Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


Live loads question

Live loads question

Live loads question

I wanted to get some input on some live loads which are not specifically addressed in ASCE-7 (05)

Dorm rooms: 40 psf (Hotel-private room)+ 10 psf for good measure =50
Student lounge in a dorm building: 50 psf (same as dorm room) or should it be higher.
Conference room: Office area live load of 50 psf.
Trash collection area in a student building: 125 psf (light storage)


RE: Live loads question

Three of those sound good to me.  Not sure what a student lounge is.  Sounds like a gathering place that might require more than 40 psf.

RE: Live loads question

Student lounge is to have a TV and some furniture. Seems more or less like a large living room to me. They also have a quite lounge, which to me sounds like a reading room with no book stacks. Again, more or less a living room.

RE: Live loads question

Might want to go a bit higher for the conference room. I was in a conference room the other day during an office party and it was just about full...

RE: Live loads question

The student lounge area seems like it would fall under residential public which is 100 psf.

RE: Live loads question

I would go for public assembly in the student lounge.  What if you have a concert or there is a bad storm.  Loads will skyrocket.

RE: Live loads question


Agreed. I was thinking about this and considering that they'll have a TV there, imagine a bunch of kids watching the Superbowl or the world series jumping up and down. 100 psf seems more appropriate. The reason for my question about the lounge was that I am dealing with an existing structure which is in remodeling. I saw an original lounge on the design documents, and when I backed off the loads from the existing joists, I came to the conclusion that they used a LL of no more then 50-52 psf.

Also, while doing some research online yesterday I saw a document from USAF where they listed the lounge LL as 60 psf. Nevertheless, 100 psf seems more appropriate under the current codes.

RE: Live loads question

The 60 psf is more of a realistic load, but the Code being what it is naturally recommends 100. When you cram people together as much as possible (we did this experiment years ago in our office), you get about 70-75 psf. That is literally close to each other as possible, as in how many people can cram into an elevator cab.


RE: Live loads question

You are the engineer - it is YOUR call.!!!

RE: Live loads question

I agree with Mike that it is your call but a possible way to analyze it would be to check IBC for max occupancy loads - right now it's at 5 sf per person max (used to be 3sf), choose a weight per person figure and see where that lands you.

RE: Live loads question

In Canada, the conference room is assembly occupancy & is 4.8kPa (100psf).  Considering what might go on there as MiketheEngineer suggests, I think it's prudent.  I have tried to rationalize 100psf in a real-life setting as AELLC suggests and it's pretty hard to do.  However for new construction it's pretty easy to accomodate the higher loads, so I figure the rationalizing should be saved for existing buildings where the project is in jeopardy if retrofitting the structure gets out of hand.

RE: Live loads question

I like 80 psf for these spaces, not unlike a second floor corridor. You might then justify not adding in for partitions. Keeps it reasonable and similar in design to adjacent spaces.  

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close