Overview of installing window washing, suspended maintenance, and fall protection equipment on reinforced concrete structures

Working With Concrete

Whether it is new construction of retrofit; there is always a way to install window washing, suspended maintenance, and fall protection equipment.  While equipment can be installed on structural steel or even wood structure, the easiest structure to work with is reinforced concrete.  It is the most cost effective and does not typically require access to the underside or localized reinforcing.  It also has a number of other benefits such as improved insulation and sound barrier qualities.

The best part in the new construction phase is that we do not have to send anyone to the site for installation (which obviously saves everyone money, time, and other resources).  We simply send the equipment (usually a “roof anchor”) to the site (with our shop drawings) and the roof anchors are cast into the concrete.  There are three types of “cast in” anchors:

  • single stud,
  • four stud, and
  • fully embedded.

Single Stud Roof Anchor

A single stud roof anchor is the most physically difficult to place (for casting in) as there is only have one bolt to balance the anchor.

Four Stud Roof Anchor

A four stud roof anchor is much easier to place when casting in.  As you can imagine, there are more studs (or bolts) from which to stand the anchor on.  These extra studs are required by engineering (specifically for taller anchors).

Fully Embedded Roof Anchor

A fully embedded roof anchor is actually the easiest to cast in because of its flat bottom.  Also, it is the most cost effective because it is all pier (instead of having stud(s) on the bottom).

What If Pours Are Missed?

In the unfortunate event that a pour is missed by the roof anchor manufacturer and anchors have to be retrofitted, it is not the end of the world!  

Adhesive Roof Anchor

An adhesive roof anchor is glued into place with an epoxy.  This type of anchor does require load testing once every five years though (which is an extra service).

Bolt Through Roof Anchor

A bolt through roof anchor is another solution for a roof anchor that has to be retrofitted.  This type of anchor does require access to the underside of the concrete though and it leaves components (base plate, bolt, nut) exposed.

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