Snow Load Analysis for Structures

by Arnfinn Rusten, (M.ASCE), Engr.; ABAM Consulting Engrs., Tacoma, Wash.,
Myron Molnau, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Agricultural Engrg., Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho,
Ronald L. Sack, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 11-21

Document Type: Journal Paper


Methods are examined for using basic climatological data for predicting rational structural loadings in areas of heavy snowfall where standards must be established by local personnel. Parameter characterization of snow loading using a statistical analysis of extreme annual events is discussed and procedures are described to allow an expansion of the multi-point data into a continuous or subregional type of spatial representation. Recently introduced United States state snow load codes are reviewed and a data normalization procedure is demonstrated for one entire state area. Methods are reviewed for the correlation of ground and roof snow loadings for various types of structures for conditions involving localized effects from wind, terrain, etc. Special design considerations such as roof material selection, ice damming, snow cornicing, ponding and maintenance are described and current thinking is discussed.

Subject Headings: Snow loads | Hydrologic data | Load factors | Parameters (statistics) | Roofs | Weather forecasting | Spatial data | Standards and codes | United States

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