The Methods of Wall Bracing
Wall bracing is performed during construction on wood-frame buildings in order to make the structures less susceptible to wind damage. This practice is especially important in areas in which high-wind storms, such as hurricanes, are possible. In those regions, there are likely to be local building guidelines that stipulate the minimum level of wall bracing that is required in construction projects. In other cases, the guidelines set by the International Residential Code are used. There are several different methods of wall bracing that are used, depending on the needs of the project. Scaffold Resource can assist with wall bracing calculations as part of our engineering consultation services. Here is a look at some of the common processes.
Engineered Shear Walls
For wind loads that are expected to reach or exceed 110 miles per hour, engineered shear walls may be used. In this process, an engineer calculates the expected wind loads to determine where shear walls should be located and what their size and construction should be. Shear walls have hold-downs at every segment. These segments may be as small as 27 1/2 inches, depending on the anticipated wind loads.
Method 3 is so called because it adheres to the IRC’s Method 3 guidelines. It is used when wind loads are expected to be less than 110 miles per hour. With this method plywood, or in some cases, OSB, is attached to strategically chosen areas of walls to brace them against the wind. The attached plywood or OSB must cover the full height of the wall and be at least four feet wide.
Fully sheathed buildings are completely covered in plywood or OSB. In these cases, IRC guidelines allow for fewer areas of the walls to be braced. With this method, however, all corners of the building have to be braced wall panels.
For more information about wall bracing, scaffolding or shoring in Washington, D.C., call Scaffold Resource. We are available to answer your questions today at (301) 924-7223.