New ATC ground snow load website promises to improve accuracy for engineers

A new website provides a way for users to easily obtain an ASCE 7 site-specific ground snow load based on GPS coordinates (latitude and longitude) or a street address.

The new website was developed by The Applied Technology Council (ATC), with the assistance from the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) and the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

According to the MBMA, this website overcomes the challenges in using the snow load map printed in ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. These challenges include insufficient spatial resolution of the map to determine some site-specific ground snow loads and the lack of reference cities or towns on the map.

On this website, users can obtain values from the ground snow load map printed in ASCE 7-95 through ASCE 7-10 (1995, 1998, 2002, 2005, and 2010). Ground snow load is used with the equations provided in ASCE 7 to determine design snow loads for buildings and other structures.

The ground snow load site is now available for use free of charge at snowload.atcouncil.org. The site is a companion to ATC’s Windspeed by Location website where users can obtain ASCE 7 site-specific wind speeds from ASCE 7-93 through ASCE 7-10.

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