- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 18 Oct 2018
A mansard roof, also known as a French or curb roof, is a roof characterised by that fact that each of its four sides has two pitches, the lower pitches being steeper than the upper pitches. It is similar to a gambrel roof but differs in that it displays the same profile on all sides (whereas a gambrel roof has vertical gables at either end). The lower slope is commonly fitted with dormer windows.
Mansard roofs allow for increased space beneath their steeper sides. They maximise headroom inside the upper storey of the building whilst lowering, what would if it were simply-pitched, be a very tall roof. The mansard form can also help water runoff, as the pitch increases towards the eaves, where the runoff is likely to be at its greatest.
The commonly-attributed earliest example of a mansard roof is the Louvre, designed by Pierre Lescot around 1550. It was popularised in the French Baroque period by Francois Mansart and became widely used during the Second French Empire (1852-1870) as well as in the United States and Europe. One of the factors attributable for its popularity in France was that houses were taxed by height or the number of storeys below the roof. The design of the mansard enabled the creation of an additional floor without having to pay additional tax.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
How to differentiate between partial possession and early use.
Ofwat proposes £12 billion additional investment and £50 bill reductions.
Avoiding 'winner's curse' and other useful info.
Developing test methods for video flame/smoke detectors
Waiting for a new deal ...but will funding materialise?
Our servers have reached another milestone. Why not write an article and be seen by our 6.5 million users.
RSHP celebrates competition win in Paris.
All about approved inspectors.
Whilst apparently confusing, German conservation is actually not that different.
The rise and fall of council housing. Book review.
Drivers of change in global heating markets.