I would imagine that the chapter 16 provisions are probably slanted towards
a denser snow in order to reduce the chance of underestimating loads. You
would probably need to look for a reasonable lower bound in order to
estimate a max height based on load. I would not be at all suprised at say
10 pcf for fresh powder.
> Snow loads for the 97 UBC are covered in the Appendix for chapter 16.
> the ground snow load and using these formulas you can determine the
> of the base of the snow, and "height" of the drift of the snow. These
> heights are based on a density of snow up to a maximum of 35 pcf.
> I have a project with windows and exhaust vents that are subject to being
> buried by snow drifts. Is using a height determined from the appendix
> unconservative for placing windows and exhaust vents?
> Anyone with some experience with this? Any good references that talk
> how these values are determined?