As a Composite Strengthening Systems™ Field Engineer at Simpson Strong-Tie, I’ve supported many composite strengthening projects from design through construction and had hands-on experience troubleshooting issues with FRP witness panels. Through these experiences, I’ve learned a few lessons and developed some best practices worth sharing with anyone in the engineering and construction communities who may encounter similar issues.
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.
Top 10 Changes to Structural Requirements in the 2018 IBC
This blog post will continue our series on the final results of the 2016 ICC Group B Code Change Hearings, and will focus on 10 major approved changes, of a structural nature, to the International Building Code (IBC).
- Adoption of ASCE 7-16
- The IBC wind speed maps and seismic design maps have been updated.
- A new section has been added to Chapter 16 to address tsunami loads.
- Table 1607.1 has been revised to change the deck and balcony Live Loads to 1.5 times that of the occupancy served.
- New and Updated Reference Standards
- 2015 IBC Standard ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402-13 will be TMS402-16.
- ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602-13 will be TMS 602-16.
- AISC 341-10 and 360-10 have both been updated to 2016 editions.
- AISI S100-12 was updated to the 2016 edition.
- AISI S220-11 and S230-07 were updated to the 2015 edition.
- AISI S200, S210, S211, S212 and S214 have been combined into a new single standard, AISI S240-15.
- AISI S213 was split into the new S240 and AISI S400-15.
- ASCE 41-13 was updated to the 2017 edition.
- The ICC 300 and ICC 400 were both updated from 2012 editions to 2017 editions.
- ANSI/NC1.0-10 and ANSI/RD1.0-10 were all updated to 2017 editions.
- Section 1607.14.2 Added for Structural Stability of Fire Walls
- This new section takes the 5 psf from NFPA 221, so designers will have consistent guidance on how to design fire walls for stability without having to buy another standard.
- Modifications of the IBC Special Inspections Approved
- Section 1704.2.5 on special inspection of fabricated items has been clarified and streamlined.
- The Exception to 1705.1.1 on special inspection of wood shear walls, shear panels and diaphragms was clarified to say that special inspections are not required when the specified spacing of fasteners at panel edges is more than 4 inches on center.
- The special inspection requirements for structural steel seismic force-resisting systems and structural steel elements in seismic force-resisting systems were clarified by adding exceptions so that systems or elements not designed in accordance with AISC 341 would not have to be inspected using the requirements of that standard.
- Changes Pertaining to Storm Shelters
- A new Section 1604.11 states that “Loads and load combinations on storm shelters shall be determined in accordance with ICC 500.”
- An exception was added stating that when a storm shelter is added to a building, “the risk category for the normal occupancy of the building shall apply unless the storm shelter is a designated emergency shelter in accordance with Table 1604.5.”
- Further clarification in Table 1604.5 states that the type of shelters designated as risk category IV are “Designated emergency shelters including earthquake or community storm shelters for use during and immediately after an event.”
- Changes to the IBC Conventional Construction Requirements in Chapter 23
- The section on anchorage of foundation plates and sills to concrete or masonry foundations reorganized the requirements by Seismic Design Category (SDC) and added a new section on anchoring in SDC E. It also states that the anchor bolt must be in the middle third of the width of the plate and adds language to the sections on higher SDCs saying that if alternate anchor straps are used, they need to be spaced to provide equivalent anchorage to the specified 1/2″- or 5/8″-diameter bolts.
- The second change permits single-member 2-by headers, to allow more space for insulation in a wall.
- Modification to the Requirements for Nails and Staples in the IBC
- ASTM F1667 Supplement One was adopted that specifies the method for testing nails for bending-yield strength and identifies a required minimum average bending moment for staples used for framing and sheathing connections.
- Stainless-steel nails are required to meet ASTM F1667 and use Type 302, 304, 305 or 316 stainless steel, as necessary to achieve the corrosion resistance assumed in the code.
- Staples used with preservative-treated wood or fire-retardant-treated wood are required to be stainless steel.
- The new RSRS-01 nail was incorporated into TABLE 2304.10.1, the Fastening Schedule. The RSRS nail is a new roof sheathing ring shank nail designed to achieve higher withdrawal resistances, in order to meet the new higher component and cladding uplift forces of ASCE 7-16.
- Truss-Related Code Change
- The information required on the truss design drawings was changed from “Metal connector plate type” to “Joint connection type” in recognition that not all trusses use metal connector plates.
- Code Change to Section 2304.12.2.2
- A code change clarifies in which cases posts or columns will not be required to consist of naturally durable or preservative-treated wood. This change makes the requirements closer to the earlier ones, while maintaining consistency with the subsequent section on supporting members.
