Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gable-End Wall Design

Tuesday morning I received my Winter 2010 issue of Wood Design Focus.  For those not familiar, Wood Design Focus is a quarterly journal published by the Forest Products Society and is a membership benefit to people who join the American Wood Council.  This issue is especially important to myself thanks to the inclusion of my first article.  The link to the online journal is for anyone who wants to check it out.  Here is the abstract:

Improperly constructed gable end walls are a known weakness in residential structures in hurricane prone regions.  With many of today’s architectural designs using increased wall heights and roof slopes, gable end walls can even be a concern in buildings with wood roof framing systems in areas of low wind design speeds or seismic activity.    There are several references available for prescriptive design of these structural components for residential structures.  Although these references are subject to limitations, they provide a basis of design that can be used for any structure.  This article will discuss general design considerations, two basic methods for bracing gable end walls, prescriptive design methods available and their limitations, and provide recommended details for complete bracing of a gable end wall.  Balloon framing of gable end walls is outside the scope of this article. 

Follow-Up: June 30, 2011.  This article was picked up in the Spring 2011 issue of The Scope, a newsletter for the Birmingham Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute.  You can link to the newsletter from my About page.   

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cross-laminated Timber Production Aided by Government Investment

Cash injected into forest industry

Cross-laminated timber production is on the rise in Canada. I am looking forward to this product becoming an option for construction here in the U.S.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Market Potential for Lumber

Lumber industry poised for post-earthquake rally
A comparison of Japan and Haiti is a quick way to see the benefits of wood construction used in high-seismic areas. An increase in lumber demand around the world will help our wood industry be less reliant on U.S. markets, which is good considering our current housing demand.

Friday, March 25, 2011

BC Housing Supports Wood-Frame Construction

It is both good and disheartening to see how well our neighbors to the North support their wood industry.  Unfortunately, while Canada pours significant money into wood research, especially with new products, the U.S. is more interested in the publically exciting research such as sustainability and green jobs.  We already have a market demand for wood products while the market for being green is still developing.  Investment in wood products is an investment in both the wood industry and sustainability thanks to woods inherent green characteristics. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

It Happens!

I find myself behind on this beautiful Monday morning so I decided to make a quick post with a bit of humor.  Without a good foundation (and maybe some hold-down anchors), everything else can go to crap real quick.  Please remember this the next time some tells you:

"Hold-down anchors?  We don't have hurricanes or earthquakes here!" 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wood Truss Test Burn

After visiting a burned out apartment yesterday, I decided to post this video that I recently found.  This is an interesting test to show differences in wood truss framing and traditional stick framing.  This highlights the importance of fire stops and firewalls in buildings.  Limiting the fire's access to certain portions of the structure can greatly impact the overall fire resistance. 

I can say that I was impressed with the wood performance at the apartment complex I visited.  As you can see above, several studs were burned through and no longer supporting the top plate.  The top plate was also severely charred.  The trusses were still in place.  I would not recommend being in the area without shoring the trusses, but at least they did not fall. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

AWC/NAHB Fire Resistance for N.C. Building Code
Interesting topic with respect to engineered wood products versus sawn lumber. As we explore more applications of wood construction, fire resistance will become a larger portion of the equation.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Skyscrapers Next Challenge

Tall timber skyscrapers workable, report says

Believe it or not, a wood skyscraper could be in our future, especially with the BC government actively supporting its own forest industry.  Mr. Green's comments about context are dead on.  Today's context is not tomorrow's context.  We should allow new knowledge to expand our existing way of thinking.  Can't wait to see what happens next.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sustainable Wood High-Rise in Australia

The use of wood as a sustainable structural material is increasing as the industry moves toward the use of life-cycle assessment to determine a materials 'green' properties. For this structure, wood will ultimately be responsible for insulating the building and providing a power source, in addition to being the material of choice for the structural framing.