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RE: Michigan Frost Depth and Snow Load

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First, most of Michigan uses the BOCA code.  From BOCA maps (both 1993 and
1996), the Frankfort area has an indication of "In these area extreme local
variations in snow loads preclude mapping at this scalle".  Thus, you will
need to contact the local building official to determine what ground snow
load to use.  FYI, I am currently working on a project for Michigan Tech
Univ and their required ground snow load is 70 psf.  However, it should be
noted that Houghton is QUITE aways further North (and to the West).

With regards to frost depth, that information should be provided in a soils
report (assuming that one has been done for the project).  Typical frost
depth for Southeastern Michigan (Detroit area) is 3'-6".  For the MTU
project, the soil report recommends 4'-6".

Overall, you will definitely want to contact the local code offical to
determine what the local adopted code is and what to use for the ground snow
load.  You can also ask them if they know what to use for frost depth.

Hope this helps.


Scott E. Maxwell, P.E.
Structural Engineer

SHG Inc.
500 Griswold Street, Suite 200
Detroit, MI  48226

Phone: (313) 442-8253       Fax: (313) 983-3636       Email:

--------Original Message-----------------
From: "Gary Hart" <harteng(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Michigan Frost Depth and Snow Load
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 13:36:36 -0700
Message-ID: <000101beaec9$f4ebb4a0$c58ffea9@gary>

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Anyone know what the frost depth and snow load are for Frankfort, Michigan?
It is on the west coast of the peninsula about even with Green Bay, not far
from Traverse City and Manistee.

Thanks in advance.