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Re: Spacing of Expansion Joints in R.C Building

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This is a complicated subject. Many things affect the spacing of
expansion joints such as building shape, material type and associated
properties (such as shrinkage for concrete or long term axial shortening
for prestress), fixed or pinned bases, restraints to movement such as
walls and bracing and their relative location in the structure, heated
or air conditioned and the reliability of those systems, expected
temperature differential, etc.

I have only ever found one good reference on this subject:

Expansion Joints in Buildings, Technical Report No. 65, prepared by the
Standing Committee on Structural Engineering of the Federal Construction
Council, Building Rearch Advisory Board, Division of Engineering,
National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington,
D.C., 1974

The trend in both buildings and bridges has been to increase the spacing
between expansion joints, but I always would recommend being
conservative because of the complex nature of these movements. Without
having all the information to evaluate your situation, 30 m spacing
seems like it might be too conservative!

Jim Kestner, P.E.
Green Bay, Wi.