What is Floor Loading?

Floor loading is the load that a floor (as of a building) may be expected to carry safely if uniformly distributed. In Singapore, it is usually calculated in kilonewtons per Square meter or kN/m². It is sometimes also known as live load.

For example, if the floor loading of a warehouse or factory unit is 10 kN/m² or 10 kilonewtons per metre square, it means that every square meter of floor space is able to withstand 10 kilonewtons of load if the load is distributed in a uniform manner.

If you have heavier products or machines, higher floor loading may be required depending on the type of products or equipment. Factories or warehouses with higher specifications such as higher floor loading and incoming power supply will usually cost more in terms of construction cost due to the additional resources required.

Converting kilonewton (kN) to Kilogram-force (Kgf)

If we were to convert 1 kilonewton to kilogram-force, we would get 101.9716 Kilogram-force. Therefore 10 kilonewton will be equivalent to about 1019.716 kilogram-force.

Commercial Spaces with Higher Floor Loading

Units on the ground floor usually have a higher floor loading than the upper floors. If you require an industrial space with higher floor loading, you may consider going for ground floor units. For example, the floor loading in a ground floor unit may be 20kN/m² and 15kN/m² for the upper levels. They may also be some buildings where the floor loading of the top floor units is the same as that of the ground floor units. Floor loading may vary for different industrial buildings and can range from anywhere around 5kN/m² to 20kN/m² depending on the specifications of the building.

Why Do We Need to Know The Floor Loading

Following the floor loading guidelines is extremely important to ensure the safety of yourself, your staff and others in the building!

Depending on industry, some companies need to house machinery or heavy-duty equipment. Others intend to stack or rack up items within their unit to save space. In such instances, you may need to do some planning so as not to exceed the maximum floor loading of the building.

However, if your company is not dealing with machinery or warehousing, the average floor loading in a commercial building is most likely sufficient for your office needs; just take note of the occupant load(the total number of people that might occupy a building or space at any one time) of the office space.

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