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RE: Spacing of Expansion Joints in R.C Building

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Title: RE: Spacing of Expansion Joints in R.C Building

By the way, the key figure from Technical Report No. 65 is reprinted in the PCI Design Handbook (4th edition) as Figure 3.3.6.

Ed Marshall, PE

-----Original Message-----
From:   Jim Kestner [SMTP:jkestner(--nospam--at)]
Sent:   Wednesday, August 11, 1999 8:15 AM
To:     seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject:        Re: Spacing of Expansion Joints in R.C Building

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.