When I started working with the team here at Alpine SnowGuards back in 2013, I could tell within the first few moments of walking in the door that this was a company that fosters innovation. Watching the product lifecycle in process was exciting (and still is)!
Over the years, I’ve witnessed countless custom designs come to fruition, first on paper, then via a 3D printed model and finally, into product samples for testing. The outcome, seeing these solutions installed and doing what we engineered them to do, has consistently been one of my favorite parts of being a part of the Alpine family of innovators.
One such innovation, which we launched just 2 weeks ago at the NFMT Facilities Management Expo in Baltimore, is the Alpine LedgeGuard product line.
The Alpine LedgeGuard line was developed to mitigate the risk of falling ice and snow to busy sidewalks and streets below.
I recently read a report about in-cloud icing, where the ice will build up on ledges and sides of buildings, even when it’s well above freezing on the ground. This isn’t much different than the type of icing you hear about on airplanes.
The design of the Alpine LedgeGuard was intended to be low-profile, rugged and able to stand up to high winds and freezing temperatures at high elevations. Framed building envelopes (curtain wall/window wall) have become increasingly common in the building industry as a way to move towards using thermally-efficient versions of the assemblies in order to improve on the overall energy performance of a building. While this improvement is definitely a necessity, the unexpected consequences for the formation of ice and snow on the exterior of buildings needs to be addressed.
That’s where we come in.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 20+ years in marketing and product development (my former life found me identifying needs and developing products for QVC, QVC UK and QVC Germany, the TV shopping channels) is that a HUGE part of innovation is recognizing a void or need within an industry.
We did just that with Alpine LedgeGuard, recognizing the need for a snow and ice management solution for use on urban ledges, cornices, parapets, sloped walls, terraces and balconies.
We took our designs to the experts at Microclimate Ice and Snow at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. It’s there that the LedgeGuard underwent extensive performance and large climatic chamber testing. The complete testing can be found on our website, and this condensed, time-lapse video showing the testing, speaks volumes. Take a look!
Our new lineup consists of the following ledge solutions:
Alpine LedgeGuard-1.5” is a system that utilizes 1.5” brackets that accept 2 square rods. End collars and couplings are available for this system, as is powder-coating (for all 3 systems). The low-profile (1.25” tall) provides minimal visual impact, which the system itself can stand up to the elements.
Alpine LedgeGuard-12″ is the 12” version of the Alpine LedgeGuard, and has the same side profile as the 1.5” version, just in a longer, 12” extruded bracket that requires no rods.
Alpine LedgeGuard-Bar is a 12-foot long bar that employs the use of our 2″ x 2″ square adapter plate. The milled countersink on the underside of the adapter plate accepts an EPDM busing, which will form a proprietary watertight compression seal when installed.
Here’s the top side of the adapter plate (left) and the underside (right), showing where the EPDM bushing is fitted into the milled countersink.
Alpine is the first snow guard manufacturer to put a ledge system into testing, and we are confident that facilities managers, building owners, developers, builders, architects and engineers will be happy we did.
We suspect pedestrians (and cars) on ground-level will be very happy, as well.
(Images from Chicago Tribune and Shutterstock)
We keep snow in its place
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Alpine SnowGuards designs, engineers, and manufactures snow management systems from our facilities in Morrisville, VT. We work closely with leading roofing contractors, engineering firms, developers, and roofing manufacturers to ensure we deliver quality products that do what we say they’ll do. Alpine SnowGuards can help a building qualify for LEED® credits.