Structural Engineers Association of Utah
Utah State University
Recent reports of snow related building collapses across the western United States in early 2017 highlight the importance of snow load considerations in building design. Specifying such design snow loads requires a proper balance between safety and economy. As articulated by Nowak and Collins (2012): "Conceptually, we can design [a] structure to reduce the probability of failure, but increasing the safety...beyond a certain optimum level is not always economical." It is the search for this optimum level of safety that has motivated the development of design ground snow loads at state and local levels.
Bean, Brennan; Maguire, Marc; and Sun, Yan, "The Utah Snow Load Study" (2018). Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Publications. Paper 3589.