Live Load

What is Live Load

Definition of Live Load in Construction

The live load on a structure is any loading that is not always consistently exerted on the structure. For example the occupants of a structure are considered live load, the books and book shelves within a library or the file banks within an office building are all considered live loads because of their inconsistencies of weight as well as placement within the structure. The Structural Engineer must be aware of the intended use of the structure to anticipate the live loads that will be exerted on the structure. In many cases, such as in specialized industrial sites, the live loads are indicated by the manufacturers of the equipment that are anticipated to be placed on the floors of the structure. Weather is also considered when establishing the live loads exerted on a structure. Care must be taken, that the proper determination of drifting snow and water accumulation are considered when designing the structure. Wind loading is another live load that will place a lateral force on the structure, as will earthquake occurrences, hurricane probability, etc. The live load together with the dead load will be engineered and considered when designing the structural components, on any construction project.