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Structural Loads – What They Are

Whether you have heard of structural loads or not, they are an essential part of any building design and will be an important factor for you to consider when shopping around for steel buildings. When you consider that building codes are put in place to ensure that safety requirements are met and that the structure is sound, it becomes clear that the loads placed on a structure would need to be properly calculated.

In short, a structural load is the force applied to a structure that results in stress being placed on the structure. It is important that the structural force of a building is properly calculated to provide a solution that is safe to everyone using it and that can take the additional pressure of the items that are then stored in the structure. It is also important to understand the different types of loads and how they can impact the structure so that you are fully prepared for creating your new metal building.

How Structural Loads are Classified

All types of metal buildings will be affected by structural loads, and depending on where the building is located and the range of other factors that have to be accounted for, you will find that they are broken down into different categories of load. We've shared the five main ones below:

  • Dead Loads – a Dead Load is also known as a static load or a permanent load and is categorized as such because they take into account all the weight of the steel buildings in question.
  • Live Loads – a Live or Imposed Load is used to explain any temporary or transitory force that has an impact on the structure. These loads include humans, machines, cars, other vehicles, and furniture.
  • Environmental Loads – an Environmental Load refers to the impact of any environmental factors on the building that creates additional force. Some simple environmental factors would include weather such as snow or wind or natural disasters such as earthquakes or tornadoes.
  • Miscellaneous Loads – a Miscellaneous Load is any load that is not explained by Dead Loads, Live Loads, or Environmental Loads. These can include events such as fires or explosions, or even vibration.
  • Load Combinations – interestingly, it is important to remember that steel buildings can endure more than one load at a time, putting extra stress and strain on them. This can include a Dead Load that is then added to by snow, causing an Environmental Load to join it.

When designing metal buildings, it is vital that the loads are properly calculated, and load combinations are considered so that the building is completely safe and passes any building code requirements. The person or team that works with you to design your new metal building will help you to avoid any overloads on your structure by leaving clear margins for any unexpected loads.

The Factors That Influence Load Response

Regardless of whether it is metal carports, metal garages, or metal building kits that you are interested in, you will need to spend some time considering the different factors that have an influence on load response.

There are a number of factors that, when properly considered, will help you to create safeguards to protect your new building against the force of any load. Take a look at some of the main factors that you will need to think about:

  • Load Distribution – the very first consideration needs to be whether the load distribution is uniform and how to reduce the risk if it is not. During this process, you will need to think about the depth and duration of the load to get the most accurate idea of what the outcome will be.
  • E-Value – the next consideration must be the E-value of the building or the modulus of elasticity of each separate element. This gives you the ratio of the load so that you can understand the potential deformation. Understanding the E-value is simple – the higher it is, the stiffer the material is.
  • The Fb Value – next on your list needs to be the calculation of the Fb level for all the materials that will be used in the build. With this calculation, the higher the Fb value of each steel girder and beam, the more resistance it offers when it comes to buckling or bending.
  • Strength & Deflection – the final calculations that need to be made will help you to understand the strength and deflection of the building. Deflection is only calculated using Live Loads – helping you to understand the stiffness of the material and the risk it poses to the integrity of the structure. The calculations for strength make use of both Dead and Live Loads to ensure the integrity of the structure is sound and will give you a clear picture of how strong your new building will be.

Stop the Calculations and Get a Safe and Secure Metal Building

Rather than spending your time worrying about calculations and whether or not you got them right, why not trust the design of your building to Global Carport. We not only test and prepare every metal building, but we offer a range of building options, including metal carports, metal building kits, and metal garages, as well as much more! We are the leading dealer for metal buildings in the United States and have a team of people that have over thirty years of industry experience.

Our team is dedicated to customer satisfaction and will work with you to provide you with high quality and safe metal structure that will last for many years to come. All you need to do is work out what you want and then let us know so that we can get to work! If you want on-time delivery, top-of-the-range metal buildings, and a 20-year warranty that you can depend on, then you are in the right place! Call our team today at (800) 918-7432 to arrange an initial quote and discuss your options.