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RE: Building separation

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If you separate the two parts of the building and are in a seismic zone you will need a seismic separation to prevent pounding.  For a four story building this is essentially the SQSS of the independent building displacements.  Depending on how stiff your system is this could be quite large.  This is where the “Fire Wall” concept and the seismic provisions conflict.



From: Kevin Below [mailto:kevinbelow(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 4:31 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Building separation


We recently discussed the question of firewalls and fusible links, etc..  One possible solution is a double wall, with two walls of concrete blocks, each one attached and supported laterally by the building on its side of the wall.  The separation between these walls is typically about 1 inch.


But what about separation for seismic movement ?  For a 4 storey building, this could easily be a few inches, couldn't it ?  (I haven't calculated it yet.  We are at the preliminary stage.)


Do I have to tell my architect that he may need to put a space of several inches between the walls ?.    He already finds the total wall thickness of 13 inches (2 x 6" block walls plus 1") big enough, and he will have to increase building length to accommodate that.


Kevin Below


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