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GUIDELINE ON

SEISMIC EVALUATION
AND UPGRADING OF
NON-STRUCTURAL
BUILDING COMPONENTS

December 1995

Research, Development and Demonstration


Technology and Environment
Real Property Services
OTTAWA, Ontario
K1A 0M2

Project Managers Telephone Fax E-Mail


Moe Cheung (613) 941-5581 (613) 941-5595 CHEUNGM@PWGSC.GC.CA
Simon Foo (613) 941-5550 (613) 941-5595 FOOS@PWGSC.GC.CA
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To obtain additional copies of this publication or to enquire about our other technical documents,
please contact the RPS Documentation Centre at the address below:

Real Property Services' Documentation Centre


Public Works and Government Services Canada
Room D-325, Sir Charles Tupper Building
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0M2
Fax No.: (613) 736-2029
Telephone No.: (613) 736-2146

e-mail: lalander@pwgsc.ga.ca

Copyright © Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1995.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, in an electronic
retrieval system or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Public Works and
Government Services Canada.
PREFACE

In designing earthquake-resistant buildings, there is a distinction between structural and non-


structural design criteria. Structural design criteria for seismic effects aims at collapse prevention.
Non-structural design criteria attempts to minimize the consequences of seismic hazards associated
with non-load bearing building components upon life safety and property damage. One of the major
impacts of recent earthquakes in Japan (1995 Kobe) and in the United States (1994 Northridge) on
building design practices was the extensive and costly damage due to non-structural building
components.

Retrofit measures for non-structural building components are directly related to life safety simply
because most casualties are due to collapse and/or falling of non-load bearing building components
during or after earthquakes. Unsatisfactory nonstructural performance also leads to concerns for
property damage and continuity of operation. There are national design codes and guidelines for the
structural design, evaluation and upgrading of buildings against earthquakes in Canada, similar
standards for non-structural components are not available. As one of the major custodian
departments in the Federal Government, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC)
decided to develop a comprehensive guideline for seismic retrofit of non-structural components of
office buildings.

In recognition of the need for a comprehensive national standard for the identification and reduction
of such seismic hazards, PWGSC initiated the development of a guideline on the seismic evaluation
and upgrading of non-structural building components. The guideline was developed in conjunction
with the Institute for Research in Construction of the National Research Council of Canada
(IRC/NRC) and the private sector. Dr. D.E. Allen of IRC/NRC, and Dr. W.E. McKevitt of
McKevitt Engineering Ltd. in Vancouver who prepared the draft document, were the principal
contributors to the guideline development. Their contributions are gratefully appreciated.

PWGSC would also like to acknowledge Mr. M.S. Vézina of SNC-Lavalin in Montreal and Dr. J.H.
Rainer of IRC/NRC for their review and comments of the guideline.

The guideline was developed with close collaboration with the Pacific Western Region of PWGSC.
Special thanks are due to Mr. B. White and Mr. J. Yong of PWGSC in Vancouver for their support,
comments and suggestions, and for carrying out and evaluating a field demonstration in Vancouver
using the guideline.

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of Non-Structural Building Components November, 1995
i
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i

1. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1 Purpose of the Guideline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3 Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.4 Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.5 Performance Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.6 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

2. SEISMIC ACTIONS AND EFFECTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


2.1 Seismic Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.2 Seismic Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3 Loads and Deflections (National Building Code 1995) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.4 Equipment Restraint Forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.5 Unreinforced Masonry Bearing-Wall Buildings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.6 Low Seismicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

3. MITIGATION PRINCIPLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.1 Main Approaches to Mitigation of Seismic Risk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.2 Techniques of Component Upgrading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.3 Risk Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.4 Behaviour Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.5 Other Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

4. PROCEDURE FOR EVALUATION, UPGRADING DESIGN AND


MITIGATION PLANNING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.1 Preliminary Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.2 Performance Objectives for the Upgrading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
4.3 Building Walk-Down: Inventory, Risk Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
4.4 Mitigation Priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4.5 Component Evaluations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.6 Upgrading Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.7 Mitigation Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

5. UPGRADING TECHNIQUES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.1 Architectural Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5.2 Components of Electrical and Mechanical Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
5.3 Building Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

6. EXAMPLE APPLICATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
APPENDIX A PRELIMINARY EVALUATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

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1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Purpose of the Guideline

In recent years the importance of failure of non-structural building components during earthquake has
generated considerable concern. Experience is well documented of cases where the building structure has
survived an earthquake with no damage but the facility is rendered unusable due to extensive non-structural
damage. Risk to life safety of the occupants of the building from failure of the non-structural components
can be considerable even when the building structure has performed well. The cost of non-structural damage
is also far greater than previously expected. These costs include loss of function and disruption costs as well
as the costs for repair or replacement of damaged components and articles. Also the extent of non-structural
damage to buildings in low seismic zones can be considerably greater than structural damage costs. Many
buildings throughout Canada were constructed before a full understanding of these risks existed and methods
to reduce such risks were well understood.

The Guideline was prepared to help engineers and architects evaluate non-structural building components
for seismic hazards and to recommend upgrading when such hazards exist. The Guideline may also be used
by building owners to help identify non-structural building components which may be potentially hazardous,
but specific recommendations for seismic upgrading should be provided by a qualified engineer or architect.

1.2 Scope

This guideline addresses the risk due to failure of non-structural components during earthquake. The present
publication restricts itself to normal office buildings and libraries and does not include sensitive equipment
or critical operations.

Other publications provide guidance on seismic screening and seismic evaluation of existing buildings (NRC
1993-1, NRC 1993-2) as well as seismic upgrading of the building structure (NRC 1995).

1.3 Application

This document may be applied to existing buildings, including renovations of existing buildings. In the case
of building contents, it may also be applied to new buildings. It should not, however, be applied to verify
compliance of architectural building components in new buildings with the building code.

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1.4 Definitions

Non-Structural Components: All building components which are not part of the building structure. A
representative list of non-structural building components within the scope of this document is contained in
Table 1-1.

Building Contents: Non-structural building components which are not permanently attached to the building.
A representative list is contained in Table 1-1.

Building Structure: That part of the building which is designed to transfer all vertical and horizontal loads
down through the building into the foundation.

Design Earthquake: An earthquake of intensity equivalent to that specified in the performance objective.

1.5 Performance Objectives

The primary objective of this document is to prevent life-threatening failures of non-structural building
components when the building is subjected to earthquake motions equivalent to those specified in the
National Building Code (an earthquake with 10 per cent probability of exceedence in 50 years). Life-
threatening failures of non-structural components include:
C falling, overturning, sliding, rolling or swinging components that can impact people
C blocking of exit ways
C explosion caused by gas leak

A more stringent performance objective is to prevent failure of non-structural components which would
disrupt the functional use of the building when it is subjected to earthquake motions equivalent to those
specified in the NBC. This includes, for example, the prevention of failure of an air conditioning system
whose failure would seriously disrupt the operation of a critical computer facility. Such an objective is not
within the scope of the criteria recommended in this document, although it should be taken into consideration
in the mitigation plan as discussed in Chapter 4. The performance requirement for continued functional use
of the building can be made less stringent by specifying a smaller earthquake loading than is specified in the
National Building Code. A risk assessment is needed to determine the level of protection needed.

1.6 Background
The procedures and techniques described in this document represent current practice for evaluation and
upgrading of non-structural components in existing buildings. The principal documents used for preparation
of this document include the NRC Guidelines on Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings (NRC, 1993-1),
National Building Code of Canada (1995), NEHRP Handbook for Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing
Buildings (FEMA, 1992) and the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors National Association
(SMACNA, 1991) guidelines for the design of restraints for mechanical and piping systems.

