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Re: Question regarding seismic joints

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Section 1617.3 deals with portions of a structure within the same building. Section 1620 deals with separation of adjacent buildings on the same property or from a property line. Apparently it was determined that buildings in SDC A, B and C do not need to be seismically separated from each other (possibly to accommodate the dense construction in urban areas of the east coast). 

Ben Yousefi, SE
Santa Monica, CA

>>> bcorneli(--nospam--at)hotmail.com 04/22/04 09:25AM >>>
I am reading the IBC 2000.  In Chapter 1620, "Earthquake Loads - Design, 
Detailing Requirements and Structural Component Load Effects", there is a 
requirement for buildings in Seismic Design Categories D, E and F that "all 
structures shall be separated from adjoining structures.  Separations shall 
allow for the displacement delta-M...", which is calculated using the sum of 
the squares method on the seismic displacements of the two buildings.  This 
requirement appears not to apply to buildings in Seismic Design Categories 
A, B or C.

However, in Chapter 1617,"Earthquake Loads - Minimum Design Lateral Force 
and Related Effects", there is a requirement in 1617.3 that "all portions of 
the building shalll be designed to act as an integral unit in resisting 
seismic forces unless separated structurally by a distance sufficient to 
avoid damaging contact under total deflection, delta-x."  This separation 
requirement appears to be general, and applicable to all Seismic Design 
Categories.

Does anyone know if the 1617 requirement really does apply to all Design 
Categories?  If so, do you know whether the "distance sufficient to avoid 
damaging contact" would be calculated using the sum of the square method?  I 
am confused because these two requirements seem redundant in some respects.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance you could offer.  Thank you.

Ben Cornelius, PE

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