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RE: Church Pews on a Wood Framed Balcony

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I've had a somewhat similar issue with a grand piano on a residential wood framed floor.  You may want to consider a 12" o.c. joist spacing along with the use of 1 1/8" APA rated sheathing.  Some guidance can be found in the APA's Residential & Commercial Design / Construction Guide.  For specific technical help you could try Hope this helps.

Albert J. Meyer, Jr., P.E.
Martin Engineering
(215) 665-8570 Tel
(215) 561-5064 Fax

-----Original Message-----
From: Jenkins Engineering, Inc. [mailto:jei(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 11:28 AM
To: seaint
Subject: Church Pews on a Wood Framed Balcony

I need some words of wisdom....
I've got an architectural church project that contains a wood framed balcony system - plywood deck on 2x framing at 16"OC. 
The question is....
What is typically done to resist the concentrating effects of the pew legs?  If they used individual chairs, the load would not accumulate and typical wood framing would be adequate to resist the applied loads.  With pews with legs at 6'-0 OC +/- with 200# people at 18"OC, the interior legs could easily have 1000 pounds or more.  I'm not excited about putting that much load on a 3/4" plywood deck.  Even if blocking resolved the plywood issue, the 13'-6 span on the floor joists supporting multiple pews creates a "beam" problem.  I'd hate for the Spirit to move them and the floor and pews drop them.
At this point, I'm considering a multi-member beam at each leg.  The concern is, if the Church moves the pews or the contractor does not align the beam with the leg, the work is in vain.
Thanks in advance!
Bobby Jenkins, PE
Jenkins Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 2101
218 S Thomas St  Suite 209
Tupelo, MS  38803
(662) 840.1233 vocal
(662) 840.1103 fax