Confidence Delivered. Quality Defined.
PerformanceWalls.org, presented by APA - The Engineered Wood Association, is your leading resource for designing and building better walls, including energy-efficient, cost-effective advanced framing details and the new APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method.
Since the early fifties, APA has collaborated with code bodies to improve wall performance. This collaboration has included a significant evolution in the use of prescriptive wall bracing techniques specifying plywood and OSB. In high wind and seismic events, APA’s expertise is on display with products that meet the industry’s highest performance standards and wall bracing applications aimed at reducing the risk of catastrophic home failure.
APA offers a comprehensive set of services and tools for building design and construction professionals. Browse the site menu to your left to access detailed product information, training materials and technical assistance. Need an immediate solution? Contact the APA Product Support Help Desk.
Performance Walls News
APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Expanded For Increased Usabilty
Based on a multi-year research and testing initiative carried out by APA, the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method expands on the 2012 International Residential Code Simplified Bracing Method (IRC Section R602.12) to provide an approach to bracing that is even more valuable to builders and building officials by, in many cases, decreasing the amount of required wall bracing and the minimum length of braced wall panels. In addition, the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method increases the applicability of the IRC simplified wall bracing provisions to as much as 4 times as many house plans, including those with multiple window and door openings on the front and rear elevations.
The APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method is detailed in System Report SR-102, originally published in September 2012. Recent updates to SR-102 expand usability of the APA method even further, increasing applicability to basic wind speeds of up to 100 mph and to Wind Exposure Category C regions. The updated System Report SR-102 also permits partial credit for shorter wall segments in continuously sheathed walls.
“These changes were requested by builders and code officials to further increase the usability of this simple approach to wall bracing," said Tom Kositzky, APA Director of Field Services. “Builders, especially regional or national builders, need solutions that work in less than 90 mph and 100 mph wind zones, as well as with different wind exposure categories. The update brings the APA Simplified Bracing Method closer to being a universal solution for builders and designers.”
- Download the APA System Report: APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Using Wood Structural Panel Continuous Sheathing, Form SR-102.
- Learn more about the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method.
APACAD.org Adds Free Advanced Framing CAD Details
Twenty new CAD details highlighting advanced framing techniques have been added to APACAD.org, APA’s online resource for building designers and construction professionals in search of CAD (Computer Aided Design) details for wood-frame construction. The new details were adapted from figures in APA's Advanced Framing Construction Guide.
The addition of the new details boosts the total number of free CAD details featured on APACAD.org to 257, including 30 Spanish-language details. All of the details are available to download free of charge in four file formats: DWG, DWF, DXF and PDF. The details are adapted from some of APA’s most frequently requested publications and can be searched for by title or browsed for within several defined product and construction-system categories, such as Panel Roof Construction and I-Joist Floor Framing.
APA Presents Advanced Framing Strategies at the International Builders' Show
APA Engineered Wood Specialists Bob Clark and Karyn Beebe, P.E., LEED AP, presented a seminar on advanced framing to a crowd of more than 200 at the 2013 International Builders Show in Las Vegas on January 23.
The presentation, Advanced Framing: Time to Green-up Your Structure, presented for the second year at the show, focused on methods to increase cavity insulation to meet more stringent energy codes and the thermal bridging requirements of Energy Star 3 without compromising the strength and durability of homes. Advanced framing with 2x6 wood studs spaced 24 inches on center, combined with wood structural panel sheathing, is one of the most cost-effective solutions for builders trying to balance increasingly stringent energy codes with structural building code requirements.
Many of the details presented in the seminar are featured in the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, Form M400, an APA publication now available for free download. Additional content from the seminar was previously presented by Clark last September in two one-hour web programs that drew 279 attendees. View an archived copy of the advanced framing webinar.
Clark also recently sat down with Rob Heselbarth, Editorial Director of Residential Design + Build magazine, to discuss the benefits of advanced framing. That interview is featured at www.forresidentialpros.com.
2012 IRC Lateral Bracing Guide Now Available
A new illustrated book, co-published by the International Code Council (ICC) and APA—The Engineered Wood Association, provides an explanation of the lateral bracing provisions of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC). The Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions, the third edition in the series, details the correct application of the code-bracing requirements, explores the history and theory behind wall bracing, and provides real-world bracing examples. The book is now available in hardcopy and digital format.
A Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions addresses bracing options available to the builders and designers, the amount of bracing required with adjustments and variations, rules for the use of bracing, the new simplified wall bracing provisions, whole house bracing considerations and many other related topics. The full-color book features numerous specific examples and more than 200 figures, tables and photos.
A Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions is available for purchase in hardcopy for $42.00 ($33.50 for ICC Members, Product ID #7102S12) or digital PDF form for $39.95 ($31.95 for ICC Members, Product ID #8799P12) directly from the ICC. The 2009 edition of the guide is also available. Visit www.iccsafe.org for more information.
