Load Tests of Building Structures

by Richard Bares, Inst. of Theoretical and Applied Mech., Czechoslovak Academy of Sci., Prague, Czechoslovakia,
Neal FitzSimons, Engrg. Counsel; Kensington, Md.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 5, Pg. 1111-1123

Document Type: Journal Paper


European practice in load testing buildings is a valuable guide for American structural engineers. Although load tests often are used as legal measures, they can provide valuable insight into structural behavior if this aspect is properly considered. Procedures outlined are for a test project and include a preliminary structural analysis and detailed planning. Consideration of variations in properties of materials is important, as is the static or dynamic characteristics of the service loads. Magnitude, distribution, and duration of test loads are essential factors examined. The actual execution of the test involves three major aspects: (1) Recording of accurate and significant data; (2)safety of personnel and protection of structure; and (3)economy. Even a perfectly executed test needs proper analysis and application of results before it can be considered successful. Some criteria for evaluating test results are given.

Subject Headings: Load tests | Material properties | Load factors | Service loads | Load distribution | Legal affairs | Dynamic properties | Load duration

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