- If a post or column is not naturally durable or preservative-treated, it will have to be supported by concrete piers or metal pedestals projecting at least 1″ above the slab or deck, such as Simpson Strong-Tie post bases that have a one-inch standoff.
- Code Change to IBC Appendix M
- A code change from FEMA makes IBC Appendix M specific to refuge structures for vertical evacuation from tsunami, and the tsunami hazard mapping and structural design guidelines of ASCE 7-16 would be used rather than those in FEMA P-646.
Once the 2018 IBC is published in the fall, interested parties will have only a few months to develop code changes that will result in the 2021 I-Codes. Similar to this last cycle, code changes will be divided into two groups, Group A and Group B, and Group A code changes are due January 8, 2018. The schedule for the next cycle is already posted here.
What changes would you like to see for the 2021 codes?
Keep Your Roof On
He huffed, and he puffed, and he blew the roof sheathing off! That’s not the way kids’ tale goes, but the dangers high winds pose to roof sheathing are very real. Once the roof sheathing is gone, the structure is open and its contents are exposed to the elements and much more vulnerable to wind or water damage. It is a storyline that we meet all too often in the news.
About two years ago, the ASTM subcommittee on Driven and Other Fasteners (F16.05), addressed fastening for roof sheathing in high-wind areas by adding a special nail to ASTM F1667-17 – Standard Specification for Driven Fasteners: Nails, Spikes and Staples. The Roof Sheathing Ring-Shank Nail was added to the standard as Table 46. Figure 1 illustrates the nail and lists its geometrical specifications. This is a family of five ring-shank nails that can be made from carbon steel or stainless steel (300 series). Specific features of these nails are the ring pitch (number of rings per inch), the ring diameter over the shank, the length of deformed shank and the head diameter. Also, note B specifies that the nails shall comply with the supplementary requirement of Table S1.1, which tabulates bending yield strength. In this diameter class, the minimum bending yield strength allowed is 100 ksi.
The IBHS (Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety) discusses roof deck fastening in its Builders Guide that describes the “FORTIFIED for Safer Living” structures. The IBHS FORTIFIED program offers solutions that reduce building vulnerability to severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes. Keeping the roof sheathing on the structure is critical to maintaining a safe enclosure and minimizing damage, and roof sheathing ring-shank nails can be part of the solution. As Figure 2 from IBHS (2008) shows, every wood-frame structure has wind vulnerability.
More importantly for the wood-frame engineering community, the Roof Sheathing Ring-Shank Nails are being included in the next revision of the AWC National Design Specification for Wood Construction (NDS-2018), which is a reference document to both the International Building Code and the International Residential Code. You will be able to use the same NDS-2018, chapter 12 withdrawal equation to calculate the withdrawal resistance for Roof Sheathing Ring-Shank Nails and Post Frame Ring-Shank nails. The calculated withdrawal will be based on the length of deformed shank embedded in the framing member. Also, Designers need to consider the risk of nail head pull-through when fastening roof sheathing with ring-shank nails. If the pull-through for roof sheathing ring-shank nails is not published, you will be able to use the new pull-through equation in the NDS-2018 to estimate that resistance.
Simpson Strong-Tie has some stainless-steel products that meet the requirements for Roof Sheathing Ring-Shank Nails. These will be especially important to those in coastal high-wind areas. Table 1 shows some of the Simpson Strong-Tie nails that can be used as roof sheathing ring-shank nails. These nails meet the geometry and bending yield strength requirements given in ASTM F1667. See the Fastening Systems catalog C-F-2017 for nails in Type 316 stainless steel that also comply with the standard.
Improve your disaster resilience and withstand extreme winds by fastening the sheathing with roof sheathing ring-shank nails. You can find Roof Sheathing Ring-Shank nails in ASTM F1667, Table 46, and you will see them in the AWC NDS-2018, which will be available at the end of the year. Let us know your preferred fastening practices for roof sheathing.
Firewalls for Wood Construction
What is a firewall?
A firewall is a term that is used in the construction industry to describe a fire-resistive-rated wall or fire-stop system, which is an element in a building that separates adjacent spaces to prevent the spread of fire and smoke within a building or between separate buildings. A firewall is actually one of three different types of walls that can be used to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.
Types of fire-resistive-rated walls:
The three types of fire-resistive-rated walls are firewalls, fire barriers and fire partitions. They are listed in order from the most stringent requirements to the least. A firewall is a fire-resistive-rated wall having protected openings, which restricts the spread of fire and extends continuously from the foundation to or through the roof with sufficient structural stability under fire conditions to allow collapse of construction on either side without collapse of the wall. A fire barrier is a fire-resistive-rated wall assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire which continuity is maintained. A fire partition is a vertical assembly of materials designed to restrict the spread of fire in which openings are protected. Each type has varying requirements and the table below displays some of the differences between them.
