The 2010-11 snow season was a doozy. It's got the City of Revelstoke engineering department thinking about upping snow load requirements for new buildings.

The 2010-11 snow season was a doozy. It's got the City of Revelstoke engineering department thinking about upping snow load requirements for new buildings.

Increased snow load bylaw planned for Revelstoke

The City of Revelstoke is planning to up its snow load requirements on new buildings following several collapses last snow season.

The City of Revelstoke is planning to up its snow load requirements on new buildings. This follows several building collapses last snow season and subsequent requests from engineering firms.

In a report presented to council on Feb. 14, city inspector Tim Luini explains several reasons why changes are needed. More open-concept homes are being built, and they’re weaker than traditional frames. He also said denser neighbourhood designs means more homes will be designed with anchors to keep snow on roofs due to space issues. Also, he said heavy snow years are actually more common than specified in the existing rules.

Luini said the professional engineering costs could add one-per-cent in costs to a new home, in addition to extra building materials costs.

Coun. Chris Johnston expressed concern that the change could lead to added costs when city inspectors opt for a professional engineering sign-off to reduce their exposure. Luini said inspectors do their best to avoid this when possible at present.

Luini’s presentation was received for information. The actual bylaw is expected at a later date.