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The pictures below are screen shots of what appears to be a barn in the Ukraine. One is a top down aerial view and the other a ground up, side view.

What intrigues me is the purpose of the apparent "external beams" placed horizontally along the steep part of the roof. They appear to have a triangular cross section. Also, they are mounted at differing elevations. I'm guessing they have something to do with snow on the roof during winter. Does anyone know why these horizontal "external beams" are placed where they are?

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ snow fencing? Breaks up sheets of snow and ice as the slide down. Pure speculation though $\endgroup$
    – Forward Ed
    Apr 24, 2022 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ @ForwardEd: You might be right. Because of you comment I did a web search & this picture is similar to the one in my question. Did you want to post your comment as an answer? $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Apr 24, 2022 at 17:19

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In colder climates where you can expect snow and potentially freezing rain, you can get a build up of or snow or worse sheets of ice. At some point the snow or ice sheet may release it bond with the roof and begin to slide. A micro avalanche if you wish. Smooth roofs and/or those with high slopes are more prone to this effect.

In order to protect pedestrians in areas below the edge of the roof, it is common to put up snow guards. They appear to me to be primarily designed to break up sheets so they do not land in one solid piece on the ground but instead many smaller pieces. The staggering of the horizontal pieces could be an architectural feature or a practical one to help snow build up pass around the sides through resulting gaps.

Personally I would not expect the need for it on such a steep roof line for snow, but freezing rain will build up even on vertical surfaces. When the freezing rain debonds from the metal roof, these guards will help break up the sheet.

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These are corrugated steel or galvanized roofing sheet metal, painted or treated with coatings. They are easy to install and provide waterproofing by overlapping down the slope and overlapping on the sides by one rib.

The hexagonal ribs give the panel some rigidity and the parallel pattern makes the roof look better than plain sheet metal.

Because of the ribs they can support the roof loads over a certain span. In many warehouses, they can be seen from the inside if they are not covered by thermal insulation.

Edit

My apologies, I forgot to address the main part of the question.

The horizontal beams are there to stop heavy snow blanckets with possible dangerous layers of ice underneath to slide down the roof and fall down in a sudden load and dangerous crash.

In some cold climates there are even heaters under the eaves that melt this layer of ice in a controlled manner.

End of edit.

Here is a sample sold by the Home Depot.

corrogated

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    $\begingroup$ It is not the roofing sheets that the OP is asking about, but the angled beams some 3/4 don the side, all at slightly different heights. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 24, 2022 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for answering, but as @SolarMike states in his comment, you've misread my question. I was asking about the horizontal "beams" on top of the sheets of roofing iron. ForwardEd, in another comment thought they might be segments of a snow fence. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Apr 24, 2022 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ my apologies, i edited my answer to addres the horizontal beams. $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Apr 24, 2022 at 17:51
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Those horizontal pieces are not structural beams but panel stoppers required to hold the roof pop-ups formed by metal panels at different elevations for the benefit of architectural effects (3D view vs plain look).

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