The final step is only required when the results of the second or third step show that the main structure or the secondary elements cannot withstand the additional loads. In this case, the structural measures are designed to strengthen the roof structure.
A practical example
Iv-Bouw recently conducted a quick scan on behalf of Landgoed Leusderend, a majestic country estate amid forests, sports fields and hiking trails, where various companies rent office space. The quick scan, in which a structural test was also performed, revealed the main supporting structure could bear the additional load of the PV installation. This concerned the steel profiles in the roofs but not the roof sheets. The roof sheets were too weak to withhold any additional load. This calculation was made in accordance with the renovation requirements of NEN8700. So, in this case, the installation supplier would need to construct a structure directly supported by the steel profiles.
Still much to gain
In recent years, the Netherlands has seen considerable growth in the number of solar panels. As a result, the Netherlands is slowly creeping towards the forefront after years of being at the bottom. But there is still much to gain, and Iv-Bouw aims to contribute by performing easily accessible quick scans.
There are currently more than 1.5 million households in the Netherlands with solar panels on the roof. This may sound like a lot, but in reality, approximately eighty per cent of (private) roofs are not yet used in this regard. Even when it comes to business premises, the majority do not yet generate solar energy by covering the roof area with solar panels.
Etienne explains: “When renovations take place, a roof is not always seen as more than a roof over one's head. But actually, it has much more potential.”
Iv-Bouw wants to offer help and advice with a straightforward approach to companies and property owners struggling with this uncertainty. “Until now, we've offered this service, but never up front. We now want to do this, show what we can achieve, and establish a standard procedure for clients.”
We don't turn it into rocket science
Iv-Bouw has years of experience and expertise in performing quick scans. We also have in-house specialist knowledge of building structures and installations. This knowledge is essential for determining whether roof structures can support solar panels. Etienne: “You must understand structures and have knowledge about load distribution and the associated risks of renovating existing structures.”
But he also states that a quick scan of a roof doesn't have to be rocket science. “Roofs are generally not the most complicated of structures. So, we always begin simple, and as a quick scan progresses, it becomes more complex. Our calculations start by hand and can grow into a more in-depth calculation with the help of structural software to assess a roof accurately.”