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Procedia Engineering 40 (2012) 405 – 410

Steel Structures and Bridges 2012

The new Slovak National Annex STN EN 1991-1-3/NA1


General actions. Snow loads: 2012
Z. Sadovskýa*
a
Institute of Construction and Architectureof the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 845 03 Bratislava, Slovakia

Abstract

Significant changes introduced into the new Slovak National Annex STN EN 1991-1-3/NA1 General actions. Snow
loads: 2012 are based on results of two subsequent projects completed within the period 2006 to 2010. The projects aimed
at retrieving, assembling and processing of long-term meteorological data related to snow loads, statistical analysis of the
data, map applications and studies focusing on probabilistic design, verification and optimisation of safety factors of
structures subjected mainly to snow loads. The new map of characteristic snow loads on the ground employs altitude
functions rather than a set of contour lines in the antecedent National Annex (2004). The exceptional snow loads are
analysed by an original approach assessing the accidental snow loads on the ground as fractiles of the mean return period of
10000 years within delimited four distinct regions in Slovakia. Approximate formulas for determination of frequent and
quasi-permanent value of snow load are developed. Probabilistic optimisation of safety factors resulted in increased snow
load partial factor for the design and verification of the frames of low-rise halls with light-weight roofs. Analogous feature
of the Czechoslovakian Standard ČSN 73 0035 (1988) was in the preceding National Annex omitted. The maps of
characteristic and accidental snow loads are provided in printed version as well as in an interactive form on CD.

© 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and review under responsibility of University of Žilina, FCE, Slovakia.

Keywords: Snow load; Collection; Statistical analysis, Probabilistic studies; National Annex

1. Introduction

The Eurocode 1. “Actions on structures. Part 1-3: General actions. Snow loads.” has been implemented into
the system of Slovak National Standards under certain time pressure. For adjustment of nationally determined
parameters, the at that time valid Czechoslovakian Standard ČSN 73 0035 (1988) “Actions on structures of
buildings.” had to be observed. Particularly, the original map of the characteristic snow loads on the ground
was adapted. The map was developed as a set of contour lines delimiting five snow load regions with estimated

* Tel.: +421-2-59309-208; fax: +421-2-5477-3548.


E-mail address: usarzsad@savba.sk.

1877-7058 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2012.07.116
406 Z. Sadovský / Procedia Engineering 40 (2012) 405 – 410

mean return period of 10 years [1]. As a basic data, the records of measurements at meteorological stations
from the winter 1946/47 up to the winter 1970/71 were employed.

For the National Annex STN EN 1991-1-3/NA (2004), the characteristic values in the individual regions of
the original map had been increased by a factor of 1.5, thus approximately adjusting the values to the mean
return period of 50 years required in Eurocodes. The accidental snow loads were not specified referring the user
to inquire the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute. The coefficients \1, \2 of frequent and quasi-permanent
value of snow load and the combination coefficient \0 were set to the conservative levels
within recommendations of EN 1990:2002. The provision of ČSN 73 0035 (1988) requiring increase of the
design snow load by a factor of up to 1.2 for light roofs was omitted. For snow load on roofs, several additional
verifications of load arrangements were included according to ČSN 73 0035 (1988).

Recent availability of long-term meteorological measurements related to snow loads stimulated launching of
two subsequent projects: “Probabilistic design of structures subjected to effects of snow loads“ supported by the
Slovak Research and Development Agency, 05/2006 – 11/2008 and „Backgrounds to the design of structures
subjected to snow loads“ supported by the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the
Slovak Republic, 03/2010 – 11/2010. Both projects, co-ordinated by the Institute of Construction and Architecture
of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, were carried out in co-operation with the Slovak Hydrometeorological
Institute under the responsibility of the Author as a principal investigator. Particularly, weekly measurements of
snow water equivalent (SWE) of snow cover on the ground (before early sixties only decade measurements) at
660 rain-gauge stations during 52 winter seasons since the winter 1954/1955 were employed. Out of the rain-
gauge stations, 55 meteorological stations were selected at which daily SWE values were calculated using other
climatological measurements by the method of Němec et al. model [2]. The model employs daily measurements
of precipitation total, height of new snow cover, total height of snow cover and the mean water vapour tension,
which at some stations were available since the beginning of 1951, thus extending the time series to 56 seasons.
The daily SWE values were adjusted to the weakly measurements by a fitting procedure, Sadovský et al. [3].

The obtained SWE data were analysed for yearly and monthly maxima as well as for the mean percentage of
month with snow. The former time series allowed the assessment of the characteristic and accidental snow
loads, Sadovský et al. [4, 5]. Employing the latter one and the monthly snow occurrence characteristic, the
snow loads at eight representative meteorological stations were modelled by the Poisson spike process, which
was later on used in probabilistic optimisation of safety factors. The frequent and quasi-permanent values of
snow load were determined employing daily SWE values.

The outcome of the projects formed backgrounds for preparation of respective clauses of the new National
Annex. Complying with the process of standardisation under the auspices of the Slovak Standards Institute, the
new National Annex has been approved in 2011 and published by March 2012. The paper briefly summarises
its main features.

