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Re: allowable stresses for wood floor joists - Phila. PA

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Candi & Ken,

The FPL will test for species only. Once you have the species, you can get the appropriate grading rules specifically for that species. Once you have the species and the grade, you can determine the allowable stress using the NDS.

Even though it is a bit dated, I still like the ASCE "Evaluation, Maintenance, and Upgrading of Wood Structures" by ASCE.

Harold Sprague

From: "Candi  Anderson" <canderson(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Re: allowable stresses for wood floor joists - Phila. PA
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 12:53:14 -0500

A few months ago I raised a similar question on this site re: existing timber properties. I don't have the answer at my current location, but someone mentioned testing by Forest Products up in Wisconsin, I think. I recall 5 free tests (per year?) and what you owuld need to send them. I will try to remember to send you the site tomorrow when I return to my office computer ( unless someone responds prior).
Candi Anderson, P.E.
Ashton, MD

----- Original Message -----
  From: Ken Peoples
  To: Seaint
  Sent: Monday, March 28, 2005 12:16 PM
  Subject: allowable stresses for wood floor joists - Phila. PA

I have been asked to evaluate an existing wood-framed structure (with brick bearing walls) in center city Phila (Chestnut Street). The existing wood joists are approximately 3" x 11" spaced at 16" to 22" on center and spanning about 21'. I don't know the date of construction, but it would not surprise me if the floor framing is over 75 years old. Since they would like to use the upper floors for offices, I will need a minimum live load of 50 psf with corridors being 80 psf and file rooms being higher. From what I can see of the joists, they appear to be nice wood - free of knots - but I have no idea what type of wood it is. Preliminary rough calcs indicate that the capacity is borderline in most areas with an assumed allowable bending stress of 1200 psi and sub-standard in other areas. I have never gone through any wood testing to determine allowable stresses and wondered if any of you have and would recommend it or should I just assume conservative values and strengthen as required. The building will be gutted, so strengthening will not be impossible or extremely disruptive. There are three elevated floors plus a roof.

  Thanks for your help.

  Best regards,


  Kenneth S. Peoples, P. E.
  Lehigh Valley Technical Associates, Inc.
  1584 Weaversville Road
  Northampton, PA 18067

  Phone: 610-262-6345
  Email: kpeoples(--nospam--at)

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