How to select the rooftop mounted mechanical equipment screening and enclosure? This user’s guide will assist you in selecting the best materials, products, design, and design for the high-quality roof equipment screens.


This guide is designed to help you determine whether you need roof equipment screens. This guide can assist you with the design and selection process for roof-mounted architectural screening.

Mechanical Equipment

Anything that is used to heat, cool, manage waste, supply water, electricity, or any other function can be called mechanical equipment. This could include chillers or condensers, HVAC compressors, HVAC, and compactors. breakers meters, generators, and containers. This equipment is usually located on the roof, so it is at a higher risk of wind damage.

Rooftop screening for mechanical equipment requires a permit. Community design approval is usually required to ensure it meets the requirements of the building envelope. Refer to your local building inspector for the requirements of approval. A set of architectural design drawings is required to obtain a building permit. These drawings should comply with the community’s appearance standards and guidelines regarding rooftop mechanical equipment screening.

Screening Considerations

These are the factors designers should take into consideration when designing a rooftop-mounted mechanical equipment screen.

Material And Scale Of Building Envelopes

 The screening for rooftop equipment should match the existing structure, color, and style of the building envelope. Example: If the rooflines are vertical, vertical slats/vertical louvers might be an option.

Line Of Sight

When designing a rooftop-mounted screen for equipment, take into account the screening from all possible vantage points. If the building is taller than its immediate surroundings, rooftop equipment may not require screening because the equipment isn’t visible from any vantage points. The equipment may still need protection in such a situation. However, it is important to consider wind load. A roof screen or overhang for rooftop equipment screens may be an option if the building is situated near an elevated building.

Structural Considerations

A structural engineer from your area should determine the wind load based on the site conditions. A structural engineer may be able to provide stamped drawings and performance data as well as calculations for wind load.

Visibility Is Important

Rooftop screening for mechanical equipment can be adjusted to give you the visibility that you need or as required by local codes. Louvered panels are the most common rooftop mechanical equipment screening design and offer either 100% or 80% visibility when looking directly on. The infills for other panels can also be modified to allow for more or lesser visibility.

Degree Of Openness

 Visibility and direct visual screen have a direct influence on the degree of openness. Openness is defined as the space between planks and louvers. You can only choose a range. The distance between infill elements will depend on how open or small the area is. A roof mechanical equipment will usually have a maximum amount of area. The community guidelines may require some airflow.

The most common rooftop screening designs are:


Modular louvers can be modified to increase or decrease visibility, and airflow. There is a variety of louvered fills available. The most common horizontal louvered option offers 100% direct visual screening and 64% openness.


These are an excellent option for screening rooftop mechanical equipment. Because of their flexibility, slats are very popular. You can match your building profile with aluminum, vinyl, or composite slats. Openness can also be customized. These solid and tubular infills are available horizontally, diagonally, and vertically. You can also use a shadowbox pattern to achieve near 100% visual screening with high levels of openness.

Perforated Screening

Perforated metal sheets are available in many styles and sizes. Perforations are available in a variety of shapes, including squares and stars, hexagons, and custom designs.

By Kamila

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