2. The New Slovak National Annex On Snow Loads

2.1. Map of the characteristic snow loads

The development of the map of the characteristic snow loads sk on the ground is based on the annual
maxima of snow loads at measuring stations excluding the exceptional snow load yearly maxima; cf.
Sanpaolesi et al. [8]. Four different linear altitude-characteristic snow load relationships are defined. The
relationship sk = a + A/b, [kN/m2] is a regression line representing the average increase of the snow load with
the altitude A. These altitude functions relate to five zones covering whole Slovak territory. In the first and third
zone the same altitude function applies. The reason for differentiating these two zones is climatological. The
Zone 1 covers lowland regions, while Zone 3 represents mountain hollow-basins with higher altitudes and other
Z. Sadovský / Procedia Engineering 40 (2012) 405 – 410 407

reasons for occurrence of relatively lower levels of snow loads. Table 1 shows the recommended values of
parameters a and b of the altitude functions in individual zones. The map of zones of characteristic snow loads
on the ground is in Fig. 1; see Sadovský et al. [4].

Fig. 1. Zones of characteristic snow loads on the ground

Table 1. Recommended values of parameters a and b

Zone 1 and 3 2 4 5
a 0.454 0.425 0.716 0.934
b 970 505 430 315

2.2. Map of the accidental snow loads

By an original approach Sadovský et al. [4, 5], the exceptional snow loads (annual maxima) are analysed to
obtain accidental snow loads corresponding to the mean return period of 10000 years. The localities of
identified exceptional snow loads have been considered in a climatological expertise to determine regions of
similar climatological conditions for the occurrence of exceptional snowfalls. Altogether three distinct lowland
regions and one scattered region of mountain hollow-basins are delimited. In each single region, the
exceptional snow loads annual maxima are treated as exceedances over threshold. The upper tail of a created
empirical distribution function is approximated by the exponential and Pareto distribution functions
representing light tail and heavy tail theoretical distribution functions, respectively. The best approximating
distribution found by a nonlinear regression is used for the assessment of the accidental snow load in the form
of Eurocodes formula sAd = Cesl sk [kN/m2]. The recommended national values of Cesl coefficient are shown in
Table 2. The map of the regions of the accidental snow loads on the ground is in Fig. 2.
408 Z. Sadovský / Procedia Engineering 40 (2012) 405 – 410

Fig. 2. Regions of accidental snow loads on the ground

Table 2. Recommended values of coefficient Cesl

Region 1 2 3 4
Cesl 2.1 2.2 2.5 3.7

2.3. Optimized safety factors for design of low-rise halls with light-weight roofs

The investigation of failures of light roofs in the late sixties in Czechoslovakia implied that for such
structures the snow load has to be increased by a factor of 1.25, cf. [1]. Later on, as a transient measure, the
factor of 1.2 was standardised [1]. Applying these factors would nowadays mean selective increase of the
partial factor for snow load from 1.5 to 1.9 or 1.8, respectively. Probabilistic determination of safety factors
carried out for representative portal frames of low-rise industrial buildings at six localities in Germany [9]
resulted in snow and wind load partial factors within the intervals: JS  <1.42, 2.19>, JW  <1.4, 1.93>. One
has to point out that in Slovakia a higher level of snow loads and a lower level of wind loads with respect to
Germany has been observed [4]. Verification of reliability of the portal frames designed by safety factors
recommended in Eurocodes has shown a wide spread of reliability, the reliability indices of light roof frames
being deeply in the unsafe side [4, 6]. These considerations and studies justify a probabilistic optimisation of
safety factors for structures subjected to climatic actions.

For probabilistic optimisation, the representative portal frames shown in Fig. 4 [9] are selected. The ultimate
limit-state functions derived from the first-order elastic theory refer to the leeward corner of the frame, at which
for each frame the maximum bending moment was found [9]. In order to cover light to heavy-weight roofs, the
range of the permanent load, represented in [9] by the self-weight of the roof and of the frame profile, is
extended introducing the parameter F defined as the ratio of the characteristic climatic loads effect to the
common effect of the characteristic climatic and permanent loads [4, 6]. Light and heavy-weight roofs are
Z. Sadovský / Procedia Engineering 40 (2012) 405 – 410 409

assumed to be represented by F = 0.8 and F = 0.2, respectively. The uncertainty of the permanent load G is
described by the coefficient of variation VG = 0.05. For heavy roofs also VG = 0.1 is adopted. Including the
intermediate F = 0.5 and climatic actions at 8 representative meteorological stations in Slovakia, altogether 96
design situation are considered in the probabilistic optimization [4].

