What do design professionals need to know about lightning protection?

Architects and engineers should be offering lightning protection to their clients and making their clients aware that without lightning protection, their buildings are at risk. The NFPA 780 Risk Assessment guide is a helpful evaluation tool for project planners. Designers can also review lightning protection plans to ensure that the aesthetics of the building are not compromised. For example, architects can recommend the use of railings in lieu of air terminals for a particular parapet wall or the use of tin-plated air terminals to blend with the color of the roof material.

Other things to be aware of when planning for lightning protection might be provisions for chases if conductors are to be run inside concrete walls and the use of compatible adhesives as recommended by roofing manufacturers.