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Table 1.1. Representative List of Non-Structural Components

Building Exterior
Entrance canopies, overhangs, porches, balconies, and parapets
Appendages: Roof-mounted mechanical units and signs
Walkways
Enclosures: Exterior non-bearing walls (precast, masonry etc.)
Exterior infill walls
Veneer attachments ( masonry, wood, stone etc.)
Glazing
Building Interior
Partitions: Stairs and shafts
(see also Building Contents) Horizontal exits
Corridors
Fire separation partitions
Ceilings: Fire rated and non-fire rated
Doors: Room-to-hallway doors
Fire doors
Lobby doors and glazing
Windows and curtain walls
Atrium spaces and skylights
Glass elevator enclosures
Lighting: Light fixtures
Emergency lighting
Emergency: Emergency electrical system
Fire and smoke detection system
Fire suppression systems (sprinkler)
Smoke removal systems
Signage
Mechanical: Large equipment including chillers, heat pumps, boilers, furnaces, fans
Smaller equipment including room air conditioning or heating units
Suspended equipment
Tanks, heat exchangers, and pressure vessels
Utility and service interfaces
Ducts and diffusers
Piping distribution pumps, sprinklers, gas piping
Elevators
Electrical: Communications systems
Electrical bus ducts and primary cable systems
Electrical motor control centres, transformers, and switch gear
Generators, uninterrupted power supplies (UPS)
Building Contents
Demountable partitions
Filing cabinets, bookcases and library shelving
Desktop computers
Decorations and artwork
Photocopiers and vending machines
Refrigerators, microwave ovens, coffee machines in kitchen areas

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2. SEISMIC ACTIONS AND EFFECTS

2.1 Seismic Actions

In considering the seismic actions for non-structural components, it is important to appreciate the seismic
motions of the structure to which the component is attached. Whether one is designing the structure of the
building or the non-structural components located within the building, the principles of earthquake resistant
design are the same.

To assist in appreciating the interactive nature of the structural and component response, an elementary
discussion is provided in this section.

Figure 2.1 shows a schematic diagram of a structure and non-structural components responding to ground
motion induced by a strong earthquake. The response of the structure is normally classified as a multi-degree-
of-freedom non-linear response, with non-linear effects developing from cracking and or yielding of the
structural members and connections. Additional non-linear effects are involved in the response of the system
due to the inelastic contributions of the non-structural components in the building. This is true for virtually all
structures designed to the provisions of the National Building Code of Canada. The NBCC also assumes that
there are non-linear effects in the response of all non-structural components and/or their connections to the
structure.

Figure 2.2 indicates the relative magnitude of the acceleration response for various components in a building.
The ground acceleration on rock (or firm soil) is the ground acceleration specified by the code. A soil
amplification factor is included in the code provisions to allow for the soil amplification as the seismic waves
travel through softer surface soils. The ground acceleration levels are further amplified in the building
response to the ground movement. Generally the level of vibration increases with height within the building
with the highest accelerations occurring at roof level.

Components attached to the building respond to base excitation caused by the acceleration of the structure at
the point the component is attached. If the component is rigid and rigidly attached to the structure it will
undergo acceleration of the same magnitude as the structure at the attachment point. Flexible components
and/or components with flexible attachment to the structure will have a response which is amplified above the
attachment point accelerations.

The response of a structure and attached components can be calculated using detailed computer models and
non-linear time-step integration procedures. However this is time consuming and expensive and requires a
high degree of analytical expertise to obtain reliable results. The approach taken by the NBCC (Section 2.3 of
this Guideline) is to use a simplified equivalent static force procedure to approximate the seismic forces applied
to the components and connections. The code method can be viewed as an upper bound to the force
magnitudes which accounts for many complexities and variables involved in the seismic response of the
components.

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Figure 2.1 Response of Structural and Non-Structural
Components to Earthquake Induced Ground Motion

Figure 2.2 Relative Magnitude of Acceleration


Response of Building Component

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2.2 Seismic Effects

Figure 2.3 shows the effect of height/width ratio on the response of components to support motion. Tall,
narrow components will tend to overturn and squat components will slide.

Figure 2.4 indicates some of the consequences of component movement during an earthquake. Equipment
that shifts or moves within a building can cause damage by
impacting adjacent components and/or by the failure of piping or cable connections. Where equipment is
supported on frames, failure of the frames can occur when the frame is inadequately designed.

The components in Figure 2.5 are shown failing by overturning. This can happen when equipment is
inadequately bolted to the structure. Failure modes for suspended components, such as impacting adjacent
walls or components, or failure of the hanger rods, are shown in Figure 2.6.

Spring isolated equipment presents a special set of problems for seismic restraint. It is important to avoid
compromising the effectiveness of the vibration isolators when designing seismic restraints for this type of
component installation. Two failure modes are shown in Figure 2.7. In one case the equipment can fail by
bouncing over the top of the stops and in the other case failure occurs through inadequate capacity of the
seismic stop connection to the building.

Figure 2.8 shows the case where ducts, pipes or cables span across a seismic joint between buildings or isolated
sections of the same building. When the adjacent structures are of different heights or of different construction
types, significant differential movement between the structures can occur. It is important to ensure that the
elements which span these joints have sufficient flexibility to accommodate these relative movements.

Non-structural components can also be damaged and fail as a result of relative motions of the building
structure between floors (Figure 2.9). Where the vertical building structure is relatively flexible between floors
(e.g. a moment frame), the structure may impact architectural components such as masonry partitions and
cause collapse. Architectural components such as hollow clay tile partitions which are surrounded by a
structural frame are much stiffer than the frame and therefore attract large earthquake forces which can result
in sudden collapse. Recommendations for addressing this problem are given in NRC (1995).

The above discussion is based on the horizontal components of earthquake motions. Vertical motions also
occur at the same time, but vertical motions are generally not a factor in the seismic performance of building
components.

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Figure 2. 3 Proportions of furniture will determine
the type of response to E/Q shaking

Figure 2.4 How equipment inside a building fails

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Figure 2.5 How equipment inside a building fails

Figure 2.6 Unrestrained suspended equipment

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Figure 2.7 Inadequate snubbing devices

Figure 2.8 Special considerations at seismic joints

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Figure 2.9 Non-structural damage due to relative building displacements

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2.3 Loads and Deflections (from the National Building Code 1995)

2.3.1 Inertial Forces: Non-structural components are subjected to horizontal accelerations during
an earthquake resulting in horizontal inertial forces transferred to the building structure through the
connections. The lateral inertial force, Vp, for the design of component connections is determined from:

Vp = "E @ v @ I @ Sp [2.1]

where Sp = horizontal force factor for the component or its anchorage as given in Table 2.1
for architectural components and Equation [2.2] for mechanical/electrical
components.

I = seismic importance factor for the building, equal to 1.0 for buildings within the
scope of this document

v = NBC zonal velocity ratio specified for the location

"E = a load factor equal to 0.6 to trigger upgrading for existing non-structural
building components (NRC, 1993-1), 1.0 for the design of upgrading for existing
or new non-structural building components.

For mechanical/electrical components the value of Sp in Equation [2.1] is determined from


Sp = Cp @ Ar @ Ax [2.2]

where Ax = 1.0 + hx/hn (hn is the height of the building above its base, and hx is the height
of the component above the base of the building)
Ar = 1.0 for components that are both rigid and rigidly-connected and for non-brittle
pipes and ducts
= 1.5 for components located on the ground that are flexible or flexibly-connected
except for non-brittle pipes and ducts
= 3.0 for all other cases
Cp = seismic coefficient for components of mechanical/electrical equipment as given
in Table 2.2

Mechanical/electrical components that are both rigid and rigidly-connected are defined as those having a
fundamental period for the component and connection less than or equal to 0.06 seconds and flexible
components as those having a fundamental period greater than 0.06 seconds. A background to these criteria is
contained in Commentary J to Part 4 of the NBC.

2.3.2 Deflections of the Building Structures. Lateral deflections of the building structure are
estimated from an elastic analysis of the structure under seismic loads determined in accordance with the NBC
but with R taken equal to 1.0. For buildings within the scope of this document the NBC limits interstorey
deflections to 0.02 hs, where hs is the interstorey height. (See also NRCC 1993-1 for criteria for existing
buildings)

For evaluation of existing buildings, the interstorey deflection may need to be estimated and compared with
gaps between structural and non-structural components for likely impacts. Non-structural components
crossing movement joints (Figure 2.8) can be subjected to differential movements resulting from the sum of the

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lateral deflections of both building parts.

