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interior wall pressures

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I could be wrong here, but I believe this is totally dependent on what type
of building you are designing, the loads, and its classification. For areas
of the country where wind loads control- is the building open, enclosed, or
partially enclosed?  If it is on the FL coastline then it is in the "wind
borne debris region" and then the openings must be protected by rated
glazing and doors, or by shutters, for it to be considered enclosed. I would
think if you knowingly model a building as anything but enclosed then you
would want to consider using a larger interior pressure then 5psf. But this
is engineering judgement, from what I know this is not spelled out in the
FBC or other codes.

To me it also depends on the material used, also and engineering judgement.
We have designed quite a few rest area structures with large amounts of
interior masonry partition walls. I have always used Plat=10 psf for this
design, only from engineering judgment telling me that I want a higher FS
with CMU. The building was designed as enclosed. If it is metal stud with
gyp walls in an office, maybe 5 psf is fine.

Now, I probably do not need to mention this, but if you are in a seismic
zone and you are designing with CMU or concrete interior walls, then the
5psf goes out the door. Not sure, I am a FL boy with limited design
experience, but I would design it just like an exterior wall as seismic
doesn't care if the wall is inside or outside.

Finally, one thing I think that often falls through the
architectural/structural cracks is interior walls. If it is metal stud often
the archs just have some typical details. Even in our office, and A/E firm
this happens. But you will find their details often are not up to par. I
think a few minutes of design and detailing of metal stud or cmu interior
walls will CYA in a big way. For metal stud walls this will also increaser
performance and you will not have to worry about phone calls about walls
that move or vibrate when a door is slammed or the AC kicks on. Make sure
the tops of your walls are tied off unless you are designing it as a
cantilever. My worse nightmare would be for a building I designed to survive
a hurricane, only to find out that a window blew in, and the CMU wall
collapsed on the interior because the top was not braced or connected....

Just some thoughts...

Andrew Kester, EI
Longwood, FL

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