Design models of light frame wood buildings under lateral loads

B. Kasal, M. S. Collins, P. Paevere, G. C. Foliente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


In this paper, different methods of lateral force distribution and design are described and compared with the results of experiments on a full-scale woodframe test house, and with a detailed three-dimensional analysis using a Finite Element (FE) model. The primary motive for this analysis and investigation is to provide the basic understanding required for the development of improved design procedure(s) for light-frame wood buildings subjected to lateral loads. Improved procedures for lateral load distribution should be analytically correct in their philosophy, and offer reasonable trade-offs between the uncertainties and omissions in the design process and simplicity for the end-user. In this paper, eight methods are used to predict the distribution of design wind forces to the walls of an example L-shaped single-story woodframe house, in a moderate hurricane prone environment. The results are compared and the differences in the predictions between the various methods are highlighted. Four of these methods are further compared against the results of physical experiments conducted on a full-scale test house. The FE model was generally the most accurate in predicting the experimentally measured load distribution, followed by the "plate method" and the "rigid beam method" described herein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1263-1271
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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