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RE: retaining snow loads

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We had a failure of a ski area structure in Alaska due to lateral loading of
snow that slid off the roof.  Do not know if the design engineer wrote
anything about it. The structure is located at Alyeska Ski Resort, near
Anchorage.  Snow fall exceeds 100 feet per season.

Seems prudent to consider lateral loads from roof fallen snow.

Bill Scott, P.E.
VECO Engineering
949 East 36th Street, Suite 500
Anchorage, AK 99508

Phone 907-762-1655
Fax 907-762-1733

> ----------
> From: 	Paul Meyer[SMTP:PMeyer(--nospam--at)]
> Reply To: 	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Sent: 	Thursday, September 16, 1999 1:12 PM
> To: 	'seaint(--nospam--at)'
> Subject: 	RE: retaining snow loads
> Snow that simply falls or drifts against a wall will place very little
> load on the wall.  It is very low density when it falls/drifts and then
> basically consolidates straight down without a lateral component.  Snow or
> ice sliding off a roof is another thing.
> The National Building Code of Canada notes that "snow and ice falling from
> a roof of a building may be deflected against the building, causing
> damage," but is silent on the magnitude of the loads.   I have seen a case
> where ice falling off of a roof deflected off the snow pile below the eave
> and crashed through a window right onto my desk.
> As far as guidelines go, if you have a big gable roof that will shed a lot
> of snow and the snow won't be cleared away regularly below the eave, then
> metal siding or windows in the wall can be a problem.  Personally, I like
> to see at least 12 courses (8 feet) of masonry at the bottom of such
> walls.
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Jeff Smith [ mailto:smthengr(--nospam--at)] 
> Sent: Thursday, September 16, 1999 11:41 
> To: seaint(--nospam--at) 
> Subject: retaining snow loads 
> Can anyone tell me how to apply lateral loads due to snow. For example, if
> you have 10 feet of snow against walls and or windows, what forces (if
> any?) 
> should the wall framing and for that matter window glazing be designed
> for? 
> I have never actually seen snow build up against glass since the
> temperature 
> difference usually keeps the snow off the glass. 
> Thanks, 
> Jeff