Load Templates Walk-through

Modified on Fri, 12 Mar 2021 at 12:31 PM

Load Templates Walk-through

Summary: Have you ever wondered what dictates the default magnitudes used when adding new loads to a Design Module? This walk-through will demonstrate how to customize the default magnitudes.

  • Navigate to the the Loads tab in User Info -> Settings -> Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Select the Floor, Roof, Footing, or Wall tab within the Loads tab depending on which category of Design Module you would like to set default magnitudes for
  • Edit an existing default magnitude by selecting an entry from the grid and then clicking the 'Pencil' icon
  • Add a new default magnitude by clicking the 'Plus' icon
  • Delete an existing default magnitude by selecting an entry from the grid and then clicking the 'Minus' icon
  • Click the 'Save' button to save your changes

If you prefer video walk-throughs, feel free to skip over to our YouTube channel; otherwise, continue reading for an in depth walk-through:


Customizing default load magnitudes can be a serious time saver. Every time you add a new load to a Design Module, or even when you use certain calculators, Vitruvius will automatically fill in the load's magnitude based on the default magnitudes found in the 'Load' tab of the application settings. In order to better illustrate the power of setting default load magnitudes, let's outline a few example scenarios:

  1. We would like the default magnitude used when adding a new uniform load to differ for a floor beam vs. a roof beam vs. a column
  2. We would like to use a general default magnitude for most roof rain loads, but would prefer point loads to have a slightly different value
  3. We would like to change the default dead load for floor members, but only for trapezoidal loads

Countless configurations, including the few listed above, may be achieved by editing the default load magnitudes.


Let's get started by demonstrating how one would go about configuring the second scenario described above. Essentially, we will be adding a general rain load default magnitude for roof members. Then, in order to use a different value for point loads, we will add another rain load default magnitude for roof members specifically for point loads. 

First, click the dropdown arrow in the upper right hand corner of the application, and select the Settings option.

In the Settings window, navigate to the 'Loads' tab. 

Before moving on, lets go over a few things located within the 'Loads' tab: 

  1. Notice the 'Floor', 'Roof', 'Footing', and 'Wall' tabs. Each of these four categories has its own grid of default magnitudes. Therefore, it is possible for floor beam dead loads to have a different default magnitude than roof beam dead loads.
  2. The 'Load' column of the grid indicates whether the load is live, dead, rain, ice, etc.
  3. The 'Load Type' column of the grid indicates which type of load the default magnitude pertains to. In this case, each row lists the load type as 'All'. In the first row, for example, this means that all floor members will have a default magnitude of 50 for all live loads, regardless of load type. However, the load type could also be set to 'Uniform', 'Point', etc.
  4. The 'Magnitude' column of the grid indicates the default magnitude to use when the other criteria are met (i.e. member type, load, and load type).
  5. The 'Pencil' button allows you to edit whichever entry is currently selected in the grid. The 'Plus' icon allows you to create a new entry in the grid. The 'Minus' button will delete whichever entry in the grid is currently selected.

Next, let's switch to the 'Roof' tab as we would like to add rain load default magnitudes for roof members.

As you can see, by default the Roof tab does not include an entry in the grid for rain loads. Let's add a new entry for rain loads by clicking the 'Plus' button.

Since we are adding an entry for rain loads, we have selected the 'Rain' item from the 'Load' dropdown. We can leave the 'Load Type' as 'All' for this entry as we would like to first provide a general rule for roof rain load magnitudes. We will also leave the default of 40 as the magnitude for this example. Click the 'Save' button to add the new entry to the grid.

An entry for rain loads has now been added to the bottom of the grid. If we left things as they are now, then 40 would be used for the magnitude regardless of load type when adding rain loads to roof members. Since our goal is to use a different magnitude specifically for 'Point' loads, let's once again click the 'Plus' button in order to add another entry to the grid.

We will once again select 'Rain' from the 'Load' dropdown. This time, however, we will change 'Load Type' to 'Point' so that this entry will apply specifically to point loads. We will also change 'Magnitude' to 30 rather than 40. After clicking the 'Save' button, the entry will be added to the grid.

Another entry for rain loads has now been added to the bottom of the grid. Click the 'Save' button to save the changes and close the settings window. Let's test out our updates.

First, let's click the 'Add Uniform Load' button when a roof beam is the current Design Module. Then, change the 'Type' dropdown to 'Rain'. Notice that the magnitude has changed to 40 to match the default magnitude we configured earlier.

Next, let's click the 'Add Point Load' button for the same roof beam. Once again, change the 'Type' dropdown to 'Rain'. Notice that the magnitude has changed to 30 to match the default magnitude we specifically configured for rain point loads for roof members.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our customer service at support@thevitruviusproject.com

Thanks for reading!

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