Wall-Bracing Alternatives to Help Designers and Builders Navigate the Lumber Shortage

As lumberyards continue to recover from pandemic-related supply issues, there’s been an ever-increasing shortage of building materials, creating many challenges for building contractors. These shortages have impacted availability of wood structural panel sheathing and, as a result, our field engineers and sales team have received many questions about potential alternative solutions to meet the wall bracing provisions within the International Residential Code (IRC). Simpson Strong-Tie Branch Engineer Silvia Dyer has researched these provisions and compiled this useful information for our team. Silvia will be taking part in a webinar with Atlas Roofing and Matt Risinger of the BUILD Show on June 30 to discuss this challenge. In advance of the webinar, she thought it would be useful to pass this information on to our readers as well. At Simpson Strong-Tie, customer service is one of our top priorities. Our engineering team is always available to discuss your wall bracing situations and to help you investigate unique wall bracing solutions. Read Silvia’s research and suggestions below.

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Case Study: RPS solutions renew popular event structures after Hurricane Harvey damage

Background — Beach pavilions required repair both for column decay and for extensive hurricane damage.

The two pavilions at Rockport Beach Park in Rockport, Texas, have been serving as popular rentals for large weddings, family anniversaries and other events for more than 30 years. The pavilions are elevated approximately 20’above the beach on concrete slabs and columns. Other structural features include CMU and wood roofs.

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Project Profile: Special Moment Frame Dropped-Beam Solution Saves Day(light) by Preserving Window Openings

Simpson Strong-Tie recently had the opportunity to work with MAK Construction to come up with a rather unique solution for a residential project in Phoenix, Arizona. Our Strong Frame® Moment Frame Selector software was used by the engineer on record, L.R. Nelson Consulting Engineers, LLC, to design this truly “special” special moment frame (SMF). The challenge for this particular moment frame design was figuring out how to work around a large garage door opening on the bottom floor without obstructing the window openings on the next floor, because the standard SMF design would cause the beam to cross right through the middle of the windows as they were situated. The solution required dropping the beam below the top of the columns, something seldom seen in moment frame designs. However, our engineering services, in collaboration with L.R. Nelson Consulting Engineers, were able to determine that dropping the beam to the needed level would be quite feasible in this case, and within 24 hours a new design was sent to the EOR and to the contractor for final approvals, which were granted.

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Introducing the Stronger, Simpler and More Versatile Strong-Wall® High-Strength Wood Shearwall

After years of development, we’re excited to introduce the newest member of the Strong-Wall® shearwall family – the Strong-Wall high-strength wood shearwall (WSWH).

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ICC-ES Report Update for Composite Strengthening Systems™

We’re pleased to announce that our Composite Strengthening Systems (CSS) code report, ESR-3403, has been revised to recognize Simpson Strong-Tie fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) for concrete diaphragm applications. These FRP fabrics can be used to strengthen diaphragms for in-plane shear, flexure (chords), and axial tension (collectors) to resist seismic or wind loading.

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Improve Your Structural Steel Designs with the Yield-Link® Software Webinar Series 

With the introduction of the Simpson Strong-Tie Yield-Link® moment connection for steel construction, the engineering and software development teams at Simpson Strong-Tie created multiple design tools to support users in their specification of the Yield-Link technology. These tools range from a connection modeling guide and plugins for designers to detailing software add-ins for detailers. The Yield-Link moment connection simplifies structural steel design while providing a connection that keeps steel buildings strong and safe.

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2020 Simpson Strong-Tie Scholarship Students’ Questions Answered

Every year Simpson Strong-Tie hosts our scholarship students at our home office. It provides the students with an opportunity to meet face to face with experts in the industry, have one-on-one sessions with mentors, and tour our manufacturing and testing facilities. Not surprisingly to anyone, 2020 threw a pandemic-sized bucket of water on our annual plans. We needed to think outside the box to provide these students with opportunities to ask the questions they would have normally brought to California.

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Case Study: Gruening Middle School’s Seismic Damage Repair Solution

It can be a challenge to repair an earthquake-damaged structure.

During the 7.1-magnitude 2018 Anchorage earthquake, Gruening Middle School in Eagle River sustained more damage than any other school in the Anchorage School District. Review of the school showed the existing masonry walls suffered damage and separation from the roof. During the retrofit design, the Reid Middleton structural engineering team (Anchorage) determined the masonry walls weren’t adequately reinforced to meet current code requirements. They were seeking an easy-to-install strengthening solution that wouldn’t add significant weight to the building.

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Specifying Simpson Strong-Tie® Products in Your Designs Just Got Easier

Specifying products into building designs is a daily process for engineers, architects and drafters. Simpson Strong-Tie understands that the specification process can be daunting and complex. And when it comes to the multiple steps involved in importing CAD content into your designs, we want to do everything we can to remove those challenges.

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Build Change: My Favorite Child

With the growing danger of natural disasters, the race is on to expand access to programs that safeguard lives from the human-made danger of poorly built housing. With the common mission of building safer, stronger structures, Build Change and Simpson Strong-Tie have partnered for the Simpson Strong-Tie® Fellowship for Engineering Excellence program. This year’s fellow is Build Change Engineering & Design Services Director Tim Hart, SE. As with our previous fellows, Hart is documenting his journey with the program on the Simpson Strong-Tie Structural Engineering blog. This is his final report.

In 2017, when I was in Nepal working for Build Change, I had a conversation with one of my colleagues about the volunteer work that I had done for the organization over the years. After telling him that I had worked with seven different country programs for Build Change, he asked me which of those countries I liked the best. My first thought was that it was like asking a parent which child he or she liked the best; even if I did have a favorite, I didn’t want to say it out loud for fear of offending my colleagues and friends in all the other countries. I said this to him to deflect the conversation and we went on to discuss other topics. Truth be told, while I enjoyed the culture and hospitality of all my Build Change host countries and believe in the value of the work I’ve done for them , I have a special soft spot for two of them: Indonesia and Nepal.

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