2.4 Equipment Restraint Forces

The type of connection between a component and the structure greatly influences the magnitude of seismic
force. For components connected directly to the structure by bolting or welding the connection forces
determined from Section 2.3 are generally low. As the connection flexibility increases the forces that develop
become larger. For equipment resting on flexible isolators (which are used to prevent vibration and sound
transmission), large impact forces can be developed during an earthquake. Typical force levels in connections
for systems located in NBCC seismic Zone 4 are shown in Table 2.3.

2.5 Unreinforced Masonry Bearing-Wall Buildings

Recommendations for the evaluation and upgrading of unreinforced masonry bearing-wall buildings,
including parapets, partitions and walls which are part of or interact with the structure, are contained in
Appendix A of NRC (1993-1)

2.6 Low Seismicity

The National Building Code 1995 does not require seismic design for non-structural building components
when either the velocity-related zone, Zv, or the acceleration-related seismic zone, Za, is equal to or less than 1
and the foundation factor, F, is less than 1.3.
A number of prescriptive criteria are provided in Chapter 5 for typical non-structural systems such as hung
ceilings; some of these criteria differentiate between low seismicity and medium to high seismicity. For
purposes of this differentiation, low seismicity is defined when the product v @ F is less than or equal to 0.1,
where v is the zonal velocity ratio and F the foundation factor.

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Table 2.1. Values of Sp for Architectural Parts or Portions of Buildings
Category Architectural Part or Portion of Building Direction of Force Value of Sp
1 All exterior and interior walls except those of Categories Normal to flat surface 1.5
2 and 3
2 Cantilever parapet and other cantilever walls except Normal to flat surface 6.5
retaining walls
3 Exterior and interior ornamentations and appendages Any direction 6.5
4 Connections/attachments for Categories 1, 2 and 3
The body of ductile connections/attachments Any direction 2.5
All fasteners and anchors in the ductile connection, Any direction (1)
such as bolts, inserts, welds, dowels, etc.
Non-ductile connections/attachments Any direction 15
5 Floors and roofs acting as diaphragms (see Sentence Any direction 0.7
4.1.9.1.(18)
6 Towers, chimneys, smokestacks and penthouses when Any direction 4.5
connected to or forming part of a building (See Appendix A)
7 Horizontally cantilevered floors, balconies, beams, etc. Vertical 4.5
8 Suspended ceilings, light fixtures and other attachments Any direction 2.0
to the ceilings with independent vertical support
9 Masonry veneer connections Normal to flat surface 5.0

Table 2.2. Values of Cp for Mechanical/Electrical Parts or Portions of Buildings


Category Mech./Electr. Part or Portion of Building Direction of Force Value of Cp
1 Machinery, fixtures, equipment, ducts, tanks and pipes Any direction 1.0
(including contents) except as noted elsewhere in this
table
2 Machinery, fixtures, equipment, ducts, tanks and pipes Any direction 1.5
(including contents) containing toxic or explosive
materials, materials having a flash point below 38EC or
fire fighting fluids
3 Flat bottom tanks (including contents) attached directly Any direction 0.7
to a floor at or below grade within a building
4 Flat bottom tanks (including contents) attached directly Any direction 1.0
to a floor at or below grade within a building containing
toxic or explosive materials, materials having a flash point
below 38EC or fire fighting fluids

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Table 2.3. Equipment Restraint Forces (for v = 0.2)

Equipment Restraint Earthquake Force


Rigid restraint 0.2 to 0.4 G
Neoprene restraint with soft contact 0.4 to 0.8 G
Neoprene restraint with 3 mm gap 0.8 to 1.2 G
Neoprene restraint with 6 mm gap 2G
Metal to metal restraint with loose contact up to 20 G+

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3. MITIGATION PRINCIPLES

3.1 Main Approaches to Mitigation of Seismic Risk

To mitigate the risk of failure of architectural components and equipment due to the relative
displacements between the structure and the components two options are available: (1) to modify
the component and/or its connections to accommodate the seismic movement of the building; (2)
to stiffen the building in order to reduce the seismic displacements and thus prevent component
damage.

3.2 Techniques of Component Upgrading

The failure of non-structural components in seismic events can often be prevented by provision of
adequate restraints. Restraints can be in the form of connections or bracing between the component
and the structure or of movement-limiting devices to control the relative movements between the
components and the structure. See Figures 3.1 and 3.2. The bracing and connections require
adequate strength to resist the design forces and also need to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate
relative seismic displacements. Care is required to avoid high impact forces in connections. In
particular steel to steel impacts are unacceptable during seismic response because of the large impact
forces that can be generated (see Section 2.4).

It is sometimes possible to increase stability by bolting together adjacent racks or cabinets.

In some cases seismic risk can be mitigated by the removal of components such as heavy roof
parapets or disused mechanical or electrical components or by moving items from a hazardous
location to a less hazardous location. Where the failure or displacement of a component poses no
risk to life safety it may be acceptable to lose or damage the object and replace or repair the
component following the earthquake. This alternative requires good judgement and common sense.

3.3 Risk Considerations

The location of components is an important characteristic when considering safety aspects of a


potential failure. Higher priorities should be assigned to components in locations where failure of
the component poses a threat to life or personal injury.

Risk of failure can be considerably reduced by reduction of weight or changing the weight
distribution of an object, as for example in rearranging the contents in a cupboard to locate the
heavy objects at the bottom and the lighter ones at the top.

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3.4 Behaviour Considerations

The behaviour of a component under seismic motions should be considered in order to ensure that
the component response will be compatible with the structural response. Connections should be
designed for a controlled failure mode so that sudden failure of connecting elements is avoided. An
example is given in Fig. 3.3.

3.5 Other Considerations

For selecting and designing appropriate mitigation techniques it is also important to bear in mind
the cost of the upgrading, and the disruption to the function of the building. Timing of the
installation should be arranged so that disruption and loss of function of the building are minimized.
A reduction in cost and disruption can often be achieved if seismic upgrading of non-structural
building components can be combined with other maintenance or renovation activities.

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Figure 3.1 Suspended equipment braced back to wall

Figure 3.2 Seismic restraint of suspended equipment

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Figure 3.3 Desired failure mechanism at connection

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4. PROCEDURE FOR EVALUATION, UPGRADING DESIGN AND
MITIGATION PLANNING

The evaluation procedure set out in this section for non-structural building components can be used
for the development of a mitigation plan that incorporates priorities related to selected performance
objectives. The performance objectives have to be consistent with other planning objectives for the
facility and be within available resources.

The following evaluation procedure is recommended to establish the relative seismic risks posed by
the non-structural components. Absence of bracing or other seismic protection measures does not
necessarily mean that a component identified as a potential life-safety hazard must be upgraded in
order to meet the overall performance objective. Replacement, relocation or removal of the object
may also be considered as acceptable mitigation measures.

The life-safety hazard for a component is determined from the product of its seismic, vulnerability
(probability of failure) and the life-safety consequences (probability of resultant death or injury) if
failure occurs.

The recommended procedure includes the following steps:

1. A preliminary evaluation
2. Definition of the performance objectives for the building
3. A building walk-down ( interior & exterior) to establish:
C An inventory of non-structural components, including locations and
quantities of selected components
C The vulnerability and failure consequences for each component
4. Development of a priority list for mitigation
5. Component evaluations
6. Choice of upgrading techniques
7. Preparation of a mitigation plan.

A final mitigation plan, developed in concert with the owner, must also relate costs to available
budget and possible time constraints. When these factors are considered, the selected performance
objectives may have to be modified, and the upgrading carried out in a phased program.

4.1 Preliminary Evaluation

If a seismic evaluation of non-structural components has already been performed on the building,
a copy of the report should be obtained and its findings evaluated as a preliminary to using the
"walk-down" procedures discussed in this section.

If such a seismic evaluation has not been carried out, Appendix A may be used to carry out a
preliminary evaluation. Appendix A contains a checklist of "evaluation statements" reproduced from
NRC (1993-1). Some "evaluation statements" contain criteria which require calculations, these
statements should be marked as "false" pending further investigation later in the procedure.

