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RE: retaining snow loads

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All snow except new fallen snow will create a vertical edge if cut
through with a shovel.  In other words snow will not produce a lateral
load unless intentionally packed (or dumped) against a structure.  New
fallen that is extremely cold will not adhere to itself.  Although, this
type of snow has a very good insulation factor as a result of the high
void air content.  As the sun shines on it, the light passing through
the crystals will change to heat energy and cause the snow to melt and
refreeze together.  There may be certain special circumstances, such as
plowing or dumping snow, that may result in lateral pressure but I would
think these would be the exception and not the norm.  Snow against the
parapet would not fall into this category.  One area that you want to
keep in mind is when you have a lower roof adjacent to a higher roof
that is pitched (check code for slope).  You must use the allowance for
the snow sliding off the high roof onto the low roof. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Smith [mailto:smthengr(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 1999 2:41 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: retaining snow loads

Can anyone tell me how to apply lateral loads due to snow. For example,
you have 10 feet of snow against walls and or windows, what forces (if
should the wall framing and for that matter window glazing be designed
I have never actually seen snow build up against glass since the
difference usually keeps the snow off the glass.