There is a quiet revolution taking place within the design community. After a long emphasis on concrete and steel for buildings other than homes, design professionals are using wood to great effect in a growing number of non-residential and multi-family building types—in applications that range from traditional to innovative, even iconic. Some are driven by wood’s cost effectiveness, while others cite its versatility or low carbon footprint, but their collective path has been made possible by building codes that increasingly recognize wood’s structural and performance capabilities, and the continued evolution of wood building systems and techniques.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss provisions in the International Building Code (IBC) intended to ensure that wood buildings provide the same level of fire performance as other building types.
  • Evaluate techniques that allow designers to safely increase the allowable heights and areas of building projects beyond the base limits stated in the IBC.
  • Identify the advantages of wood-frame structures in seismic and high-wind events.
  • Explain how advances in wood products and building systems are influencing the evolution of building codes.