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RE: Single Family Housing Design

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Wow! Jose Diez is going off the deep end to suggest prohibiting the use of
wood for anything other than formwork. I hope he was joking (are we allowing
this kind of humor).
As and engineer that designs in wood almost exclusivly, I can't think of a
better material to design with. eliminating the material does not solve the
problem. Learning how to assemble the materials into a well tied structural
system is the goal. Wood is a wonderful material. Not only does it smell
great when under construction (one of the most wonderful smells in the world
is different species of wood - pine, fir, rosewood, spruce, cedar (aeromatic
redwood), - gosh I could go on forever. I am a guitarist and my instruments
are constructed from rather exotic woods (tight grained  Sitka Spruce and
Indian Rosewood). From the time I was a kid, I as attracted to wood and
often built things like simple chairs, soapbox racers, or anything I could
think of once I "borrowed" a few planks from the local new construction
Seriously, wood is ductile and extrememly forgiving. Wood beams (glb's) are
very forgiving, even after experiencing high heat and damage from fire. Few
other materials can make such claims. Wood is also natural and does not
require a composite type design.
On the down side, you can not create a moment connection in wood unless the
member is embedded sufficiently enought to prevent rotation and translation.
You can not achieve this in a bolted connection. I have seen examples where
engineers thought if you placed a holddown on each side of a 6x6 column you
could create an adequate flagpole. I know this is so, because I found at
least six damaged columns in a garage opening at a condo project in Simi
Valley after the Northridge earthquake. I wondered why the engineer did not
consider the effect of shear parallel to grain when he tried to accomodate
this "rigid connection".

As far as ecology is concerned, I believe we will see more and more wood
framed structures being built by proprietary wood products such as Parallams
and Timbser Strand materials which draw from a private forest of young
growth trees - each generally no older than a few years. The advantages -
dimensionally stable, physically straight and with greater strength. The
downside - a shrinking cost difference compared to sawn lumber.

No, I believe wood is a wonderful building material. I just think that many
of our profession really don't understand how to work with it.
The funny thing is that I always had difficulty with concrete. When I
mentiion this to others, I am told that concrete is so easy to design and
that they feel wood is much too difficult to design.

To each his own.

Dennis S. Wish PE