APA - The Engineered Wood Association


Wall Bracing for Engineers

APA Develops Simple Bracing Solution

While bracing and the IRC (International Residential Code) typically don't require engineering, knowing about the IRC wall bracing provisions can be beneficial to engineers when code compliance is a concern. Engineers often blend prescriptive wall bracing with engineering to produce code-compliant designs, as permitted by International Building Code (IBC) Section 104.11 and IRC R104.11.

The publications listed below summarize the key bracing requirements, detail narrow wall bracing provisions and describe designed collectors. Knowledge of these concepts will be particularly beneficial  when designing a house in which some portions require engineering while others meet prescriptive requirements.

Resources for Engineers

Understand Prescriptive Requirements. Just what does the IRC dictate about wall bracing? APA's engineers have summarized the IRC bracing requirements in an easy-to-understand guide, Introduction to Wall Bracing, From F430. For a more in depth explanation of the IRC lateral bracing provisions, refer to A Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions, co-published by APA and the International Code Council.

Get the Prescriptive Portal Frame Details. A thorough explanation of wall bracing with wood structural panels to meet code and maximize design flexibility, including the APA Narrow Wall Bracing Method (a portal frame construction), is available in the Brace Walls with Wood, Form G440.

Learn About Portal Frames with Hold Downs. A description of narrow bracing options when hold downs are used, including illustrations, test results, code recognitions and engineering capacities, is provided in APA Technical Topic: A Portal Frame With Hold Downs for Wall Bracing or Engineered Applications, Form TT-100.

Understand Collectors. The APA Technical Topic: Collector Design for Bracing in Conventional Construction, Form TT-102, explains collectors as described/required in the IBC and IRC and how to design and build them.

Follow Research Testing and Development. APA’s experienced corps of engineers, wood scientists, and wood-product technicians develop braced-wall designs that promote the structural safety of building construction, such as the APA Narrow Wall Bracing Method. Learn about our latest projects on the Testing & Research page.

Need an immediate solution? Contact  the APA Help Desk for answers to your questions about lateral bracing, wood sheathing, and the specification and application of engineered wood products. Ask a question online, call (253) 620-7400, or  send an to email help@apawood.org.

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Related Publications

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Guide to the 2012 Bracing Provisions

Guide to the 2012 IRC Wood Wall Bracing Provisions

Latest wood wall bracing guide provides an explanation of the lateral bracing provisions of the 2012 IRC.

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