or is included in it. This type of roof is usually typical of rudimentary houses, but it has also been used in various works of modern architecture such as the Olympic Stadium in Munich.
  • When a great differentiation is visualized between how the vertical walls or facades and the roofs of the building have been treated.
  • When the building does not visibly show the roof for observers. In other words, passers-by or those who observe the building from the outside, will not be able to appreciate the roof as a differentiated element of the building.
  • Most of the roofs of the buildings fall into one of these three large groups, although there is a great variety of solutions that make them look extremely different.


The structural system of the roofs is made up of certain construction elements. Straps. They are profiles that are fixed with calibrated screws.
The straps are what form the framework on which the cover will be fixed. If the covers are large, strap attachment systems can be used.
  • Support beams: This element is in charge of transmitting the support for the roof loads. They can be fixed with heavy-duty screws.
  • Structural columns: They are those that support and transmit the actions of the roof to the foundations of the buildings. The distribution of the structural columns usually coincides with the ends of the supporting beams.
  • Closing pillars The closing pillars are those that support and transmit to the foundation of the building the actions that may have originated by the wind. They can be made with profiles.
  • Anchors The pillars and the foundation are attached to the anchors. This set is formed with a threaded area to facilitate leveling and plumbing of the pillars.
  • Bracing: They are the elements that are distributed on the roof and the facade to transmit the horizontal component of the loads acting throughout the building to the foundations.
  • Cover: Different materials can be used here. For example, fiber cement galvanized steel sheets and others.
  • Skylight: They are located in the steepest areas of the roof, to take advantage of natural light but at the same time, avoid the direct entry of the sun's rays.
  • Gutters: They are elements that are used to collect water. The joints between the sections are usually welded to give them greater durability.
  • Thermal insulation: These are materials that are usually placed under the cover material itself. They are distributed over a support network that runs through the straps.
  • False ceiling: It is manufactured with fiber cement or aluminum plates, anchored to a framework of wooden slats that are suspended from the roof structure.


  • Composed of single or double curvature surfaces. They are usually constructive solutions in which there is no supporting structure.
  • Composed of flat inclined surfaces s. They have a steep slope that is usually visible throughout the building.
  • Composed of flat surfaces with little slope. They are usually passable and are not visible in the overall composition of the building. This is the case of flat roofs or roofs.

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