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UBC Live Load Reduction

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O.K., I realize I haven’t worked with the building code for very long (tongue firmly planted in cheek), but I recently received a set of plan check comments including one that has caught me off guard.


The plan check comment is as follows: “The live load reduction shall not apply to the footing design.” I called the plan reviewer (outside consultant) to find out the section of the code which states this and he told me section 1607.4 and 1607.6. I scanned these two sections during our telephone conversation and still could not find where it said that I could not take a live load reduction for the footing design. He told me that the referenced sections stipulate live load reduction for beams and, since it does not specifically permit a live load reduction for footings, no reduction can be made. I hung up (politely) almost in shock and read the referenced sections again. I know I’m not a good reader (otherwise I would be an attorney), but the sections read (to me) “structural members”, not “beams”. I thought a footing was a “structural member”, but if not, why did he not cite columns as well?


Anyone else have an interpretation?




T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)


Consulting Structural Engineers

V (949) 248-8588

F (949) 209-2509