Addressing Snow and Ice Hazards on Building Facades

Date: February 7, 2018 5:30pm
Location: Atlantic Wharf, Boston, MA

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Atlantic Wharf (in the Fort Point Room) 
290 Congress Street 
Boston, MA 02210

Two blocks from South Station on the Red Line. Parking is available in the parking garage between Sorelle Café & Boloco (282 Congress Street and 284 Congress Street) for $12 flat rate if you enter after 5:00PM.

5:30 - 6:00PM Registration & Refreshments
6:00 - 7:00PM Presentation & Discussion
7:00 - 7:30PM Cocktail Reception

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for their attendance. Attendance is free and open to all; please invite colleagues. We will serve refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. Space is limited to the first 100 guests to register.

Falling snow and ice from buildings pose serious safety risks for the public, and can place architects, owners, and engineers in a vulnerable position for litigation claims. Complicating matters, there is little consensus in the industry on the best design strategies for mitigating the buildup and shedding of these winter hazards. This presentation will evaluate several mechanisms that enable snow and ice to accumulate on and fall from buildings. Using traditional snow retention designs for roofs as an introduction, we will focus on how snow and ice interact with projecting facade elements, and discuss how contemporary design trends and changes in climate patterns contribute to the problem. We will also review the lack of industry guidance for designing snow and ice retention systems, and discuss strategies for mitigating snow and ice issues on building facades.
After attending this seminar, participants will be able to: 
  • Identify potential risks of falling snow and ice from buildings.
  • Discuss factors that contribute to snow and ice accumulation on facade elements.
  • Understand code requirements and industry standards, or a lack thereof, for addressing snow and ice accumulation on facade elements.
  • Recognize how to mitigate the risk of falling snow and ice in the design of contemporary building facades. 


  Philip S. Moser, P.E. | Senior Project Manager
Phil Moser specializes in designing and investigating roofing, wall cladding, plaza and below-grade waterproofing, and glazing systems. His projects have also included analyzing building moisture problems. Phil is active in ASTM Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing, where he serves as a subcommittee officer and leads various technical task groups. His past presentations on snow issues have included “Facilities Design & Planning for Extreme Snow Events,” which focused on planning and designing for changing weather and natural hazards. 
  Amarantha Z. Quintana-Morales | Staff II – Building Technology
Amarantha Quintana-Morales works on projects involving building enclosure investigation, remedial design and renovation, and design consultation of new building enclosure systems. She has investigated the mechanisms of snow and ice accumulation on building facades through internal research and consulted on the design of snow and ice retention systems. Amarantha is a member of the Association for Preservation Technology International (APT), APT Northeast Chapter (APTNE), and is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York. 
  Sean M. O’Brien, P.E., LEED AP | Senior Principal
Sean O’Brien is head of the Building Technology group in Simpson Gumpertz & Heger’s New York City office. He specializes in building science and building envelope performance issues. Sean has investigated and designed repairs for a wide variety of building types and has published papers on topics including moisture migration in masonry wall systems and condensation resistance of windows and curtain walls. He has led research efforts to assess how snow and ice accumulate on building facades projections, and consulted on the design of snow and ice retention and mitigation systems. 



  • Owners
  • Facilities Managers
  • Property Managers
  • Contractors
  • Architects
  • Attorneys


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