Structures are designed to withstand various types of loads. The various types of loads expected on a structure are as follows:
- Dead loads
- Live loads or imposed loads
- Wind loads
- Snow loads
- Earthquake loads.
Dead loads are due to self-weight of the structure. These are the permanent loads which are always present. Dead load depends upon the unit weight of the material. Dead load includes, the self-weight of walls, floors beams, columns etc., and also the permanent fixtures present in the structure. The unit weights of commonly used building materials are given in the code IS 875 (part-I) 1987. The unit weights of important building materials are given in Table 1.4.
Live loads on floors and roofs consists of all the loads which are temporarily placed on the structure, For example, loads of people, furniture, machines etc. These loads keep on changing from time to time. They are also called as imposed loads. Various types of imposed loads coming on the structure are given in IS 875 (Part-2): 1987. The imposed loads depend upon the use of building. Some of the important values of live loads are given in Table 1.5.
The force exerted by the horizontal component of wind is to be considered in the design of buildings. It depends upon the velocity of wind, shape and size of the building. The method of calculating wind load on structure is given in IS: 875 (Part-3) 1987.
The buildings which are located in the regions where snowfall is very common, are to be designed for snow load. The code IS: 875 (Part-4) 1987 deals with snow load on roofs of the building.
Earthquake loads depend upon the place where the building is located. As per IS: 1893-2002 (Part-I) (General Provisions for Buildings), India is divided into four seismic zones. The code gives recommendations for earthquake resistant design of structures. Now, it is mandatory to follow these recommendations for design of structures.
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