Loads due to Drifted Snow

by J. T. Templin, Research Officer; Building Structures Section, Div. of Building Research, National Research Council of Canada K1A 0R6,
W. R. Schriever, (M.ASCE), Former Head; Building Structures Section, Div. of Building Research, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Canada K1A0R6,


Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 8, Pg. 1916-1925


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Roof failures due to snow loads are often the result of heavy drifts rather than uniform snow loads. Codes and standards such as Standard A58.1 of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Building Code of Canada contain procedures for estimating snow loads on basic structures only. An understanding of elementary fluid mechanics and snow accumulation phenomena allows a designer to predict regions of potentially heavy snow loading in situations not covered by the codes. Several basic principles are presented and illustrated by examples of air flow around commonly shaped structures and the regions of snow accumulation. Modeling of snow drifting supplies qualitative information on snow accumulation in complex situations; advantages and limitations are examined.

Subject Headings: Snow loads | Standards and codes | Load factors | Failure loads | Drift (structural) | Air flow | Roofs

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