Wind-Blown Sand or Snow

Improving safety, comfort and operations by controlling movement of sand or snow

However impressive a building or structure may be, a little sand or snow can ruin the effect in a hurry. Or become downright dangerous.

Sand on railway tracks

Wind-blown sand or snow can accumulate in undesirable locations, blocking access to egress paths, critical services or transport routes. Sand may imperceptibly infiltrate a building, accumulating in ways that cause inconvenience, risk or expense. Freely blowing sand may irritate patrons trying to enjoy outside spaces or, in harsher conditions, damage façade materials.

These problems and many other inconveniences and dangers can be minimized, or even avoided completely, with design that is responsive to the local climate.

Our service

We show you how to make the wind work for you, instead of against you, in the eternal struggle with sand or snow. Whether you are designing a new facility or experiencing challenges with an existing one, we’ll help you find a solution that is more resilient to the effects of wind-blown snow or sand.

We offer three exceptional resources in one organization: long experience, high-performance computational models and physical testing. Combined with our service focus, these tools help us find an answer for you quickly and efficiently.

We use our understanding of local wind patterns and meteorology to predict how particles will be picked up, carried and dropped by the wind near your structure. (In terms of the physics we use, sand and snow behave in the same way.) These consulting services show the zones that are prone either to drifts or to scour. We also understand internal building airflows and can assess the risk that snow or sand will infiltrate the building envelope through doors, windows or mechanical systems.

We work with you to interpret these results in order to answer your questions. For example, if building operations are of concern, we can determine how frequently snow will drift and where it will likely melt in a reasonable time. Or we can recommend landscaping or design adjustments to improve conditions in critical locations. In general, we help you arrive at a design that reduces the likelihood of inconvenience, operational problems and safety problems.