University Science Facility


ProjectUniversity Science Facility
Install DateMarch 2014
Roof FinishInverted
SupportedLarge AHUs, VRFs & Duct
Big FootAccro Prop type supports for AHUs, H Frames & HD Frames

Big Foot Systems has supplied support solutions, including bespoke air handling unit supports, for rooftop plant at a new Health and Biosciences building on a University campus. The new 11.5 million three-storey facility provides 5,000m2 of teaching and research space.

Featuring state-of-the-art clinical and diagnostic equipment for health professionals and patients, the project required both air handling units and external condensers for cooling. The challenge for contractor was installing the large air handling units (AHUs), duct and external condensers in a confined area and without penetrating the roof. Big Foot Systems therefore provided the ideal solution with its range of non-penetrative building services rooftop support.

A standard support frame was not feasible for the AHUs as a specific finished height was required by the planning authority whilst still allowing for serviceable access underneath. Instead, Big Foot Systems supplied individual 600mm feet with a fabricated top bracket to receive AHUs continuous skid, made feasible with the roof’s integrated wind protection. In addition, associated duct and pipe work were supported by large quantities of Big Foot Systems’ 305mm H Frames. Later on in the project, Balfour Beatty also required a further support solution and so decided to request HD Frames, also from Big Foot Systems, for this part of the project.


“Sometimes traditional supports may not be suitable in meeting the unique requirements of a project. With the aid of our technical surveyors, highly skilled engineering team and use of engineering tools such as ANSYS (FEA/CFD) Big Foot Systems can design and manufacture complete one-off solutions,” explains Sam Birch, Product Manager at Big Foot Systems.

“This was just such a project and it required us to work closely with the contractor to provide a bespoke solution that safely supported plant, whilst allowing access for future maintenance. Part way through the project we were delighted to be contacted by the contractor to provide further support solutions, a testament to the quality of our product and customer service.”


Quick, versatile and economical, the H Frame Set is designed to support pipework, duct, cable ladders/trays or any combination of these, helping to ensure a safe and secure flat roof. Offering a versatile application, installers provide their own strut keeping the duct and pipe installations low-cost by fabricating the strut frameworks on site. Featuring an innovative design, the H Frame Set 305mm is interchangeable with three strut sizes with one foot fitting all. The support is also compatible with industry standard componentry also adding to application flexibility.

Big Foot Solution’s HD frames are designed for each project with a frame similar in design and configuration to that of a standard light duty frame product but utilising larger and longer sectional bars, typically 50mm x 50mm or 100mm x 50mm, enabling the support of a large arrays of VRF/ VRV or a large heavy unit such as an AHU.