Analysis of the International Residential Code 2006 Low Rise Wood Frame Building Bracing Requirements for Pennsylvania

Open Access
Myers, Tanya L
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 31, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Dr Kasal, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Bohumil Kasal, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • braced walls
  • shear walls
  • bracing
  • wind records
  • wind speeds
  • statistics
  • engineering
  • structural
  • residential
  • low
  • low rise
  • low rise buildings
  • wood construction
  • houses
  • housing
  • Wood frame construction
  • IRC 2006
  • 2006
  • International Residential Code
  • IRC
  • loads
  • lateral loads
  • wind
  • ASCE 7
  • gypsum walls
  • exterior walls
  • interior walls
  • structural panels
  • analytical model
  • rigid beam model
  • rigid plate model
  • extreme wind
  • wind engineering
Buildings must be designed structurally for a fifty year wind speed according to the ASCE 7 Standard. Residential buildings in Pennsylvania currently must be designed for 90 mph winds as shown on the ASCE-7 Standard wind speed map. For this research wind speed data from anemometer stations all over PA and its surrounding states are compared statistically using extreme value distributions. An overall lower wind speed than the Standard’s 90mph was found to be statistically accurate. Currently the International Residential Code 2006 Bracing Requirements Table R602.10.1 starts at wind speeds of 100mph or less. The new wind speed found for Pennsylvania is used to redevelop the bracing requirements table to incorporate areas with lower wind speeds than 100mph. The new bracing requirements are found to be stricter than the current code. Further analysis was implemented using an analytical model and a Monte Carlo simulation on two separate residential structures to predict the probability of failure in the walls. It was found that the bracing requirements of the International Residential Code 2006 are inadequate for the state of Pennsylvania.