What is this metal plate use for?



I'm an architectural student and I have one problem need to be cleared. I hope that all architects around here can help me. 

You can see in the image above there are metal borders on the top of the roof. I dont know what  these metal plates used for. It's just a decoration detail or technical detail? All your comments would be appreciated.

Dec 9, 13 11:10 am

Flashing. It keeps your building dry where it needs to be.

Dec 9, 13 11:37 am

That would be flashing.

Metal angles that prevent capillary action that occurs with water and moisture.

Dec 9, 13 11:39 am

If you don't learn about it in school, you will learn about it within a month at your first job. It will be less humiliating if you have a comfortable knowledge of what it is, what it's for, and how to detail it.

Dec 9, 13 11:41 am
More specifically, look up roof edge, gravel stop, and coping as variations on this kind of flashing.
Dec 9, 13 11:50 am

I'd call this coping, an important subset of flashing because of its visibility.  (Most flashing you won't see unless you're on the roof.)  And it's not a plate you're seeing, but the exposed vertical edge of a folded piece whose horizontal component is buried in layers of roofing material.

Dec 9, 13 11:59 am

Firestone Detail

Dec 9, 13 12:39 pm

go get a copy of graphic standards! The student edition is about 200$. Its is a great resource  to have.  I would also suggest sketching some of the details.  It is much more productive than simply reading through the book. 

Dec 9, 13 12:40 pm

i would add "rake trim" to the vocabulary list already supplied

Dec 9, 13 1:26 pm

In my country ( Vietnam), we dont usually use  metal flashing ( or coping ? ) so I have no idea what it is. I've learned a lot from all of your comments. Thanks and good luck to you :)

@Citizen: exactly, I have an aerial view of this house, and the metal is burried in the roof. Thanks.

@ark1t3kt:  thanks, this is what I'm looking for.

Dec 9, 13 11:04 pm
won and done williams
That firestone detail is about as prosaic as they come. Look at some of Mies's coping details for some poetry.
Dec 10, 13 9:29 am

Or, you know, if your client doesn't need a warranty.

Dec 10, 13 11:15 am

Bullshit, they are all leading you astray. That's a one-piece thick metal panel that caps off the entire roof and acts as a solar reflector AND lighting plate.

Aug 20, 14 9:14 am

I've been in the business too long.  It's flashing.  The roof membrane is adhered to it and it makes a solid edge forcing the water to drip over the top of the material below.    The one on the deck would probably be a cap flashing entirely covering the top of the pony wall.

Oh, and I can add a defect to that picture.  The white stuff looks like a smooth trowelled plaster.  Like concrete, it needs control joints.  Even the best polymer modified ones usually don't allow for more than 6x the smallest dimension.  Don't see any.  So, due to thermal expansion and normal deflection, expect cracks within 5 years.

Another defect is the transition from the fascia to the soffit.  That point is required to have a control joint and a drip edge or weep screed.  There's none.  So that means incidental moisture that wicks through the plaster, or condensation on the back side rolls down the sheathing... and is trapped.  Don't worry though.... water has a way of finding it's own way out whether that's rotting a hole or just following the soffit to the interior.  On a soffit like that, it will be the holes at the light fixture that go first IF it doesn't rust out the fasteners on that soffit first causing it to peel off.

Aug 20, 14 9:49 am
Noah Walker

@mightyaa you must be a lot of fun at parties.

Aug 20, 14 9:02 pm

Go pick up some books here if you want to learn about flashing. Well worth it, you'll easily recoup the cost of the manual by not getting sued.

Aug 20, 14 9:17 pm

It's called a flashing. I wouldn't call it a coping because the word is used for things like coping in coping saw. 

In this case, it is probably an aluminum or stainless steel (likely aluminum) flashing.

Aug 20, 14 9:23 pm

I have rarely seen aluminum of ss flashing. Much more likely it is thin-gauge galvanized steel.

Aug 21, 14 9:58 am

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