Overview of the Strength-Based Cracked and Uncracked Masonry Design Standards for Adhesive Anchors

We’re entering the year 2024 — welcome to the world of cracked and uncracked masonry. The last time Simpson Strong-Tie wrote a blog post regarding design criteria for post-installed anchors in masonry was in 2019, and ICC-ES was considering the adoption of a revised version of AC58, the Acceptance Criteria for Adhesive Anchors in Cracked and Uncracked Masonry Elements. Acceptance Criteria, or ACs, outline the testing that a manufacturer must comply with in order to get an evaluation report. In some cases, the ACs contain calculations methods if they are otherwise unavailable. If you missed the previous blog post, here is a link so you can explore a bit of the history that has led us to where we are today.

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The Decks Are NOT Stacked Against Us: How SB721 and SB326 Can Help Californians Reinforce Structures and Save Lives

Learn how a tragic balcony collapse in Berkeley, California, led to the development of Senate Bills 721 and 326, which mandate the inspection of exterior elevated elements (EEEs) in multifamily buildings. These bills aim to improve safety by evaluating EEEs such as balconies, decks, and walkways, particularly those relying on wood-based products for support. Recognize the significance of these inspections and the repairs needed to safeguard residents.

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Part II: A New Wood Construction Connectors Catalog for the New Year

We just released our updated Wood Construction Connectors catalog (C-C-2024) which features our product line that has a legacy that started in 1956. This year’s 372-page version begins with a colorful, attention-grabbing cover design and is packed inside with all the technical details that help people build safer, stronger structures. This blog is Part II of a two-part series highlighting this new catalog and the solutions inside it.

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30 Years After Northridge: Lessons, Progress, and Community Resilience

Rachel Holland, a Simpson Strong-Tie engineer, reflects on the profound impact of the Northridge earthquake in Southern California on January 17, 1994. Living just 8 miles from the epicenter, the earthquake shaped her perspective on natural disasters and inspired her journey into engineering. In an interview, she shares her vivid memories of the chaos, destruction, and challenges faced during the aftermath. Hear how this seismic event played a pivotal role in shaping Rachel’s career and influencing her commitment to structural engineering.

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Common Technical Engineering Inquiries – Part III: Fasteners

This is the last of a three-part series covering common questions we receive in our engineering department. Part 1 consisted of frequently asked questions related to our anchor products (view Part 1 here), while part 2 covered connector products (view Part 2 here). These are questions that come directly into our call center, along with questions submitted through the website, our engineering email queues, and our sales team.

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A New Wood Construction Connectors Catalog for the New Year

Welcome to 2024! I’m Bryan Wert, director for Connector & Lateral Systems. Prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie 17 years ago, I was a consulting structural engineer primarily focused on single- and multi-family construction and it felt like Christmas morning when the new Simpson Strong-Tie Wood Construction Connecters catalog would appear on my desk. So I do find it exciting that now I get to be the one to start the New Year off announcing our new Wood Construction Connectors catalog (C-C-2024). I hope you enjoy the eye-grabbing cover art as much as I do, but more importantly I hope you’ll take some time to read this blog where I highlight what you’ll find inside the catalog.  

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Twelfth Day of Trivia — Outdoor Accents

I do wish I had 15 or 16 days to talk about more products. I thought about ending on mass timber products such as spline connections (CMSTC, LDSS, MDSS), tension straps (MDCST, MTWS), concealed beam hangers (CBH, ACBH, SCBH), or the heavy seated knife plate hanger (HSKP). Since I’ve written blog posts for most of those already, I decided to end with our Outdoor Accents® decorative hardware instead.

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Eleventh Day of Trivia — Foundation Retrofit Plates

While working as a structural engineer in San Jose, California, I had the great opportunity to design many retrofits of historic (and some not-so historic) buildings. Younger me loved the site visits, crawling around in the dust and dirt to create as-built drawings, and I got tremendous satisfaction from helping to make these buildings safer and stronger. Older me would not enjoy the crawling so much.

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Tenth Day of Trivia — Shearwalls

The Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Wall® shearwall was introduced in 1999. The 1997 Uniform Building Code had incorporated restrictive 2:1 aspect ratio requirements for wood structural panel (WSP) shearwalls in high seismic areas. We conducted extensive cyclic testing of complete wall systems (not just components) to prove that narrow Strong-Wall shearwalls achieved the high performance required for seismic and wind designs.

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Ninth Day of Trivia — Strong-Drive® SDS Screws

It’s difficult to talk about connectors without talking about fasteners. Simpson Strong-Tie developed the Strong-Drive® SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screw as a high-capacity alternative to nails or bolts, and the first connector using them was the PHD Predeflected Holdown. We released in both the PHD and the SDS screw in 1997.

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