Wall Bracing Made Easy

By: Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

Korean  efforts to increase the seismic safety of buildings (via building code changes) have generated interest in the seismic performance of wood. From 2017 all new buildings in South Korea higher than one story were required to designed to be earthquake-resistant. Prior to that, only buildings three stories or higher were required to be earthquake-resistant.  It was in this context that the Korean government published “Building Code for the Small Scale Building Code-Timber Structure” (SSBC-TS) in 2018 to regulate low-rise housing, applying mainly to single-family homes.

A Canada Wood Korea priority is to heighten the Korean wood building industry’s application of this code by introducing a wood wall bracing calculator and Design Guidance Booklet for the SSBC-TS. Recently, Canada Wood Korea and the Timber Engineering Lab of Chungnam National University (CNUTim) delivered a virtual Wood Bracing Wall training workshop.

Wall bracing is fundamental to preventing failures such as horizontally imposed racking, sliding, and overturning forces resultant from an earthquake. But numerically calculating these requirements can be very time-consuming for designers. Canada Wood Korea developed and maintains an excel-based structural engineering package based on the prescriptive requirements of SSBC-TS. The tool aims to assist the engineers to simplify and streamline the building permit application process by saving time on tedious structural calculations.