Structural Design for Residential Applications - Part I

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Instructor Information: Alexander Newman, P.E., F.ASCE

Course Length: 1.5 Hours

This webinar was co-sponsored by ASCE's Structural Engineering Institute and ASCE Continuing Education

Purpose and Background

One and two family dwellings present a unique set of engineering challenges. On one hand, the design budgets for this type of construction are typically very tight; on the other, the design might be quite complex and time consuming. Some common residential practices and construction details might be difficult to justify by analysis, but they have been used for generations. To make matters even more challenging, structural design of wood members is not taught in many engineering schools. As a result, some engineers wishing to design a wood-framed house tend to learn on the job, where they may or may not receive up-to-date design information.

This two-part webinar aims to provide a concise and practical overview of the design procedures for residential framing, focusing on wood structural members and foundations. Part I addresses the design of gravity-load systems, such as wood floor and roof framing, wall studs, and common foundation types. The discussion focuses on modern design and construction practices and it covers the framing made of both sawn and engineered lumber.

Today’s building codes do not necessarily require that every structural element of the house be rationally designed. The discussion explains when the prescriptive code provisions may be used and when the rational design provisions must be followed. One widely followed source for prescriptive provisions is the International Residential Code, but even the International Building Code contains procedures for conventional light-frame construction design.

After addressing these procedures, the instructor outlines the rational-design methods of the 2009 International Building Code. A number of step-by-step design examples show how to design common residential structural members. Drawing on three decades of consulting and forensic experience, the instructor goes beyond the basics, shining the light on some areas of controversy and misunderstanding. 

Learning Outcomes

- Find out when the conventional light-frame construction design approach of the 2009 International Residential Code may be used and when the rational design procedures must be followed instead
- Learn how to design gravity-load components of residential framing 

Seminar Benefits

- Explore the practical issues of designing residential framing
- Work through a number of step-by-step design examples
- Become familiar with must-have design details for residential construction
- Discover how to design floor joists of sawn and engineered lumber quickly and economically
- Learn how to design the framing for complex sloped roofs

Intended Audience

Structural and civil engineers and other design professionals seeking to broaden their knowledge of structural design for residential applications will benefit from this webinar.

Seminar Outline

- Introduction
- Two design methods for residential framing  
- Conventional light-frame construction design per 2009 International Residential Code
- Rational design methods of the 2009 International Building Code
- Designing floor joists and beams
- Designing sloped roofs and foundations