In July 2019, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake off the coast near Broome caused little damage but alerted people to the threat of seismic activity. This was one of thirteen earthquakes during the year and indicates the need for good seismic design in the construction of buildings. Every building and the components within it need to […]
In July 2019, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake off the coast near Broome caused little damage but alerted people to the threat of seismic activity. This was one of thirteen earthquakes during the year and indicates the need for good seismic design in the construction of buildings.
Every building and the components within it need to be assessed for seismic design before construction starts. The aim of this is to ensure the safety of occupants and the integrity of the building itself although the level of work needed will depend on a number of factors.
The extent of seismic design needed for a building depends to some degree on the building’s level of importance. These levels are set by the National Construction Code and depend on the way a building or structure is used and its occupancy level:
Buildings or structures with an importance level of four need a significant level of safety to be considered in their design whereas level one residential properties are often deemed to comply and require no specific seismic design.
In addition to determining a building’s importance level, a seismic assessment should also identify the type of sub-soil, since this governs how the building will move, its location for the level of risk and other loads, such as fixtures and equipment attached to the walls. Wind loading may also be higher than potential seismic loading and so change design requirements.
Although the main emphasis is on ensuring buildings do not collapse in the event of seismic activity, there’s also a need to prevent non-structural components, such as internal wall panels and ceilings, from being dislodged. At Nashco, our seismic wall and ceiling systems are designed and manufactured to be resistant to seismic loads so building designers can specify them with the assurance that they’ll comply with regulations and will remain intact.
We develop all our products through extensive research and design, ensuring they comply with Australian standards (AS1170.4 for earthquake loads and AS2785:2020 for suspended ceiling design and installation). Then we manufacture them using the latest techniques and high-quality materials, quality assure them through testing and provide full installation instructions.
Depending on seismic loads and room size, a seismic ceiling system in Sydney will either have perimeter fixing or bracing to ensure seismic forces are transferred to the structure of the building. Similarly, seismic studs in Sydney allow wall panels to move when affected by earthquake activity, preventing cracking and the panels from being dislodged.
There is, understandably, an increased focus on seismic design for buildings and their non-structural components. This is concentrated on buildings of importance level two and above, with a much greater level of auditing and monitoring accompanied by the issue of guidelines and standards.
The outcome is that designers and constructors are under more pressure to create buildings that are safer and more resilient. We can help them achieve that with seismic wall and ceiling systems in Sydney that can be trusted to comply with regulations and contribute to buildings that will survive intact should an earthquake strike.
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