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What is Considered When Granting a PE Stamp?

Posted by John Engle on March 4, 2015

PE StampA PE stamp shows your commitment to the standards of proper engineering and signifies to the public that a PE has taken professional responsibility for your project. A great deal is considered when granting a PE stamp. This is an inside look at the professional engineer stamp process for rooftop support systems:

1. Wind loads

Wind loads are an important factor for professional engineers to consider when checking system designs. Hurricane-prone regions and high wind regions are given special consideration due to the higher wind loads on the system. Certain building shapes and roof types can better resist high winds and hurricanes, according to new research. The New Jersey Institute of Technology found that certain areas of a building such as the ridge of a roof, corners and eaves are normally subject to higher wind pressures. Roof overhangs are also subject to wind uplift forces. A professional engineer would be aware of these factors and take them into consideration when reviewing your rooftop plans before giving a PE stamp.

2. Seismic

Seismic loads are another important factor for the PE to consider when checking system designs. The system must be designed to resist seismic forces in the event of an earthquake. An engineer predetermines the seismic requirements of a building or roof, dictated by the international and state building codes. A structure cannot be considered seismically certified except by a PE Stamp. Having official documentation would be extremely important in guaranteeing the structural soundness of a project in a seismic zone.

3. Vertical loads

Vertical loads or gravity loads are loads acting in the downward motion on the system. The engineer must check the column design of the system to insure that is capable of supporting the gravity loads with a safety factor built in.

4. Lateral loads

Lateral loads are those that act in a horizontal direction or parallel to the ground. These loads are managed by the use of bracing on the support system, which provides stability and resists lateral loads. The engineer will need to consider these loads and determine if any bracing is required.

This is course is not a complete list of areas analyzed when granting a PE stamp. However, these 4 topics are the most critical when reviewing plans for rooftop supports. Dont take the integrity of your project into your own hands. Get the professionals involved and hire an engineer! 

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Topics: Rooftop Support Engineering

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