CS Expansion Joints for Minor and Major Seismic Movements
When it comes to earthquakes or seismic movements, overall, we are relatively lucky in Australia compared to other more volatile parts of the world, especially with our friends in New Zealand.
But you might not realise that even in Australia there are many minor earthquake movements each year that can impact buildings, even on a small scale. Although we do not experience many larger movements in Australia, like the tragic Newcastle NSW 1989 event, there are lots of minor tremor events which add to the case for correctly designing seismic isolation and movement separation, particularly building expansion joints. It is important to correctly detail these separations with fire barriers, water stops and expansion joint covers, to accommodate and absorb all the expected movement demands. This will reduce the risk of significant building structure damage internally and externally so such events can occur and seamlessly not affect the operation and safety of the building.
Construction Specialties (CS) have a very extensive range of commercial expansion joint solutions for all types of buildings and interior designs. The range covers small to larger style covers that can be integrated into the floor or integrated with the building floor material. In addition, the CS range covers seismic joint solutions for walling and ceiling applications. In addition to extensive global project experience, more regionally, CS products were extensively used in the New Zealand Christchurch redevelopment after the major earthquake event of 2016.
Many of the CS expansion joint products are heavily tested in accordance with global standard ‘Standard Test Method for Cyclic Movement and Measuring the Minimum and Maximum Joint Widths of Architectural Joint Systems’, which covers all forms of architectural joint systems, such as in flooring, walls and ceilings.
When it comes to understanding seismic activity in Australia and the wider Pacific region, you can actually track Earthquake events with the help of the Australian Government Geoscience Australia department which tracks all seismic events in Australia and worldwide. There is a tab on their web site ‘Recent Earthquakes’ which lists all recent seismic events. There is also a long-term perspective for the whole Southern Pacific region showing earthquake events in yellow dots over the past 30 days and white dots over last 10 years. The bigger the dot the bigger the magnitude.
Some recent minor seismic event examples across Australia include;
- More recently on the 5th May 2021 there was a 3.2 earthquake centered 19 km south of Jindabyne NSW, near the Snowy Mountains region, with some news stories;
- In Maldon VIC, north-west of Melbourne, there was a minor tremor 27/5/21.
- In QLD, north-east just off-shore, there was a minor tremor 5/3/21. Up in north QLD in the Bowen Basin region between Gladstone and Townsville there were many minor tremors the last few months.
- In Quairading WA, east of Perth, there was a minor tremor 30/5/21.
- In Morgon SA, north east of Adelaide, there was a minor tremor 30/5/21.
Below we have highlighted some of our stand out expansion joint covers for commercial buildings. These not only ensure there are minimal trip hazards and normal expansion and contraction, but in the case of potential seismic activity you can rest assured that you have covered all options.