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Snow load standard needs feedback

0 48 Government

The draft Managing Changing Snow Load Risks for Buildings in Canada's North standard is now available for a 60-day review online.

The draft Managing Changing Snow Load Risks for Buildings in Canada's North standard is now available for a 60-day review online.

The standard is the third of four new standards in development by the CSA Group to help address the impact of climate change in Northern Canada as part of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative (NISI).

Northern infrastructure is highly vulnerable to climate change issues such as degrading permafrost, as well as changes in temperatures and precipitation patterns.

These weather conditions are leading to denser, heavier, wetter snow and causing greater loading on structures.

To help address this issue, CSA Group announced in 2012 that it had been selected by SCC to develop four new standards as part of NISI, a joint project being led by SCC with support from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).

Through NISI, standards are being developed to address the effects of climate change on new infrastructure, as well as retrofits, maintenance and repairs to existing infrastructure.

Arctic regions have seen an increase in snowfall and extreme snow events.

Adding to this issue is the occurrence of rain after a snowfall, which turns to ice and increases the weight or load of the snow on buildings and housing.

This increased weight can result in structural damage, such as a collapsed roof. Research indicates that climate change will result in increased snow loads for northern regions.

This impacts both existing infrastructure and any new buildings that are planned.

The objective of this standard is to inform communities for safe roof snow removal from existing buildings and to protect building occupants from overloading risks due to increasing accumulations and weights.

Procedures that can reduce risks for roof and building collapses are outlined, including procedures for monitoring heavy snow and ice accumulations, safe removal of snow on roofs when needed and for maintenance and snow removal planning.

The three other standards in development by CSA as part of NISI include: building in permafrost supported on thermosyphon foundations; moderating the effects of permafrost degradation on building foundations; and community drainage system planning, design and maintenance in northern communities.

The draft Managing Changing Snow Load Risks for Buildings in Canada’s North standard is available for public and stakeholder feedback by visiting the CSA website at www.publicreview.csa.ca.

Upon consideration of the feedback, decisions will be made on which changes are required, if any, before the standard is approved by CSA Group’s Northern Built Infrastructure technical committee and then submitted to SCC.

JOC NEWS SERVICES

by Journal Of Commerce

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