1. Technology – allows more freedom in design.
More freedom in design means new and unexplored building shapes and features. These can result in increased occurrences of falling ice and snow if not dealt with properly in the design stages of a project.
2. Materials – more variation (metal, terracotta, etc.)
There are more material options available today than ever before. A great deal of data does not yet exist regarding the performance of ice and snow on these surfaces. This could result in increased falling ice and snow hazards.
3. Knowledge – new construction methods & taller buildings.
The advanced knowledge of today’s building industry leads to new construction methods and much taller buildings. The taller we build, the greater the chance of experiencing multiple microclimates along the height of the building. This can mean varying mitigation strategies for different heights of your building.
4. Conservation – less heat loss, more shading devices & double facades.
Newer strategies in energy conservation, such as increased exterior wall and roof insulation values, installing external shading devices, and constructing double facades, all result in an increase in colder surfaces, meaning an increase in snow accumulation, This greater volume of snow increases the potential for problematic falling ice and snow.
5. Global Climate Change – brings severe storms more frequently.
As our climate changes, we are seeing more severe storms occurring more frequently than ever before. It is important to note this while developing a criteria to assess your building, with respect to falling ice and snow.