- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 09 Sep 2020
This article needs more work. To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
- Dead loads include the weight of the building materials themselves, and are static and permanent. The dead load value is determined by adding together the weight of all permanently installed materials.
- Live loads are imposed on the building and are temporary and dynamic, such as the weight of occupants, furniture or anything else that can be moved.
In order to resist these loads, all elements of the floor must have the requisite strength and stiffness, typically determined by the maximum allowable deflection of the floor, i.e. how much, it will 'bend' under the maximum expected load.
Allowing for higher live loads increases the flexibility of a building, but also increases the cost. For example, historically, UK office buildings have been designed and marketed with live loadings of 3.5–4.0 kN/m2, however, this may be an over-provision. 2.5 kN/m2 for floors above ground floor and 3.0 kN/m2 at, or below, ground floor over may be more appropriate, with 7.5 kN/m2 over 5% of the floor area to allow for future flexibility.
There may be particular problems in older buildings which have been adapted for modern uses, resulting in live loads that are far higher than was allowed for by the original design. For example, historic houses converted to office use where there may be very high storage or equipment loads.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Bearing capacity.
- Beam and block.
- Biaxial bending.
- Braced frame.
- Concept structural design of buildings.
- Dead loads.
- Finished floor level.
- Gross floor area GFA.
- Lateral loads.
- Limit state design.
- Live loads.
- Load-bearing wall.
- Resilient flooring.
- Structural engineer.
- Types of floor.
- Types of structural load.
- Uniformly Distributed Load.
- Wind load.
Featured articles and news
Heritage on the edge?
Prioritising tax considerations.
The four D creative process: discover, define, develop and deliver.
National Cyber Security Centre initiative is announced.
Reviewing trends and projections.
Legislation will establish initiatives to move towards net zero.
How to document contractor employment status.
Tech tools to help manage people and space post-pandemic.
A style that ranges from mock Tudor to arts and crafts to the 'Wrenaissance'.
Free guide from Secured by Design.
BREEAM strategy for sustainability and the circular economy.
Free tool to improve the construction programming process.
Are buildings doing what they're supposed to be doing?
Cities with quick access to everything by foot or bike.