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Seismic Loading and Provisions for Industrial Buildings – Should You Use ASCE 7 Chapter 13 or Chapter 15?

In the design of industrial structures, engineers need to know whether the structure and other elements they are designing are considered structures or components under ASCE 7. Because there are different loads and design procedures for Nonbuilding Components (Chapter 13) and Nonbuilding Structures (Chapter 15), the engineer should make the determination before the loads are calculated.

In an August 2012 Structure Magazine article Chapter 13 or Chapter 15? Are You Using the Wrong Loads?, Dain Hammerschmidt, PE and Nicholas Robinson, PE, both from Kiewit Power Engineers Co., present information to help the engineer determine which chapter should be used to design the items for an industrial building. The article includes a useful flowchart that can be followed to determine whether Chapter 13 or Chapter 15 is applicable.

On November 13, 2013, Tom Heausler from Heausler Structural Engineers will be presenting an SE University continuing education session that addresses seismic design for industrial buildings. He has suggested that the above article be read prior to the presentation, as he will be discussing how to determine whether nonbuilding elements should be designed as components or structures during the session.