Loading - Industrial Buildings.

Two difficulties exist in defining the appropriate loadings on industrial buildings. First, the actual weight, and particularly the details of the position and method of load application, of items of plant or equipment must be established. Even for routine or replicated plant this information is difficult to obtain in a form that suits the structural engineer.When the plant or equipment is being custom-built then the problem becomes one of timing: information from the plant designer may not be available early enough for the structural design.

The second difficulty that frequently occurs is in the choice of a general, uniformly distributed imposed loading for any remaining floor areas not occupied by items of plant or equipment. Guidance from codes of practice must be used carefully when it is applied only to circulation spaces between all the fixed items of plant which are known and whose loading has been evaluated and is considered separately as dead load. Further advice on both these problems is given previously.

The structural steelwork designer must take an open-minded approach to the loading information. It must be appreciated that early information from the plant designers will represent only estimated loadings, and an uncertainty allowance may well already be included in the values supplied, so that further allowances may be unnecessary. However, it frequently turns out that many secondary plant items are added at a later stage in the information process. The loadings  from these should be satisfactorily absorbed into an initial uniformly distributed loading allowance provided that a logical scheme for dealing with loading is established at an early stage.

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