Microclimate Ice & Snow Inc. (MI&S) is a specialty consulting firm that works with building developers, owners and architects to identify ice and snow accumulation on buildings and structures then develop tailored recommendations to reduce the potential for falling, sliding or wind-released ice and snow from roofs, façades, and structural elements. Upon the initial proposal request, MI&S will conduct a cursory information evaluation in order to determine which services are required. As a reference, the chart below summarizes how our services are usually packaged, beginning with the core service of Design and/or Risk Assessment, along with a summary of each of the services outlined.
Client needs
Design Stage
This service applies to clients who are planning, designing or constructing a building or structure, and want to ensure that their project has the appropriate risk reduction strategy in place for mitigation and management of ice and snow that could pose a hazard or challenge.
Existing Building Investigation
This service applies to clients with existing buildings or structures that have either experienced falling, sliding or wind-released ice and snow or are concerned about a potential risk that requires investigation and possibly mitigation or management.
Mock-Up Testing
This service applies to clients with either proposed or existing buildings or structures that require the investigation or validation of winter conditions or recommended mitigation measures on a full scale performance mock-up. MI&S can arrange for a physical mock-up to be testing inside a temperature-controlled environmental chamber where it will be exposed to wind, snow, ice and rain, replicating real life conditions, to investigate and validate winter performance as well as refine mitigation strategies if required.

Roof Snow Deposition and Sliding Impact Assessment

Large or complex roof surfaces, sloped wall surfaces or unique building geometries often require expert knowledge of snow collection and drift patterns. For these clients, MI&S provides assessment services that include deposition patterns and additional snow load cases, as well as recommendations for of ice and snow barrier layouts, gutter designs and heating layouts. Provide project designers and structural engineers with insights into anticipated ice and snow behavior that could impact both architectural and structural design.
We understand how buildings and structures perform in relation to their surroundings through the assessment of the proposed or existing building design within the local microclimate, and through an assessment of long-term, local and historical weather events. This enables us to expertly predict and identify potential performance and design issues. Once potential issues are identified, we develop effective, practical and economical mitigation strategies which incorporate 20+ years of expertise, derived from previous projects, site investigations, mock-up test results, industry relationships and research.
Services list
We work closely with a variety of professionals including building owners and developers, architects, design consultants and building operators. We operate out of Cambridge in Ontario, Canada but our services extend to clients across the world. Our consultants have worked on projects in a wide range of locations which include but are not limited to the Arctic region, Antarctica, Seattle and New York City in the U.S., London, England, Beijing, China and Seoul, South Korea.

The Design Review or Risk Assessment is the core MI&S service and involves a complete drawing review and an analysis of long-term, historical meteorological data in order to predict site-specific microclimate conditions and their corresponding relationship with the project design.

This microclimate analysis considers multiple variations of winter precipitation that are known to generate ice and snow formations on buildings and structures. These variations are assessed in combination with design geometries, site orientation and the specific architectural details that are identified to be susceptible to ice and snow formation and release.

For clients requiring existing building investigations, this assessment extends to reviewing photographs and incident reports, as well as conducting interviews with operations personnel and building management.

With all service offers, MI&S recommends a consultation session. Typically, the consultation occurs at the completion of the Design Review or Risk Assessment and prior to the issuing of a written report.

The purpose of a consultation session is to present the results and findings, discuss any project-specific evaluation criteria and review available options or recommendations for mitigation.

The goal of this step is to supply the client with enough information to decide on the most appropriate project criteria and mitigation plan for the project. MI&S has found that the consultation step is immensely helpful and important for designers and owners as it helps to communicate our experience and jointly develop economical, practical and aesthetically acceptable mitigation strategies.

Typically, mitigation strategies can take the form of minor design modifications, the addition of commercial or customized ice and snow retention products, and recommendations for observation and operational management of the completed building or structure.

MI&S recommendations are provided through a holistic approach to risk management and are formed by immense expertise in the field of building science principles, microclimate analysis, architectural designs and construction background.

Following the consultation session and subsequent agreement on the most appropriate evaluation criteria and mitigation strategies to be incorporated into the design, MI&S will develop detailed recommendations in a draft report, providing mitigation device locations and layouts, as well as dimensions for design modifications that reduce risk.

This order of events provides an organized and effective process of developing economical, effective, practical and aesthetically acceptable recommendations that can be efficiently implemented into the project design drawings and documents by the design team.

The MI&S report will be issued in a draft format that documents the methodology, analysis and review results, as well as the detailed recommendations for implementation into the design.

A final report will only be issued upon request and will include recommendations for winter operational procedures to observe and manage the building, as any ice and snow mitigation strategy cannot completely eliminate all potential for hazard, and therefore must be supported by informed and responsible operational procedures.

MI&S offers services to work closely with the client to complete additional drawing reviews, respond to questions, assist with product suppliers and participate in subsequent team meetings that pertain to snow and ice mitigation strategies or cost cutting.

This additional support service is offered to ensure the final design accurately incorporates all of MI&S recommended mitigation strategies so they remain effective and practical.

A comprehensive approach to ice and snow risk reduction and management includes responsible practices in both the design and subsequent operation of a building, structure and project site.

