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Testing that Reaches the World

IBC, AC156, CBC, and ASCE 7

Clark Testing offers full seismic testing, certification, and report submittal for ICC AC-156 seismic qualifications. The AC-156 seismic test specification defines the testing and requirements for equipment installed into newly constructed or renovation projects in the residential and commercial industries. This standard is the most common testing procedure accepted for hospitals & healthcare facilities as determined by the State of California’s Office of Statewide Health and Planning Division (OSHPD) as well as the IBC (International Building Code).

Clark offers full OSHPD and IBC Certification services utilizing our tri-axial seismic shake table along with our partner network of structural Professional Engineers (PE) which offer decades of OSHPD experience.

Clark’s primary tri-axial seismic shake table is comprised of a 15’ x 15’ mounting surface (which can be extended up to 26’) operating on an independent tri-axial hydraulic system. Using this system, our engineers can perform seismic testing on large packages up to 25,000 lbs. The table has three independent servo hydraulic actuators with 38,000 lbs. force each and 10” of peak-to-peak displacement.

Equipment installed in health care facilities in the state of California are required to be designed in order to withstand the effects from seismic activity. ICC AC-156 requires structures and equipment to maintain their structural and functional integrity after an earthquake, making seismic testing a vital part of product validation.

The International Building Code (IBC) is a set of building codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC) to promote public health and safety for design and construction of buildings. The IBC standards are commonly accepted in many countries including the Unites States.

The IBC-2015 contains seismic design requirements for both buildings and electrical equipment installed therein. The standard incorporates, by reference, the design requirements of The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures standard, referred to as SEI/ASCE 7.

In all versions of the code, critical equipment—including emergency power systems—must be certified to comply with the same seismic standards as the building in which they are located. In general, any critical needs facility must be certified to the seismic requirements of its location in accordance with the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) data for ground accelerations.

There are five critical parameters are used to certify and establish the seismic rating level of equipment. These are typically listed in the certified equipment’s specification sheet so that specifying engineers can use the data to verify that the equipment is rated for a particular site.

SDS – IBC specifies a “design spectral response acceleration” at short period , SDS, that represents the base, unmodified acceleration forces used to design the system for the specific installation site. Thus, SDS is a key parameter in designing a power system to resist seismic forces at a given site. SDS ranges from 0 to 2.46. Below an SDS of 0.167, seismic certification is not required.

Ip – The IBC incorporates an Importance Factor used to specify whether the power system is in a critical or noncritical application. A rating of 1.5 designates a critical system and 1.0 designates noncritical. The component importance factor, Ip, is determined to be 1.5 if any of the following conditions apply:

  1. The component is required to function for life-safety purposes after an earthquake, including fire protection sprinkler systems.
  2. The component contains hazardous materials.
  3. The component is in or attached to an Occupancy Category IV structure, and it is needed for continued operation of the facility or its failure could impair the continued operation of the facility.

All other components shall be assigned a component importance factor with Ip equal to 1.0.

ap – The “component amplification” factor ranges from 1.0 to 2.5 depending on the specific component in consideration. Values are defined in the IBC and are dependent on the components’ relative stiffness.

Rp – The “component response” factor ranges from 1.0 to 12.0, depending on the specific component in consideration. Values are defined in the IBC and are dependent on the components’ relative damping.

z/h – Since equipment mounted on an upper floor of a building will experience greater forces than equipment mounted at ground level, the location of a power system within a building must be taken into consideration. This factor is expressed as a ratio of the power system installation height in the building (z) to the height of the building (h). Its value ranges from 0 at ground level to 1 for rooftop installations.

In addition to AC-156, OSHPD, and Building Code Seismic Certifications, Clark’s laboratory also offers a full array of product validation and compliance testing including thermal aging and EMC/EMI testing.