[m]

A B C

Fig. 4. Dimensions of representative frames

Based on the results of optimization, the partial factors JS = 2.1, JW = 1.8, JG = 1.05 and the combination
factors \0S = 0.4, \0W = 0.3 have been suggested for application to frames of low-rise halls with light-weight
roofs [4]. However, the opinion of the standardisation committee to include into the National Annex only
necessary changes resulted in retaining for the permanent load JG = 1.35. The light-weight roofs are identified
by the inequality

(¦ QkS "" QkW ) /(¦ Gk "" QkS "" QkW ) ! 0,5 (1)

where Gk and Qk denote characteristic values of action effects of permanent and variable load in one of the
verified design situations. Symbol “+“ means „combines with“ and symbol 6 means „combined effect“.

2.4. Frequent and quasi-permanent value of snow load

The coefficients \1, \2 of frequent and quasi-permanent value of snow load are evaluated from the database
of daily SWE values at 55 meteorological stations. The frequent value of snow load is assessed to be exceeded
in 5 % cases in a year. The quasi-permanent value of snow load is calculated as the average of daily SWE
values in a year. The values of the coefficients are shown in Figs. 3 (a) and 3 (b) with respect to the altitudes of
meteorological stations providing the measurements. The Figures also show the approximating functions
implemented into the National Annex.

3. Special remarks

The zones altitude functions are derived in such a way that the altitude function of the next higher zone
represents an upper bound of the lower zone characteristic snow loads. This may be used in design of structures
of special interest requiring strict complying with the design reliability level. In the top zone, the designer has
to inquire the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute.

The occurrence of exceptional snow loads is situated in lowlands and a region of scattered mountain basins,
i.e. in areas of generally lower levels of snow loads. Excluding the exceptional snow loads from the time series
of annual snow load maxima implies more economy in verification of not exceedance of ultimate limit states in
permanent and transient design situations. Nevertheless, the accidental design situation has to be checked.
410 Z. Sadovský / Procedia Engineering 40 (2012) 405 – 410

\ \
0,5 0,12

0,10
0,4

0,08
0,3
0,06
0,2
0,04
\ \
0,1
0,5[1-((A-1500)/1500)^2]^1/2 0,02
0.012(A/15-1)^1/2

0,0 0,00
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400

altitude altitude
Fig. 3. (a) Coefficient \1 versus station altitude; (b) Coefficient \2 versus station altitude

Additional verifications of snow load arrangements on roofs included in the former Annex in accordance to
the ČSN 73 0035 (1988) are dropped out.

The introduced partial factors should not be less for structural design verification, which is based on the
second-order theory, e.g. for Class 4 cross-sections or buckling resistance of members. Generally less
favourable resistance properties of such elements may increase the partial factors, see lower skewnesses of
resistances studied in [7]. The general structure of Eq. (1) indicates applicability of the optimization results to
elements or structural systems complying with this inequality, which implies occasional checking of other
frame types, structural elements or parts with the increased climatic design loads.

Interactive forms of the maps of characteristic and accidental snow loads are prepared by Mgr. Katarína
Mikulová, PhD. from the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute.

References

[1] Boháč, J.: Revision of the map of snow regions in the Czechoslovak Standard ČSN 73 0035 "Loading of building structures" (in
Czech). Staveb. Čas. VEDA 23(11), 1975, p. 840-862.
[2] Němec, L., Květoň, V., Setničková, I., Škáchová, H.: Estimation of the Water Equivalent of Snow Cover from the Other
Meteorological Instruments, ICAM Conference, Brig, 2003, www.map2.ethz.ch/icam2003.
[3] Sadovský, Z., Faško, P., Mikulová, K., Pecho, J., Vojtek, M.: Special features of the collection and analysis of snow loads. In: Safety,
Reliability and Risk Analysis: Theory, Methods and Applications, ESREL 2008 Valencia, Martorell, Guedes Soares & Barnett (eds.),
Taylor & Francis Group, London, Vol. 2, 2009, p. 1671-1675.
[4] Sadovský, Z., Faško, P., Mikulová, K., Pecho, J., Tekušová, M.: „Backgrounds to the design of structures subjected to snow loads.“
Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic, November 2010. Overview –
http://www.telecom.gov.sk/index/index.php?ids=82867
[5] Sadovský, Z., Faško, P., Mikulová, K., Pecho, J.: Exceptional snowfalls and the assessment of accidental snow loads for structural
design. Cold Regions Science and Technology 72, 2012, p. 17-22.
[6] Sadovský, Z., Páleš, D.: Probabilistic optimization of partial safety factors for the design of industrial buildings. International Journal
of Reliability, Quality and Safety Engineering, 15(5), 2008, p. 411-424.
[7] Sadovský, Z., Páleš, D.: Third- moment identification of structural element resistance by FORM. Building Research Journal, 47(3),
1999, p. 197-213.
[8] Sanpaolesi, L. et al.: Phase 1 Final Report to the European Commission, Scientific Support Activity in the Field of Structural Stability
of Civil Engineering Works: Snow Loads, Dept. Str. Engng, Univ. of Pisa 1998.
[9] Schleich, J.B., Sedlacek, G., Kraus, O.: Realistic Safety Approach for Steel Structures, Eurosteel, Coimbra, 2002, 1521-1530.