Diesel Gensets Certified to Meet IBC Seismic Provisions

Caterpillar diesel gensets for North America ranging from 650 kW to 3100 kW have been certified to meet all published editions of the International Building Code’s (IBC) seismic provisions.


Caterpillar Inc. announced that Cat diesel generator sets for North America ranging from 650 kW to 3100 kW have been certified to meet all published editions of the International Building Code’s (IBC) seismic provisions, and enclosed models from 650kW to 1000 kW have received certification for compliance with wind load provisions.

Cat C32, 3516C, 3516C-HD and C175-16 generator sets received IBC seismic certification at SDS 2.28g, which corresponds with the spectral response acceleration threshold at New Madrid Fault, the highest value in the U.S.  The C27 generator set has been certified to SDS 2.1g.  In August, these generator sets also received Special Seismic Certification Preapproval (OSP) from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). 

Additionally, the enclosed C32 generator set received IBC certification to 120 mph wind load, and the enclosed C27 generator set has been certified to 90 mph wind load. 

With these certifications, Caterpillar now offers a full line of components for emergency power systems with IBC seismic certification, including diesel generator sets, low- and medium-voltage paralleling switchgear, and automatic transfer switches using breaker or contactor technology.

To fulfill the requirements for IBC certification, independent shake table testing on Cat power generation equipment was performed by structural engineers working in conjunction with The VMC Group at Trentec’s seismic qualification facility in Cincinnati as well as the Caltrans Seismic Response Modification Device (SRMD) Test Facility at the University of California, San Diego.

The International Code Council (ICC) publishes the IBC as part of a mission to develop a single set of national model construction codes that specifically address the design and installation of building systems – including emergency power systems – with an emphasis on performance. Until the 2009 version of the code, only the anchorage of a unit to the structure was codified, while equipment performance was not addressed. Today, critical equipment is now considered to be a component of the structure and must remain on line and operational in the event of extreme environmental loading.

To obtain IBC certification, an independent agency must review and certify products, deeming them capable of withstanding a given seismic force or wind load. All 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have adopted a version of the code, and the Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) for U.S. military departments, defense agencies, and Department of Defense field activities is also based on the IBC.

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