You are on page 1of 6

Technical Document

Seismic Technical Guide
Seismic Expansion Joints

Seismic expansion joints are prescribed for seismic design categories D, E and F by the International Building Code (IBC) through reference to ASCE/SEI 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, American Society of Civil Engineers/Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE/SEI). The requirement, found in section 13.5.6.2.2.d, states for ceiling areas exceeding 2,500 sq. ft. (232m2), a seismic separation joint or full height partition that breaks the ceiling up into areas not exceeding 2,500 sq. ft. shall be provided unless structural analyses are performed. The requirement is clear, however the actual construction and placement of the seismic expansion joint is left for interpretation. USG® has a long history of product development and innovation for suspended ceiling systems in seismic applications and continues to commit significant resources to this endeavor. We have thoroughly examined this expansion joint requirement and conducted full-scale seismic shake-table tests of our Donn DH4 4-way seismic expansion joint clip at the University of California Berkeley, Pacific Earthquake Engineering and Research Center (PEER). The findings of this study and our recommendations are presented in this technical guide to assist in the interpretation of this important requirement. There are many factors that affect the arrangement of seismic expansion joints and USG recommends that the design team, consulting engineers and code officials work together to analyze these factors and determine the appropriate construction and application of seismic expansion joints.

Guidelines

– Seismic expansion joints can be installed in any combination of main tees or cross tees. – Seismic expansion joints may be constructed at a main tee/cross tee intersection to conceal the expansion joint from below. – Suspension system tees may be broken to construct a seismic expansion joint provided a device is used to secure the tees together that allows movement or supplementary hanger wires should be installed. - Care should be taken to avoid the construction of a seismic expansion joint on a suspension system tee that directly supports a light fixture or diffuser. – A device may be inserted onto a suspension system tee to conceal a seismic expansion joint from below provided the device allows sufficient movement of the joint. – Lateral force bracing should not be attached directly to seismic expansion joints. – The requirements for seismic expansion joints are meant for the suspension system alone and ceiling panels should not be installed differently. – Where several expansion joints occur in a large suspended ceiling, the border of the joint in the field of the suspended ceiling should not be treated as a perimeter. – A braced partition or kicker may be constructed to minimize or eliminate seismic expansion joints. – Seismic expansion joints should be installed such that the area less than 2,500 sq. ft. (232m2) has a ratio of the long to short dimension less than or equal to 4. – A structural engineer should be consulted for very large suspended ceilings where multiple expansion joints are necessary to break the ceiling into areas less than 2,500 sq. ft. (232m2).

Components from other manufacturers were not evaluated. cross tee main tee cut cross tee clips if cross tees used and end detail is inserted into main tee Adjacent Expansion Joint For additional clearance 11/2" DXW may be used.Construction USG offers a clip developed and designed to provide the most robust hold in the most stringent seismic design categories. tee-face sleeve Adjacent Expansion Joints Sample layout Seismic Expansion Joint on pages 4 and Lateral Force Bracing 5. Adjacent Expansion Joint Symbol: 4-way seismic expansion joint clip one side of splice cap crimped to allow movement only on opposite end 1" gap between field cut main tee tee-face sleeve main tee tee-face sleeve 4-way seismic expansion joint clip one side of splice cap crimped to allow movement only on opposite end 1" gap between field cut main tee main tee or cross tee fastener fastener cross tee cross tee tee-face sleeve Note: The performance of Donn seismic systems is based on the specific combination of superior components and design and installation methods shown. Symbol: Seismic Expansion Joint Lateral Force Bracing fasteners cross tee 4-way seismic expansion joint clip one side of splice cap crimped to allow movement only on opposite end 1" gap between field cut main tee main tee tee-face sleeve field cut main tee cross tee 4-way seismic expansion joint clip fastener main tee Adjacent Expansion Joint one side of splice cap crimped to allow movement only on opposite end 1" min. Note: Please see Donn DH4 4-way seismic expansion joint clip submittal sheet (AC3271) for more information. and their use or any mixed use is not recommended. typ. Alternative Sample layout on pages 4 and 5. Application Seismic Expansion Joint Sample layout on pages 4 and 5. Symbol: Seismic Expansion Joint Lateral Force Bracing 4-way seismic expansion joint clip 4-way seismic expansion joint clip fasteners fasteners cross tee main tee 3/4" typ. 2 .

Symbol: Lateral Force Bracing Adjacent Expansion Joint vertical hanger spring clip structure wire adjacent inserts in to post hole in post vertical hanger spring clip structure wire adjacent inserts in to post hole in post splay wire secured to structure 45˚ or less 45˚ or less splay 45˚ or less wire secured to structure 45˚ or less 45˚ or less 45˚ or less cross tee cross tee main tee main tee 45˚ or less 45˚ or less install within 2" of cross tee intersection install within 2" of cross tee a fastener or splay wires intersection maybe inserted into the tab of the post and a fastener through a convenience or splay wires maybe insertedin thethe tee bulb hole into main tab of the post and through a convenience hole in the main tee bulb 2" max. 2" max. 3 . Other restrictions and exemptions may apply. These layouts should be used as a reference only. There are many factors that determine the orientation of a suspended ceiling and location of seismic expansion joints on a project. Layouts The suspended ceiling layouts are provided as a guide to illustrate potential locations of seismic expansion joints. 2" max. The specific application and location of seismic expansion joints should be verified by a design professional before installation. 2" max.Lateral Force Bracing Sample layout on pages 4 andSeismic Expansion Joint 5.

