The Real.Est List
How high is too high for a roof deck?
One day it will be summer again, bringing with it the usual flare-up of deck envy among NYC apartment dwellers deprived of access to their very own roof. On StreetEasy, one Upper East Side apartment owner is already soliciting advice about installing a public roof deck on his 30-floor high rise with sweeping Central Park views. Amid the usual discussion of house rules and soundproofing, an alarm is sounded about going too high.
"I can tell you that there's no way to enjoy any outdoor [space] that high up," says one deck-envier in a 41-floor UES building lacking outdoor space. "Even without the wind, it's plain scary, and even the park views don't change that: [There's] not much of a view from that height."
So how high is too high?
"I'm not sure," Michael Larkin, the senior structural engineer at RAND Engineering & Architecture told us. "Maybe too high is over the 40th floor approximately. I do know that especially at higher floors any decking systems and of course furniture need to be designed with the proper wind load in mind and secured to the structure to ensure they do not blow away during high wind periods."
That sounds about right, said Halstead Property executive director of development marketing Stephen Kliegerman when we asked where developers draw the line: "There's no rule of thumb, but I'd say after about the 40th floor it would be too windy to enjoy most of the year."