Guidebook Available for New Gulf Cost Building Codes

Simpson Strong-Tie has introduced a companion guide to the AF&PA Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM) to help builders and building officials with the rebuilding effort in the Gulf Coast region.

November 13, 2006

A  new guide book that helps builders and remodelers sort through new building codes that have been recently adopted in Gulf Coast regional states has been released by Simpson Strong-Tie. The "High Wind Framing Connection Guide", available for free online at www.strongtie.com/hw, provides detailed prescriptive solutions for meeting uplift and lateral load requirements in areas with wind speeds of 100 to 140 mph.

"We're having to learn a new way to build in the Gulf Coast," said Bhola Dhume, AIA, CBO, deputy director of safety and permits for the City of New Orleans. "This guide will be a valuable resource that will help ensure our homes and buildings are still standing when the next big one hits."

Newly adopted building codes in Louisiana and Mississippi now require structures to be designed with a system of connections that provide a "continuous load path." This path must be capable of transferring high wind forces through the framing members to the foundation. Simpson's High Wind Framing Connection Guide is based on the WFCM -- an American National Standards Institute-approved document that provides engineered and prescriptive design requirements for wood frame construction used in one- and two-story family dwellings. The companion guide goes one step further by providing pre-calculated load values for structural connectors as well as design examples of product installation.

"The building industry has been asking us for assistance in meeting the new codes," said Phil Burton, branch manager of Simpson Strong-Tie. "This guide not only assists them in understanding and meeting the new codes, but is also an opportunity for us to educate the building community about the importance of building homes that are structurally sound."

Simpson's guide provides a schedule of recommended connectors that meet or exceed tabulated load requirements. The tables define the minimum sizes of members in the connection, and the connector and/or fasteners required for given wind speeds. The tables do not reference all framing conditions, but rather feature the most common sizes and spacing for framing members in residential construction. Tables and graphics are provided to illustrate how the connections are to be made.

Simpson Strong-Tie manufactures metal connectors, such as hurricane ties and other hardware used to secure the structural frame of a home. Its products are tested and code-approved for high wind areas. Simpson continuously looks for new and improved ways to help builders and homeowners make homes stronger and safer. Its state-of-the-art research lab can test a structure's ability to resist high winds, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

The companion guide is the latest step in Simpson’s ongoing efforts to educate the industry and consumers about the importance of building stronger, safer homes. In addition to distributing the guide, Simpson is also providing training workshops throughout the Southeast on proper connections for high wind resistant construction.

To download a free copy of the "High Wind Framing Connection Guide", visit Simpson Strong-Tie's Web site at www.strongtie.com/hw.

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