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4.2 Performance Objectives for the Upgrading

Generally, the performance objective for the upgrading will be life safety as defined Chapters 1 and
2. The owner may wish to specify more stringent performance objectives such as damage control
for special components of the building or to provide short-term performance objectives consistent
within a general mitigation plan for the facility.

4.3 Building Walk-Down: Inventory, Risk Assessment

In order to assess the extent of the risk associated with seismic failure of non-structural components
in an existing building, a detailed inventory assessment is necessary. This ensures that all items are
accounted for, and that a reasonably standardized procedure is followed that will result in a balanced
assessment of risk, cost, and priority.

One effective assessment procedure is the seismic survey or "walk-down" inspection. The non-
structural seismic "walk-down" has two main objectives:

1. To provide an inventory of the non-structural items (architectural, mechanical and electrical


components as well as building contents) that are considered important, and to establish their
location and quantity.

2. To establish for each component, item, or system, its seismic vulnerability and the
consequences of failure in relation to the performance objectives for upgrading.

Table 4.1 is an example inventory form. Using Table 1.1 as a basis, Table 4.1 lists items that are
expected in the buildings to be evaluated. Blank spaces are provided in Table 4.1 for special items
not listed. The exterior of the building will probably require a separate form. Not all data need be
collected in every instance. For lesser upgrading objectives or in situations where upgrading does not
depend on particular information, such as quantity, only sample data are necessary.

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Table 4.1

Project:
SEISMIC RISK ASSESSMENT Date: Page of
ITEM Room/Area Room/Area

Type/Qty V C P $ Type/Qty V C P $
Architectural
T-Bar Ceilings
Stud Walls

Mechanical/Plumbing
Piping
Fire Suppression Piping
Ductwork
Ceiling Diffusers
HVAC units, Fans
Tanks
Pumps
Elevator Equipment

Electrical
Light Fixtures
Cable Trays/Racks
Panelboards
Switchboards/MCC Units
UPS Systems
Emergency Generators

Building Contents
Demountable Partitions
Furniture/Equipment
Computer Installations
Food Services Equipment

V - Vulnerability Rating C - Consequence Rating P - Priority


Notes

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The seismic vulnerability and failure consequences assessment of each item is best accomplished by
a two-person team of engineers experienced in seismic design and evaluation of the seismic
performance of the buildings and non-structural elements.

Seismic vulnerability depends on:


1. The characteristics of the ground motion.
2. The response of the building in terms of acceleration and displacement.
3. The size and weight of the components.
4. Component location in the building (i.e. first floor or roof).
5. The type of building lateral-force-resistive system and the relative stiffness of the
structural and the non-structural element components.
6. The adequacy of the connection or lack of connection of the non-structural
component to the structure and other supporting non-structural elements.

Consequences of failure relate to:


1. The component's location in the building, weight and height above the floor.
2. The building occupancy and function, and the potential life-safety and/or impact on
building function if the component or equipment were to fail.

In addition, some components such as appendages and cladding must be evaluated in relation to
adjacent and possible lower buildings, alleys, parking areas, sidewalks, plazas, parks, landscaped
areas, etc.

Several functional areas of office buildings deserve special attention because of specific life-
threatening environments that can occur during an earthquake:

C Hallways, corridors, and stairways that serve as the primary egress route from the building
should be designed to be safe from falling ceiling or light fixtures, broken glass or collapsed
masonry and should be kept clear of obstructions such as file cabinets or other stored items.

C Canopies at exits should be checked to ensure that they will not collapse and exit routes
should be safeguarded against glazing failure.

C The safety of staff in mechanical rooms should be evaluated and precautions taken. Kitchen
and laundry areas, if present, should be designed to protect staff from heavy equipment and
possible injury or fire caused by broken service or fuel lines.

Typically, the assessments are made on the basis of visual observation and engineering judgement.
For the most part, no formal seismic calculations are performed in these assessments. However,
when faced with items of high consequences and questionable seismic resistance, it may be necessary
to carry out more detailed component evaluations in the next stage of the procedure.

The Vulnerability Rating is defined as follows:

Low Vulnerability means that the component is reasonably well restrained, and there is a low
probability of failure during a design earthquake (as specified in the performance objective).

Moderate Vulnerability means that the component is restrained, but there is a moderate
probability of failure during a design earthquake.

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High Vulnerability means that the identified component is either poorly restrained, or not
restrained at all, and there is a high probability of failure during a design earthquake.

The Consequences Rating is defined as follows:

Low Consequences means that failure of the component represents a low adverse impact on the
functional use of the building, and/or, the component is located where its failure presents a
low risk (no injury to minor injury) to the occupants of the building. An example is an air
conditioning unit on the ground in a locked compound behind a building.

Moderate Consequences means that failure of the component represents a moderate adverse
impact on the functional use of the building, and/or, the component is located where its
failure presents a moderate risk (minor to moderate injury) to the occupants of the building.
An example is an air conditioning unit in a mechanical room.

High Consequences means that failure of the component represents a high adverse impact on the
functional use of the building, and/or, the component is located where its failure presents a
high risk (death or serious injury) to the occupants of the building. An example is an air
conditioning unit in the ceiling above an entrance corridor.

4.4 Mitigation Priorities

Mitigation priorities should be assigned to components based on a balanced judgement of the


performance requirements for the building. Life safety hazards are assigned the highest priorities.
Structural and non-structural deficiencies should be considered together in the development of a
hazard mitigation plan for non-structural components.

In an upgrading project, the seismic hazards to be upgraded first are those that have a high
probability of causing death or serious injury to people inside or adjacent to the building, or hazards
which pose high risk of explosion or fire. These hazards have High Consequences Ratings. These
High Consequences hazards should be further prioritized for upgrading according to their
Vulnerability Ratings.

The setting of priority of seismic upgrading of the non-structural component should be governed
primarily by Consequences Rating, followed by the Vulnerability Rating. This is because the
determination of the Consequences Rating can generally be made with a higher degree of certainty
than the Vulnerability Rating which requires more judgement.

Following this logic it is possible for a non-structural component with a Low Consequences Rating,
but a High or Moderate Vulnerability Rating, not to have a high priority for upgrading.

Examples:

An example is a heavy concrete exterior cladding panel, with a High Vulnerability Rating because
it was improperly attached to the structure. However, if this cladding panel were located above a
light well, where occupant and public access was restricted, it would have a Low Consequences
Rating. Such a panel would have low priority for upgrading if "life-safety" were the performance
objective for the building. If the performance objective for the building was that it functions after
an earthquake and the local climatic conditions were such that the proper enclosure of the building

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from the weather was necessary, then the seismic upgrading of the inadequately attached panel
would probably have a high priority.

In buildings that are assigned life-safety as the performance objective, the potential falling hazard
of an improperly anchored heavy light fixture in an exit corridor, with a High Vulnerability, and a
High Consequences Rating, should have a higher priority for upgrading than a similar light fixture
in an office area with a lower Consequences Rating. The same argument can be made that an
improperly installed lay-in tee-bar ceiling system in an exit corridor should have a higher upgrading
priority than similar ceiling systems over office work areas.

In buildings where damage control or continued building function are the performance objectives,
it would probably be necessary to upgrade all non-structural hazards throughout the building,
starting with the elements rated as High and Moderate Seismic Vulnerability, in order to achieve
a "no" or "very low" vulnerability rating.

4.5 Component Evaluations

Component evaluations can be based on a combination of prescriptive criteria and analysis


procedures. The prescriptive criteria are contained in Chapter 5 and Appendix A. The structural
analysis is based on the procedures described in Chapter 2 or, for URM bearing wall buildings,
Appendix A of NRC (1993-1).

The level of protection provided by these criteria may be altered in accordance with the
performance objectives described in Section 1.5.

As a consequence of the component evaluations, the mitigation priorities determined in Section 4.4
shall be revised for establishing a mitigation plan in Section 4.7. Components that are adequately
restrained in accordance with the evaluation criteria and performance objectives can be removed
from the list.

