Snow Loading for Trusses: Why Specifying a Roof Snow Load Isn’t Enough

bill-walton-quoteYou might wonder what a quote about winning basketball games could possibly have to do with snow loading on trusses.  As with basketball, the importance of close teamwork also applies to a project involving metal-plate-connected wood trusses – for the best outcome, the whole team needs to be on the same page. For purposes of this blog post, the team includes the Building Designer, the Truss Designer and the Building Official, and the desired outcome is not a win per se, but rather properly loaded trusses. Snow loading on trusses is one area where things may not always go according to the game plan when everyone isn’t in accord. This post will explain how to avoid some common miscommunications about truss loading.

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The Simpson Strong-Tie Excellence in Engineering Fellowship, A Grateful Adventure

Before starting my fellowship, a year seemed like a very long time to be away from my day-to-day life, my clients, and my comfort zone. I started with many questions about how I could support the Build Change team to make the biggest possible impact with this fellowship. Once I started, however, I found more than a great team; I found a family. I would like to start this blog by praising the support of every member of the teams that I worked with, including the Build Change headquarters staff, as well as the staffs of the programs in Colombia and the Philippines. 

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Trainer to the Pros — How Simpson Strong-Tie Educates the Industry

Did you know that Simpson Strong-Tie offers free education and training to the construction industry?

Indeed, we do. For several decades, Simpson Strong-Tie has made a commitment to supporting the development of our industry, and each year we educate tens of thousands of industry pros — engineers, architects, dealers, contractors and building inspectors — about the latest building code updates and best construction practices.

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Adjustable Hanger or Custom Hanger — You Make the Call

It would be a lot simpler for designing engineers if structural connections were always for members at right angles to one another. Often, connections have to be designed for supported members that are at a skewed or sloped angle rather than perpendicular to the header. In these cases, the engineer will have to choose between a premanufactured adjustable hanger and a custom hanger. Simpson Strong-Tie offers both options, and in the following post, Randy Shackelford, P.E., discusses the various considerations that may affect a specifier’s choice.

It makes things easy for an engineer when the building being designed is rectangular. This allows you to make the connections between nice perpendicular members, and standard connectors and joist hangers are easy to specify.

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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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