Simplifying compliance with building codes’ seismic requirements, ROCKFON Chicago Metallic ceiling suspension systems are tested to meet or exceed industry standards. These ceiling systems are engineered to reduce installation time, to save associated material and labor costs, and to support life safety and the property preservation during an earthquake. Assisting with proper product selection and specification, ROCKFON shares a new, comprehensive brochure titled, “Seismic Relief,” available free for download at

According to the International Building Code (IBC), every construction project must meet a Seismic Design Category (SDC) regardless of geography. The IBC outlines six SDCs, A through F, ranging from the least to the most stringent. ROCKFON offers ceiling products to address all SDCs.

Most ROCKFON Chicago Metallic suspension systems provide intermediate-duty and heavy-duty performance per ASTM C 635 to satisfy the requirements of all seismic code constructions. The exposed tee construction permits direct upward access to mechanical systems and is a cost-effective solution to seismic requirements. Stab-in cross tees cantilever during installation and will not fall out, making for an easier installation and protecting against lateral pull-out. When utilized with the 1494 Seismic Separation Clip (SSC), the clip sits on top of the grid members, hidden from view, maintaining sleek ceiling design in seismic installations.

“Because ceiling panel performance and non-tee bar suspension systems are not well defined in the IBC requirements, we also worked with an independent, internationally renowned structural engineering firm to test both standard and non-standard ceiling systems for seismic performance,” says Mark Taylor, ROCKFON’s North American marketing manager for ceiling systems. “The results of these full-scale seismic tests offer proven safety and performance support for standard and non-standard ceilings, flexible design options, and more efficient installation designs.”

Chicago Metallic suspension systems are tested to ASTM E580/E580M Standard Practice for Installation of Ceiling Systems for Acoustical Tile and Lay-in Panels in Areas Subject to Earthquake Ground Motions. In addition, Chicago Metallic suspension systems, including the 1496 Seismic Perimeter Clip, 1494 SSC Clip and 1493 Unopposed Tee Clip, also have been successfully and rigorously tested at the Structural Engineering Earthquake Simulation Laboratory at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

ROCKFON products also are listed under evaluation report ICC-ESR 2631. ICC-ES is the industry leader in performing technical evaluations for code compliance, providing regulators and construction professionals with clear evidence that products comply with codes and standards.

Along with the evaluation details, ICC-ESR 2631 provides proper installation requirements for the following Chicago Metallic suspension systems:

  • 200 and 250 Snap-Grid
  • 640, 650, 660 and 670 Drywall
  • 660 Wide Face
  • 730 All Stainless Steel
  • 830 All Aluminum
  • 1200 and 1250 Seismic
  • 1260 and 1280 Aluminum Cap
  • 1493 Unopposed Tee Clip
  • 1494 Seismic Separation Clip
  • 1496 Seismic Perimeter Clip
  • 1830 Environmental
  • 4000 and 4050 Tempra
  • 4500, 4550 and 4600 Ultraline