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Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings
2

Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

(OP)
We have a single-story “big box” project in Florida that is 480’ x 160’. It was originally an all-steel building, with steel stud exterior walls, and using the Thermal Program (steeltools.org) it shows that an expansion joint is not required (Delta-T = 55 degrees). The project has changed to concrete masonry exterior walls and we are concerned that the restraint of the walls may now require an expansion joint. However, I recently went to my local Walmart Superstore (similar footprint) and they did not use an expansion joint. Are we being overly cautious?

RE: Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

In 480' I would put a minimum of one expansion joint in the long dimension; I typically use about 250'-300' as a max length.

I don't know if it's codified; it's what I do.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

There is some guidance in AISC 360-10, page 2-39, fig 2-6, regarding expansion joints. There is also an Alex Tomanovich spreadsheet called "THERMAL.xls" that you can find on https://www.steeltools.org/load.php. 480' is definitely big enough to look at expansion joints.

RE: Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

Thanks, dold... good link.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

(OP)
The Thermal program by Tomanovich is what I used, but my understanding is that it pertains to all-steel buildings only. I am still baffled as to how the Walmart Superstore down the street is the same size building and has no expansion joint.

RE: Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

Does the Walmart building have masonry control joints? Not the same as a global expansion joint. Detailing of an expansion joint depends largely on the type of framing. If the building consists of rigid frames, you just need to provide a frame each side of the joint. If you are depending on a roof horizontal truss/diaphragm, then the problem is more complex.

RE: Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

they should be at about 30' spacing...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

Here is a great article on expansion joints and includes other building materials as well: Link

RE: Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

Also, I'm not sure if you have ever calculated the forces generated from thermal expansion of say a steel beam, but they are crazy high; without allowing for some movement, I expect you would see some issues over time in a building that long without expansion joints.

RE: Expansion Joints in Big Box Buildings

Quote (Here is a great article on expansion joints)


I've never spliced bridging... I've always terminated it and used X-bridging in the adjacent panels.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

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