With energy prices remaining high, many businesses may have considered solar panel installations on their commercial properties. There are several elements to assess – including the cost of installation, the future plans for the property and whether planning permission may be required.

Importantly, there is also the assessment of condition and structural capacity of the roof, which are often overlooked by property owners when they install solar arrays.

Here we look at the steps building owners need to take when considering solar installations upon roofs of commercial buildings.

When considering solar panel installations on a commercial property, it is essential to assess the building’s structural integrity. The weight of solar panels and the additional load they place on the building’s roof can be significant and modifications may be required.

Our team can undertake a specific roof inspection to assess the weight bearing capacity of a property’s roof and therefore determine whether solar panels would be suitable. This is often done alongside a Structural Engineer so that calculations can be prepared.

Depending on the findings of the assessments, structural calculations or strengthening improvements may be necessary to ensure that the structural integrity of the building is not compromised.

On other occasions, we have been instructed by commercial companies (building owners) who have asked us to assess the condition and longevity of the existing roof, prior to installing solar panels upon the roof. This is a sensible step for any commercial building owner considering a solar panel installation; gaining the peace of mind that the roof is in good condition rather than going ahead and installing solar panels only to find that the roof requires re-roofing in the near future.


Our Building Surveying team recently undertook condition surveys across four properties owned by a company prior to them installing solar arrays across their roofs. The buildings were industrial units with portal framed structures. After inspection, we recommended various remedial works to be undertaken across the roof areas, prior to installation of the solar panels. These included re-application of protective coatings, cut edge corrosion works, replacement fixings, and cleaning.

Our survey was undertaken in conjunction with a structural engineer who assessed whether the roof structures could adequately support the suggested solar installation. One building was deemed unsuitable for installation.

Instruct a Roof Inspection

Our team of Chartered Surveyors can help commercial property owners regarding the installation of solar panels, providing the investigations required to guide their decision making.  Get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements today.

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Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: Oakshaw House, 2 Capricorn Park, Blakewater Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 5QR