Guides offer practical help with load provisions of ASCE 7-16

In civil engineering, design loads are defined as the maximum amount that a structure can handle. ASCE’s standard, Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures, ASCE/SEI 7-16, describes the means for determining design loads, as well as how to assess load combinations. To assist practicing engineers, ASCE has developed supporting guides that provide detailed descriptions of the wind, seismic, tsunami, snow, and rain load provisions in ASCE 7-16.

The following guides provide a comprehensive overview of the specific load provision within Standard ASCE 7-16, highlighting significant changes from the previous edition as well as providing design examples. Here are quick introductions for each loads book:

Wind Loads
With the increase in tropical stores, hurricanes, and tornadoes, wind loads are even more critical in structural engineering. ASCE 7-16 Wind Load Subcommittee member authors Coulbourne and Stafford offer insight that helps users understand and apply ASCE 7-16 wind load provisions to every project design. Some specific changes covered in ASCE 7-16 include modified wind speed maps, including new separate maps for Risk Category III and IV structures; a revised methodology to determine exposure category; new provisions for roof top solar arrays, canopies, and bins, tanks, and silos; and more.

Seismic Loads
Applying the latest thinking in seismic design of new building structures is critical for engineers, architects, and construction professionals who work on buildings and other structures in seismically active locations. ASCE 7-16 Seismic Load Subcommittee member authors Charney, Heausler, and Marshall present numerous examples for assessing conditions including identifying occupancy, importance, and seismic design categories; determining the seismic requirements; and selecting a structural system. Topics include building irregularities, structural analysis, lateral system forces, load factors, drift, and P-delta effects. Expanded examples of the use of Equivalent Lateral Force Analysis, Modal Response Spectrum Analysis, and Linear Response History Analysis and more are also included.

Tsunami Loads
Stemming largely from data acquired after the devastating tsunamis in Chile (2010) and Japan (2011), ASCE 7-16 includes new provisions for addressing tsunami loads and effects. ASCE 7-16 Tsunami Load and Effects Subcommittee member author Robertson helps engineers to understand the background and development of the new chapter and demonstrates the application of tsunami risk categories and design procedures in a numerous examples and full-length tsunami design of a prototype building.

Snow Loads
Falling / drifting snow can negatively impact a structure if not designed to accommodate the load. Long time industry luminary, ASCE 7-6 Snow Loads Subcommittee member author O’Rourke discusses flat roof loads, sloped roof loads, partial loads, and all types of conventional drift loading. New provisions in the edition are ground snow load tables for seven states; how snow density changes over a winter season; snow loads on air-supported structures; and more. He includes 35 worked examples of real-life design problems, and FAQs.

Rain Loads
Drainage issues and unintentional blockages can increase the effects of rainfall on structures. ASCE 7-16 Rain Loads Subcommittee member authors O’Rourke and Lewis discuss the changes in this edition of the standard as well as provide a detailed discussion of the rain load hazard. Practitioner will understand the determination of drainage area, head-flow relationships and the associated types of flow, simplified conservative rain load procedures and limits that yield more accurate load estimates, and ponding loads.

These load books are essential references for practicing structural engineers.

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