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The January 1994 earthquake in the Northridge area of Southern California was one of the most destructive ever experienced in the United States. Thousands of buildings sustained damage including approximately 600 hospital and healthcare facilities. Much of the damage was to nonstructural components including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and sprinkler systems. Many buildings that did not sustain severe structural damage were rendered unusable because of the damage to nonstructural components. The failure of piping systems in particular caused extensive damage by flooding and the loss of necessary services including fire protection. These experiences have brought about an increased awareness and enforcement of the requirements for seismic bracing for piping systems. This paper examines the development of seismic bracing guidelines for piping systems as they currently exist, reviews the requirements used to develop those guidelines and the generally accepted practices in the specification, and the installation of piping seismic restraints. Examples of typical details for the bracing of piping systems are presented. The bracing of sprinkler system piping is specifically not included in this discussion, as this topic is thoroughly developed in another industry standard.

Units: Dual

Citation: Symposium, ASHRAE Transactions, 1998, Vol 104, pt. 1A, San Francisco