Forensic Engineering

Commercial Structural Assessment and Roof Certification

BE Structural's engineers have experience and training in providing structural assessment for businesses planning to install rooftop solar panels.

In a commercial building, our engineers will evaluate the load capacity of the existing framing systems and superstructure; assess the structural capacity to support the solar panel installation on the roof as required by local government; check the girders, columns and wind uplift; confirm the seismic forces; and check fastener capacities. We also provide engineering calculations to determine the code allowable structural capacity, along with a sealed set of calculations.

Working closely with clients and solar panel rack suppliers, we are able to justify rack system installations based on wind tunnel studies that are completed for the solar rack supplier.

If, after further investigation, it is determined that a particular roof structure needs to be strengthened in order to support the proposed solar array, we can perform that analysis and provide strengthening recommendations. Our engineer will provide the commercial building owner with a certification letter for your roof, once your design passes our structural analysis.

Project spotlights:


Washington, D.C. Town Homes

solar-washington-dcBE Structural provided professional structural engineering services to design and draft the connection of a roof mounted solar system for 30 town homes in Washington, D.C. The rails span from masonry parapet wall to parapet wall, with no supports attaching to the existing roof framing. The rails attach to a continuous channel to help distribute the uplift wind load over the existing masonry wall. Threaded rods in epoxy attach the channel to the masonry parapet wall. We designed the connection to support the actual dead load and 30 psf snow load. The design also took into account a 90 mph wind speed.

solar-cressonaCressona Pre-stressed Concrete Plant, Cressona, PA

solar-cressonaA lift of sufficient height was provided to gain safe access to the underside of the roof so that non- destructive concrete testing could be conducted on the Tees and Flanges of the precast planks. The testing was performed with a Schmidt Hammer. We required and needed unhindered access for approximately 4 to 6 hours to collect dimensions, conduct the concrete testing and structural dimensioning. We checked the shear capacity of the precast prestressed roof planks based on current ACI standards with the increase in the concrete compressive strength and found that they will accept the new super-imposed dead load. The structural engineering analysis showed the structure to have sufficient strength to support the new intended use of solar panels. We provided a letter certifying this capacity and describing the method used.

Contact us:

Contact BE Structural today to discuss a structural assessment of your commercial building for solar panel installation by calling 1 (866) 682-2693 or emailing