Therefore, MI&S recommends that a project-specific Winter Operational Guidelines document be developed in concert with the design review and risk assessment services. This allows clients to evaluate the design response in relation to the corresponding requirements for operational management.

Winter Operational Guidelines are developed for incorporation into the standard operating procedures of the completed project and include specific instructions for winter preparedness, responsibilities, observations, actions, instruction, documentation and management actions, such as snow removal and the deployment of temporary restricted access.

To investigate, refine or validate design or mitigation details, we perform mock-up testing in a large temperature-controlled test chamber where snow, ice, wind and freezing rain can be generated in a repeated and controlled manner to replicate of real-life conditions.

MI&S’s performance mock-up testing is based on expertise and knowledge gained from years of studying building performance, incident investigations, and field studies of many of the world’s most prominent buildings that have experienced problematic winter performance. For your next project MI&S can plan, execute, analyse and report on the installation, instrumentation and testing of a customized Performance Mock-Up, recommending any required design or mitigation strategy modification or refinements.

A MI&S developed test plan will include any required test configurations, that exposing the Performance Mock-Up to a regiment of wind, snowfall, ice generation and melting (e.g. wind, snowfall, windblown snow, freezing rain, wind driven freezing rain, etc.) to evaluate and validate the mock-up under the anticipated typical and extreme winter conditions.

During this service, MI&S will specify the requirements for the mock-up design, develop the test plan, coordinate with the mock-up designers, device suppliers and laboratory staff.  This will be followed by the, development of a comprehensive test report that summarizes the test plans, results and final recommendations.

As an extension of the Winter Operational Guidelines service, one of our consultants will work with a separate facilities consultant to develop a customized staff instruction program.

We will then visit your facility to conduct instruction sessions with management and operations personnel on the outlined procedures, which include pre-winter preparedness, winter storm action planning and the assignment of associated responsibilities pertaining to winter observations and inspections.

The instruction sessions will provide education on the severity and frequency of potential ice and snow accumulations, the anticipated behavior of the building or structure under typical and more extreme winter conditions, along with the recommended operational procedures designed to reduce the risk of a potential hazard to people and property.


A consultant from MI&S will travel to your project site to conduct an review of the recommended mitigation components that are either in the process of or already installed to mitigate falling, sliding or wind-released ice and snow.

A review of mitigation is useful to identify potential performance deficiencies in the components that could be contributing to hazardous snow and/or ice formation.

Design Stage
Existing Building Investigation
Mock-Up Testing
Roof Snow Deposition
and Sliding Impact Assessment
Design or Risk Assessment


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Design Implementation,
Assist and/or Construction
Administration Support
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Mock-up Testing


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Operational Procedures


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Site Inspections


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Operational Training


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* The Design Stage service is typically provided as a full-service offering as indicated above, however some clients may request just the basic Design or Risk Assessment with Recommendations and Report for a smaller standard fee.

     why us?    

Michael Carter is a Certified Engineering Technologist and the Director and CEO of Microclimate Ice & Snow Inc. Michael has more than 20 years of experience in the specialty industry of ice and snow microclimate assessment focused on the identification, mitigation and management of falling, sliding and wind-released ice and snow from buildings and structures. His expertise is accumulated through years of consultations, design-assist collaborative work, field research, incident investigations and laboratory simulation testing. Michael has been working within the design and construction field since 1986 and has been actively consulting on large-scale projects since 1996. In addition to the recognition of his expertise in the industry, Michael has developed a recognized method of overall risk management with respect to ice and snow hazard, aided by the development of project-specific Winter Operational Guidelines that provide best practice guidelines for owners and operators, and manage project risk for designers. Michael’s extensive experience with ice and snow behaviour has led to collaborations with designers and manufacturers of ice and snow barriers and heating cable and controls. These collaborations within the industry were initially developed to assist with standardization of specifications, and soon led to Michael’s role with ASTM International as a task group co-chair for the Evaluation of Ice and Snow Accretion on Buildings and Structures. Within ASTM he is leading two key areas of work within the task group, first working with barrier manufacturers to develop test standards, and second working with the building design industry to establish standard guides and methods for the evaluation of snow and ice accretion on building and structures.




Design assessment

We perform a complete design assessment to identify current or potential issues through an assessment of the building or structure’s design in combination with local historical meteorological conditions and site surroundings.



We work with the client to determine the most appropriate assessment criteria and practical mitigation and operational strategies.



We provide economical, practical and customized recommendations with focus on minimal design modification and the development of integrated custom ice and snow retention strategies. The goal is to provide aesthetically compatible results that reduce the risk of for falling, sliding or wind-released ice and snow and maintain a safe environment for people and property.



Understanding the sensitive nature of design or project-related risk, our reporting process honours client confidentiality. providing All procedures, results and recommendations are provided in the format of the client’s choosing which can be through oral presentations or in writing.


winter operational guidelines

Preventing falling, sliding or wind released ice and snow from buildings and structures requires mitigation through both design and operational means. To address this requirement, we project specific Winter Operational Guidelines which inform, educate and guide owners and operators on the best practice procedures that anticipate, prepare for and manage ice and snow related risk potential for people and property.