SBCA Load Guide

Guide to Good Practice For Specifying & Applying
Loads to Structural Building Components

The design of structural building components requires a clear understanding of design loads and their application on the structure. It is essential that this information be provided by the building designer, while also essential that all applied loads are easily understood by everyone involved in creating the building design and developing the structural framework resistance. To assist its members, SBCA (in cooperation with the Truss Plate Institute) created a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program called the SBCA Load Guide that is essentially a comprehensive applied loads calculator that references ASCE 7 and the building code. The workbook contains spreadsheets that accept user input in order to calculate live, dead, snow and wind loads.

The Load Guide was created for use by building designers (architects and engineers), building code officials, component manufacturers, truss designer engineers and truss technicians, with the goal of helping users more easily understand, define and specify all the loads that should be applied to the design of each structural building component. It’s important to note this is a guide, or calculator, and is not intended to replace engineering analysis nor engineering judgment.

The Load Guide provides summary sheets for roof truss and floor truss live and environmental load calculations based on the various ASCE 7 input parameters. It also provides a handy dead load calculator for materials commonly used in light frame construction. These summary sheets are linked to commentary pages which include code commentary and referenced interpretations, examples and discussion regarding application of loads.

In spring of 2016, SBCA updated The Load Guide to the 2015 International Building Code (IBC), the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC), 2015 NDS and the 2014 TPI 1. Commentary shows the provisions of ASCE 7-10 and how the changes to ASCE 7-10 have evolved from ASCE 7-05.  Older codes and their references were removed to stay current within the three most current code cycles (2009, 2012 and 2015).

Contact SBCA staff if you have any questions on the content or use of the SBCA Load Guide.

How to Get The Load Guide

The SBCA Load Guide is available to anyone at no cost. The only requirement is that you must enter a valid email address so we can contact you with any future revisions. Click the "Download the SBCA Load Guide" link to login using your existing SBCA account or create a new one.

Download the SBCA Load Guide 

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