Structural Requirements of Partitions

Bearing partitions should be capable of supporting their own weight and superimposed loads in accordance with recommended engineering practice and should rest in turn on adequate supports that will not deflect excessively. Masonry partitions should meet the requirements of Arts. 11.2 to 11.12.
Nonbearing partitions should be stable laterally between lateral supports or additional lateral supports should be added. Since they are not designed for vertical loads other than their own weight, such partitions should not be allowed to take loads from overhead beams that may deflect and press down on them. Also, the beams under the partition should not deflect to the extent that there is a visible separation between bottom of partition and the floor or that the partition cracks.
Folding partitions, in a sense, are large doors. Depending on size and weight, they may be electrically or manually operated. They may be made of wood, lightgage metal, or synthetic fabric on a light collapsible frame. Provision should be made for framing and supporting them in a manner similar to that for large folding doors (Art. 11.57).
For walls or ceilings, an interior finish made of gypsum products may consist of materials partly or completely prepared in the field, or of prefabricated sheets (drytype construction). Factors such as initial cost, cost of maintenance and repair, fire resistance, sound control, decorative effects, and speed of construction must be considered in choosing between them.

When field-prepared materials are used, the plaster finish generally consists of a base and one or more coats of plaster. When dry-type construction is used, one or more plies of prefabricated sheet may be combined to achieve desired results.
For fire-resistance and sound-transmission ratings of plaster construction, see ‘‘Fire Resistance Design Manual,’’ Gypsum Association, 810 First Street, NE, #510, Washington, D.C., 20002.