on center in both directions with the first location within 6ft.12' x 12' Pod 12' x 12' Pod 12' x 12' Pod Main Tee Cross 12' Pod all cross tees shown) 12' x Tee (not Primeter Wall 12' x 12' Pod Seismic Expansion Joint Main Tee Lateral Force Bracing tees shown) Cross Tee (not all cross Adjacent Expansion Joint Primeter Wall Seismic Expansion Joint Lateral Force Bracing 29' Adjacent Expansion Joint 28' 48'146' 32' 28' 12' x 12' Pod Main Tee Cross Tee (not all cross tees shown) Primeter Wall Seismic Expansion Joint Lateral Force Bracing Adjacent Expansion Joint 146' 48' 29' 50' 146' 48' 48' 50' 48' 77' 48' 146' 146' 50' 146' 50' 69' 48' 48' 1' 1' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 1' 12' Note: Lateral force bracing shall be placed 12 ft. 1' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 1' 4 . of each wall. as illustrated. To avoid installing lateral force bracing on an expansion joint the first location may be installed at a point closer to the wall within 6 ft.

of each wall. 1' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 1' 5 .12' x 12' Pod 12' x 12' Pod 12' x 12' Pod Main Tee Cross x 12'(not all cross tees shown) 12' Tee Pod Primeter12' Pod 12' x Wall Seismic Tee Main Expansion Joint Lateral Force(not all cross tees shown) Cross Tee Bracing Adjacent Expansion Joint Primeter Wall Seismic Expansion Joint Lateral Force Bracing 48' Adjacent Expansion Joint 48' 146' 48' 12' x 12' Pod Main Tee Cross Tee (not all cross tees shown) Primeter Wall Seismic Expansion Joint Lateral Force Bracing Adjacent Expansion Joint 146' 48' 50' 146' 48' 48' 50' 48' 48' 48' 146' 146' 50' 50' 146' 50' 48' 48' 48' 1' 1' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 12' 1' 12' 12' Note: Lateral force bracing shall be placed 12 ft. on center in both directions with the first location within 6ft. To avoid installing lateral force bracing on an expansion joint the first location may be installed at a point closer to the wall within 6 ft. as illustrated.

ance. Inc.A. and standard industry STG indicates an acceptpractices.com seismicceilings. Inc.2. Any claim shall be deemed waived unless made in writing L. a seismic separation joint or full height partition that breaks the ceiling up into areas not exceeding 2. Inc. Always check with a local official prior to designing and installing a ceiling system. USG. Safety First! Follow good safety/industrial hygiene practices during installation. manufactured by USG Interiors. Evaluation Reports are subject to reexamination. To examine this approach a structural engineer should be consulted to determine the anticipated lateral displacement in a ceiling. Inc. for most ceiling systems.500 sq.5. Please refer to ASCE/SEI 7 section 13. have been reviewed and are approved by listing in the following L. USG in stylized letters.com usgdesignstudio.Seismic Expansion Joint Exemption by Structural Analysis There is a provision in the code where structural analysis may eliminate or decrease the requirements for seismic expansions joints required in seismic design categories D. Inc. . ft. Because codes continue to evolve. have been reviewed and are approved by listing in ICC-ES Evaluation Report ESR-1222.2. able method for achieving compliance with applicable Code Compliance codes and regulations.com for current reports. although The information presented other methods proposed by is correct to the best of our design professionals may be knowledge at the date of issuconsidered and adopted. Printed in U. Note The University of California does not endorse specific products. directly or indirectly sustained. Inc.6. ft. 2-10 © 2010. Manufactured by USG Interiors. ICC Evaluation Service. (STG) is intended as a resource for design professionals.A. USG Interiors. nor for any loss caused by application of these goods not in accordance with current printed instructions or for other than the intended use.. Read MSDS and literature before specification and installation. for ceiling areas exceeding 2. Report Compliance Suspension systems manufactured by USG Interiors.com The following are trademarks of USG Interiors. This is only intended as a quick reference. SC2496/rev. Our liability is expressly limited to replacement of defective goods. revision and possible cancellation.S.2 for the necessary displacement calculations. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment.This is only intended as a quick reference. ASTM E580. Please refer to usgdesignstudio. inspection of projects. to Installation promote more uniform criteria Must be installed in compliance for plan review and jobsite with ASTM C636.A.. 550 West Adams Street Chicago. IL 60661 Notice We shall not be liable for incidental and consequential damages. Research Report to us within thirty (30) days from Compliance date it was or reasonably should Donn brand suspension systems have been discovered. E and F. Other restrictions and exemptions may apply.d states.com for the most This seismic technical guide up-to-date product information. or a related company: Donn. check with a local official prior to designing and installing a ceiling system. This CISCA. ASCE/SEI 7 section 13. Research Report number: 25764. (232 m2). Some of the factors affecting the lateral displacement calculations are: – Seismic design force – Building configuration – Occupancy category – Story height Note: A structural engineer should be consulted for each project. shall be provided unless structural analyses are performed of the ceiling bracing system for the prescribed seismic forces that demonstrate ceiling system penetrations and closure angles provide sufficient clearance to accommodate the anticipated lateral displacement.500 sq. Product Information Purpose See usg. Other restrictions and exemptions may apply.com sustainableceilings. usg.com or usg. The typical maximum allowable displacement is 3/4 in.3..