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Re: Church Pews

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I actually weighed a heavy oak chair myself (15+ kg) and calculated a UDL of
about 10 psf (on 2 ft sq) for pews + a bit for comfort.  That gave me a
total dead load of 1.5+ kPa for the dead load.  We then used 2.4 kPa for the
live load.  Your comment on the possible change of ownership is valid but I
would opine that the new occupant is obliged to check that the new occupancy
can be handled by the structure.  We can't allow for everything and I think
our mandate is to provide current capacity requirements.  So we decided to
not go with 100psf.

Thor Tandy  P.Eng  MCSCE
Victoria BC
-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Meyer <PMeyer(--nospam--at)>
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)' <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Date: Monday, March 22, 1999 7:57 AM
Subject: RE: Church Pews

Just a thought...churches are generally pretty long-lived buildings, and
have been known to change denominations, owners and even uses (I helped
change one to a rock-climbing training facility...)

IMHO you could use a live load of 4.8 kPa (100 psf) and leave the pews out
of it, rather than estimate the weight of the pews and use only 2.4 kPa (50
psf) as the live load for an assembly area with "fixed seating."  Pew weight
will be less than 2.4 kPa anyway, so you will be a bit on the conservative
side, which isn't such a bad thing.

Paul Meyer

> -----Original Message-----
> From: vicpeng [SMTP:vicpeng(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Friday, March 19, 1999 05:09 pm
> Subject:
> Been lurking but enjoying.
> Does anyone know of a reasonable range of dead loads for fixed church pews
> or main seating typical inside a new church?
> Thanks.
> Thor Tandy P.Eng MCSCE