Complete Load Path
SEISMIC LOAD PATH IN THE BUILDING
- Instructor: This is one of the most important points/figures in the course!
- To have an effective horizontal force-resisting system, there must be a continuous load path.
- To be effective, each part of the horizontal force-resisting system must be adequate and properly connected to the other parts in the system.
- Roof diaphragm must be strong enough to safely resist the seismic loads
- Connections from the roof diaphragm to the shear walls below must be strong enough to give the force to the shear wall
- Shear walls at the base of the building must be connected to the footing
- Footing must be adequate
- Load path is a chain
- It is only as strong as its weakest link.
- The figure shows a complete load path
- The roof and floor diaphragms and shear walls are links in the chain.
- The connections between the roof, walls, floors and foundation are additional links.
- These additional links serve as the connective points that complete the chain.
- The connections are just as important as the diaphragms and shear walls.
- The seismic loads imparted on a building must successfully pass through all of these elements in order to reach the ground and effectively resist an earthquake’s damaging forces.
- In other words, the load path or chain must be continuous and complete. There can be no weak links in the load path chain.