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Brace Interior Partitions

Interior partitions of all types and ages of buildings are often made of materials that fail when not secured to the floor or roof system. Partitions in older buildings may be constructed of heavy, brittle materials and can topple unless they are braced against the floor or roof of the building. 

Interior partitions can fail during an earthquake. Retrofitting can be done with connections that restrict the partitions from sideways movement while allowing vertical movement. Interior partitions generally need lateral support from ceilings or from the floor or roof framing. Unreinforced masonry partitions can also be replaced with drywall partitions. 

Unbraced partitions that do not extend to the floor or roof framing should be braced to the framing. Steel channels are sometimes provided at the top of the partition to provide lateral support, and allow some floor or ceiling movement without imposing any loads on the partition. 

Effectiveness:

  • Somewhat effective.

Limitations:

  • Effectiveness limited by the strength of the partition.
 

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Randolph Langenbach

M-Arch (Harvard), Dipl.Conservation (York, England)


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