Construction Basics - Wall Systems
Builders can choose from a variety of wall sheathing products that range in cost, strength, insulation value, and ease of installation. Of the options available, plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) are the strongest and most durable. These wood structural panels add shear and racking strength – important characteristics that are engineered to help a structure withstand the forces of high winds and earthquakes. Wood-sheathed walls are also easy to build and easy to insulate for high R values.
Wood-framed buildings can be designed to withstand lateral loads such as those caused by high winds or seismic forces. The elements that enable a building to withstand such forces are its shear walls and diaphragms. Framing, wood structural panel sheathing, and connections are all important components in these construction systems.
Shear Walls & Diaphragms
A diaphragm is a flat structural unit acting like a deep, thin beam. The term “diaphragm” is usually applied to roofs and floors. A shear wall, however, is a vertical, cantilevered diaphragm. These construction systems can be used when designing a building for lateral loads, such as those generated by wind or earthquakes.
Learn the Bracing Basics from APA
For simple solutions for code-compliant wall construction, visit PerformanceWalls.org, your leading resource for wall bracing and building safe, durable and energy-efficient walls.
Advanced Framing Construction Guide
This free publication from APA details techniques for more efficient, cost-effective framing practices.
- Introduction to Lateral Design
- PDF 745K, Free Download
- Build A Better Home: Walls
- PDF 1.3MB
- Diaphragms and Shear Walls
- PDF 816K, Free Download
FREE CAD DETAILS
Visit APACAD.org for more than 250 free CAD details for wood-frame construction.