Performance and Green Building

Today’s building codes recognize wood’s safety and structural performance capabilities and allow its use in a wide range of low- to mid-rise residential and non-residential building types. This includes multi-family, educational, commercial, industrial, retail, public, recreational and institutional buildings. These codes recognize wood's safety and structural performance capabilities. 
 
Further to meeting code requirements in a wide range of low and mid-rise building types, wood can be used as a low carbon alternative to steel, masonry and concrete in many applications. Find methods, design guidelines and calculations to meet code requirements for wood and fire, seismic, wind, structural performance and green building.

Designing for Fire Safety

Code Counts

Designing for Fire Safety

Cross-Laminated Timber Meets 2015 International Building Code

During the week of October 21, 2012, the International Code Council (ICC) approved language for the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) that declared cross-laminated timber (CLT) was approved as a building element for non-residential structures (2015 IBC 602.4).

Code Counts

ICC Code Counts

Code Counts is an email newsletter for the code community brought to you by ICC. Inside each issue, you can find valuable news and perspective from the rest of the industry on matters of codes and standards, as well as resources that can help code officials do their job more effectively.

1. Mass timber and tall wood were recently highlighted in the May 2016 issue of Code Counts:

Performance and Green Building

Today’s building codes recognize wood’s safety and structural performance capabilities and allow its use in a wide range of low- to mid-rise residential and non-residential building types. This includes multi-family, educational, commercial, industrial, retail, public, recreational and institutional buildings. These codes recognize wood's safety and structural performance capabilities.

Green Building

In addition to requirements designed to ensure safety and structural performance, there are a growing number of codes, standards and rating systems that seek to incorporate green building concepts to minimize a building's environmental impact.

Structural Performance and Systems

Wood's structural performance capabilities make it appropriate for a broad range of applications — from the light-duty repetitive framing common in small structures to the larger and heavier framing systems used to build arenas, schools and other large buildings.
 
Engineered wood products offer exceptional stability and strength, and have made wood a viable choice to steel in many applications where long spans and tall walls are required.

Wind Resistance

Wind load requirements are covered under the national code standards but may vary from jurisdiction depending on wind zones. Wood has inherent characteristics that make it ideal in areas prone to high wind. All buildings are at risk during high winds and each structure, with its own unique set of characteristics such as stiffness and strength, reacts differently to wind loads. However, wood buildings can be designed to resist high winds.

Seismic Performance

Research and building code development have proven that CLT and mass timber structures can meet or exceed the most demanding earthquake and seismic design requirements. Forces in an earthquake are proportional to the structure’s weight and wood is substantially lighter than steel or concrete.

Fire

Building codes require all building systems to perform to the same level of safety, regardless of material used. Wood-frame construction has a proven safety and performance record for fire protection, and the addition of sprinkler systems, fire-resistance-rated wall and floor/ceiling assemblies, and open spaces around the building can be used to increase the allowable size of wood-frame structures.

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