900 East Main Street, Suite 109

Grass Valley, CA 95945


1250 East Ave #10

Chico, CA 95926


Seismic Anchorage

Seismic Anchorage

When should you consider and/or be required to use seismic bracing?

The first “when” is the most obvious one: if your facility is located in a seismically active location you should definitely consider seismic bracing for any sensitive equipment or machines that may pose tipping hazards or loss of both tangible and intangible company assets (data centers and server racks are a common concern).

The second “when” is also a requirement in US states like California. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) drafted seismic bracing requirements that concern machinery or equipment that meets the following two conditions:

  • Section 13.1.4 item 6c: Any component weighing more than 400 pounds.
  • Section 13.1.4 item 6c: Any component where its center of gravity is more than 4 feet above the floor.

What types of seismic anchorage can be deployed?

Seismic anchoring of equipment and machines can vary greatly by the type of facility (Industrial, biotech, clean rooms, etc) in which they are installed.

Floor Anchoring

For heavy machinery/equipment with a high center of gravity at least 4 feet above the floor (and specially when the legal limit of 400 lbs has been reached) you are looking at seismic anchorage that will be directly attaching it to the floor.

This can be done in a variety of ways, one of which involves braces drilled directly into the machine/equipment and then bolted to the floor. In special cases where the machine/equipment is of a delicate nature or holes cannot be drilled into it, special braces can be installed that hold the machine/equipment in place that are only bolted to the floor.

Wall Anchoring

This type of seismic anchoring is most commonly used for very tall racks, shelving, and machinery that are positioned against a wall. Equipment/machines can be bolted to the wall in similar fashions as with floor anchorage, depending on the layout/functionality of the machine or equipment being anchored.

Ceiling Anchoring

Ducting, wiring, and tubing are commonly anchored to ceilings in accordance with seismic anchoring code, but what about machines and equipment?

In certain cases it makes more sense to seismically anchor machines and equipment to the ceiling due to either the close proximity of other machine/equipment or certain instabilities or insufficient floor materials that don’t allow for the solid, code-abiding floor anchorage to be deployed effectively.

How are seismic anchors manufactured and installed?

The process of deploying seismic anchorage is always performed in the following steps:

    1. Securing a permit from your city for work start.
    2. Moving and installing your equipment and machinery to their final resting places in your facility.
    3. Measurements are taken of the equipment or machinery’s clearance to the ground below.
    4. Fabrication of the anchor plates.
    5. Installation of the anchor plates and inspection by the city and a special inspector for code compliance.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *