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Snow loads

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Snow load calculations are part of a lot of structural building Code calculations. But what are the snow loads in our region?

The National Building Code has a fairly simple calculation to figure out a region's snow load, based on snow weight and rainfall for specific communities.

In our region, there is climactic data for St. George, Saint Andrews and St. Stephen. There is no data for the villages of Harvey or McAdam, so we use Fredericton data, which might be a little more than what is actually experienced, but errs on the side of caution.

Truss/Rafter span <4.3 m (14’1”)
Snowload (Kpa)
St. Stephen 1.73 36.04
Saint Andrews* 1.64 34.16
St. George* 1.64 34.16
McAdam/Harvey 2.00 41.68
Truss/Rafter span >4.3 m (14’1”)
Snow load calculator Snowload (Kpa)
St. Stephen 1.98 41.26
Saint Andrews* 1.87 38.96
St. George* 1.87 38.96
McAdam/Harvey 2.31 48.15

*The snow load data for Saint Andrews and St. George is calculated using the 2010 climate data for the NBC, but it should be noted that snow loads are already increasing, as recognized by slightly more robust requirements in the 2015 NBC, which New Brunswick has not yet adopted. A general rule of thumb: if a table or calculation reveals a result that just meets Code, there's never any harm in moving to the next more robust system/spacing/lumber size.