Author: The Institution of Structural Engineers
1 March 2012
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The Institution of Structural Engineers
(This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)
Notional loading (equivalent horizontal forces) are loads resulting from inaccuracies and imperfections introduced into the structure during its construction. This note explains how notional lateral loads are incorporated into the design process. Updated October 2016.
Moment distribution is a method by which statically indeterminate structures are analysed elastically. It’s based on the relative stiffness of elements, and shifts bending moments from one section of the structure to another until they become balanced. Once this balance has been achieved, forces and bending moments are modelled. Updated in October 2016.
Imposed loads (quasi-permanent variable actions) are defined as loads that are applied to the structure. Updated October 2016.