This course is intended for building designers who want to learn more about the use of wood framing systems in low-rise commercial projects. The course content will provide practical information that can be applied to projects, the course begins with code-related topics, including cost implications of construction type, opportunities for achieving unlimited area, and implications of multi-tenant occupancies. It provides an overview of wood wall and roof systems commonly used in commercial buildings, and highlights key design considerations. Examples of wood-frame buildings are highlighted, and a recent cost and environmental comparison of a big box store designed in wood versus steel is summarized. Code references refer to the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) unless otherwise noted.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain how wood-frame systems can be used to achieve design objectives commonly associated with commercial structures, such as tall walls, flat roofs, parapets, and open-front floor plans.
  • Identify cost savings associated with Construction Types III and V compared to Types I and II, per the International Code Council’s Building Valuation Data.
  • Discuss opportunities for achieving unlimited area for wood-frame commercial buildings under the International Building Code and implications of multi-tenant occupancies.
  • Review applications of wood-frame construction in low-rise commercial buildings, with an emphasis on restaurant, retail, and office occupancies.

Pre-Requisite: Basic knowledge of wood structures.