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Lateral Force from Pedestrian Movement

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Watching people climb extension ladders illustrates the amount of sidesway 
that can occur accidently.  When I design stairs, I include 10 percent of the 
gravity live load as a horizontal sidesway load.

A balcony in a college area:  Double the code specified live load, and add 
the weight of all the full kegs of beer that are consumed in one week plus 
the weight of all the bottles of whiskey that are consumed, then find the 
weight of the heaviest statue in town particularly one that is anchored down 
so it can't be stolen, compare it to the weight of the rival school's symbol, 
use the heavier weight and assume that it will be permanently on the balcony. 

Other than this, use good judgement.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Ron Martin wrote:

>>Does anyone have a good method of estimating the lateral force from the 
movement of pedestrians if they were somewhat walking or swaying in the same 

I have a client with a free-standing balcony.   They have already built it 
and now need some help.  We are assuming this large balcony could get people 
dancing or swaying at some time in the future.   We are not in a high seismic 
zone, so I was not sure what kind of loading we are looking at.  The only 
equation we have now is "college town + college kids+alcohol+ thinking you 
can sing/dance=problems".  Currently it is a food establishment, but I can 
easily see it becoming a bar in the future.<<