Simpson Strong-Tie Build Change Fellow Visits Manila

This week’s post was written by James P. Mwangi, Ph.D., P.E., S.E. — our first annual Simpson Strong-Tie Engineering Excellence Fellow with Build Change. As part of his fellowship he’s been submitting reports about his work supporting the Build Change initiative. This is the last in a series of four.
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Still Using Lag Screws? Consider Self-Tapping Wood Screws Instead

Lag screws are traditionally specified for many structural loads in wood construction. However, recent innovations in engineering for self-tapping wood screws have made them an increasingly popular, labor-saving alternative to lag screws. In the following post, Aram Khachadourian, P.E., of Simpson Strong-Tie discusses the structural and economic advantages of this option.
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Webinar: Making Wood Connections Work for Two-Hour Fire Walls

My wife made furniture shopping a family event last weekend, which meant I had to go. The showroom was in a concrete tilt-up with open-web steel joists and a wood roof. My oldest son asked me who decides what construction materials are used, and why. He’s starting college in the fall and thinks he wants to be a mechanical engineer, but his curiosity about construction gives me hope that we can convert him.
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CFS Designer™ v2.5 Makes Cold-Formed Steel Design Easier Than Ever

With the use of engineering software tools, structural engineers can design buildings faster and more efficiently than ever before. In this blog post, Clifton Melcher, P.E., a senior project manager for cold-formed steel connectors, discusses the various enhancements included in version 2.5 of Simpson Strong-Tie® CFS Designer™ software.
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Simpson Strong-Tie Build Change Fellow Visits Colombia

This week’s post was written by James P. Mwangi, Ph.D., P.E., S.E. — our first annual Simpson Strong-Tie Engineering Excellence Fellow with Build Change. As part of his fellowship, he’s submitting reports about his work supporting the Build Change initiative. This is the third in a series of four.
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Roof Framing: Building Strong Stick-Frame Roofs

Although truss-designed roofs are predominant throughout most of the residential construction industry, there are regions where building with stick-frame roofs is still common. In this post, Randy Shackelford discusses some design choices available to stick-frame builders, the challenges they pose, and the solutions offered by the Simpson Strong-Tie® three-connector system for stick-frame roofing.
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Questions Answered: Resisting Uplift with Structural Fasteners

Of course you know about creating a continuous load path with either connectors or rod tiedown systems, but have you considered using fasteners instead? In this post, Bryan Wert follows up on our May 2 webinar, Drive a New Path: Resisting Uplift with Structural Fasteners, by answering some of the interesting questions raised by the attendees.

On May 2, Simpson Strong-Tie hosted an interactive webinar where we discussed different methods of creating a continuous load path for wind uplift resistance. Most of the hour-long webinar was devoted to the innovative structural screw system comprising our Strong-Drive® SDWC Truss screw and the SDWF Floor-to-Floor screw with TUW take-up washer. In addition to sharing load capacities, installation details and various benefits of this system, we included a design example with illustrative specification options. In case you weren’t able to join our discussion, you can watch the on-demand webinar and earn PDH and CEU credits here.
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SDWS Timber Screw – The Evolution Continues

Simpson Strong-Tie® R&D engineers are always looking to make products even better and more cost effective, in ways that will improve life not only for homeowners, but also for Designers and builders. In the following post, Aram Khachadourian explains how the newly designed SawTooth™ point on our code-listed Strong-Drive® SDWS Timber screw makes driving faster and easier with no predrilling. The flat head also makes connector and sheathing placement a lot smoother.
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Best Practices: The Art of the RFI

Nothing will ruin your day faster than getting a call from a builder reporting an issue with trusses you’ve designed.  You hear their frustration as they are faced with a potential delay and additional work to implement a fix.  We all desire to eliminate those calls from our daily business, and one way to do so is to work only on jobs with a perfect set of drawings.  You know, the drawings with dimensions that are 100% correct, have no errors in the listed wall heights, the heel heights are clearly spelled out with the location of the HVAC equipment and lines identified, and every load path is well thought out.

The truth, though, is that there’s really no such thing as a perfect set of drawings, because there will always be some area needing further clarification to ensure the trusses you design won’t have issues.  Although this reality is typically viewed as a source of frustration, it can be an opportunity to provide extra value to your customers by helping them resolve issues before they become a problem in the field.  To do this requires a trained eye to identify issues and the use of an RFI (Request for Information) to work through these issues with the appropriate parties involved.  In this article, we will walk through some best practices of using an RFI to help eliminate those calls.
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