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RE: Snow Drift Load

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When snow is blown across a surface, it generally precipitates out on the leeward side of an obstruction where the wind goes from a more laminar flow to a turbulent flow. That is why snow drifts occur either in the stagnation zone directly in front of an obstruction or for a distance beyond the obstruction where the wind flow is turbulent. The real expert in snow drifting is Michael J. O'Rourke of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The ASCE 7 was written for normal buildings not for buildings constructed on pilotis. But your building will create turbulence sufficient to cause snow drifting. You will have snow drifting, but the pattern of drifting is difficult to predict. You can retain the services of a firm like CPP in Fort Collins, CO to do computer modeling to predict snow drifts.

Harold Sprague

From: "Wontae Kim" <Wontae.Kim(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Snow Drift Load
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 11:11:43 -0400

About Snow Drift Load:
If a building has pilotis on the ground level, which means this
building is separated from the ground using columns, how should I
consider snow drift load on the ground level?
Is there triangular shape surcharge snow drift?
If there is, what shape of triangle?
(How wide its bottom W is?)
In my opinion, there is no snow drift for the turbulent wind effect?
May I hear your opinions?

("Piloti" is a French term for a series of columns which support a
building above an open ground level. Villa Savoye, constructed in 1928
by Le Corbusier, is a classic example of their use)

****Wontae Kim****

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