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Santa Loading: Code of Practice

Santa Loading: Code of Practice

1.0 Scope

Santa Loading is an abnormal load combination that occurs annually in the majority of Christian countries. It is thought to be caused by the arrival and departure of Farther Christmas.

This Accepted Code of Practice (ACoP) provides rules and guidance governing both the preparation of new, and the assessment of existing, structures to support Santa Loading.

2.0 Characteristic Loading

Unless vigorous testing methods are to be used; it should be assumed that Father Christmas travels using a K. Kringle & Elves, Inc. Sleigh, powered by 9 No. Flying Reindeer.

The Santa Load Model (SLM) has therefore been defined as follows:

  • 1 No 1.2 kN “Santa” aspect
  • 9 No. 1.3 kN “Reindeer” vehicles
  • 1 No. 115 kN “Sleigh” vehicle
  • 1 No. 700 kN “List of who is Naughty and Nice” aspect
  • 1 No. 0.1 kN/child “Sack” set

3.0 Application Geometry

A structure is considered suitable for Santa Loading if the global and local effects of the Santa Load Model (SLM) do not result in element failure.

Non-destructive testing of sites affected by Santa Loading has been undertaken as part of the ACoP. These findings recommend that the Sleigh vehicle should be modelled as 2 No. 10.5m strips 0.2m wide, positioned at 5.2m centres. Only 1 No. Sleigh vehicle should be considered on the roof at anyone time.

The Reindeer vehicles should be modelled as 16 No. point loads arranged in a 4×8 1.6m x 0.4m grid, orientated long-parallel to the Sleigh. May (1939) establishes that 4 No. additional point loads should be placed in-front of the 4×4 grid to account for the ‘Rudolph Effect‘. There is no evidence that extensive reindeer wondering occurs during Santa Loading, and therefore the position of the Reindeer vehicles can be considered fixed.

The Santa aspect should be modelled as a point load at the least favourable position along the path between Sleigh landing-area and chimney. Where the National Annex for the Country states that the list is checked twice, 50% of the List aspect should be combined with the Santa point load.

4.0 Sack Distribution

Following extensive population growth, the North Pole Distribution Network has been established to prevent onerous roof deigns. Considering the full weight of the sack is therefore considered uneconomically conservative, and reference should be made to the ‘Naughty/Nice’ density charts provided in Annex S and local letter-writing population information as provided by the Royal Mail publication: ‘Santa: Delivery List Estimates’.

The factored Sack set loading should be divided between the Sleigh and Santa positions as determined by the number of children in the household.

5.0 Dynamic Effects

Please note that the allowances for Dynamic Effects have been changed in this current revision of the ACoP, which previously relied on the “twinkle of an eye” velocity theory forwarded by the literature of the time. Contemporary accounts now provide a more precise definition of 9rp (Reindeer Power).

Recent guidance by the Greenland Zoological Research Institute relates 1rp to 0.3 g-force. It is therefore recommended that a minimum factor of 3g is applied to both Sleigh and Reindeer vehicle loadings. Support, however, should be provided to 4g to future-proof new constructions.

6.0 Verification Procedure

A structure is considered suitable for Santa Loading if the global and local effects of the Santa Load Model (SLM) do not result in element failure. Consideration should be given to the combined effect of the SLM with the Garish Decorations Model (GDM) and Unexpectedly White Christmas Model (UWCM), both of which are defined in other Being Brunel ACoP documents.

The Laws and Regulation of North Pole Philanthropic Actions (343 AD) require that all children remain asleep during execution of Santa Loading. Established industry practice, therefore, limits the deflection resulting from SLM to 1/100 of the roof span, where children may be situated in roof adjacent rooms. This empirical limit is considered suitable to prevent ‘creaking,’ and excessive deformation, which risk waking any sleeping children. If the designer is unable to meet this requirement, the risk must be recorded in the Risk Register and an Execution Waking Mitigation Strategy developed and provided to all affected stakeholders.

This ACoP was written by the Being Brunel Committee, using information provided by the Google Institute and NORAD.

Have a very Statically Determinate Christmas!

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  1. Great post Tom 🙂 I do have small suggest which renders your excellent work overly conservative… sorry.

    If you subscribe to the theory that Santa provides all good children with presents over the whole world, then the weight of those presents in one point load with flatten almost any structure… so we must deal with this by use of an extra dimensional sack [sport billy esque]. In which case, if Santa was to rely upon such gadgets, or ‘magic’ then he could easily be making use of some anti gravity field which will lessen the mass of the entire craft and himself….

    Santa is a law to himself perhaps?

  2. Ahh well- if you’re gonna rely on magic to hold stuff up you might as well just become an architect and have done with it 😛

    (n.b. some of my best friends are architects…)

  3. Lol… Good post! I take it that Santa has once again completed the trip safely and on time this year!
    No consideration for lumps of coal?

  4. I heard he only just made it; largely because of the massive retrofitting works by the ‘Save Santa’ initiative.

    We’ll stick the lumps of coal in the Factor of Safety!


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