Earthquakes are a terrifying possibility in areas with high seismic activity. The destruction of property, land, and most importantly, human lives drives us to take into careful consideration all standards required to protect our buildings and structures from these terrible tremors and shakes.
When you know you live in an area of high seismic activity, you want to know that you’re on solid ground even when the earth is shaking! Much like buildings that have strict codes and standards in earthquake-prone zones, mezzanines have special requirements as well. And it’s very important to consider these factors when making a decision about your mezzanines and stairways.
Bluff Manufacturing takes your safety into consideration when designing and manufacturing mezzanines for your building. If you are in a “seismic zone,” Bluff’s engineering department knows how to make your mezzanine safe. We have resources that define such necessary data through the United States Geological Survey organization based on the project’s address alone. The only parameter we may need from our customer is what Occupancy Category the mezzanine system will apply to. For instance, “Buildings and other structures that represent a low hazard to human life in the event of failure, …” is a Category I. While “Buildings and other structures with potential to cause a substantial economic impact and/or mass disruption of day-to-day civilian life in the event of a failure” is a Category III. Category III would be facilities such as power generation, wastewater treatment, telecommunication, and the like. This occupancy category translates into an importance factor (I), which can be applied in determining the Seismic Response Coefficient (Cs).
We may also determine a site class – something that can be easily defined by a subsoil investigation either by a material testing firm local to the project site or historical document relating to such an investigation. For mezzanine systems this parameter can be taken from that assigned to the building itself.
Finally, Seismic Design Category is determined based on the Occupancy Category and geographical location. But Bluff can already determine this piece of information for you based on all the information previously collected.
Safety is at the very epicenter of our business and Bluff Manufacturing works with customers located in all kinds of seismic zones to provide them with stable mezzanines built to stand on shaky grounds. We help our customers configure their mezzanine frame – a simple hand sketch often helps us outline the Seismic Force-Resisting System (SFRS) and the lateral support required. Whether your mezzanine frame is a cross bracing, knee bracing, or moment frame, we at Bluff Manufacturing, are committed to keeping you on solid ground.