There are many ways how to classify structural loads. In this post, we'll explore the general types one may encounter:

## Dead Loads

Dead loads are permanent forces acting on the structure. We can further subdivide dead loads as either:

- Self-weight of the building itself
- Superimposed loads like ceilings, floor, fixed furniture or equipment attached to the building itself

The value of dead loads will depend on the structural code used. One standard procedure is to get the density of the construction material and multiply it by the volume of the structural component to get its mass. Another method is to use standardized dead loads from such codes.

## Live Loads

Loads that change in position and magnitude are live loads. We can further classify these into:

- Floor live loads due to the occupancy of people in buildings
- Roof live loads due to roof maintenance work, for example
- Moving live loads due to vehicles, trains, or moving equipment

Some other live loads one may consider are moving equipment and machinery (such as elevators and cranes), helicopters, and impact forces.

Like dead loads, the calculation of these live loads will depend on the structural code used. Most references already provide values for floor and roof live loads.

When analyzing moving live loads, engineers will use a model vehicle (based on local standards) that will act as their structural load.

## Wind Loads

Wind generates loads that can affect structures. This load is evident, especially in high-rise buildings or warehouses.

The computation of wind load will vary depending on many factors, such as wind speed, profile, and topography, to name a few. The calculation of such will also depend on the structural code.