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Re: Heliport on existing building

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Title: Heliport on existing building
The term "heliport" implies that refueling is involved.  If that's the case, that would change the building classification and the garage would probably be non-compliant.
If it's only a "helipad" we're talking about, then there's probably no problem.  Because this is a hospital, the helipad is considered private which means there are very few FAA requirements.  You would minimally want to get approach/departure corridors approved for liability reasons, but even that's optional for a private helipad.
I worked on a similar design for a temporary helipad on an existing hospital garage.  The existing slab didn't have the capacity to support the maximum design helicopter reactions, so we designed an elevated steel structure to span directly to the garage columns.  Instead of guardrails, perimeter netting is provided for safety.  Guardrails are potential hazards for the helicopters.
In lieu of doing the design yourself, there are companies that will provide a complete premanufactured package, including everything from platforms, striping, lighting, windsocks, etc. and handle all the FAA paperwork to boot.
Jeff Creagan
-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Rollo <rrollo(--nospam--at)>
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)' <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Date: Tuesday, December 28, 1999 2:33 PM
Subject: Heliport on existing building

Anyone out there have previous experience with this one ?
To be completely honest, I want any excuses I can find not to do it.

Are there any NFPA provisions or UBC that i can "hang my hat on" short of having to do complete analysis to come up with the answer (gut level is "no" based upon previous evaluations of the building) and prove it to my owner ?

Any other morsels of wisdom would be appreciated as well.

Can you sense that I just don't want to pour through the circa 1970 calcs (not done by me) of a 10 storey hospital to figure if it's ok?

I'm looking for the proverbial "way not to have to solve the problem", or am I grasping at straws ?
robert rollo
Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, Inc.
Lubbock, Texas
(806) 761-7539vox
(806) 747-7146 fax