Wind and seismic forces applied to buildings
In addition to gravity loads (dead and live loads), buildings are designed to resist lateral loads, predominantly in the form of wind, seismic (earthquake), and lateral soil pressures. Buildings are designed to respond to lateral loads that are exerted on them, by generating resistance. The internal member forces, which are generated by the applied loads, must resolve through an explicit load path to the building’s foundation and ultimately to the earth. A building’s lateral structural system is speci‡cally designed to meet the requirements of minimum design loads as prescribed by the governing building code. The purpose of building codes is to provide standardized guidelines, which are aimed
to protect public health, provide safety and general welfare as they relate to the construction, and occupancy of buildings and structures. For this reason, the International Code Council, which produces the International Building Code, adopts the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 7 standard: Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. This design reference standard provides the minimum permitted design loads and load combinations for both strength design (load resistance factor design) and allowable stress design (ASD).