Ceiling systems design and installation lessons from the Canterbury Earthquakes
Damage to ceiling systems resulted in a substantial financial loss to building owners in the Canterbury earthquakes. In some buildings, collapse of ceilings could easily have resulted in severe injury to occupants. This paper summarizes the types of ceiling damage observed in the Canterbury earthquakes, and draws useful lessons from the observed performance of different types of ceiling systems. Existing ceiling manufacturing and installing practices/regulations in New Zealand are critically scrutinized to identify deficiencies, and measures are suggested to improve the practice so that the damage to ceilings and the resulting loss are minimized in future earthquakes.