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Re: 50' high firewall design / detailing

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A 50' cantilever might not be as bad as you think.

You have two design conditions:

Intact Structure
Design the wall as braced by the adjacent structures at the floor level.
This should be with compression or light tension attachments - able to
withstand the required seismic or other loads, but able to pull away in the
event of a partial collapse.

Partially Collapsed Structure.
The wall isn't intended to be a permanent exterior wall -- it only has to
last long enough to prevent heat/fire transmission until the fire is
completely put out and any investigation is complete.  Therefore, the wall
does not have to be designed for full lateral loads.  The assumption is that
a design-level earthquake, thunderstorm, or hurricane does not occur within
a few days after a devastating fire.  After the fire is out, the wall is
braced or pulled down.

At least this is my understanding of this situation - I've discussed this
with clients many times but always went back to constructing two separate

Jason Kilgore
Leigh & O'Kane, L.L.C.
816-444-9655 (FAX)

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