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Re: Parking garage column impact loads in code?

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Funny timing that you should ask.  Another engineer and I were having the same discussion a few days ago.  Neither of us have ever seen any such requirement, and were speculating about whether there should be one.  In a typical parking structure situation, where the columns are relatively heavily tied 24" square concrete columns, or something similar, the columns have a considerable shear capacity and tend to perform reasonably well under auto impacts.  In one case I am aware of, a driver hit a column at an estimated 50mph and put a shear crack through it, but didn't seriously jeapordize the structure.  Hard to say if that was the exception or the rule, but there was nothing spectacular about the column's size or reinforcement.  In a case where a very light column is critical to the structural load path, such as an HSS column, I would be more concerned, and I would personally want to do something to protect the column.  In such cases, it is common to put the HSS on a concrete plinth rising 2' - 3' above the top of slab, although I am not sure that the plinths are often designed for any specific load.  

Paul Crocker, PE, SE

>>> "Haan, Scott M." <HaanSM(--nospam--at)> 07/17/04 06:06PM >>>

Is there in the International Building Code or referenced material
standards that says that exposed columns in parking garages or next to
driving surfaces need to be protected from vehicle impact or designed
for vehicle impact loads? The RMA storage rack code has a requirement
but I cannot find a requirement anywhere else.  The IBC has loads for
vehicle barriers but I have not found a section that requires vehicle
barriers at  columns that could be impacted by vehicles.


Scott M. Haan P.E. 
Deputy Building Official

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