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Seismic Loads in Ceiling

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Just curious, but I'm interested in how others address transferring the ceiling dead load to lateral force resisting elements in residential construction. I haven't worried about this too much in the past, but I have a project now which consists of a high pitched roof and the owner wants to use the attic space as a floor. Of course, the problem is that I can't connect the floor diaphragm to the top plate of the exterior wall because the roof rafters are in the way. I can't use the ceiling joists in weak axis bending because they do not clear span the structure. Besides, they only run one direction. I'm concerned about using the GWB ceiling as a diaphragm because of what it may do to my R value and that I have a low level of confidence in quality of construction with regards to the installation of drywall fasteners. I have visualized all sorts of complicated (and convoluted) shear transfer details which I would rather not draw nor present to the architect.





T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E.


Consulting Structural Engineers
V (949) 248-8588 F(949) 209-2509