What Is an Imposed Load in Buildings?

An imposed load or a live load in buildings is a load that takes place due to the use of the building such as employee occupation, furniture or storage within the building and other weight added to the building when it is used. Other load types include wind loads, dead loads, snow loads and thermal loads.

It is difficult for builders to predict the exact weight of imposed loads because there is not a precise way to measure what will or will not be in the building when it is in use, as the use of the building may change over time. For this reason, it is recommended that builders always account for a higher imposed load than is expected.