Seismic Installation and Code Requirements

Tested and Trusted Seismic Solutions

IBC Requirements

Purpose of Installation Requirements for Suspended Ceilings

  • Suspension systems strong enough to resist lateral forces imposed upon it without failing
  • Prevent border panels from falling from the ceiling plane
IBC Category IBC Installation Requirements
A, B

Ceiling installation should conform to basic minimums established in ASTM C636.

 

C

Installed to ASTM E580 Seismic Design Category C

Minimum 7/8" wall molding

Suspension system must not be attached to the wall molding

Minimum 3/8" clearance on all sides

Minimum 3/8" overlap of the suspension system on the wall molding

Ends of main beams and cross tees must be tied together to prevent their spreading

Safety wires required on light fixtures

D, E, F

Installed to ASTM C636 and ASTM E580

Minimum 2" wall molding

Suspension system must be attached to two adjacent walls – opposite walls must have a 3/4" clearance

Ends of main beams and cross tees must be tied together to prevent their spreading

Heavy-duty suspension system

Ceiling areas over 1,000 SF must have horizontal restraint wire or rigid bracing

Perimeter support wires within 8"

 

Ceiling areas over 2,500 SF must have seismic separation joints or full height partitions

Ceilings without rigid bracing must have 2" oversized trim rings for sprinklers and other penetrations    

Changes in ceiling plane must have positive bracing

Cable trays and electrical conduits must be independently supported and braced

Suspended ceilings will be subject to special inspection


NOTE: Consult your local code professional for information specific to your region.

California projects may be governed by DSA and OSHPD.

Seismic Separation Joints

ASCE 7 Section 13.5.6.2.2 mandates that ceiling areas greater than 2500 SF must have seismic separation joints. Armstrong has done full-scale testing which confirms that a ceiling fitted with our Seismic Joint Clip for Main Beams (SJMR) and Seismic Joint Clip for Cross Tees (SJCG & SJCSI) performs as well as a field fabricated separation joint. Additional benefits to these seismic-tested separation joints:

ICC-ES

ICC-ES Evaluations

ICC-ES does technical evaluations of building products, components, methods, and materials. The evaluation process culminates with the issuance of technical engineering reports that directly address the issue of code compliance. These reports are extremely useful because regulatory agencies use evaluation reports to help determine code compliance and enforce building regulations; and manufacturers use reports as evidence that their products (and this is especially important if the products are new and innovative) meet code requirements and warrant regulatory approval.

ICC-ES employs a large staff of professionally licensed architects and civil, structural, mechanical, and fire protection engineers. The members of the ICC-ES technical staff are experts in the application of model codes, and also have access to historical information relating to product evaluation. When developing acceptance criteria, ICC-ES routinely seeks input from building industry experts through a process of open public hearings. These hearings are conducted by an independent committee composed of code officials who actually enforce building regulations.

IAPMO

IAPMO Evaluations

IAPMO performs technical evaluations of building products, components, methods, and materials. The evaluation process culminates with the issuance of technical engineering reports that directly address the issue of code compliance.

These reports are extremely useful because regulatory agencies use evaluation reports to help determine code compliance and enforce building regulations; and manufacturers use reports as evidence that their products (and this is especially important if the products are new and innovative) meet code requirements and warrant regulatory approval.

The Uniform Evaluation Report helps the code official know the product has undergone the highest levels of third party scrutiny available. It also documents that the product undergoes IAPMO’s continuous compliance inspection program.

All the relevant code compliance information is summarized in the report to assist you in selection and the code official in verifying code acceptability. Although an evaluation report is not a guarantee, those products without such a report risk having to supply pertinent information to each code official.