Tech Today

Design challenges


Unlike most building types where interior environments are relatively moderate, interior conditions in cooler and freezer buildings often are the same or worse than typical exterior winter conditions. As a result, roof system designers of cooler and freezer buildings are presented with some unique design challenges and decisions.

Design considerations

In addition to typical considerations for conventional buildings, there are at least three fundamental design considerations that need to be resolved when designing buildings for low-temperature operations, such as coolers or freezers:

  • Compensating for building thermal movement and avoiding potential damage to the roof system caused by thermal contraction and expansion
  • Determining how much thermal insulation (R-value) is needed
  • Controlling air and water vapor movement within a roof assembly and deciding whether to use one or more air and vapor retarders

Thermal movement