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RE: Expansion Joint in Building

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I avoid expansion joints if at all possible.  But I calculate the anticipated thermal stresses in the structure.  Minimizing or eliminating expansion joints requires proper placement of lateral force resisting elements to allow thermal expansion with minimum constraint. 
Even if the superstructure requires expansion joints, I will generally allow the foundations to be constructed as continuous. 
The best source of information for expansion joints is:
You do not have to order a hard copy.  You can read it on line for free and you can download a pdf. 

Regards, Harold Sprague

Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 18:25:58 -0800
From: engr_mondo(--nospam--at)
Subject: Expansion Joint in Building
To: seaint(--nospam--at)


Just wondering the requirements for expansion joints in building--in Saudi, they require a building (50m x 100m for instance) to provide expansion joints for every 50m in both horizontal dimensions. Please advice if it is needed to separate the building into two parts including the structure below the ground--grade/tie beams. I understand, that it is needed for thermal expansion. What does other do?



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