At Top Level Engineering, we design buildings to not only meet current engineering standards, but also to meet best practices. In December, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released changes to the ASCE 7 standard, which is regarded as the authoritative source for the specification of loads and related criteria, and it has been used by engineers for many years to design safe, reliable, and economical structures.

Kirby Hartle, Top Level Engineering Founder and Principal, explained that every six years, structural and civil engineers collaborate with construction professionals, building officials, and researchers to update ASCE 7, taking into consideration new engineering data, changing construction techniques, and the public’s concerns.

ASCE 7-22 replaces ASCE 7-16 and prescribes “design loads for all hazards, including dead, live, soil, flood, tsunami, snow, rain, atmospheric ice, seismic, wind, and fire, as well as how to evaluate load combinations,” according to a press release from ASCE.

“This iteration–ASCE 7-22, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures–includes enhancements that will further increase the public’s health, safety, and welfare,” Kirby said.

He added that some interesting changes in ASCE 7-22 are centered around its snow provisions.

“Although in our area we may not experience as much snow in a season as other regions do, we have been known to get hit hard with several feet in a short amount of time,” he noted. “Therefore, we strive to design buildings to withstand these loads.”

According to a recent article in Structure Magazine, a few of the changes in ASCE 7-22 include:

  • Snow loads are based on 30 years of data.
  • The way of measuring loads has moved away from uniform hazard to uniform risk (also called uniform reliability).
  • The number of case study regions is dramatically smaller.
  • A new winter wind parameter acknowledges varied winter wind speeds and their effects on drift loads.
  • The horizontal extent of windward drifts is more accurate.
  • New thermal factors are based on current trends in venting and roof insulation.
  • The design loads for snow capture walls are enhanced.

“As our industry moves away from uniform hazard to uniform risk-based snow loads, our clients can be assured that Top Level Engineering designs structures for the anticipated level of safety,” Kirby explained.

View the ASCE press release here.

View the Structure magazine article here.

Want to ensure your structure is designed to meet ASCE and other standards? Contact Top Level Engineering today for a consultation!