How high is too high for a roof deck?

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
February 24, 2011 - 7:15AM

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."

(; previously)

Related posts:

I can't use my 43rd floor terrace, but my closets are amazing 

Deck envy

Drawbacks to high-rise life

Birth of a roof deck

Is it okay to put a common roof deck near a private terrace?



Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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