Practical design considerations for flat roof terraces

Practical design considerations for flat roof terraces

A roof terrace is a popular option for residential properties, as well as hotels and commercial properties. But what are the important practical design considerations for flat roof terraces? And how can you be sure to achieve the right results? Well, here at Enviroply Roofing we are the leading flat roofing professionals in the North West, and this is our guide to everything you should know about creating the perfect flat roof terrace.

What are the important practical design considerations for flat roof terraces?

A flat roof terrace is an outdoor roof space that can be enjoyed by those with access to the property. From high end apartment complexes, to hotels, and offices or workplaces, a roof terrace can add value to your property and be a real asset. In urban areas, these are particularly popular as outdoor space is often at a premium, and a roof terrace adds luxurious outdoor space in an area that would otherwise be wasted. But there are a number of considerations to bear in mind before you decide. The important practical considerations include:

  • The structure and the quality of the roof- before any work can begin on a flat roof terrace retrofit, the existing roof will need to be inspected. This will involve drilling inspection holes to determine the type and quality of roof build up. The existing roof may need to be upgraded to meet necessary structural and loading requirements. When creating a new roof terrace for a new build, the technical specifications will be carried out prior to install so that you can be sure of a high quality roof terrace that meets all requirements.
  • Building regulations- As with any roof type, building to the legal requirements is a necessity, and for a roof terrace this can involve ensuring that all of the technical performance issues are taken into consideration. From waterproofing to fire safety, there are a number of specific and important regulations that will need to be taken into account. For a retrofit roof terrace it is also important to note that changing even one item in the roof build up can alter the performance and rating of the roof in terms of drainage, insulation, waterproofing and fireproofing.
  • Privacy- in some cases planning permission for roof terraces can be rejected because of privacy issues. Roof terraces that overlook residential properties for example, will be rejected. The design of the roof terrace can be constructed to prevent privacy concerns in some cases, when you work with a professional team.
  • Access and safety- Another important factor to consider is the access and safety for the roof terrace. Stairs are often used to gain access to the roof terrace, and there are specific requirements for creating safe spaces around staircases, including headspace clearance and landing, explained in Approved Document K. These requirements apply whether the project is in a private dwelling or a public building.
  •  Landscape and design- Finally, you should consider the landscape and the design of the roof terrace. This can influence the load calculations necessary for the construction of the roof, so it’s important to have these plans finalised during the discussion process, and before any work begins.

What is the difference between a roof garden and a green roof?

A roof terrace can also be called a roof garden as these will often be green spaces for people to enjoy. However, the creation of a roof garden differs from a green roof. With a roof garden, plants can be added to the outdoor space in pots or containers, much like a patio or courtyard, or larger sections can be used to create flower beds or patches for growing vegetables. Alternatively, a green roof involves laying a membrane of living plants over the roof, which will then bed in and grow creating a rooftop habitat. These are complex and require multiple layers to meet specific building requirements.

What are the advantages of a well designed flat roof terrace?

A flat roof terrace can bring a wide range of benefits and advantages to any property, residential or commercial. These advantages include:

  • Adding valuable and usable outdoor space to your property- with outdoor space limited, adding a flat roof terrace to any property can add a usable outdoor area that is sure to be enjoyed.
  • Increasing the value and appeal of your property- a flat roof terrace provides a high end finish for any property and can increase the value and the appeal of your property.
  • Creating a talking point, and selling point, for your property- a flat roof terrace can be the make or break deal for those looking to book a hotel, or buy a new apartment.

For more information about flat roof terraces, or to find out more about what we can offer here at Enviroply Roofing, why not get in touch today?