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Seismic Loading Criteria for an Aluminum Frame Non-building Structure Similar to Buildings?

Seismic Loading Criteria for an Aluminum Frame Non-building Structure Similar to Buildings?

Seismic Loading Criteria for an Aluminum Frame Non-building Structure Similar to Buildings?

(OP)
I am a structural engineer and I have a client here in California who wants to install Aluminum patio covers that were manufactured in New Zealand. These can be described basically as aluminum frame non-building structures, similar to buildings, that are attached to residential structures. I understand the wind design requirements per ASCE 7-10, and this will very likely be the governing load, given that it is a very light system. However, there does not seem to be seismic loading criteria stipulated in ASCE 7-10 nor in the 2015 Aluminum Design Manual for this type of structure.

Yes, if this were constructed of aluminum wall panels, I could use ASCE 7-10 Table 12-14-1, item A14, fitting the description of "other materials". But there is no such option with an "other materials" description given for building frame systems or anything similar.

The Aluminum Design Manual is strangely silent on the subject, simply bowing to ASCE 7.

Thanks for your help in advance. This will save me some embarrassment facing the plan checker with no seismic load design.

Richard L. Flower, P. E., LEED Green Associate
Senior Structural Engineer
Complere Engineering Group, Inc.

RE: Seismic Loading Criteria for an Aluminum Frame Non-building Structure Similar to Buildings?

Couple of thoughts. If it relies on leaning against a building for lateral support, I'd say its not similar to a building. Buildings have their own lateral system. Next, you can probably make a case that it is an architectural component and select an Rp and ap from the table and calculate the seismic force as if it were simply a component attached to a building.

RE: Seismic Loading Criteria for an Aluminum Frame Non-building Structure Similar to Buildings?

(OP)
Thanks, MotorCity, for your input. I hadn't thought of treating this as an architectural component; I think you are correct in suggesting this. I am curious, though, with this apparent code philosophy regarding "not similar to a building" simply because it is attached to a building. If this were a stand-alone structure, then it appears there would be no code parameters for seismic design.

Richard L. Flower, P. E., LEED Green Associate
Senior Structural Engineer
Complere Engineering Group, Inc.

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