Making an Informed Choice--Part 3
9/8/2011 9:08 AM
In this post I will explain how variations in considering snow shedding qualities affects the design and strength of a building from one manufacturer to another. This variation can account for a wide difference in the price and safety of a building.
Some manufacturers make an assumption that a sloped roof and slick fabric properties will allow snow to be shed automatically, reducing the potential snow loads. Because of this assumption, they then design a lighter and less costly structure. This "snow shed" design theory does not always hold true, however. Snow shedding of the fabric decreases over time. As fabric ages, it becomes rougher and the possibility of snow accumulation increases. The building will then need to accomodate a heavier snow load. If the building was designed with the assumption that snow would be shed, the safety of the building will decrease as it ages.
In addition, certain temperature and humidity conditions also contribute to greater snow and ice adhesion to fabrics and eliminate the ability of the fabric to shed snow efficiently.
The bottom line is that fabric covered buildings need to bear snow loads appropriate to your location.
To compare fabric building companies regarding this factor, ask if snow shedding has been taken into account when the building was designed. You can also ask what snow load the building is designed for. This will give you a concrete number to compare as you do your research.