Is wind causing problems for our coastal roofs?

Building on the coast poses distinct structural engineering challenges. How are the typical ingredients of the coastal climate: sand, wind and corrosion taken from design to practice?
Elien En Klaas

During De Vijfde Gevel's study day Wind Load on Roofs (25 September 2023), our project architects Klaas Calle and Elien Coppitters will discuss not only the wind load on, but also the constructional limits of coastal roofs. They will do so using three projects from our portfolio:

  • the recreational roof of the Heldentoren residential tower in Heist, which with its height, location and design poses various challenges to the elaboration of the roof terraces.
  • residential complex The Grand in Nieuwpoort where the renovation of the technical roof of this iconic art deco building provided the necessary challenge.
  • the Casino Middelkerke where the sand displacement on the dune roof captures the imagination.

Elien and Klaas give an insight into the design process of these challenging roofs and discuss the limits of theory in practice.

Klaas gives a hint: "The casino building is at a very special location between dike and dune, requiring a well-founded interpretation of the existing normative framework in order to achieve a feasible and sustainable whole. A complex decision process that requires extensive expertise from specialists. A butt of the BB hand, then." 😅


That there should be a balanced approach between theory and practice illustrates the cases Elien and Klaas presented.

"In a project like the Heldentoren, assessing the risks is paramount. We were able to overcome the wind load and potential erosion due to salt impact by using the right techniques and materials."

Download the presentation by Elien and Klaas (NL)