Earthquakes are scary occurrences. Just hearing the word invokes visions of collapsing ceilings, trapped individuals, and overall chaos. As with any natural disaster, there are personal losses as well as business losses. Even the best constructed buildings can succumb to an earthquake. And while, the general perception is that earthquakes are solely the issue of California residents, statistics show that this is not true. According to Earthquake Track, there were 10 recorded earthquakes on the east coast of the United States over the past year. Earthquakes can happen in a number of places throughout the country.
It’s for this reason that the International Building Code (IBC) have been adjusted to ensure that protective measures, such as installing seismic ceiling suspension systems, are being put in place for buildings throughout the country.
Generally speaking, the IBC requires that for protection from seismic activity, buildings must be constructed with a suspension system that can resist lateral forces imposed upon it without collapsing. The IBC also requires that buildings be constructed in a manner that prevents border panels from falling during an earthquake. Beyond that, the IBC has specific building requirements for ceilings based on what seismic design category a building falls into. Seismic design categories are designations given to structures based on soil conditions, building usage, and location.
An example of some building requirements include:
Suspension systems may not be attached to the wall molding
Ends of main beams and cross tees must be tied together to prevent spreading
Light fixtures are required to have safety wires
Changes in ceiling planes must have positive bracing
Cable trays and electrical conduits must be independently supported and braced
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If you are working on a commercial project, consider a seismic ceiling suspension system from Globalnex. Our systems comply with all seismic design categories and are available in both rapid-click and rapid-hook.