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The loads are broadly classified as vertical loads, horizontal loads and longitudinal loads. The vertical loads consist of dead load, live load and impact load. The horizontal loads comprises of wind load and earthquake load. The longitudinal loads i.e. tractive and braking forces are considered in special case of design of bridges, gantry girders etc.

1. Dead load:

Dead loads are permanent or stationary loads which are transferred to structure throughout the life span. Dead load is primarily due to self weight of structural members, permanent partition walls, fixed permanent equipments and weight of different materials.

2. Imposed loads or live loads:

Live loads are either movable or moving loads with out any acceleration or impact. There are assumed to be produced by the intended use or occupancy of the building including weights of movable partitions or furniture etc. The floor slabs have to be designed to carry either uniformly distributed loads or concentrated loads whichever produce greater stresses in the part under consideration. Since it is unlikely that any one particular time all floors will not be simultaneously carrying maximum loading, the code permits some reduction in imposed loads in designing columns, load bearing walls, piers supports and foundations.

3. Impact loads:

Impact load is caused by vibration or impact or acceleration. Thus, impact load is equal to imposed load incremented by some percentage called impact factor or impact allowance depending upon the intensity of impact.

4. Wind loads:

Wind load is primarily horizontal load caused by the movement of air relative to earth. Wind load is required to be considered in design especially when the heath of the building exceeds two times the dimensions transverse to the exposed wind surface.

For low rise building say up to four to five storeys, the wind load is not critical because the moment of resistance provided by the continuity of floor system to column connection and walls provided between columns are sufficient to accommodate the effect of these forces.  Further in limit state method the factor for design load is reduced to 1.2 (DL+LL+WL) when wind is considered as against the factor of 1.5(DL+LL) when wind is not considered. IS 1893 (part 3) code book is to be used for design purpose.

5. Earthquake load:

Horizontal Earthquake Forces 1

Earthquake loads are horizontal loads caused by the earthquake and shall be computed in accordance with IS 1893. For monolithic reinforced concrete structures located in the seismic zone 2, and 3 without more than 5 storey high and importance factor less than 1, the seismic forces are not critical.

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