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Re: partition load

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Yes, the IBC commentary does state that "the weights of all partitions
are to be considered as dead loads", but it is a mystery what is meant
by this. For example, partition loads are found in the live load section
of the code, and section 1607.5 says "Such partition load shall not be
less than a uniformly distributed live load of ..."  Obviously
partitions receive the 1.6 load factor used for live loads.

The only place that I see that partitions are considered as dead loads
is in 1617.4.1 which specifies that partitions are to be included in the
effective seismic weight of the structure. If this is what the
commentary in 1607.5 was referring to, it could have been said a whole
lot simpler and clearer than "partitions are to be considered as dead

The justification that I see in the IBC for not subjecting the partition
load to live load reduction is found in the live load reduction section
1607.9 which says that "the live loads in Table 1607.1 are permitted to
be reduced".  Since the partition allowance is not found in Table
1607.1, this sentence would exclude it from live load reduction. In my
opinion, the code missed another chance for clarity by not simply saying
whether or not partition live loads are subject to live load reduction.

Rick Burch
Columbia, SC

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