Conducting a Roof Failure Audit

Roofing failure audit or forensics is an emerging specialized service, which is part of a façade audit that does a diagnosis of the design at a micro level. The purpose of this service is to identify the weak links in the roofing design and implementation before a disaster can destroy the building envelop and endanger lives of occupants and of people near the building.

By Ar. Harish Gupta

Roofing Failure
Figure 1: Roof failure due to stress

A roofing that is connected to the vertical elevation of the building is like a continuous façade that covers all the exposed sides of the building. Roofing elements like the skylight are made of similar façade elements like aluminum and steel structure, with choice of weather-proof coverings like glass, polycarbonate, tensile fabric, and other innovative materials that are flooding the market.

Only experts can understand the micro details of doing a very good roofing design and execution. Audit can be conducted at various stages. When the concept and design has been finalized, an audit of the budgeted cost and the detailed design will bring to surface the actual cost of the roof by breaking up every component and activity into a cost structure along with design review.

Once subcontractors have been appointed and have produced design drawings, calculations and thermal models, a full technical design audit will be completed by the audit team of the contractor’s designs. The audit consultant will undertake drawing-specific reviews, checking to help see that the relative designs conform to the specification and the client’s requirements, and that the design meets all the technical, lifetime and performance requirements of the project.

At this stage, it’s not only the roof design that gets reviewed but also the suitability and adaptability of the sub structure. This will be a very handy tool for decision makers when they invite quotes, and also in understanding the intricate details of the façade to make an informed decision. Quite often, decision makers are not clear of the minute details in an envelope design as it is an extremely complex, tailormade solution. Squeezing the cost to fit the budget leads to compromising on the quality, that goes unchecked till disaster strikes. Audit of design and cost at the pre-finalization stage will help alter the design in a manner that will not compromise the safety and integrity of the design, and will offer a correction to the budgeted cost.

Roof failure due to stress

roofing failure
Figure 2: Roof blowout due to inadequacy of structural strength
The other stage of audit is post completion when the building is fully functional and perhaps a few years into service when problems start to surface. Fig 1 demonstrate the type of problem that occurs in a building that did not have a systematic audit conducted. That is the time when forensics comes into the picture to identify the root cause of the roof or envelope failure and provide solutions to rectify the defect.

Roof failures are not just limited to collapse, cracks, or excessive water or air infiltration. Building envelopes that do not comply with project specifications, governing building codes, or industry standards have also failed. Considering the complexity of contemporary roof systems, understanding why they fail to perform as expected is seldom an easy task. Failures can originate from a wide variety of influences; such as accumulated differential thermal or moisture expansion, inadequate wall cavity drainage, or material incompatibility Complicated internal leak control systems or intricate connection or support mechanisms further increase the probability of roof failures. Special diagnostic techniques and tools are needed to properly identify the failures to enable effective remedies.

Roof blowout due to inadequacy of structural strength

Harish Gupta
When the envelope fails, it’s important to have an understanding of how the system works so you can consider what could have gone wrong. A basic knowledge of components and properties can help you lay the necessary groundwork and map the crime scene.

Equipped with this basic understanding of envelope science, you’ll be able to take your knowledge into the field and prevent possible failures.

Architect & Engineer Harish Gupta is a Facade Consultant with more than 25 years of experience. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Click Here
To Know More / Contact The Manufacturer
Please provide your details we will contact you as soon as possible
Please let us know your name.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your Designation.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your City.
Please let us know your State.
Please let us know your Country.
Please let us know your Contact Number.
Please let us know your email address.
Please brief your query.

Flexible Composite Membrane - for Roofing & Shading

Serge Ferrari India offers composite membranes for tensile roofing structures that are innovative and flexible, and which also meet a variety of application needs in architecture, Serge Ferrari Group, one of the leading companies in the building sector across Read More ...

PEB Structures Built at Statue of Unity Projectscope.jpg

"PEBs have a great future in India as they offer numerous benefits. Design of used structures is vetted by structural consultants to withstand load, resist wind and earthquake. With minimum maintenance, their lifespan can extend to more Read More ...

Tata BlueScope Steel Delivering Value Engineering

Finland-based Salcomp, a global leader in the mobile phone charger market, with an existing manufacturing capacity of 150-200 million chargers annually, wanted to expand its manufacturing capacity by 100 million chargers per annum. Salcomphr Read More ...

COLORBOND® Steel - Preferred Roofing for FMCG industry

 The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry is the 4th largest sector in India. FMCG companies are identified by their ability to give consumers products that are in high demand and developing a relationship of trust and loyalty. Read More ...

Low & Bonar GmbH, formerly known as Mehler Texnologies, develop special blue coloured membrane for Volgograd Arena

The Volgograd Arena, built near the Volga River, has a capacity of around 45,000 spectators. German gmp architects from Berlin developed the design together with sbp as structural engineers. Apart from being a venue of several group Read More ...

Building Smart

The ‘Make in India’ campaign and Smart City development initiatives, have triggered a sustained demand for infrastructure from all sectors in our country. The shift has been a gradual one especially towards smart steel-based Read More ...

Why Precast technology is important for construction?

The construction industry is often blamed for being labour-intensive and polluting. Most buildings in India are still built with conventional methods involving in-situ concrete, timber formworks and wet trades with high manpower requirement. However Read More ...

Building Smartly

It all starts with an evaluation: a good concept design includes a thorough evaluation on how current and future projects could be structured using precast, and whether to use complete or composite structures. The performance of the precast Read More ...

COLORBOND® Steel Changing the Face of Infrastructure Landscape in India

More and more construction companies in the Public Sector space are opting for smart technologies, advanced building materials and modern construction methodologies Innovation and use of steel in infra development is also contributing Read More ...

Kirby: Building a Clear Expanse

Bangalore International Exhibition Center (BIEC) and Mistry Architects (Bengaluru) had put forward their plans and Kirby India having a 15 years long relationship with BIEC proactively offered unique, innovative and optimized structural design with the Read More ...

COLORBOND® Steel: Powering Warehouse Efficiency

COLORBOND® Steel: Powering Warehouse Efficiency A rise in manufacturing activities, increased domestic consumption, emerging organized retail sector governed by e-commerce and increasing private and foreign investments in logistics Read More ...

Monier: Total Roofing Solutions

Monier Roofing, part of BMI Group, is the world’s largest manufacturer of pitched and flat roofing and waterproofing solutions, with operations in more than 40 countries, continental technical centres and over 150 manufacturing facilities worldwide Read More ...

Saint-Gobain: Leading Roofing Solutions

Introduced by Saint-Gobain in 2004 through its group company CertainTeed, Roofing Shingles continue to be the most preferred roofing material across the country. They are a natural choice for buildings with sloped roofs especially high-end residences Read More ...

Roofing Industry Looking Up

Construction of commercial buildings such as multiplexes and shopping arcades is boosting the roofing market, as is the government’s affordable residential projects. Building owners are also looking at the next gen roofing products and contemporary Read More ...

Monier: Changing India’s Architectural Roofscape

Ashok Ninan, MD, Monier Roofing (India), shares information on the new Perspective roof tile from Monier, and why roof tiles are recommended for India’s geographical terrain. Monier has launched its new roof tile profile in India named Perspective. Read More ...

The PEB Impact

The potential of pre-engineered buildings cannot be denied, and awareness about this construction method is increasing, leading to wider applications across diverse sectors. No doubt, modern technology and computerizing are the drivers behind PEBs Read More ...
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture
NBM&CW

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World
L&ST

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport
II&TW

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week