Meeting Braced-Wall Requirements: A New Portal Frame Solution

In my job I get to travel a fair amount. Between trade shows, sales meetings and field research I think I’ve been to most parts of the country in the last few years. One of the things I hear a lot, particularly in areas governed by wind design, is that the last few revisions of the International Residential Code® (IRC®) impose stricter building requirements. As the product manager for our Strong-Wall® shearwalls, I listen with an ear for braced-wall requirements in these areas. There are quite a few different methods of construction called out in Chapter Six of the IRC, and I think I’ve seen them all used in both single-family and multi-family housing, sometimes with multiple types in one structure!

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Questions Answered: CSHP High-Performance Coiled Strap

We recently hosted an interactive webinar in which our new high-performance coiled strap’s product manager, Thom Murphy, and I discussed how an innovative embossment is a game changer for coiled strap, making it easier and faster to install with a standard framing nailer. During the one-hour webinar, we reviewed the benefits of a continuous load path as well as key uses for coiled straps. We also related what was involved in the design and testing of the embossment. If you missed the conversation, you can still watch the on-demand webinar and earn PDH and CEU credits here.
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Upgrade Your Coiled Strap: How an Innovative Embossment Takes Utility Straps to the Next Level

CS16 coiled straps. I can’t tell you how many thousands (maybe more) I specified during my time as a consulting engineer. Straps are used everywhere. They were then, and are now, a go-to solution for drag and uplift loads. I didn’t have to look them up in the catalog — I knew the allowable loads by heart.

Then one day at a jobsite, I saw a contractor installing them and thought, “Wow, that is labor intensive. His arm must be so tired!” Suddenly, I felt a little guilty for all of the straps I had personally specified on my projects. I thought there must be a better way. Fast-forward 10 years, and today I’m an R&D engineer for Simpson Strong-Tie, an industry leader that prides itself on offering products that improve construction, keep costs down and allow for a safer built environment. As fate would have it, straps fall into my area of responsibility. Now, thinking about what could be done to improve a flat, steel strap is part of my job. Specifiers use straps load rated based on a National Design Specification® (NDS®) nail calculation and an American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) steel calculation. How could Simpson Strong-Tie make that better?

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Applying of ACI 318-14 Development Length Provisions to Post-installed Reinforcing Bars Secured to Concrete with Construction Adhesive

I first learned about the application of the ACI 318 development length provision to post-installed reinforcing bars back in 2003 when I read Post-Installed Adhesive-Bonded Splices in Bridge Decks, authored by Ronald A. Cook and Scott D. Beesheim. In their series of experiments, holes were drilled adjacent to cast-in-place bars using a carbide-tipped drill bit, and new bars were secured in these holes using an anchoring adhesive presumed to be of a type commonly used in concrete construction.
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Questions Answered: Making the Right Anchor Choice

In this post, we follow up on our August 28 webinar, Making the Right Anchor Choice: Best Practices in Anchor Design, by answering some of the interesting questions raised by attendees.

During the webinar where we discussed the critical performance factors and code requirements you need to consider when designing with or installing adhesive or mechanical anchors. 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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Keeping Up with Continuing Education (for Free!): Three New Online Courses to Check Out

In this post, Brittney Price, manager of content development for Product & Customer Training, discusses the training offered by Simpson Strong-Tie for customers’ professional development and continuing education credits. The training is offered in online courses and recorded webinars as well as live workshops around the country. The most recent offerings cover the topics of delegated design; code requirements for conventionally framed roofs; and deck inspections.
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Strong Partners SoCal Seismic Symposium with Dr. Lucy Jones and Karen Colonias

Have you ever stopped to think about how much time you spend in a building? You probably spend your day inside your home, school, or office and then stop by the coffee shop, grocery store, or mall. There is a statistic from the Environmental Protection Agency that estimates most people spend close to 90% of their lives inside a building. With all that time inside of a structure, how often do you stop and think about how safe that building is, especially if you live in an earthquake region? And what about the whole community of buildings, and how we would be able to continue living our lives if a big earthquake hit and we were able to survive . . . but had no buildings left that were safe to live or work in? This raises the question of how resilient we would be after an earthquake, how quickly we would be able to recover and resume normal lives after a catastrophic earthquake. For many cities around the world who have suffered through large earthquakes and hurricanes, the answer has been not very quickly at all, with some affected cities estimated as taking as long as 50–100 years truly to recover. We know a big earthquake is coming to Southern California, so what can we do? At Simpson Strong-Tie, we are helping lead the research and innovation to make sure buildings and communities can stay safe in the next earthquake.
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Rod-to-Steel-Beam Connections for Anchor Tiedown Systems: Rod Welding, Brittle Failure, and Alternative Connections

Continuous rod tiedowns are a common way to restrain shearwall overturning in light-frame structures. Anchoring the rod run in a steel beam can be challenging, however, because the holdown typically aligns with the beam’s web and thus cannot pass through the beam. Welding, on the other hand, can cause brittleness and fracture of the rod or coupler at the location of the weld, especially in high-strength steel rods and couplers. An effective alternative also using high-strength rods is provided by the Simpson Strong-Tie® ATS-SBC steel-beam connector, which comes with a steel plate whose flat edges can be fillet welded to the steel beam or embed plate without brittle failure. Scott Fischer, P.E., of Simpson Strong-Tie explains the results of our lab testing in the following post.
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Building Connections: Getting Social with Simpson Strong-Tie

Simpson Strong-Tie was built on the idea of making strong connections. That concept extends beyond our structural innovations for raising or supporting strong, resilient buildings and communities. We use social media and our two company blogs to have conversations not only about our products and services, but also about the values and mission of our company. Here are several of the ways you can tell us about your experiences with Simpson Strong-Tie, learn more about our company or ask us questions.
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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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