Resilient Wood Construction Resists Wind, Weather,
Seismic Forces & Moisture
Wood is the resilient choice for construction. Wood's strength combined with its ability to absorb stresses or impacts without weakening or degrading make wood a superior building material, especially in areas susceptible to severe weather conditions or seismic activity. While regionalized building codes address the necessary design requirements, APA provides additional resources detailing construction practices that help structures perform even better against hurricanes, high winds, severe moisture and earthquakes.
Plywood and OSB Sheathing Boost Structural Strength
The overall strength of a building is the function of all of the components—walls, floors, roof, and foundation—working together as a unit. When an earthquake or high wind strikes the house, the walls and roof bear the brunt of these forces. A fully sheathed wall of plywood or OSB, properly connected to the foundation below and roof above, is a strong barrier that resists the persistent forces of wind and earthquakes. Laboratory tests and field evaluations show that sheathing with plywood or OSB can help make a house two to three times more able to withstand high winds and earthquakes.
For more information on wall sheathing, visit the Walls section.
Resilience in High-Wind Events
Tornado Damage Report and Design Recommendations
Texas Tornado Damage Assessment Report
A report of damage assessments from the December 26, 2015, tornado storm near Dallas, Texas. Forensic evidence suggests much of the damage occurred along the outer edges of the storm's path, where wind speeds appeared to be lower. Wind-resistant construction recommendations included. Download Texas Tornado Damage Assessment Report, Form SP-1177.
Building for High-Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction
Design recommendations for areas prone to high winds that contribute to improved overall performance in the structural shell and focus on good connection details to tie together exterior walls, roofs and floors. Download Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction, Form M310.
Protect Your Home from Windstorm Damage with Hurricane Shutters
Hurricane Shutter Designs
Shutters over large windows and glass doors can help prevent windstorm damage. Hurricane Shutter Designs, Form T450, includes five hurricane shutter designs with recommendations for a variety of window and door openings in masonry and wood-frame buildings. Designs include illustrations, materials lists, and step-by-step instructions. Details are also available for Latin America in Spanish.
Hurricane Shutter Design Considerations for Florida, Form T460, is a regionalized version of the Hurricane Shutter Designs publication specific to Florida.
For Areas Prone to Seismic Activity and High Wind Events
Introduction to Lateral Design
Explains how to design wood-frame buildings to withstand the lateral loads typical of high wind and seismic zones. Download Introduction to Lateral Design, Form X305.
Prevent Damaging Moisture Infiltration
Build a Better Home
Designed to provide builders and homeowners the construction guidelines they need to protect their homes against damaging moisture infiltration, the Build a Better Home program from APA encourages better building practices for the key elements of a residential structure: roofs, walls and the foundation.
Visit Build a Better Home for simple construction details, tips and videos on building moisture-resistant homes.
Learn More about Severe Weather Preparedness
These national organizations provide information on severe weather preparedness, home safety, and important weather-related factors to consider when buying or building a new home: