“Building it right is much cheaper than building it twice!”
This is possibly the industry’s most misunderstood and misrepresented topic. Many of your questions will be answered by learning more about screen enclosure design by clicking here. However, below we will review some of the common statements made about engineering.
“All of our designs are done on computers.”
Designing on a computer can mean a variety of things. In the screen enclosure industry it usually only means that your enclosure has been drawn using Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software. Various other tools are used by professional engineers in developing their designs…and their results can vary widly.
“Our engineers use sophisticated wind load calculations to figure stress load on each aluminum piece of your custom frame structure.”
For a company to leagally perform engineering, it must have a Certificate of Authorization issued by the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. In order to qualify for this, a licensed professional engineer must be a principle officer of the company. To verify a companies ability to perform engineering and check for any disciplinary action or outstanding complaints go to https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp?mode=0&SID=.
All engineers use the same tables of wind loads from the Florida Building Code.
If they are actually doing this level of analysis, you should be able to point to any random piece of the frame and they should be able to tell you what loads it sees for at least 8 wind combinations.
“We use 3D engineering.”
Most people that say this are probably not. However, if they are that should be able to produce an animation of your custom designed enclosure flexing in the wind under 8 different combination of wall and roof loading similar to this one.
Every enclosure I design is done this way. Through this type of analysis, I know every thing about every foot of your enclosure under every wind condition and have verified that it will not fail in the Florida Building code required wind speeds.
“Larger size roof beams and wall uprights, supported by factory installed bracing for quality assurance.”
The most important aspect is proof that the bracing is of sufficient size and quantity necessary for your enclosure to survive a hurricane. That can only be done accurately with a full frame computer simulation.
More to come, please come back.