4.6 Choice of Upgrading Techniques

Suitable upgrading techniques should be chosen for each component as prescribed in Chapter 5 or
should be designed in accordance with Chapters 2 and 3.

A cost estimate should also be prepared for each identified component.

4.7 Mitigation Plan

Based on the evaluation, priorities, rehabilitation methods, costs, and available resources,
a mitigation plan that establishes the performance objectives, type of upgrading, estimated
cost and suggested time frame for non-structural hazard mitigation can be prepared. The
mitigation plan should include scheduling the work, development of drawings,
specifications and tender documents.

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5. UPGRADING TECHNIQUES

There are a variety of approaches that may be applied to the seismic upgrading for non-structural
components, each with specific merits and limitations. The upgrading technique most appropriate
for use with a particular component will depend on the characteristics of the component and the
building. In this section a number of examples of upgrading techniques and details are presented
for consideration. The techniques are described making use of sketches. Although the sketches are
generally used to illustrate concept only, some contain prescriptive recommendations. Individual
situations will require item-specific details to be checked or developed by the engineer or architect.
This requires consideration of the component, it's attachment, it's location in the building and the
building construction at the location of the component.

5.1 Architectural Components

The three principal causes of damage to architectural components in a building during earthquake
motions are: lack of component capacity, insufficient connection capacity and inability to
accommodate differential motion. The examples that follow highlight these features for a selection
of architectural components.

Exterior Curtain Walls. Rigid non-ductile curtain wall panels attached to the exterior of a flexible
structure may have insufficient flexibility in the connections to the frame and insufficient space
between panels to prevent damage due to seismic displacement of the structure. Figure 5.1 shows
a typical connection detail that provides ductility and rotational capacity. The panel is rigidly
attached at the base and held with a flexible rod at the top. It is usually desirable to provide a rigid
support at one end of each panel and to allow the other end to translate to accommodate the
interstorey deflection of the frame without racking the panels.

Veneers. Stone and masonry with inadequate anchorage (see Appendix A for criteria) should be
strengthened by adding new anchors. Typical details for adding new connectors for stone and
masonry veneer are described in CSA Standard A370-1994.

Glazing. Inadequate edge clearances around the glass to allow the building, and hence the window
frame, to rack in an earthquake without bearing on the glass is the principal cause of breakage. A
technique to reduce life-safety hazards from falling glass is to apply an adhesive film to the windows,
preferably to the inside surface so as to reduce UV degradation. A solar film on the outside surface
which reduces heat and glare could also be used for this purpose, but glass fracture due to heat build-
up should be considered.

Appendages. Cornices, parapets, spandrels and other architectural appendages that have insufficient
anchorage capacity require upgrading to prevent damage and the possibility of falling debris. A
technique that has been used in seismic mitigation of heavy and ornate cornice work is to remove
the cornice and reconstruct it with adequate anchorage and new lighter material such as lightweight
concrete. Parapets can be reduced in height so that they do not overturn during earthquake (see
Table 5.1 for limiting height-to-thickness ratio) or they can be strengthened with details such as those
shown in Figures 5.2 and 5.3. All elements must be checked for capacity to sustain the modified
forces imposed by the corrective measures. For unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings, follow
the criteria for parapets given in Appendix A of NRC (1993-1).

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Table 5.1 LIMITING HEIGHT-TO-THICKNESS RATIO OF
UNREINFORCED-MASONRY WALLS AND PARAPETS
(Adapted from NRC 1993-1)

WALL TYPES Effective Seismic Zone ZN (see Note 1)


Walls in top storey of multi-storey 14 14 9
building
All other walls 20 16 13
Parapets 4 2.5 1.5
1
The Effective Seismic Zone, ZN, is determined from the NBC Seismic Zone, Zv, as follows:
ZN = Zv (NBC) + 1 (if Za > Zv) + 1 (if F $ 1.5)

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Figure 5.1 Flexible connection for precast concrete cladding

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Figure 5.2 Strengthening a masonry parapet with a new concrete overlay

Figure 5.3 Strengtening a masonry parapet with steel brace

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Partitions. Heavy partitions such as those of concrete or clay blocks without adequate lateral stability
and connection capacity may fail from out-of-plane displacement or in-plane shear stress caused by
interstorey drift. Such partitions should be fitted with connections similar to those shown in Figure
5.4 and 5.5 that restrain out-of-plane displacement and allow in-plane displacement. Also height-to-
thickness ratio of unreinforced masonry partitions should not exceed the limit in Table 5.1.
Alternatively, unreinforced masonry partitions can be removed and replaced with drywall partitions.

Hollow clay tile partitions occur in many existing buildings as corridor walls or as non-structural
enclosures for elevator shafts or stairwells. Hollow clay tile is a very strong but brittle material and
is very susceptible to shattering into fragments that could be hazardous to building occupants and
obstruct egress. In many cases it is not possible to isolate these partitions from the lateral
displacements of the structural framing. In such cases it is advisable to consider either removal of
these partitions and replacement with drywall construction or restraining the potential fragments
with a wire mesh or FRP/PRC overlays (see NRCC-1995).

For unreinforced masonry bearing-wall buildings, the partitions interact with the structure. For such
cases refer to Appendix A of NRC (1993-1).

Ceilings. Unbraced suspended ceilings can swing independently of the supporting floor and cause
damage to the ceilings, particularly at the perimeters. The provision of four-way (12-gauge wire)
diagonals and a compression strut between the ceiling grid and the supporting floor at 3.5 m on
centres and within 1.7 m of partition walls will significantly improve the seismic performance of the
suspended ceiling. Figure 5.6 shows a typical detail of the four-way diagonals and the compression
strut. In addition to the braces, the connections between the main runners and cross runners should
be capable of transferring tension loads. Lay-in ceilings are particularly vulnerable to the relative
displacements of the supporting grid members. Splices and connections of the T-bar sections that
comprise the grid may have to be stiffened with new metal clips and self threading screws.

Computer Access Floors. Access floors are typically constructed of square floor panels supported on
adjustable column pedestals. The column pedestals are frequently fastened to the floor below with
adhesive. Some assemblies have stringers that connect to the tops of the pedestals, see Figure 5.8,
and others have the panels connected directly to the pedestals. When subjected to lateral loads,
access floors typically are very flexible unless they are specifically designed to be rigid. This flexibility
may amplify the ground motions such that equipment supported on the floor may experience
significantly higher displacements and forces. These higher displacements also may cause
connection failures that could precipitate a collapse of the floor. Existing floors can be upgraded by
securing the pedestals to the subfloor with concrete anchors or by adding diagonal bracing to the
pedestals in a regular pattern. See Figure 5.9. Upgraded floors should be designed and tested to
meet both stiffness and strength criteria.

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Figure 5.4 Bracing an interior masonry partition

Figure 5.5 Bracing an interior masonry partition

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Figure 5.6 Lateral bracing of a suspended celling

Figure 5.7 Providing safety wires for suspended lighting fixtures

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Figure 5.8 Access floor pedestrals

Figure 5.9 Strengthening of access floor pedestrals (for v.F of 0.2 or more)

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5.2 Components of Electrical and Mechanical Systems

Mechanical, electrical and plumbing components are often vulnerable to seismic damage. Damage
to these components can impair building function that may be essential to life safety. Frequently
these components are located close to the edge of roofs or are suspended above ceilings and present
significant life safety hazards should they fall during an earthquake. A number of upgrading
techniques for mitigating life safety risk and seismic damage of mechanical and electrical equipment
are presented in this section.

Lighting Fixtures. Suspended fluorescent fixtures are susceptible to several types of seismic damage.
Fixtures that are supported by suspended ceiling grids can lose their vertical support when the ceiling
sways and distorts under seismic shaking. Independent wire ties connected directly from each of the
fixture corners (or diagonally opposite corners) to the structural framing above can be added to
prevent the fixture from falling. A typical detail is shown in Figure 5.7. Also lens clips may be used
where falling lenses present a hazard.

