What is Dead Load?
Definition of Dead Load in Construction
Structures are designed to withstand forces that are placed on the structure, whether it is a bridge or a building, by the actual weight of the building materials required to accommodate the construction of the project. Items such as concrete, steel, partitions, flooring, ceilings, mechanical and electrical systems all place a gravity weight load on the entire structure. This load is called the dead load. Engineers will design the structure to withstand all the forces of the dead loads that are placed on the structural members. In addition to this type of loading will be added the live load of the structure. This is the accommodation for the occupants, the furniture, the free standing equipment, the bookshelves within a library or the files banks that are placed on the floors within large office structures. The live load is a variable which is dependent on the use of the structure. In addition to these types of loads, weather conditions such as wind, snow, ice and water accumulation are also live loads that are calculated into the design of the structural integrity of the project.