A bolt of lightning flashes around a skyscraper with a lightning protection system designed for tall buildings.

Lightning Protection for Buildings Design

ATS provides lightning protection for building design and maintenance. The U.S. sees millions of lightning strikes each year, especially in the Southeast and mountainous regions. While the sight of lightning and the rumble of thunder sends people rushing for shelter, buildings and tall structures are more susceptible to lightning strikes.

A lightning protection system can prevent damage to the structure and its contents. Lightning usually hits high places, so a lightning rod reaches above the highest point of the building to intercept the charge and redirect it safely to the ground through a system of conductors.
All commercial properties need protection from lightning strikes and their consequences. Even if a building avoids a direct hit, a lightning strike can interrupt critical services, resulting in system failure, slowed production, and damaged goods. Lightning strikes may cause indirect damage via:
Lightning Protection for Buildings: Design
ATS experts can design a lightning protection system for a building before and after construction. During the planning stages of a construction project, architects and structural engineers can fold plans for the lightning protection system into the design of the building, allowing the lightning rod and cables to blend inconspicuously into the building’s aesthetic.
While the best time to design a lightning protection system is concurrent with designing the building itself, the next best time is now. When called to an existing building, ATS can design a lightning protection system that fits the existing structure. For instance, we can plan to subtly wrap the long conductors down the side of the building or drill through the roof and conceal the conductors within the structure.
These designs account for the places most vulnerable to lightning damage, such as:
ATS’ design incorporates decades of research on conductive metals, such as copper and aluminum, and how to avoid galvanic actions.

Whether the lightning protection system is for a building under construction or already erected, ATS can support the proper installation of the new components in accordance with industry standards.

Lightning Protection for Buildings: Inspection
Over time, a lightning protection system for a building can lose its efficacy. This is due to aging and weathering. The UL 96A and NFPA 780 standards advise building owners to perform an annual visual inspection of the lightning protection system for obvious signs of damage.

The UL and NFPA also recommend a maintenance inspection by a professional:

During this inspection, ATS evaluates visible and concealed system components, then documents the conditions of each part of the lightning protection system. ATS can inspect critical components of the system, such as:

ATS can help recommend an inspection schedule. Our experts will also advise clients on updates to building and lightning system codes. ATS can recommend the repairs needed to meet current standards of efficacy.

About ATS & Our Family of Companies
Founded in 1967, ATS has supported our clients through consultations, tests, and inspections for over fifty years. Our nationwide family of companies serves clients from a variety of businesses and industries.
We are proud to uphold a reputation of high-quality service with detailed analysis and a quick turnaround rate. Our technically advanced labs hold A2LA certifications in mechanical, chemistry, calibration, electrical, and nondestructive testing.
Contact Us

Do not let lightning strike your building and your wallet. Keep your structure and occupants safe with an effective and up-to-code lightning protection system.

Call +1 (888) 287-5227 to learn more about our lightning protection system design and inspections. To submit a request, call us or complete the webform on this page.

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