Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Re: Bearing Wall Live Load Reduction

        I am not familiar with the code that Tom Hunt referenced, however, I would be a little cautious about using live load reduction for wood frame bearing walls.  What you have, as I understand it, is one floor joist bearing on one wall stud.  The fact that there are five storeys only gives you five floor joists bearing on the lowest wall stud.  That, as I see it, doesn't present a very large tributary area for live load reduction.
        Now if your bearing wall also qualifies as a shear wall that would probably be a different matter.  A shear wall probably would permit you to use a larger tributary area but I cant offer you a reference or any guidance; I haven't thought about it before.
H. Daryl Richardson
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2011 12:23 PM
Subject: Bearing Wall Live Load Reduction

We are designing a multi-family project with 5-stories of wood on top of 2-levels of concrete.  For the wood portion, we are using corridor, exterior and selected interior walls as bearing walls.  The question was raised as to whether any live load reduction is allowed for the bearing walls.  I can't find a code basis for reducing the load but have found that some engineers do take some reduction in the load both for the walls themselves and for the wall load on the concrete for the concrete design.  Does anyone have thoughts on this or a rational approach to allow a reduction?


Greg in Minnesota


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