SELLING ENGINEERED LUMBER: New Tools Streamline Wall Bracing Designs

Simplified bracing method

A second tool dealers can share with builders is a simplified bracing method. The 2012 IRC included a simplified method (Section R602.12) that made great strides in easing builders’ and code officials’ understanding of this complicated section of code. APA expanded on that effort, enhancing the provisions to increase their applicability to a larger percentage of home designs while making the process easier to understand for designers, installing dealers, code officials, and builders.

To provide greater architectural latitude, APA’s simplified wall bracing method calls for continuously sheathed wood structural panel bracing with an increased, yet common, minimum sheathing thickness (7/16 inch) and a closer (4 inches o.c.) perimeter nailing schedule.

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This system approach leverages the additional restraint provided by the mass and stiffness of a home’s second story and roof to realize a significant performance increase in the wall bracing on the first story—where the number of window and door openings are often maximized.

This means that due to the strength increase from the additional nails and the slightly thicker sheathing, the existing plywood and OSB wall sheathing segments are often enough to satisfy the bracing requirements of the code, without builder customers needing to make design changes or incorporate engineered solutions.

To review the full simplified bracing method and share with customers, download the System Report, Form SR-102 from www.apawood.org.

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