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LPS components

LPS are passive (no moving parts), and the design of each system is specific for particular buildings or structures. Effective LPS contain the following five elements:
  • Strike termination device. This element is attached and patterned to accept lightning strikes before they reach insulated building materials. Air terminals (formerly known as lightning rods) are the most common type of strike termination device (see Figure 3).


    Figure 3: Air terminals installed on a parapet.
    Photo courtesy of Michael Chusid RA FCSI CCS

  • Conductor. This element safely routes lightning current from the strike termination device, through the building and to the grounding electrode system. Cables are most commonly used. Where conductors penetrate through building envelopes, they must be flashed to maintain the weatherthightness of buildings (see Figures 4-5). Coordinate with roof system manufacturers to ensure LPS component compatibility with roof system components.


    Figure 4: LPS conductors (cables and LPS accessories that allow for proper rooftop flashing)
    Photo courtesy of Michael Chusid RA FCSI CCS


    Figure 5: LPS cable and connection to overflow drain being used as LPS conductor
    Photo courtesy of Michael Chusid RA FCSI CCS

  • Bonding. The interconnection of the overall LPS to other grounded metallic building systems (see Figure 6)


    Figure 6: LPS bonding
    Photo courtesy of Michael Chusid RA FCSI CCS

  • Surge protection device. Installed at every service entrance to stop the intrusion of lightning from utility lines and to equalize potential between grounded systems during lighting strikes. These devices are not typically installed in roofing areas.

  • Grounding electrode system. This element moves lightning current from the building to the ground. Roofing contractors will not be involved with grounding electrode system components.




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