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Wind and Structures
  Volume 29, Number 3, September 2019 , pages 177-194

Modeling wind load paths and sharing in a wood-frame building
Jing He, Fang Pan and C.S. Cai

    While establishing adequate load paths in the light-frame wood structures is critical to maintain the overall structural integrity and avoid significant damage under extreme wind events, the understanding of the load paths is limited by the high redundant nature of this building type. The objective of the current study is to evaluate the system effects and investigate the load paths in the wood structures especially the older buildings for a better performance assessment of the existing building stock under high winds, which will provide guidance for building constructions in the future. This is done by developing building models with configurations that are suspicious to induce failure per post damage reconnaissance. The effect of each configuration to the structural integrity is evaluated by the first failure wind speed, a major indicator beyond the linear to the nonlinear range. A 3D finite-element (FE) building model is adopted as a control case that is modeled using a validated methodology in a highly-detailed fashion where the nonlinearity of connections is explicitly simulated. This model is then altered systematically to analyze the effects of configuration variations in the model such as the gable end sheathing continuity and the gable end truss stiffness, etc. The resolution of the wind loads from scaled wind tunnel tests is also discussed by comparing the effects to wind loads derived from large-scale wind tests.
Key Words
    residential buildings; load paths; load sharing; wind loads; finite element
Jing He and C.S. Cai: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Louisianan State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
Fang Pan: Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX 78228, USA

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