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RE: UBC Live Load Reduction - Epilogue

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Well, I’ve lost the battle. I have gone back and designed the footings for a roof live load of 20 PSF even though there is more than 600 SF tributary to the column and footing. Seems ridiculous, but I need to get this job off my desk. Back when I was younger (and needed to be right more often), I would have spent a lot more time arguing this point.


It’s amazing that both the outside plan checker and the building official look at this differently than I and apparently, different from those who responded to this comment on this list. The building official wasn’t just backing up the plan checker; it’s the way he’s always done it. His workaround is that he considers a footing an “element” and not a structural member such as a beam or column. Talk about semantics. Sheesh!


Scott – I even tried pulling out the IBC language (1607.9.2) in my defense, but the building officials’ response was “My boss has told me to ignore the IBC until it becomes the legal code”. Even so, there’s a problem with the lBC in that the definition doesn’t carry over to roof live loads. Hmmm…. Maybe it’s time to work on that since the 2006 IBC is in it’s last round of comments.


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


Consulting Structural Engineers

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