ruminations about architecture and design

Thursday, February 19, 2015

but it's a dry snow....

In the past 20 years the Boston Metro region has experienced at least three winters where cumulative ground snow loads have exceeded the building code parameters by more than 100%. Should the code be updated to reflect the statistical certainty of excessive loading? Two thoughts:

-Roof failures that I've read about seem concentrated on longer span, low slope roofs.

-Deflection failure doesn't equate to structural failure. Hence, many roofs, particularly pitched roofs on houses from a variety of time periods perform very well.

So, should the code start treating certain long span structures differently? For example, should the roofs of gathering spaces in educational or institutional buildings be held to a higher standard? Should we start doing static testing of common roof configurations to find out just much they can handle?

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