What is Snow Management?
The purpose of snow management consulting is to reduce the risk of potential problems associated with large volumes of snow and ice. A successful design may still require manual snow removal and a certain amount of annual maintenance, however, the goal is to increase safety and reduce long term repair and maintenance costs. Predicting the behavior of snow and ice is somewhat like predicting the weather: based on previous experience and the data at hand, the most likely outcome can be predicted but not guaranteed. We are essentially trouble shooting and testing the proposed design to achieve buildings better suited to snowy climates. Our analysis and reports are forwarded to the architect and owner/developer for their benefit only so that they can make the final design decisions.
In very general terms our typical services include:
* Research climate conditions for the specific project site including snow volume, winter temperatures, freeze thaw cycle frequency, wind and drifting.
* Review of the schematic plans for the site and building(s) to test them against anticipated snow conditions.
* Analyis and Comment on the proposed design in a report form incorporating roof plans and elevations from the architectural drawings indicating potential issues for the architect and owner's consideration and recommending imporvements to the design where appropriate.
* Follow-up these comments made in the report as the design is refined and imporved and review proposed details.
Snow avalanching off roofs, ice damage, and leaks from ice dams are common problems for existing buildings. We can determine the probable cause of these and other snow related difficulties and recommend a course of action. Not all problems can be solved since they may be inherent in the design, however almost all can be mitigated.
LEED & Environmental Considerations:
Snow melt for driveways and walking paths is an effective tool for dealing with snow by reducing maintenance and potential injuries, but require energy to operate. Heat tracing of gutters and eaves can reduce problems with snow and ice. During our review we identify areas that require heat trace and snowmelt, but try to reduce the requirements wherever possible in order to reduce energy consumption.
Qualifications: Jonathan Paine, P.Eng., Principal
Registered as a Professional Engineer in the Province of British Columbia since 1976, Jon moved to Whistler in 1980 and has been practicing both structural engineering and snow consulting in snow country for over 32 years with the past 15 years dedicated mainly to snow consulting.
Snow Country Consultants has the experience and construction knowledge to help make your project successful. I am always happy to discuss your project so give me a call or drop a note.