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The Applied Technology Council (ATC), with assistance from Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), has developed a website that provides a way for users to easily obtain an ASCE 7 site-specific ground snow load. A site can be selected by directly entering the GPS coordinates or the mailing address into the input window of the website. If needed, a map of the United States can be used to find the GPS coordinates of a particular site.
This website overcomes the challenges in using the snow load map that is 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 the ATC Ground Snow Loads website, users can obtain loads 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 also provides a link to the windspeed website where ASCE 7 site-specific wind speeds can be obtained. Users are encouraged to provide ATC with feedback so that enhancements can be planned.
Founded in 1956, the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) serves manufacturers and suppliers as it works to promote the metal building systems industry. Its membership represents more than $2.4 billion in annual sales and accounts for approximately 52% of the total non-residential low-rise construction market in the United States. The association provides a wealth of technical information on its website, www.mbma.com, for anyone who works with or is interested in metal building systems, and publishes numerous technical manuals and design guides.