Bracing Systems

Evaluation of the Lateral Performance of Let-In Bracing and Mixed Bracing Systems

This testing program is designed to measure the performance of conventional bracing systems including wood let-in bracing, gypsum wallboard, and wood structural panels. The purpose of the study is to better understand how these bracing methods work as part of a system and in combination with each other. Although these bracing methods have been studied in the past, recent re-evaluation of testing procedures and analytical approaches for establishing prescriptive wall bracing requirements raised new questions related to the interaction of these materials with each other and with the rest of the structure. Some of the new concepts that have been recently introduced include the continuous sheathing methods of wall bracing, partial restraint conditions, interaction of dissimilar materials, and contribution of finish materials to the structure’s performance. This study provides information towards reconciling the traditional bracing methods, their historic use and performance, and the new approaches to analyzing prescriptive wall bracing provisions.