Chapter Two

Building Structures

The principal function of the building structure is to transfer all the loads on it to ground. The loads on the building can usually be split up into gravity loads, which act vertically, and lateral loads, which act in any horizontal direction. All matter on earth is subject to the acceleration of gravity and therefore possesses weight, which acts vertically downwards. As well as these gravity forces, building structures can also be subject to the accelerations due to earthquakes which act principally in horizontal directions and therefore cause horizontal inertial forces on the building. Another horizontal force is that due to wind. The building structure must have sufficient strength to resist these loads and, ...

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