What is a Saw Tooth?
Definition of Saw Tooth in Construction Descriptive term used to identify a type of roof that was used on old manufacturing facilities to shed water and allow light to enter the facility. If the roof was viewed from the side, it would look like an inverted saw blade. The roof was a series of triangles that had a vertical face with windows and a sloped back side that pitched into a drainage trough in between the pitches. The vertical glass side was normally positioned to accept the northern light, which was consistent throughout the year and afforded a general illumination on the interior of the structure. The sloped sides of the system was normally a built up tarred system of roofing that shed the water down into the drainage troughs which emptied into roof drains. The vertical glass facade, due to its age in history, was normally a metal grid system with separate pieces of small glass embedded in glazing compound. These small pieces of glass allowed an easy maintenance of the window system by accessing the need to replace any glass from the roof between the pitches. New England is famous for saw tooth type roofs and window systems due to the number of older manufacturing plants that were constructed as the nation matured.