Pendant fixtures should be provided with independent cable or chain supports from the fixture to
the structural framing above. All restraints should be designed so that no part of the fixture can fall
to within 2 m of the floor assuming loss of all support except the seismic restraints. Pendant fixtures
should be located to ensure that the fixture can not swing and impact adjacent components or walls.

Piping, Ductwork and Electrical Cable Trays. Seismic retrofit of piping, ductwork and cable trays primarily
consists of providing lateral and longitudinal sway braces. These braces can consist of cable bracing
or rigid bracing. Typical details are shown in Figures 5.10 and 5.11. Pipes, ducts or cables
connected to different sections of the building and to equipment should have adequate flexibility to
allow for relative structural movements. This is particularly important for equipment connected to
gas lines and for fire suppression and other emergency systems. Gas shut off valves can be installed
in gas distribution lines to prevent gas leaks following an earthquake. In the U.S., the Sheet Metal
and Air-Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA, 1991) has published guidelines
for the design of seismic restraints of new mechanical and piping systems which can be used for
upgrading of existing systems. These guidelines are summarized as follows:

1. All rectangular ducts 0.6 m2 in area and greater and round ducts 200 mm in diameter and
larger should be seismically braced.
2. Transverse braces should be installed at a maximum of 9 m on center, at each duct turn, and
at each end of a duct run.
3. Longitudinal braces should be installed at a maximum of 18 m on center.
4. No bracing is required if the top of a duct is suspended 300 mm or less from the supporting
structural member and the suspension straps are attached to the top of the duct.

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The SMACNA guidelines for seismic bracing of piping recommend that:

1. Braces be provided for all pipes 63 mm in diameter and larger (and also for smaller piping
used for fuel gas, oil, medical gas, and compressed air and smaller piping located in boiler
rooms, mechanical equipment rooms, and refrigeration machinery rooms).
2. Transverse braces be installed at a maximum of 12 m on center.
3. Longitudinal braces be installed at a maximum of 24 m on center.
4. Thermal expansion and contraction forces, where present, be considered in the layout of
transverse and longitudinal braces.
5. Flexibility be provided where pipes pass through seismic or expansion joints.

For typical seismic brace details for ducting and piping see the SMACNA (1991) guidelines.

Suspended Equipment. Equipment such as transformers, tanks, heaters and air conditioning units are
often suspended from the structure above the component. To restrain such units it is necessary to
provide bracing to limit the movement of the equipment during an earthquake. This bracing can
be rigid or a system of cables which are connected to the unit and to the structure above. It may also
be necessary to provide stiffeners on the rod hangers to ensure that they do not buckle under
compressive loading induced by the diagonal restraints. Typical details are shown in Figures 5.12
and 5.13.

Floor Mounted Equipment. Equipment that is not anchored or is inadequately anchored can slide during
an earthquake and damage utility connections. Tall, narrow units may also be vulnerable to
overturning. Positive anchorage to prevent seismic damage to these units can be provided in a
number of ways depending on the location of the unit in the building. Units can be braced to
adjacent walls, ceilings or floors. In all cases the capacity of the structure to which the bracing is
attached should be checked to verify that the applied loads can be safely resisted.

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Figure 5.10 Seismic restraint for piping

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Figure 5.11 Seismic restraint for cable trays

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Figure 5.12 Seismic restraint for unit heater

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Figure 5.13 Seismic restraint for silencer

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Isolated Equipment. Mechanical or electrical equipment supported on vibration isolators may be particularly
vulnerable to being shaken off the isolator supports during an earthquake. Mitigation of the potential for damage
involves either replacing the vibration isolation units or installing seismic stops. Vibration isolation units that can
also provide lateral seismic resistance are available from isolator manufactures. These units can be installed in
place of the existing isolators. Alternatively, seismic stops designed to restrict excessive movement of the equipment
can be installed. A sufficient gap is required between the stop and the equipment to prevent the transmission of
vibrations through the stops. The equipment, the attachment to the isolators or support rails and the rails
themselves can be points of weakness that need to be assessed and strengthened where required. Figures 5.14 and
5.15 show typical details for restraining larger floor mounted equipment. See Section 2.4 for estimating restraint
forces.

Elevators. The principal hazard in seismic response of elevators is associated with the derailment of counterweights.
This is also the most common form of damage in elevator systems subjected to earthquakes. Counterweights that
become dislodged from their guide rails often cause damage to the elevator cars with the resulting potential for
personal injury. To prevent dislodgment of counterweights see the criteria for elevators contained in Appendix
A.

Derailment of elevator cars occurs much less frequently during earthquakes and the associated risk to occupants
is small. The usual consequence is loss of operation and delay and inconvenience in freeing occupants from the
cars.

Elevator machine room equipment may also require seismic restraint. Electronic seismic cut off switches are often
installed in elevator systems and will require re-setting following an earthquake.

For more information on the requirements for elevator seismic safety see ANSI/ASME
A 17.1 - 1984.

Emergency Power Storage Batteries. Batteries for emergency generators and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)
systems require adequate restraint to prevent them from moving and breaking. This is usually accomplished by
using a steel braced frame to hold the batteries in position. The frame has to be adequately anchored to the
structure. Flexibility should be provided in the cables from the batteries to allow for relative movements between
the batteries and the structure. See Fig 5.16.

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Figure 5.14 Seismic restraint for air handling unit

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Figure 5.15 Seismic restraint for generator set

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Figure 5.16 Seismic restraint for battery racks

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5.3 Building Contents

During an earthquake furniture, moveable equipment and demountable partitions within the interior of the
building can slide, overturn or fall. For heavy components this can cause significant life safety risk. Also, the
displaced components can become obstacles that prevent occupants from exiting the building and this is of
particular concern in principal exit ways. Components which could create these hazards during an earthquake
should be restrained. A number of typical details are given in this section which presents several strategies for these
components.

Demountable Partitions. Demountable partitions, which occur in many office occupancies, are usually light and of
low height. Consequently they are generally not a life safety hazard. Demountable partitions which could block
principal exit ways should be restrained from overturning or sliding. Also unrestrained demountable partitions
should not be used to support heavy objects such as computer equipment.

Office Decorations. Often large objects are used for decoration of work spaces and movement areas within a
building. Usually these objects are located at or above head height. Items such as large plant pots, sculptures and
paintings can become dangerous to occupants if they move and fall during an earthquake. Adequate restraint
should be provided to these items to ensure that they cannot become loose or don't fall. Alternatively they may
be removed and placed on the floor. A detail to restrict the movement of heavy items located on top of filing
cabinets is shown in Figure 5.17.

Library Shelving, Bookcases and Filing Cabinets. Shelving, book cases and filing cabinets which are tall are a life-safety
hazard unless they are restrained or anchored. Restraint can be provided by connecting units to adjacent walls
or by anchoring to the floor to prevent the possibility of overturning and sliding. It is important to ensure that the
floor or wall that is used to restrain the units has sufficient load carrying capacity to resist the additional forces
imposed by the unit without causing failure. A typical anchoring detail for a bookcase is shown in Figure 5.18.
Typical details for filing cabinets are shown in Figures 5.19 and 5.20.

Wheel-Mounted Office Equipment. Often, office equipment such as photocopiers are mounted on castors or wheels.
During an earthquake these units can roll around within the building and cause considerable damage to adjacent
equipment and to themselves. These rolling objects also pose a serious danger to occupants in the building.
Experience in past earthquakes has shown that wheel locks on such units do not function well during earthquakes
and often release. For such units it is important to provide effective anchoring or tethering of the unit to ensure
that it can not break free during an earthquake. These details often require imaginative and innovative restraints
which permit flexibility and ease of use for normal functional requirements and also maintain the restraint
necessary to prevent movement during an earthquake. A basic restraint detail for such a unit is shown in
Figure 5.21. Televisions and VCR units mounted on trolleys should be restrained to the trolley and the trolley
should be restrained with a harness to the structure.

