What are the seismic requirements for metal stud framing?

Metal stud framing must meet the seismic requirements set forth in the International Building Code (IBC). These requirements include:

• Securing metal studs to their base plates and ceilings using fasteners that are designed for seismic activity.
• Using a minimum of two fasteners at each connection point when attaching metal studs to masonry walls.
• Making sure the metal studs are properly braced in order to resist seismic loads and lateral forces.
• Incorporating additional features such as stiffness ties, anchorage straps, and triangulated wall bracing.
• Using metal studs that meet the standards set forth by ASTM C 645 or AISI S100.
• Ensuring a minimum of two layers of gypsum board are used on either side of each partition wall, ceiling, and floor-ceiling assembly to help absorb seismic energy.
•Installing a minimum of one layer of gypsum board on the interior side of all exterior walls.
•Using Type X or better gypsum board to help protect against the spread of fire.
•Ensuring that each ceiling is adequately braced and secured with fasteners to resist seismic forces, in accordance with local building codes.
•Installing seismic clips or anchors at intersections between walls and ceilings/floors, as well as around fixtures and equipment in the ceiling area.
•Using horizontal anchorage straps on all interior partition walls to resist lateral forces due to seismic activity.
• Installing additional bracing along the length of exterior walls, at door and window openings, and in the corners of any non-load-bearing walls.
• Enforcing minimum deflection requirements for floor joists or ceiling trusses according to local building codes.
• Installing vapor barriers to protect against moisture damage, either with 6 mil polyethylene sheeting or an approved alternate material.
• Inspect the structural framing for signs of damage or deterioration, such as warping, cracking, or rotting of wood members.
• Verifying that all connections between frame components are adequately secured and free from any visible defects.
• Installing a minimum of two inches of insulation in exterior walls and attics, as well as all floors located above unconditioned spaces.
• Applying fire-resistant sheathing to walls and ceilings in the form of gypsum board or other approved material.
• Installing weatherproofing materials such as flashing around windows and doors, caulking around baseboards and trim, and vapor barriers on the exterior face of walls.
• Inspecting for termite damage, ensuring that any such damage is treated and all existing colonies are eradicated.
• Ensuring that any damaged or deteriorated materials, such as roofing shingles or flashing, are replaced with new materials.
• Installing gutter systems to divert rainwater away from the home’s foundation.
• Ensuring that all electrical and plumbing systems are up-to-code and properly installed.
• Installing appropriate safety features such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.

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