The Austin Company

Split Curb a patented design by The Austin Company.

New design strategically enables the passage of snow beneath these units, effectively diverting snowdrifts, and alleviating roof load concerns.


The Austin Company announces the acquisition of a patent for its innovative multiple roof curb. The design, crafted by a dynamic team comprising of in-house engineers Barry Rogers (Vice President and Project Executive), Jeffery Morris (Design Project Manager), and Alex Sestak (Chief Structural Engineer), revolutionizes the handling of snow around heavy-duty industrial rooftop mechanical units. The inventive design strategically enables the passage of snow beneath these units, effectively diverting snowdrifts, and alleviating roof load concerns.

Rogers states, “Like many concepts, the roof curb emerged in response to necessity. We encountered multiple renovation and expansion projects that demanded the installation of modern roof-mounted HVAC equipment. These new units offer enhanced filtration capabilities and can handle increased heat loads. The existing buildings were initially designed with restricted capacity to accommodate additional equipment. Being situated in the northern region, we also have to factor in the weight of snow loads. Determining the unit size, wind direction, and code requirements may lead to an extra 100 pounds per square foot, surpassing the roof’s designated capacity.ā€

Before Austin’s innovation, the conventional approach involved extending the building columns to form a raised platform. This elevated structure, positioned two feet above the roof to facilitate maintenance access, mandated the installation of stairs and handrails. The utilization of galvanized structural steel increased delivery times and costs.

Our clients asked if there was an alternative to these large and expensive platforms. Specifically, one project involved the installation of 44 new HVAC units, necessitating approximately 40 additional platforms. Austin studied the problem, searching for an innovative solution.

Austin’s innovative approach incorporates an extended height split curb. A nominal two-foot-high curb supports each end of the HVAC unit, and the unit spans between these extended curbs, creating a gap. This design allows snow to blow under the HVAC unit, eliminating snow drift conditions.

This solution has been proven to be efficient and cost-effective. It is saving Austinā€™s clients millions of dollars. It can also benefit clients in geographic areas without drifting snow concerns, improving roof drainage under units.

President and CEO Mike Pierce expressed his enthusiasm for the company’s commitment to innovation, stating, “Here at Austin, innovation is one of our core values. We are continually dedicated to devising solutions that address our clients’ most pressing challenges. We are fortunate to have team members ready to think outside the box and pioneer advancements in design, engineering, and construction.”

This patent marks a significant achievement for The Austin Company, bringing their total count of held patents to an impressive 26. The company remains steadfast in its commitment to push the boundaries of what is possible.

The Austin Company is a full-service, design-build company offering site location consulting, design, engineering, and construction services. Headquartered in Cleveland, Austin has offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Irvine, California; Los Angeles, California; San Mateo, California; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Detroit, Michigan; Merritt Island, Florida; San Luis Potosi, Mexico; and London, United Kingdom. The Austin Company is a subsidiary of Kajima. To learn more about Austin –
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Leslie A Panfil
The Austin Company
+1 440-567-8924
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