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Figure 5.17 Miscellaneous office furniture

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Figure 5.18 Seismic restraint for bookcase

Figure 5.19 Seismic restraint for file cabinet (horizontal format)

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Figure 5.20 Tall file cabinets

Figure 5.21 Seismic restraint for photocopier

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Desk-Mounted Equipment. Desk mounted equipment such as personal computers and testing equipment can slide
and fall to the floor during an earthquake as shown in Figure 5.22. To prevent this type of failure each component
should be connected or tethered to the desk in order to restrict the movement that can occur from lateral forces.
Self adhesive pads and velcro pads can provide the required restraint for lighter components but heavier units may
require fixing to the desk with brackets and screws. Equipment such as computers whose loss can result in
considerable office disruption as well as cost should preferably be secured by a cable tether against theft. Ingenuity
has to be used to provide details which are effective restraints but at the same time do not compromise the
flexibility of movement required for normal operation. Figure 5.23 shows a typical detail for restraining desk
mounted computer equipment.

Kitchens and Lunchrooms. Refrigerators, microwave ovens and coffee makers present a life-safety hazard if they fall
off shelves on tables, particularly if located on an upper shelf. Restraints such as shown in Figure 5.17, 5.18 or 5.23
should be provided where such a hazard exists.

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Figure 5.22 Desk top computers and office equipment

Figure 5.23 Seismic restraint for desk-mounted personal computers

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6. EXAMPLE APPLICATIONS

Two examples that represent typical office and library occupancies are presented to show the
application of this evaluation guideline. The tables show the use of the tabular format for the
survey notes. Each area or room in the building is identified and all components within the
space that present potential non-structural seismic hazards are listed and assessed. Items of
particular concern or which pose special risk should be noted for emphasis. It is important to
provide sufficient inventory data to allow cost estimates to be developed.

Example 1: Library

Example 1 gives a portion of a seismic evaluation of non-structural building components for a


representative small branch library.

Some of the special concerns highlighted by the survey are the tall narrow book cases which are
not anchored or restrained and the lighting in the entrance hall. Situations such as microwave
ovens and small refrigerators sitting on top of benches and tables in staff room areas are often
identified as special concerns.

Example 2: Office Building

Example 2 shows the results of an evaluation survey for a section of a seven storey office building.
Information for a typical mechanical room, office area and office/laboratory area are given.

Special concerns such as filing cabinets in corridors leading to exits and stair wells of egress
routes are given special attention. Special priority and emphasis are also given to the toxic or
corrosive content of equipment on benches in the laboratory area. Here, restraint details which
permit flexibility of day-to-day use and yet provide adequate seismic restraint are required.

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Example 1
Project: Library, Vancouver
SEISMIC RISK ASSESSMENT Date: December 93 Page 1 of 9
ITEM Room/Area Room/Area
Public Area Staff Area
Type/Qty V C P $ Type/Qty V C P $
Architectural
T-Bar Ceilings T M M M T M M M
Stud Walls OK - - - OK - - -

Mechanical/Plumbing
Piping
Fire Suppression Piping
Ductwork IN CEILING L M L T L M L
Ceiling Diffusers 28 M H M 4 M H M
HVAC units, Fans
Tanks
Pumps
Elevator Equipment

Electrical
Light Fixtures 128 M H M 14 M H M
Cable Trays/Racks
Panelboards
Switchboards/MCC Units
UPS Systems
Emergency Generators

Building Contents
Demountable Partitions SHELVING H H H SHELVING M H M
Furniture/Equipment 3 DECKS L L L 2 DECKS M M M
Computer Installations 4 PCs H M H 2 PCs H M H
Food Services Equipment

MAGAZINE RACKS 4 H H H
MICROWAVE & FRIDGE T H M H

Notes 6 ROWS OF 84" SHELVES 2 ROWS OF 66" SHELVES


NOT ANCHORED. NOT ANCHORED.

V = Vulnerability Rating C = Consequence Rating P = Priority

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Example 2
Project: OFFICE BUILDING, RICHMOND, B.C.
SEISMIC RISK ASSESSMENT Date: JUNE 94 Page 1 of 19
ITEM Room/Area Room/Area
OFFICE AREA OFFICE / LAB AREA
Type/Qty V C P $ Type/Qty V C P $
Architectural
T-Bar Ceilings T M M M T M M M
Stud Walls T M M M T M M M

Mechanical/Plumbing
Piping GAS M H H
Fire Suppression Piping
Ductwork T M M M T M M M
Ceiling Diffusers 12 H M H 6 H M H
HVAC units, Fans
Tanks
Pumps
Elevator Equipment

Electrical
Light Fixtures 50 H M H 3 L M L
Cable Trays/Racks
Panelboards
Switchboards/MCC Units
UPS Systems I UNIT M H H
Emergency Generators

Building Contents
Demountable Partitions 8 FILES M H L 3 FILES M H M
Furniture/Equipment 25 DESKS 4 DESKS L L M
Computer Installations 20 PCs 3 PCs M H H
Food Services Equipment

FILES IN CORRIDOR 6 M H H
LAB. EQUIP. ON BENCHES 6 H H H

Notes 6 FILE CABINETS IN EGRESS TOXIC CONTENT IN LAB EQUIPMENT.


ROUTE. HIGH PRIORITY COMPUTERS & UPS ARE CRITICAL
FOR THIS SECTION

V = Vulnerability Rating C = Consequence Rating P = Priority

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REFERENCES

ANSI/ASME, A17.1-1984. Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. American Society of Mechanical
engineers, New York, N.Y.

CSA, A370-1994. Connections for Masonry. Canadian Standards Organization, Rexdale (Toronto),
Ontario

FEMA, 1992. NEHRP Handbook for Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings. Federal Emergency
Management Agency, Report FEMA-172, Washington, D.C.

NBC, 1995. National Building Code of Canada, 1995. Institute for Research in Construction, National
Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

NRC, 1993-1. Guidelines for Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings. Institute for Research in
Construction, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

NRC, 1993-2. Manual for Screening of Buildings for Seismic Investigation. Institute for Research in
Construction, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

NRC, 1995. Guideline on Techniques for Seismic Upgrading of Building Structures. Institute for Research in
Construction, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

SMACNA, 1991. Seismic Restraint Manual, Guidelines for Mechanical Systems. Sheet Metal and Air
Conditioning Contractors National Association, Inc., 4201 Lafayette Center Drive, Chantilly,
VA 22021, December, 1991.

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APPENDIX A. PRELIMINARY EVALUATION

To help carry out the preliminary evaluation of non-structural building components, this
Appendix contains the following excerpts from NRC (1993-1).

Table A-1 contains a checklist of Evaluation Statements which deal with life-safety concerns.
Some of the Evaluation Statements can be answered directly; for the others, including those that
require calculations, the component in question should be evaluated later in the procedure in
accordance with step 4 of the procedure contained in Chapter 4.

The preliminary evaluation of non-structural elements require site visits of approximately 1 hour
to identify the present status of non-structural items in accordance with the checklist in Table A-
1. This site visit is important because these elements might have been modified many times
during the life of the structure.

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Table A-1. EVALUATION STATEMENTS
FOR NON-STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS
(NRC 1993-1)

Address the following Evaluation Statements that pertain to life-safety issues, marking each either true (T),
false (F) or not applicable (NA). Statements that are found to be true identify issues that are acceptable;
statements that are found to be false identify issues that need investigation. Definition of symbols: v =
peak horizontal ground velocity (NBC),
vF = v @ F # 0.4, where F is the NBC foundation factor.

PARAPETS, CORNICES AND CHIMNEYS

T F NA MASONRY PARAPETS: There are no laterally unsupported masonry


parapets or cornices above the highest anchorage level with
height/thickness ratios greater than the limits given in Table 5.1.
T F NA CONCRETE PARAPETS: Concrete parapets with height/thickness ratios
greater than 1.0 + 0.4/vF have vertical reinforcement.
T F NA CANTILEVERING CORNICES: All cornices, parapets, and other
appendages that extend above the highest anchorage level or cantilever
from exterior wall faces, and other exterior wall ornamentations are
reinforced and well anchored to the structural system.
T F NA UNREINFORCED CHIMNEYS: No unreinforced chimney that extends
above the roof level more than 1.0 + 0.4/vF times the least dimension of the
chimney.
T F NA CHIMNEY BRACING: The masonry chimneys are tied to the floor and
roof.

