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RE: Fixed File Cabinet - Dead Load or Live Load?

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Scott,

I appreciate your well considered response. However, I will point out that ASCE-7 specifically states that built-in partitions, incorporated architectural and structural items and fixed service equipment are part of the dead load. It goes on the state that stacks, risers, HVAC equipment, cranes and electrical feeders are part of the fixed service equipment.

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2002 8:50 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Fixed File Cabinet - Dead Load or Live Load?


Eric,

The idea behind dead load versus live load is that a dead load is
essentially a permenent load relative to the life of the structure while
a live load could change sometime over the life of the structure.  This
essentially means that ANY thing that usually is considered a building
content would typically be considered a live load.  

In fact, some people might argue that things like mechanical piping,
ceiling tile, etc. should even be considered a live load.  This reason
that these items are typically considered dead load is that 1) the
mechinical or ceiling dead load is typically an "allowance" load that is
based upon what initially will be in the building and 2) even though the
ceiling type or mechinical pipe size/location might change, the use of
building would essentially always dictact that there would be SOME sort of
ceiling system and mechanical system.

On the otherhand, a file cabinet, even if fasten to the floor, could
always be eliminated or moved during a refurshment of the office space.
It could be that the particular office space in question could be gutted
and turned into high density storage (which would mean a much higher live
load would be required) or turned into the CEO's office with only a nice
wood desk and a comfortable couch in the space (which would mean a lighter
live load would likely be present).

The end result is that if the load in question is not likely to be present
in the same location with the same intensity for the life of the
structure, it should be considered a live load.

As a side note, many times the partitions (i.e. walls) are typically
considered part of the live load.  This is again largely due to the fact
that if the building space changes use and/or is remodeled, then MOST
walls can change in location.  Thus, when I design an office space, the
partitions (except masonry typically) are considered a live load and a
"partition" allowance is included in the live load.  In fact, this is
typically require by code rather than considering the partitions as dead
load.  For example, the 1996 BOCA contains the provisions for partitions
under the live load section of the structural chapter.

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Tue, 23 Jul 2002, Eric Green wrote:

> A client wants to install a rolling file deck in an area designed for 50 psf live load. The file deck, which will be fixed to the floor, covers a 13x17 foot area and weighs 34 psf for the file system and 122 psf (max capacity) for the contents (files). How would you treat this under ASCE 7? Is it all live load? Could the file cabinet be considered fixed equipment and called dead load? Could it all be considered fixed equipment and hence be considered dead load?
> 
> Using a crane as an analogy, the crane is dead load but the weight the crane lifts is live load. Is this a reasonable approach?
> 
> Eric Green
> -speaking and asking for myself, not my employer
> 
> 
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