Rockfon’s ceiling systems simplify seismic requirements

March 8, 2015

Simplifying compliance with building codes’ seismic requirements, Rockfon® Chicago Metallic® ceiling suspension systems are tested to meet or exceed industry standards.

Rockfon Sonar acoustic ceiling tiles installed with Chicago Metallic suspension system in open office environment.

Rockfon Sonar acoustic stone wool ceiling tiles installed in open office.

Our ceiling systems are engineered to reduce installation time, to save associated material and labor costs, and to support life safety and the property preservation during an earthquake. Assisting with proper product selection and specification, Rockfon shares a new, comprehensive brochure titled “Seismic Relief”.

According to the International Building Code (IBC), every construction project must meet a Seismic Design Category (SDC) regardless of geography. The IBC outlines six SDCs, A through F, ranging from the least to the most stringent. Rockfon offers ceiling products to address all SDCs.

Requirements needed to meet seismic code constructions

Most Rockfon® and Chicago Metallic® suspension systems provide intermediate-duty and heavy-duty performance per ASTM C 635 to satisfy the requirements of all seismic code constructions. The exposed tee construction permits direct upward access to mechanical systems and is a cost-effective solution to seismic requirements. Stab-in cross tees cantilever during installation and will not fall out, making for an easier installation and protecting against lateral pull-out. When utilized with the 1494 Seismic Separation Clip (SSC™), the clip sits on top of the grid members, hidden from view, maintaining sleek ceiling design in seismic installations.


Full-scale seismic tests

“Because ceiling panel performance and non-tee bar suspension systems are not well defined in the IBC requirements, we also worked with an independent, internationally renowned structural engineering firm to test both standard and non-standard ceiling systems for seismic performance,” says Mark Taylor, Rockfon’s North American marketing manager for ceiling systems. 

The results of these full-scale seismic tests offer proven safety and performance support for standard and non-standard ceilings, flexible design options, and more efficient installation designs.

Mark Taylor

Marketing Manager for Ceiling Systems North America, Rockfon

Rigorous testing methods

Chicago Metallic® suspension systems are tested to ASTM E580/E580M Standard Practice for Installation of  Ceiling Systems for Acoustical Tile and Lay-in Panels in Areas Subject to Earthquake Ground Motions. In addition, Chicago Metallic™ suspension systems, including the 1496 Seismic Perimeter Clip, 1494 SSC Clip and 1493 Unopposed Tee Clip, also have been successfully and rigorously tested at the Structural Engineering Earthquake Simulation Laboratory at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Rockfon products also are listed under evaluation report ICC-ESR 2631. ICC-ES is the industry leader in performing technical evaluations for code compliance, providing regulators and construction professionals with clear evidence that products comply with codes and standards.

Along with the evaluation details, ICC-ESR 2631 provides proper installation requirements for the following Chicago Metallic® suspension systems:

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