Did you know that! live load for residential building as per IS:875, read more



We all are prone to all kinds of forces around us. Whichever activity that we do is somehow related to various forces acting. These forces are the self-weight of all the occupants inside a particular floor. These loads on self-weight of the occupants are termed as live load. To adequately distribute the live load in the entire building and preventing the point or concentrated load to happen in the context of human’s safety is the live load reduction.

These live load reduction for foundation design is very crucial in everyday life. It not only prevents any accidents to take place but also enhances the longevity of the building. One of the key parameters which new entrant to civil engineer line should seek for. To gain that higher access to the conceptual knowledge, live load understanding is a must.

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Coming to the topic, the live load is one of the fundamental aspects of every designing parameter of civil engineering. Wide percent in every numerical design is somehow co-related to live load and dead load.  Dead load is the permanent and static self-weight of the building comprising of slabs, beams, and columns.

To know the live loads of all kinds of buildings, IS:875 Part-II is the International Standard chart denoting the live loads of all the buildings like a hospital, residential areas, workshops, warehouse, garage, shops, etc. Below I have bought some useful information having all the vital live load stats of a building. See below.

IS:875 chart

Hospital wards and private sittings- 2KN/m2

Office floor- 2.5 to 4KN/m2

Banking hall and reading room- 3KN/m2

The floor of classroom, restaurants, power station- 4KN/m2

Warehouse, workshops for light loads – 5KN/m2

Warehouse, workshops for medium loads- 7.5KN/m2

Warehouse, workshops for heavy loads- 10 KN/m2

Garage (light)-25 KN/m2

Garage (heavy)- 40 KN/m2



Slab- 4KN/m2


Stair-case (normal)- 5KN/m2

Over- 5 KN/m2


Roof (access )- 1.5 KN/m2

Roof (not provided)- 0.75 KN/m2


Balcony-3 to 5 KN/m2

These are some of the vital stats of IS:875 Part II related to live loads. Here we are more concerned with the live load for residential building as per IS:875. To calculate this, in the above table the minimum being of hospital wards that is 2 KN/m2. So, for the residential building, it’s the fact that due to fewer occupants and objects, we could expect less number. Hence, it could range anything between 0.5 KN/m2 and goes all the way to a maximum of 2 KN/m2.

Live load and dead load cover more than half of all conceptual civil and structural engineering aspects. If you know about live load then half of your work is done. According to a live load and dead load, we design the

Building. Not only this, the live load can tell you the vital stats. Let us get into details about other loads as well.

Other types of loads

The type of loads that acts on a building can be classified as horizontal load, vertical load, and other loads. Under vertical load, we have a dead load and live that we have already discussed above. Other than that, we have impact load which means the sudden load. Such as a jump, falling object, striking object, etc. Impact load also called the sudden load is unintentional which means these loads can occur at any time.

The horizontal load consists of wind load and earthquake load.  Wind load is the type of load that occurs due to the wind blowing. Such wind or high-velocity air when strikes the near-wall can cause some force to occur. Such load is called the wind load. These loads are though not high-intense but cover an important prospect in design consideration.

Other than that, we have earthquake loads as well. Earthquake loads are the type of load which occurs due to natural calamity occurring deep inside the earth. These loads which affect the crust of the earth can affect its outer surface as well. Resulting in certain forces impacting the buildings and infrastructures. These are also sudden loads that can pose a hazardous effect on the building and large infrastructures. Therefore, it becomes immensely important to include earthquake loads into design considerations.

Talking as a whole, horizontal loads are non-voluntary that can occur at any juncture of time. You can’t pretend as if when it can take place. Horizontal loads are natural loads that have an impact on the entire building as a whole. Earthquake loads are severe and one of the major considerations without neglect.

Besides that, we have other loads as well such as fire load, explosion load, and creep load. Fire loads are the load occurring due to fire. Such loads are not major but cover a serious parameter under various loading conditions. Explosion load is the impact load that occurs due to sudden noise sound waves that strike the body of the building.

These loads are also quite severe and one of the vital parameters talking about safety. Creep load is a bit theoretical.  These loads can occur due to the expansion of building parts when subjected to heat or a temperature rise. These are a continuum in nature that result from the acceleration of molecules.

Final words

Summarizing the entire content, in brief, numerous types of other loads occur on the building. Even a combined form of the load does occur. Therefore, the importance of efficient designing increases.

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