You are on page 1of 26

Determining Snow Loads Determining Snow Loads

Most building codes reference the procedures in ASCE 7 - Chapter 7
See your handout

Roof snow loads are based on the historical records for ground snow loads
we dont usually have records of roof snow levels

Ground snow loads are converted to roof snow load using the equations in ASCE 7

Flat Roof Snow Load calculated by:

p f = 0 .7 C e C t I p g
pff = flat roof snow load, psf Ce = Exposure factor e Ctt = Thermal factor I = Importance factor pg = ground snow load, psf g

Flat Roof defined by: < 5 degree slope

pg = ground snow load, psf g

ground snow load comes from maps in ASCE 7

Ground Snow Data

Ground snow data are provided on map of US in ASCE 7
50-yr recurrence interval = 2% annual probability of occurrence

Certain areas on the map need case study to determine ground snow load - designated by CS
usually in mountainous terrain parentheses indicate that above that elevation, a case study is required many municipalities in mountainous regions have local snow data

Ground Snow Loads

ASCE 7: Figure 7-1

4th Secret to Success in this Course

Know your geography. Dont ask the professor where to find places on the map.

Ce is Exposure Factor
found in ASCE 7, Table 7-2 based on terrain category in 6.5.6

A = large city centers, 50% of buildings have heights > 70 ft B = urban or suburban areas C = flat open country, grasslands, shorelines in hurricane prone areas D = flat open areas around waterways, lakes, etc.

Ct is Thermal Factor

I is Importance Factor

I is Importance Factor

Minimum values for pf: when pg < 20 psf; psf; when pg > 20 psf; psf; pf = I pg pf = I (20 psf) psf)

Minimum values of pf apply to low sloped roofs also

Sloped Roof Snow Load calculated


p s = Cs p f
ps = sloped roof snow load, psf s Cs = Slope factor s pff = flat roof snow load, psf

Cs is Slope Factor
found in ASCE 7, Figure 7-2 based on thermal condition of roof

Warm roof defined by Ct =1.0 Cold roof defined by Ct > 1.0 Slippery surface allows snow to slide off roof surface

Cs Slope Factor
for roof with Ct =1.1, interpolate between values in both figures

Curved Roofs
o Curved roofs with slopes > 70o are considered free of snow

Cs = 0 Balanced snow loads for curved roofs are determined by Figure 7-3 7-3

Multiple folded plate, sawtooth, barrel vault roofs

Use flat roof snow load

Cs = 1

Continuous Beam Roofs

Figure 7-4 shows how to distribute snow on continuous beam roof systems

Unbalanced Snow Loads

Unbalanced snow loads are created by wind blowing snow


Unbalanced Snow Loads

The roof structure needs to be designed for both balanced and unbalanced loads Section 7.6 shows how to determine unbalanced snow loads
o Hip and gable roofs with slope > 70o or o with slope < (70/W + 0.5)o dont need to be considered

Unbalanced Snow Load Terms

0.5 L = 0.33 + 0.167 W 1 .0
Snow density


L 1 W L for 1 < 4 W L >4 for W

= 0.13 p g + 14

Given: Fire station in Muscle Shoals, AL Find: balanced and unbalanced snow loads on building

Flat Roof Snow Pressure

Ct is Thermal Factor

I is Importance Factor

Flat Roof Snow Pressure

Sloped Roof Snow Pressure

Sloped Roof Snow Pressure

Check unbalanced snow load consider roof slope consider building length, width, snow density, etc.

Balanced snow load

8.4 psf

8.4 psf

Unbalanced snow load 2.5 psf / 12.1 psf

2.5 psf

12.1 psf