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Engineered Wood Frame Wall Panel System Integrating Prefabricated Truss Technology

Oklahoma State University

* Robert N. Emerson, Principal Investigator

Start: September 15, 2001
Expires: August 31, 2003


An engineered wood frame wall panel system will be investigated that integrates prefabricated metal plate connected truss technology with conventional wood frame wall construction. The wall panel system will appear and handle like conventional walls and be readily adaptable to current construction techniques and applications. However, the engineered wall panel system will be more affordable, durable, safer, and have less environmental impact than conventional site built wood frame construction.

Conventional wood frame walls are designed by prescriptive guidelines. They are typically constructed of dimension lumber framework connected together with nails and then sheathed with structural panels (plywood & oriented strand board), insulation panels, or finishing panels (drywall).

An engineered wood frame wall panel system will be developed using conventional materials but the dimension lumber framework will be connected with toothed metal plate connectors instead of nails. These moment resistant connections will transform the framework into moment resistant frames that will increase resistance to lateral loads. In addition to the increased structural performance the innovative wall system will gain the benefits of engineered and prefabricated construction.

The prefabricated metal plate connected truss industry employs computer-aided design to rapidly engineer custom roof and floor trusses for residential and light-commercial construction. These trusses are then constructed at a factory, shipped to the job site and erected into place. The whole process lends itself to improved efficiency, worker safety, and environmental friendliness.

Current prefabricated metal plate connected truss technology will be integrated into a wall panel system that will originally use conventional building materials but will be readily adaptable to new materials. The design and behavior of the engineered wall panel system will be investigated for the proposed research. The technical research will consist of the following phases:

  1. Integrating the toothed metal plate connector design process into moment resistant frame design.

  2. Behavior and comparison testing between conventional framework and moment resistant framework.

  3. Developing design methodology for combining the lateral resistance provided by moment resistant frames with that provided by the conventional sheathing effect.

To view additional details on this NSF award, click here.

Content updated on 9/21/2005

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