CLADDING, GLAZING, AND VENEER

T F NA ANCHORAGE: All exterior cladding and veneer courses above the first
storey or above 3.6 m are properly anchored to the exterior wall framing for
in-plane and out-of-plane lateral forces.
T F NA VENEER CONNECTIONS: Masonry veneer above the first storey, above
a height of 3.6 m, and above all exits is connected to the backup with
corrosion-resistant ties spaced at 600 mm maximum (limit for v $ 0.2) which
are adequate for loads computed using Sp = 6.5 in Equation 2-1.

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Table A-1. EVALUATION STATEMENTS FOR NON-STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS (Continued)

T F NA PANEL AND GLAZING ISOLATION: For moment frame buildings of


steel or concrete, panels and glazing are sufficiently isolated from the
structural frame to absorb the predicted interstorey drift without collapse.
T F NA MULTI-STOREY PANELS: Where multi-storey panels are attached at
each floor level, the panels and connections can accommodate the predicted
interstorey drift without collapse.
T F NA BEARING CONNECTIONS: Where bearing connections are required,
there are at least two bearing connections for each wall panel.
T F NA INSERT ANCHORAGE: Where inserts are used in concrete connections,
the inserts are properly anchored.
T F NA CONNECTION FOR OUT-OF-PLANE FORCES: There are at least
four connections for each wall panel capable of resisting out-of-plane forces.
T F NA WELDED AND BOLTED CONNECTIONS: Welded and bolted
connections appear to be capable of yielding in the base metal before
fracturing the welds, bolts, or inserts.
T F NA ECCENTRICITY OF CONNECTIONS: All eccentricities in connections
are accounted for.
T F NA INSTALLATION OF CONNECTIONS: Connections appear to be
installed properly.
T F NA CONDITION OF CONNECTIONS: Elements of connections are not
severely deteriorated or corroded.
T F NA CONDITION OF SHEATHING: There is no visible deterioration of
exterior sheathing.

BRICK VENEER WITH CONCRETE BLOCK BACKUP (Sections A.2 and A.3)

T F NA ANCHORS AT FLASHING: The brick veneer is adequately anchored to


the backup at locations of through-wall flashing.
T F NA ANCHOR TIES: Brick veneer is connected to the backup with corrosion-
resistant ties at 600 mm o.c. maximum (for v $ 0.2) which are adequate for
loads computed using
Sp = 6.5 in Equation 2.1.
T F NA REINFORCED BACKUP: The concrete block backup qualifies as
reinforced masonry (for v $ 2).
T F NA ANCHORAGE OF BACKUP: The concrete block backup is positively
anchored to the structural frame at 1.2 m maximum intervals along the
floors and roofs.
T F NA MORTAR JOINTS: Mortar joints in brick and block wythes are well-
filled, and material cannot be easily scraped from the joints.

BRICK VENEER WITH WOOD OR STEEL STUD BACKUP


(Sections A.2 and A.3)

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Table A-1. EVALUATION STATEMENTS FOR NON-STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS (Continued)

T F NA ANCHORS AT FLASHING: The brick veneer is adequately anchored to


the backup in the vicinity of locations of through-wall flashing.
T F NA ANCHOR TIES: Brick veneer is connected to the backup with corrosion-
resistant ties at 600 mm o.c. maximum (for v $ 0.2) which are adequate for
loads computed using
Sp = 6.5 in Equation 2.1.
T F NA BRICK TIES: Corrugated brick ties are not used.
T F NA MORTAR JOINTS: Mortar joints in the brick veneer are well filled, and
material cannot be easily scraped from the joints.
T F NA STUDS AT OPENINGS: Additional studs frame window and door
openings.
T F NA CONDITION OF BACKUP: There is no visible corrosion of brick ties, tie
screws, studs or stud tracks.
T F NA STEEL STUD TRACKS: Steel stud tracks are fastened to the structural
frame at 600 mm o.c. maximum.

THIN STONE VENEER PANELS (Sections A.2 and A.3)

T F NA STONE ANCHORS: Stone anchorage are adequate for computed loads.


T F NA CRACKS AND WEAK VEINS: There are no visible cracks or weak veins
in the stone.

CONDITIONS AT MEANS OF EGRESS (Section A.3)

T F NA STAIR WALLS: The walls around stairs and corridors are of a material
other than hollow clay tile or unreinforced masonry.
T F NA ORNAMENTATION: All veneers, parapets, cornices, canopies, and other
ornamentation above building exits are well anchored to the structural
system.
T F NA CEILING TILES: Lay-in ceiling tiles are not used in exits or corridors.
T F NA CANOPIES: Canopies are anchored and braced to prevent collapse and
blockage of building exits.

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Table A-1. EVALUATION STATEMENTS FOR NON-STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS (Continued)

PARTITIONS (Section A.4)

T F NA MASONRY PARTITIONS: Unreinforced-masonry or hollow-tile


partitions are laterally supported in accordance with Sections A.6 and A.7
of Appendix A of NRC (1993-1). (See Table 5.1 for limiting height-to-thickness ratio.)
The tops of masonry partitions within ceiling spaces are laterally supported.
T F NA INTERSTOREY DRIFT: Masonry partitions and fixed glass are detailed
to accommodate expected interstorey drift.
T F NA MOVEMENT JOINTS. Masonry partitions and fixed glass at structural
joints are not continuous across the joints.
T F NA ANCHORAGE OF MASONRY PARTITIONS: Masonry partitions
which depend on columns or studs for lateral support are anchored to them
with ties at a maximum spacing of 600 mm (limit for v $ 0.2) which are
adequate for loads computed using Sp = 6.5 in Equation 2.1.

CEILING SYSTEMS (Sections A.5 and A.6)

T F NA CEILING SYSTEMS: Hung ceilings and any supported lighting or


mechanical fixtures are adequately braced.

BUILDING CONTENTS AND FURNISHINGS (Section A.7)

T F NA STORAGE RACKS: Tall, narrow (height/depth > 2.0 + 0.4/vF) storage


racks, book cases, file cabinets, or similar heavy items are anchored to the
floor slab or adjacent walls.

ELEVATORS (Section A.8)

T F NA ELEVATOR SUPPORTS: All elements of the elevator support system are


adequately anchored and configured to resist lateral seismic forces.
T F NA COUNTERWEIGHT SUPPORTS: With the elevator car or
counterweight located in its most adverse position in relation to the guide
rails and support brackets, the horizontal deflection will not exceed 12 mm
between supports and horizontal deflections of the brackets will not exceed
6 mm.
T F NA SNAG GUARDS: Snag points created by rail brackets, fish plates, etc. are
equipped with guards to prevent snagging of relevant moving elements.
T F NA CLEARANCES: The clearance between the car and counterweight
assembly and between the counterweight assembly and the hoistway
enclosure or separator beam is not less than 50 mm.

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Table A-1. EVALUATION STATEMENTS FOR NON-STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS (Continued)

T F NA BRACKET SPACING: The maximum spacing of the counterweight rail


tie brackets tied to the building structure does not exceed 4.8 m. An
intermediate spreader bracket is provided for tie rackets spaced greater than
3 m and two intermediate spreader brackets are provided for tie brackets
greater than 4.3 m.

LARGE MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (Section A.9)


(Life safety functions and/or life safety hazards - emergency generators,
firewater pumps, gas control equipment, etc.)

T F NA ANCHORS: Equipment is adequately anchored to structure or foundation.


T F NA RESTRAINTS: If equipment is mounted on vibration isolators, it is also
equipped with restraints or snubbers.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS (Section A.10)

T F NA GAS CYLINDERS: Compressed gas cylinders are restrained against


motion.
T F NA LABORATORY CHEMICALS: Laboratory chemicals stored in breakable
containers are restrained from falling by latched doors, shelf lips, wires, or
other methods.
T F NA PIPING SHUT-OFFS: Piping containing hazardous materials is provided
with shut-off valves or other devices to prevent major spills or leaks.

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