Code-prescribed partition loading is included in the design of floors for office buildings and other types of public use occupancies where interior partitions or cubicle dividers are present and their locations are subject to change. Partition load is typically 15 pounds per square foot live load, applied concurrently with the code-prescribed occupancy area live load along the entire span length. It is important to note that partition load is not intended for residential structures where partition walls are permanent. These walls are considered additional dead load and should be accounted for in design.
For residential structures, the dead load weight of non-load bearing partition walls are commonly ignored by floor system designers; however, this oversight can have negative consequences on the floor system design. The best practice is to include interior non-load bearing partitions in any modelling or analysis of a floor system.
Boise Cascade EWP Engineering has created a Technical Note which provides additional guidance.
Click the link below to access this technical note:
Design Load Considerations for Non-Load Bearing Partition Walls in Residential Construction