In 25 years of engineering I have never seen a building designed and built as separate buildings. This mostly completed reinforced concrete (RC) building is in a seismic area (Ss=1.30, S1=50), has an 80000 SF footprint, has no irregularities and is 5 stories. The design build contractor designed it as 7 separate buildings (units) with separations varying in width from 7 to 10 inches. Separation looks ok per code if you must have the separation, but I don't see why. All the interior walls are then doubled up so each separate building has "exterior" walls side by side amounting to just a lot of extra work and materials. The contractor says they did it for seismic reasons but I don't see the benefit of having two RC shear walls adjacent to each other. Has anybody designed this way or seen designs or construction done this way?
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