Piping and Ductwork


How do I run restraints for ductwork in fire rated hallways? ANSWER: This is a great example of the need for good phasing on a project. It may be that the restraints have to be installed crossed over the top of the ductwork and before the walls are put in place. It may mean that …

Q23 Read More »


Can I use wall penetrations as restraint points for ductwork? ANSWER: Yes, to some degree. It is best determined by a qualified seismic design engineer. Common practice is to use wall penetrations as lateral restraints if the wall is considered strong enough and the design forces small enough. Fire dampers, since they are made to …

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What is the size exemption for round or flat oval duct? ANSWER: The cross-sectional size exemption is for any shape of duct. SMACNA used to require all round ductwork 28″ larger in diameter to be restrained. This requirement is not used in IBC 2012/ASCE 7-10


Can I use the “12 inch rule” for ductwork? ANSWER: The “12 inch rule” exemption has been misapplied in many cases. The only way the 12″ exemption rule can apply is if the supports are designed to prohibit significant bending for all hangers on a run of duct. One method is to select hangers that …

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How far apart do the braces need to be? ANSWER: Industry standard practice uses a maximum of 30′ between transverse restraints and 60′ between longitudinal restraints for ductwork. Actual restraint locations will be determined by the seismic design engineer based on duct construction and design force levels.


What duct needs to be restrained? ANSWER: All ductwork that is 6 square feet and over in cross-sectional area or over 17 lb./ft. and does not fall into another exemption category shall be restrained to meet the applicable building code. Other exemptions that may apply include ductwork that has not been assigned an importance factor …

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Why do I not have to restrain piping or ductwork that is hung 12″ or less from the ceiling? ANSWER: Items that are hanging on supports react to earthquakes act as though supported on a pendulum. If the pendulum is 12″ or less, its natural frequency is outside the range generated by earthquakes. Because of …

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An air handling unit is isolated with internal springs, and the fan discharge inside the AHU is flex connected to the AHU housing. The indoor AHU is floor mounted to a 6″ concrete housekeeping pad in the mechanical room on the ground or second floor of a two story building. Are flex connections required for …

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