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Snow Load Calculator

  1. Dec 28, 2013 #1
    Finally finished up the snow load calculator. Moved it to this page:


    Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

    I wish there was an easy way to calculate the ground snow loads for a given location but unfortunately there is not.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2014 #2
  4. Jan 8, 2014 #3
    I've slowly been adding the Table (b) jurisdictions to the Utah Snow Load Map. Note, these are exceptions to the standard snow load calculations and require special consideration or consulting with local building authority.
  5. Jan 9, 2014 #4
  6. Jan 22, 2014 #5
    Oregon Snow Load map is up. This one, like the Montana Map, connects to the snow load database hosted by the SEAO. It also compares the retrieved value against the 20 psf snow load minimum as well as checks the modeled elevation against the actual site elevation and flags the user based on these checks.

    The advantage to using this tool is that you don't need to know the lat. and long. off hand, just click on the map and it does the rest.

  7. Jan 26, 2014 #6
    Very nice!
  8. Jan 26, 2014 #7
    Still plugging away at the ASCE Fig 7-1 Ground Snow Load Map here:


    I've just secured permission from the ASCE to digitize and display this map with an associated licensing fee.

    15 of 48 states done so far. It takes about an hour per state depending on how complex the snow loads are for that state.
  9. Jan 26, 2014 #8
    I like your website; it is very polished, informative, and useful.

    Do you plan on creating other calculators on your website?
    1) Wind load (walls, corner zones, roofs, soffit zones).
    2) Seismic load (multi-storey).
    3) Shear wall design (hold-down anchors, panel nailing pattern and spacing).
  10. Feb 6, 2014 #9
    Just completed the Ground Snow Load Map tonight.


    Digitizing it, so that it was accurate, took far longer than I had planned on but once I was underway I wasn't about to stop.

    Note how most of the western US requires case studies, hence many of these states have their own snow load maps and research to back them up.
  11. Feb 6, 2014 #10
    I'm starting work on a wind load calculator that will complement the snow load calculator. After that I plan on creating an app for structural engineers to automate some of their analysis of residential structures.
  12. Feb 16, 2014 #11
    Interestingly I had a company that manufacturers and installs solar panels contact me regarding the ASCE ground snow load map. They were wondering if there was a way so that their website could send an http request to the map with a latitude and longitude and have it kick back the snow load. Since the map is already in digital format you would not think this would be hard to do. So I got thinking about how I could build a program that given a certain lat and long would automatically click on the map and then fire back the elevation, snow load, etc...

    The only problem is google maps implementation of the KML layer does not allow this transmittal of information. So I basically banged my head against the wall for almost 2 weeks trying to do the impossible. However, I was not ready to throw in the towel just yet. Since the KML data is just plain text, (coordinates) I thought there must be some way to analyze this data and determine if a given location is within a certain polygon and if it is then be able to assign that polygon description (ASCE snow load details) to a variable which is then delivered to the client. Turns out this is called the point in the polygon problem and it is well documented:


    So I was about to write an algorithm for ray casting which would have taken some time. Then I thought maybe someone else has done this before and sure enough I found a couple of good perl modules that handled this nicely and I narrowly avoided reinventing the wheel. Just a few lines of Perl later and I had managed to create a nice little API for the ASCE ground snow load data:

  13. Feb 27, 2014 #12
  14. Mar 29, 2014 #13
    Vermont Ground Snow Loads Map is now complete:


    This zone map defines ground snow loads by township and city boundaries and is derived from the zone map on page 48 of the 2012 Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code.

    Vermont is a small state so the KML for this map was relatively easy to create.
  15. Jun 3, 2014 #14
    The snow load calculator has now been upgraded with a PDF report output, which is really nice for printing out hard copies.


    I will probably do the same PDF report format for the wind, seismic and ground snow load maps as time allows.
  16. Oct 29, 2015 #15
  17. Oct 29, 2015 #16
    Wish you had a snow load calculator for Wyoming??
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