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The art of roof channels

Installation and Construction magazine features an interesting and fun article on the installation of roof ducts by Vink Systemen. Read the full article below:

Approximately 80% of air ducts in the Netherlands are installed indoors and professionally concealed above ceilings and/or in technical rooms. In complexes with an industrial look, however, the ducts often remain (partially) visible, which is also true of many roof ducts. “Especially when the roof channels are visible from street level or when high-rise buildings are present around the project roof, high demands are placed on the finish,” Marc Oudt of Vink Systemen knows. “In addition, there is always the challenge of hoisting and mounting, and the roof ducts must be weather-resistant. In order to meet these challenges optimally, specific input is required from an early stage.”

Attention to waterproofing and weather resistance

Vink Systemen is happy to think along from the specification or design phase to determine the best materials, support, finish and assembly sequence for the roof ducts. “No (roofing) project is the same,” Oudt emphasizes. “For example, when air ducts are installed outdoors, attention must be paid to waterproofing and weather resistance. The choice of material is an important part of this. Whereas 95% of indoor ductwork is made of galvanized steel sheet, outside you have several excellent options. For example, it is possible to use galvanized ductwork here as well and finish on site with aluminum (stucco) cladding. In situations where the mounting location is difficult to reach or where there is insufficient space for plating, our pre-insulated PIR/ POL (plastic) roof channels are a good alternative. A third option is to not insulate the roof ducts and execute them in aluminum.”

‘Especially when the roof channels are visible from street level or when high-rise buildings are present around the project roof, high demands are placed on the finish’

The proper support and fastening structure

Unlike indoor ductwork, there is no roof or floor above roof ducts to which the ducts can be attached with studs and rails. Therefore, the support structure must be carefully considered, Oudt said. “In this, too, there are numerous choices. Whereas for small duct sections standard rail constructions are sufficient, large(er) ducts often benefit from UNP steel constructions and/or footings. Based on the duct dimensions and assembly sequence, we are happy to work out the best fitting solutions so that the ducts cannot collapse or blow away and the rest of the work can also be assembled properly and efficiently.” What is also receiving increasing attention in the year 2020 is the wind resistance of roof channels. “In fact, because of their location and size, roof ducts are quite sensitive to high wind loads,” Oudt knows. “By thinking about the fastening structure (foundations, eyelets with guy wires, etc.) at an early stage, installers and contractors do not encounter any surprises afterwards.”

Aesthetic finish
“In the case of visible work, it is also wise to think about the aesthetic finish of the roof channels at an early stage. For example, by finishing the ducts in the same color as the roof, they blend in with the rest of the building. Stucco sheeting can be painted, but this is very labor intensive. The polyester outer shell of the PIR/POL channels, on the other hand, can easily be finished in any RAL color. White, black and gray shades are even possible at no extra cost. If you are interested in this, it is wise to already take this into account when choosing the material. Then a true piece of art can also be realized in this area.”

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