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Loads for structures

loads will differ depends on structure nature. bridge structures will be subjected to a different loading compared to a building. here I will introduce loads for building structures. in general, loads for building structures can be categorized into:

  • Dead loads: dead loads are not changing. constant in magnitude and not moving. dead loads will include the weight of structural components and any fixture fixed and attached permanently to the structure such as beams, column, slabs, wall, ceiling, plumbing, etc.                                                                                                                                        In the early stage of the structure design. the dimensions of the structure are unknown. therefore, the dead load for the structure estimated. once the dimensions of the structure are known. dead load calculated and compared to estimated dead load. in the event of large difference, the design shall be repeated. For design, the actual weights of materials shall be used.
  • Live load: the live load is not constant in magnitude and it can move. the live load includes and not limited to furniture, warehouse materials, construction load, and equipment. Table 1 taken from ASCE showing live loads for different occupancy or use.

Table 1

  • environmental loads: these are considered as live loads but they are caused by the environment where the structure is located. for building the environment loads may include snow, rain, wind, temperature change and earthquake. these loads shall be calculated or values shall be taken from specification of the country where the structure is constructed.


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