What are some of the typical uses of each type of fire-resistive wall?
As the requirements for each type of wall vary, so do the uses. Typical uses of each are as follows:
- Firewalls – party walls, exterior walls, interior bearing walls
- Fire barriers – shaft enclosures, exit passageways, atriums, occupancy separations
- Fire partitions – corridor walls, tenant space walls, sleeping units within the same building
How do you determine whether your wood building design needs a firewall?
The 2012 International Building Code (the IBC, or “the Code” in what follows), which is adopted by most building departments in the United States, is the resource we are using in this discussion. (As a side note, it’s possible your city or county has supplemental requirements, and it is best to contact your local building department for this information up front.)
To determine your fire-resistive wall requirements, review these chapters in the 2012 IBC:
- Chapter 3, Identify Occupancy Group – typically Section 310 (“Residential Group”) for wood construction
- Chapter 5, Select Construction Type – Section 504, Table 503
- Chapter 6, Determine Fire-Resistive Rating Requirements – Table 601, typically Type III wood-constructed buildings require a two-hour fire separation for the exterior bearing walls
What are typical fire-resistive wall designs?
Information for one-hour, two-hour designs, etc. can be found in tables 721.1(2) and 721.1(3) of the Code provide information to obtain designs that meet the rating requirements (in hours) for your building, including the walls and floor/roof systems. The GA-600 is another reference that the Code allows if the design is not proprietary.
How do I know whether the structural attachments I specify for the wall and roof assemblies meet the Code requirement?
Once the wall or floor/roof assembly design is selected, the Designer must ensure that the components of the wall do not reduce the fire rating. The Code requires that products which pierce the membrane of the assemblies at a hollow location undergo a fire test to ensure they meet the requirements of the design. ASTM E814 and ASTM E119 are the standards governing the fire tests for materials and components of the fire-resistive wall. There are several criteria that the component in the assembly must meet: a flame-through criterion, a change-in-temperature criterion and a hose-stream test.
Simpson Strong-Tie has created the DHU hanger for use with typical two-hour fire-resistive walls for wood construction.The DHU hanger has passed the ASTM E814 testing and can be used on a fire-resistive wall of 2×4 or 2×6 constructions and up to two 5/8″ layers of gypsum board. The DHU and DHUTF have both an F (Fire) and a T (Temperature) rating.
The DHU/DHUTF hanger has two options, a face-mount version (DHU) and a top-flange version (DHUTF). The hanger doesn’t require any cuts or openings in the drywall, which ensures reliable performance; no special inspection is required. To install the hanger, gypsum board must first be installed in a double or single layer, at least as deep as the hanger. For installation, apply a two-layer strip of Type X drywall along the top of the wall, making the base layer a wider strip (bottom edge is 12″ or more below the face layer, depending on jurisdiction). Then install ¼” x 3½” Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive® SDS screws through the hanger and into top plates of the wall. Since the hanger is more eccentric than typical, the top plates of the wall must be restrained from rotation. The SSP clip can be used for restraint, but the design may not require it if there is a sufficient amount of resistance already in place, such as sheathing, a bearing wall above, or a party wall as determined by the designer. See the photos and installation illustration below for guidance or visit our website for further information.
Mixing It Up with Concrete Specification
Around Christmas, the Engineering Department does a white elephant gift exchange. We have no idea who framed this picture and wrapped it up the first time.
Several of our lab technicians (plus a product manager) are posing for the camera, and obviously trying to flex while sucking their bellies in during a concrete pour to test our SSTB(R) anchors. The tradition has it that if you end up with this picture, you hang it on your wall and re-gift it at next year’s gift exchange – so there it is, on the wall in Engineer Dustin’s office. The trick has become wrapping it so that nobody recognizes that it is the picture frame.
Speaking of concrete, between our test labs in Addison, Ill., Stockton and Pleasanton, Calif., we test a lot of concrete. We will certainly be doing a lot more testing to continue to support our new Repair, Protection and Strengthening Systems for Concrete and Masonry product line. But I will ask the lab technicians to keep their shirts on.
Code Development: The ASTM Process
I spent a few days last week traveling to attend the Spring ASTM International meetings held in Phoenix, AZ. When I was working as a building designer, I always used ASTM standards in my project specifications or testing and special inspection requirements on a job. But I did not know how these ASTM standards were developed, nor did I know that I could participate in the process.
ASTM standards are voluntary in the sense that ASTM does not require their use. However, since ASTM standards are referenced in building codes and design standards that are adopted by states and local jurisdictions, compliance with those standards is required. So it might be useful for structural engineers to know a little bit about how these standards are created.