Wind Load Design

Wind Load Design Considerations for Out-of-Plane Loading

The residential building code provisions continue to evolve with new design and construction requirements introduced every code update cycle. These new requirements are typically the result of one of the following:

Innovation in construction technology has been often driven by a desire to improve performance (e.g., reduction in energy use) and/or to gain efficiency in the construction process (e.g., garage portal frames, SIP construction). On the other hand, a re-evaluation of existing code provisions is often prompted by a desire to align conventional practices more closely with engineering estimates (e.g., wall bracing provisions of the International Residential Code (IRC)). Because conventional practices have a history of successful field performance, a re-evaluation task typically involves (1) development of analytical methods that are representative of the actual system performance, and (2) establishment of appropriate applicability limits on the prescriptive requirements (e.g., wind speeds less than 100 mph).

This white paper explores issues related to exterior wall resistance to wind pressure – an area of residential building design where additional building code development efforts are expected in response to both continued innovation and an evolving understanding of performance. The paper focuses on two residential technologies:

  1. Rigid exterior foam sheathing attached directly to studs
  2. Residential garage doors

The performance and design considerations for both systems are discussed, gaps in knowledge are identified, and recommendations for research are provided for both technologies in support of the building code development process. First, the paper provides an overview of the upcoming changes to wind hazard maps.