Practical Modeling for Wind Load Paths in a Realistic, Light-Frame Wood House

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  • The objective of this study was to develop and validate practical modeling methods for investigating load paths and system behavior in a realistic, light-frame wood structure. The modeling methods were validated against full-scale tests on sub-assemblies and an L-shaped house. The model of the L-shaped house was then modified and used to investigate the effects of re-entrant corners, wall openings and gable-end retrofits on system behavior and load paths. Results from this study showed that the effects of adding re-entrant corners and wall openings on uplift load distributions were dependent on the orientation of the trusses with respect to the walls. Openings added to walls parallel to the trusses had the least effect on loads carried by the remaining walls in the building. Varying re-entrant corner dimensions under ASCE 7-05 (ASCE 2005) design wind loads caused increasing degrees of torsion throughout the house, depending on the relative location and stiffness of the in-plane walls (parallel to the wind loads) as well as the assumed direction of the wind loads. Balancing the stiffness of the walls on either side of the house with the largest re-entrant corner helped to decrease torsion in the structure under lateral loads. Finally, although previous full-scale tests on gable-end sections verified the effectiveness of the gable-end retrofit that was recently adopted into the 2010 Florida building code, questions remained about the effects of the retrofit on torsion in a full building. The current study found that adding the gable-end retrofits to the L-shaped house did not cause additional torsion.
  • Keywords: wall openings, gable-end retrofits, structural models, reentrant corners, system behavior, residential buildings, structural systems
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  • Kathryn S. Pfretzschner, Rakesh Gupta, and Thomas H. Miller (2014). "Practical Modeling for Wind Load Paths in a Realistic Light-Frame Wood House." Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 28(3), 430-439. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000448
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  • 28
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  • 3
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  • Previous research contributions from Kenneth Martin, Dr. Phillip Paevere and Dr. Bohumil Kasal were greatly appreciated, as well as funding from the Oregon State University Center for Wood Utilization Research.
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