Armstrong Ceiling Solutions Australia

Earthquake Design for Hospital Ceilings

In Australia, we get on average 100 earthquakes of magnitude of 3.0 or more each year; and magnitude 5.0 or more every one-to-two years. About every 10 years, we will experience a potentially damaging earthquake of magnitude 6.0 or more.

AS1170.4 – 2007: Structural Design Actions, Part 4: Earthquake Actions in Australia is the standard we need to consider when designing our ceiling systems and any other non-structural elements of the building such as partitions, services, lighting, etc.

This standard applies to all commercial buildings in Australia including hospitals, offices, schools, apartments, etc. and even some larger houses.

Structures which are required to fully function post-disaster (such as hospitals, police stations, fire stations, ambulance stations, etc.) are considered Importance Level 4 and require a ‘special study’ demonstrating that they can remain fully operational for immediate use after a sizeable earthquake.

Because of their post-disaster importance, hospitals need to be designed with this in mind and the seismic design process for the ceilings and all other non-structural components and systems should begin as early as possible by a qualified consultant who understands the process and requirements.

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