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.

Great question, though. We had a nice discussion about some of the advantages of certain building materials for different applications. Very often, the materials decision is driven not by structural properties, but rather by code fire requirements, which are usually determined by the architect on a project. As structural engineers, we must incorporate those fire requirements into our design. Sometimes this is simple — we need the wall on the property line to be concrete or masonry, for example. Other details can be more challenging, such as allowing for two layers of drywall on wood-framed, load-bearing walls.

We first introduced the DG fire wall hanger series in 2017. There are three models of top-flange hangers in this series. They feature enough space for two layers of ⅝” gypsum board to be installed after the framing is complete. The hangers are approved to the 2012, 2015 and 2018 I-Codes® and listed under ICC-ES ESR 2553.

All three fire wall hangers have been tested according to ASTM E814 and received F (flame) and T (temperature) ratings for use on one or both sides of the wall. These ratings verify that the DG/DGH/DGB hangers do not reduce the two-hour fire wall assembly rating.

You may recall reading about the DG hangers on the SE blog last year. I discussed the use of fire wall hangers in Why Fire-Rated Hangers Are Required in Type III Wood-Frame Buildings, and these hangers specifically in What You Should Know About the New DGH Fire Wall Hanger Options.

If you are an engineer, builder or code official interested in learning more about how these DG hangers can be used in light-frame wood multi-story residential buildings, I encourage you to attend a free webinar, “Making Wood Connections Work for Two-Hour Fire Walls,” on Wednesday, July 25, at 11 a.m. PDT.  Project manager Tom Evans and I will provide an overview of how these hangers were developed, how they were tested and verified, and what F (flame) and T (temperature) ratings mean.

Learn more: Webinar – Making Wood Connections Work for Two-Hour Fire Walls

After watching the webinar recording, you should be able to:

  • Describe the standard for testing a two-hour fire wall
  • Explain methods of connecting floor joists on a two-hour fire wall
  • Identify the code requirements for two-hour fire walls

Continuing education credits will be offered for this webinar.
Participants can earn 1 professional development hour (PDH) or — by passing the accompanying test — 0.1 continuing education unit (CEU).

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Paul McEntee

Author: Paul McEntee

A couple of years back we hosted a “Take your daughter or son to work day,” which was a great opportunity for our children to find out what their parents did. We had different activities for the kids to learn about careers and the importance of education in opening up career opportunities. People often ask me what I do for Simpson Strong-Tie and I sometimes laugh about how my son Ryan responded to a questionnaire he filled out that day:

Q.   What is your mom/dad's job?
A.   Goes and gets coffee and sits at his desk

Q.   What does your mom/dad actually do at work?
A.   Walks in the test lab and checks things

When I am not checking things in the lab or sitting at my desk drinking coffee, I manage Engineering Research and Development for Simpson Strong-Tie, focusing on new product development for connectors and lateral systems.

I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and I am a licensed Civil and Structural Engineer in California. Prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie, I worked for 10 years as a consulting structural engineer designing commercial, industrial, multi-family, mixed-use and retail projects. I was fortunate in those years to work at a great engineering firm that did a lot of everything. This allowed me to gain experience designing with wood, structural steel, concrete, concrete block and cold-formed steel as well as working on many seismic retrofits of historic unreinforced masonry buildings.