Structural Design Topics in Wood Construction  - April 16-18, 2018 - Hyatt Place University - Blacksburg, Virginia
Structural Design Topics in Wood Construction  - April 16-18, 2018 - Hyatt Place University - Blacksburg, Virginia

General Information

Who Should Attend

The primary audience for this course includes engineers, architects, residential designers, homebuilders, EWP designers and manufacturers, wood truss designers, truss manufacturers, building code plan reviewers and inspectors, and general contractors who want to expand their general knowledge of wood construction and the design of structural elements beyond the introductory level.

Overview of Course Content

This course offers a range of topics related to the structural design of wood-frame buildings as well as design measures that can enhance the in-service performance of structural elements. Participants can look forward to 15-hours of instruction (1.5 CEUs) on the following topics:

  • Durability Issues--Decay, Insects and Design for Durability
    The science of wood decay, types of decay, and the impact on mechanical properties of wood, characteristics of stains, molds, and mildew, insects that attack wood in buildings, examples of construction details that are prone to decay, and design ideas to improve building durability will be presented.
  • Balcony Design Update per the 2018 IBC and AWPA Use Category Standard
    New design provisions in the 2018 I-Codes for wood-frame balconies will be reviewed. This presentation will address “good practice” prior to local adoption of the 2018 codes and most recent AWPA Use Category Standard.
  • Designing Roofs and Balconies to Avoid Ponding
    For decades, the building codes have required a minimum roof slope of ¼-inch per foot to provide drainage. However, this slope is significantly reduced in-service for various reasons such as dead load deflection, valleys of two intersecting roof areas, and members optimized for deflection. This presentation will offer design solutions to provide long-term positive drainage for minimum slope assemblies supported by wood framing.
  • Calculating Wind Loads on Low-Rise Structures per WFCM Engineering Provisions
    The engineering provisions of the 2015 WFCM will be used to calculate shear, uplift, and overturning loads due to wind for various building components. This presentation will provide background and examples for calculation of these forces which will enable designers and code officials to quickly determine wind design loads for projects.
  • Residential Floor and Header Design
    Analyses and design of floor framing to reduce the likelihood of annoying floor vibrations will be presented. Also, 2015 WFCM allowable header design spans that are assumed to have full lateral support (braced) versus the case of a dropped header (assumed to be unbraced) will be compared.
  • Design of Bolted Connections per the 2015 NDS
    The NDS requires “local stresses” to be checked in multiple-bolt connections. In addition to determining adjusted bolt design values, a method offered by the NDS for calculating the additional failure modes for multiple-bolt connections due to “local stresses” will be demonstrated by calculations.
  • Fire: Design Tools for Code-Conforming Wood Construction
    Chapter 16 of the NDS on Fire Design of Wood Members and Technical Report 10 (TR10) Calculating the Fire Resistance of Exposed Wood Members will be reviewed. Additional resources for flame-spread performance, fire-rated wood floor and wall assemblies, and component additive method will be discussed.
  • Specifying and Constructing Floors to Accommodate Ceramic Tile and Stone
    This unit addresses the determination of expected dead loads (and expected in-service deflection) of tile and stone “installation methods” given in the 2014 TCNA Handbook. The need for specification of accurate framing dead loads that includes the tile/stone installation method (as well as concentrated loads) in the construction plans will be emphasized.
  • Design of Load-bearing Tall Wood Studs for Wind and Gravity Loads
    Elements and subassemblies, which receive loads both directly and as part of the main wind force resisting system (MWFRS), such as wall studs, must be checked independently for MWFRS loads and component and cladding (C&C) loads. A load-bearing stud wall design example based on the allowable stress design methods contained in the 2015 NDS and WFCM will be used to demonstrate standard design checks for strength and deflection.
  • Wind Shear Wall Design Examples per 2015 WFCM and 2015 SDPWS
    Design tools and standards to assist engineers, architects, and building officials with the design of shear walls will be summarized. Engineering-based prescriptive approaches such as those outlined in AWC's 2015 Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM) for One- and Two-Family Dwellings and 2015 WFCM High Wind Guides tend to provide conservative results. Engineered approaches such as those outlined in AWC's 2015 Special Design Provisions for Wind and Seismic (SDPWS) typically result in more efficient designs. Using examples, this unit will demonstrate differences in design results for shear walls using different design methods.
  • Wood Truss Specification and Permanent Bracing Design
    Satisfactory truss performance depends on proper specification and integration into the building design. The building code and industry standards outline truss design parameters and permanent bracing guidelines that result in satisfactory truss performance when implemented. This presentation highlights critical design information and permanent truss bracing requirements often overlooked by the building designer, contractor, truss designer, and code official.
  • Tall Wood Structures: Current Trends and Related Code and Standard Changes
    The recent introduction of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in the 2015 NDS and the 2015 IBC has facilitated a promising new chapter in wood construction. The use of CLT alone or in combination with other mass timber elements, such as glued laminated timber (GLT), nail laminated timber (NLT), or structural composite lumber (SCL), is leading to an effort to recognize the use of mass timber elements in taller, combustible construction through the work of the ICC Tall Wood Ad Hoc Committee. 

Course Materials and CEU Credit

A notebook containing course materials, the ANSI/AWC WFCM-2015 Wood Frame Construction Manual, lunch on Tuesday, refreshment breaks, and a certificate for 1.5 CEUs (15-hours) are included in the registration fee.


For more specific information on course content, please contact Dr. Frank Woeste at (540) 951-0469, or e-mail:

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