Good Ideas Come from Many Places — “Necessity Is the Mother of Invention”

You never know where the next great product idea or innovation is going to come from — some of our best new ideas originate with the customers who use our current products. At Simpson Strong-Tie, we welcome any inspiration that can help us serve our customers’ needs even better. With so much competition, however, and because so much research and testing are entailed in developing each new product, the criteria that an idea must meet to gain eventual acceptance are necessarily quite rigorous. In this post, Steve Rotzin, Manager of Intellectual Property and Legal Services at Simpson Strong-Tie, outlines some of these criteria for your consideration.

All of us, at one time or another, dream up a product idea of some sort. My wife was once sanding the tongue-and-groove boards of our living room ceiling and she thought of a very cool idea of gloves that had Velcro on them and users could interchange sandpaper of various grit on any finger of the glove. If you’ve ever sanded anything, this actually made a lot of sense especially for complex shapes and tough to reach spots. I researched it and found out that someone had already thought of it and “patented it.”
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Case Study: Shoring Up Aging Concrete Grain Silos with Fiber-Reinforced Polymer

The Simpson Strong-Tie® Composite Strengthening Systems™ was used to restore and strengthen 6 distressed cast-in-place concrete grain silos with a combination of carbon and glass FRP, meeting a tight timeline and budget.

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Questions Answered: Deck Ledger Connections for Wood and Masonry

In this post, we follow up on our July webinar, Safer, Stronger Decks: Ledger Connections for Wood and Masonry, by answering some of the interesting questions raised by attendees.

During the webinar we discussed code-compliant ledger connection
options for both wood and masonry construction. 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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Are You Ready to Design Post-Installed Anchors in Cracked Masonry?

Design criteria for cracked-concrete masonry units are finally available for adhesive anchors.

It has been over 15 years since cracked concrete changed the way anchorage to concrete was qualified and designed. The ICC International Building Code (IBC) 2003 referenced American Concrete Institute (ACI) 318-02 Appendix D as a design provision for both cast-in-place and post-installed anchors into concrete. Appendix D was the first introduction of cracked concrete to designers. These design provisions required mechanical anchors to be qualified per ACI 355.2, which mandated testing  of anchors in cracks. The Masonry Society (TMS) 405 has not addressed cracks in concrete masonry units since the code’s introduction to concrete in 2003. The Concrete and Masonry Anchor Manufacturers Association (CAMA) has taken on the task of introducing cracked masonry unit testing, qualification and design by updating Acceptance Criteria AC58. These criteria were developed to address the testing and qualification of adhesive anchors in grouted, hollow, and partially grouted concrete masonry units, as well as in brick masonry units.

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The Role of Microfinance Institutions in Build Change’s Retrofitting Strategy

The year is moving fast; my time supporting the team in Colombia is over. My time is now fully committed to the program in the Philippines.

During my initial trip, I had the chance to visit some of the communities where Build Change has been working and become familiar with the existing tools used in these communities. Also, I was introduced to the crucial role that microfinance institutions (MFIs) play in Build Change’s strategy to retrofit vulnerable houses in the Philippines.

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Designing Resilience: NEESWood Capstone a Decade Later

In 2009, Simpson Strong-Tie participated in an unprecedented research event to highlight the importance of earthquake-resistant wood construction.

The event, the world’s largest earthquake test, was a collaborative Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation project. It teamed academics, engineers, and industry researchers from around the world to subject a structure to what engineers refer to as the “maximum considered event” (MCE), a large, rare earthquake projected to occur, on average, approximately every 2500 years.
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Questions Answered: Yield-Link® Connection for Steel Construction

In this post, we follow up on our May 2 webinar, Seismic Resilience and Risk Assessment of the Yield-Link® Connection for Steel Construction, by answering some of the interesting questions raised by the attendees.

During the webinar, we discussed how to achieve seismic resiliency in steel construction with our Yield-Link connection for steel special moment frames and the Seismic Performance Prediction Program (SP3) by Haselton Baker Risk Group. In case you weren’t able to join our discussion, you can watch the on-demand webinar and earn PDHs and CEUs here.

As with our previous webinars, we ended with a Q&A session for the attendees. Jeff Ellis, our Director of Codes and Compliance, and Curt Haselton and Jared Debock, from Haselton Baker Risk Group, answered as many questions as they could in the time allowed. Now we are back to recap some of the more commonly asked questions and their answers. If you’re interested in seeing the full list of questions, click here.
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Attaching a Deck Ledger to a Home Through Brick or Masonry Veneer — the BVLZ Solution

Brick or masonry veneer has traditionally posed a problem to homeowners and contractors seeking to attach a deck to a home without removing large portions of the veneer or siding. No longer is that the case, thanks to the innovative BVLZ brick veneer ledger connector from Simpson Strong-Tie. In this post, Rachel Holland, P.E., an R&D structural engineer at Simpson Strong-Tie, explains the research and insights that went into testing and developing this revolutionary connector.
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Building Safe and Strong with Flood-Resistant Construction Workshops

Flooding is one of the few natural disasters that occur commonly throughout all regions of North America. The causes of floods can differ depending on the region, but the impact is nearly always the same. Recent floods have caused billions of dollars in damage annually to structures near the coast as well as inland.
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Questions Answered: Strong-Wall® Site-Built Portal Frame System

In this post, we follow up on our April 17 webinar, Meeting Braced-Wall Requirements: A New Portal Frame Solution, by answering some of the interesting questions raised by attendees.

During the webinar, we discussed how the Strong-Wall site-built portal frame system (PFS) provides designers, builders and contractors in prescriptive jurisdictions with a new alternative to IRC wall-bracing methods. In case you weren’t able to join our discussion, you can watch the on-demand webinar and earn PDHs and CEUs  here.
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