Advanced Framing Webinars Draw Big Crowds
Two free presentations of Advanced Framing: Time to Green up Your Structure, a one-hour web program presented by APA, drew 279 attendees. In the September 18th and 26th webinars, APA Senior Engineered Wood Specialist Robert Clark provided an introduction to advanced framing and detailed several of the techniques for more efficient, cost-effective framing practices that are featured in APA's Advanced Framing Construction Guide. Audience feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and due to popular demand, a recording of the presentation is now available for online viewing. View the webinar.
APA Releases New Simplified Wall Bracing Method
Following a multi-year research and testing program carried out by the Association, APA has published a new System Report detailing a simplified wall bracing method using continuous wood structural panel sheathing. APA System Report SR-102 provides building officials, builders and designers with an approach and the supporting technical information to more easily meet the requirements of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) Simplified Wall Bracing (Section R601.12). In developing the System Report, APA’s technical staff modified the IRC Simplified Wall Bracing to increase its applicability to a greater percentage of home designs. To provide greater architectural latitude, the SR-102 method calls for continuously sheathed wood structural panel bracing with an increased sheathing thickness and a closer nailing schedule on the first story of a two-story structure. APA staff will be educating builders, code officials and designers on the use of the simplified wall bracing method through meetings, webinars, and the website.
Download a free PDF copy of the APA System Report: APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method Using Wood Structural Panel Continuous Sheathing, Form SR-102. Printed copies of the report and educational training programs on the use of the new method are also available. Contact APA for more information.
Learn more about the APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method.
Meet Code and Energy Requirements with Advanced Framing
APA’s new publication, the Advanced Framing Construction Guide, highlights advanced framing techniques that residential contractors can employ to produce energy-efficient, code-compliant homes with lower material and labor costs than conventionally framed houses.
The 24-page guide details several advanced framing techniques, including 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center, insulated three-stud corners, two-stud corners with ladder blocking, wall intersection options, single headers, single top plates and eliminating unnecessary materials. Continuous wood structural panel wall sheathing is recommended to provide the structural strength necessary to safely withstand the forces of nature.
APA Issues Construction Recommendations for High Wind Resistance
Damage observations conducted by APA after the April 16, 2011 tornados in Eastern North Carolina and the powerful EF-4 and EF-5 storms that struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 27 found that a lack of attention to detail along the uplift load-path often leads to weakness on the route through which high-wind forces must travel within the framing and into the foundation. Following a review of the findings, the Association has published a set of construction recommendations for improving tornado or hurricane resistance in light-frame wood construction. The damage assessment report, Tornados of the South: Structural Performance of Newly Constructed Homes in North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia, Form SP-1154 and the design recommendations, Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction, Form M310, are both available for free download from APA.
Read the full story.
APA and ICC Team to Offer 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Seminar
The International Code Council (ICC) and APA - The Engineered Wood Association have reached an agreement to jointly present a 2009 IRC Wood Wall Bracing seminar as part of the ICC professional code education program. The seminar covers the fundamentals of lateral loads, the technical basis for the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) wood frame wall bracing provisions, as well as the bracing provisions themselves.
Code official, design professional and home builder groups and associations can contract for the seminar directly with the ICC. Course registration and information is available at the ICC website or by calling 1-888-ICC-SAFE (422-7233), ext. 33818. Attendees of the one-day seminar will earn 0.6 ICC CEU (continuing education unit) credits. Customized training options are also available. Read more.
Sheathing for Profits
Three APA publications describe economical systems that help builders achieve higher performance with plywood or OSB wall sheathing. These brochures are available as free downloadable PDFs from the APA Publications Library:
For more than seventy years, APA - The Engineered Wood Association has focused on helping the industry create structural wood products of exceptional strength, versatility and reliability. Combining the research efforts of scientists at APA’s 42,000-square-foot Research Center with the knowledge gained from decades of field work, and cooperation with our member manufacturers, APA promotes new solutions and improved processes that benefit the entire industry. For more information:
Free Advanced Framing CAD Details
Twenty new advanced framing CAD details are now available for free download at APACAD.org.
- APA System Report: APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method
- PDF 698K, Free Download
- APA System Report: Design for Combined Shear and Uplift from Wind
- PDF 491K, Free Download
- Introduction to Wall Bracing
- PDF 2.5MB
- Brace Walls with Wood
- PDF 1.8MB
APA Simplified Wall Bracing Method
This free APA system report details a new wall bracing method that offers more design flexibility and simpler code compliance.
Free Advanced Framing Webinar
This free web presentation details several advanced framing techniques.
Guide to the 2012 Bracing Provisions
Latest wood wall bracing guide provides an explanation of the lateral bracing provisions of the 2012 IRC.