Standards for suspended ceilings

Suspended ceiling.

A typical suspended ceiling with panels and light fixtures supported on a grid of aluminium beams. (NZ Ceiling Consultants)

Suspended ceilings should be designed and constructed in accordance with AS/NZS 2785:2000. This standard sets out minimum requirements for design, construction, installation, maintenance and testing of suspended ceiling systems of dry construction with suspension systems attached to a supporting structure. This covers commercial, industrial and residential applications.

AS/NZS 2785:2000 cites the seismic demand calculations in NZS 4203:1992 General structural design and design loadings for buildings, which was superseded by NZS 1170.5:2004. It provides a mechanism to comply with the Building Code requirements for the seismic design of structurally supported suspended ceilings in commercial, industrial and residential buildings.

Note that the Building Code Acceptable Solutions and Verifications Methods do not cite AS/NZS 2785:2000. However, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment currently advises that suspended ceilings installed in New Zealand should be designed to comply with AS/NZS 2785:2000 and NZS 1170.5:2004. See Codewords Issue 54 for more information.