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Projects : CUREE-Caltech Woodframe Project

Element 5 - Education & Outreach
Project Manager: Jill Andrews - Caltech (formerly with SCEC)

Appendix 5.3.1 - Educational Modules

Project Title: Development of Educational Modules on the Seismic Design of Woodframe Buildings for Practicing Architects and Engineers

Project Period: November 1, 2000 through August 31, 2001

Project Amount: $ 20,000


Contact Information

Names of Proposers:

  • David G. Pollock, Assistant Professor
  • Kenneth J. Fridley, Professor
  • Michael D. Symans, Assistant Professor

University Affiliation:

Washington State University
Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 642910, Pullman, WA 99164-2910

Telephone: 509-335-4922
FAX: 509-335-7632
E-mail: dpollock@wsu.edu

Objective. Develop three interactive web-based or CD-based educational modules regarding seismic design of woodframe buildings. The modules will be focused toward an audience of architects, engineers and building officials.

Background. During the past 3 years, the principal investigators have developed a suite of media-rich, interactive web-based learning modules for use in a senior-level (open for graduate credit) civil engineering course entitled Design of Timber Structures (CE 436) at Washington State University (WSU). With partial funding from the American Forest & Paper Association (AFPA), these WSU educational modules were used in conjunction with live satellite feeds to offer a distance education course in timber engineering to civil engineering students at the University of Oklahoma (Fall 1998). The modules were also used to augment wood design courses taught at the University of Idaho (Fall 1997), Northern Arizona University (Fall 1997), and Oklahoma State University (Summer 2000). In addition to the use of these modules by engineering students from various universities, design professionals at APA-The Engineered Wood Association and AFPA have also provided critical review and assessment of the interactive wood engineering modules developed by the investigators. The current suite of interactive educational modules for timber engineering addresses the following topics, and is fully compatible with both the historical allowable stress design (ASD) format and the new Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) format: Design Value Adjustments (two modules), Effects of Moisture on Wood, Load-Duration Effects in Wood, Beam Behavior and Design, Bolted Connection Behavior and Design, Dowel Bearing Strength of Wood-Based Products, Wind Load Provisions for Low-Rise Wood Structures (developed in conjunction with Dr. Debra Larson at Northern Arizona University), and Shearwall Behavior.

The CE 436 Design of Timber Structures course at WSU makes extensive use of these learning modules and the internet to enhance student comprehension of topics unique to wood engineering. In addition to the interactive modules listed above, the course includes: a web-based slideshow of unique wood structures from around the world; a web-based video of lumber production and grading operations at a commercial sawmill; a chat room for students, professors, teaching assistants, and industry representatives to interact and discuss questions related to wood engineering; a discussion list for students to pose questions related to course content and wood engineering in general; and general course information including assignments, syllabus, supplemental lecture notes and grades.

Approach. The investigators were recently notified that their proposal was selected for an award from the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center to develop three "graduate course modules" regarding the seismic behavior of timber structures. The interactive educational modules developed for PEER will focus on a university audience and will address Seismic Loading for Low-Rise Wood Buildings, Flexible Horizontal Diaphragm Behavior in Wood Structures, and the Perforated Shearwall Design Methodology. For the CUREe project (this proposal), the investigators propose to enhance and modify the PEER educational modules during the 10-month CUREe contract period, with a target audience of architects, engineers and building officials. In particular, the CUREe modules will focus extensively on design and construction details for wood structures in seismic regions, with a strong emphasis on understanding and implementing the provisions of the 1997 Uniform Building Code (UBC) and the 2000 International Building Code (IBC). [The investigators propose to address provisions of both the UBC and the IBC since the target audience is design professionals and building officials. It is anticipated that each model code will be used extensively in various code jurisdictions during the next 3-5 years.] As suggested in the CUREe request for proposals (RFP), the investigators intend to involve practitioners and design professionals affiliated with the CUREe-Caltech Woodframe Project as reviewers of the educational modules. Furthermore, the educational modules will incorporate information from ongoing CUREe-sponsored research projects (e.g. CUREe-Caltech Woodframe Task 1.4.4-Shearwalls; CUREe-Caltech Woodframe Task 1.4.2-Diaphragms; and CUREe-Caltech Woodframe Task 1.1-Full-Scale Dynamic Testing).

The proposed content and emphasis of the three CUREe educational modules are described below:

  • Seismic Loads for Wood Buildings. This module will be based extensively on the PEER seismic loading module, and will be similar to the wind load module developed previously by the investigators. The CUREe module will include example calculations of seismic loads for typical woodframe buildings in accordance with the "static force" provisions of the 1997 UBC and the 2000 IBC. The basic approach will be similar to that employed in the Design of Wood Structures textbook (by D.E. Breyer, K.J. Fridley and K.E. Cobeen).

  • Design of Flexible Wood Diaphragms. This module will emphasize UBC/IBC design provisions for horizontal wood diaphragms, including the code distinction between flexible and rigid diaphragms. Example design calculations in the CUREe module will focus on fasteners, sheathing and framing members typically used for horizontal floor and roof diaphragm construction in seismically active regions of the United States.

  • Shearwall Design for Wood Buildings. This module will integrate aspects of the segmented shearwall design module previously developed by the investigators with the new perforated shearwall design module developed for PEER. The CUREe module will emphasize specific UBC/IBC design provisions with a focus on fasteners, sheathing and framing members typically used for shearwall construction in seismically active regions of the United States.

The modules will be usable as "stand-alone" educational tools on the web sites of CUREe and the Woodframe Project sponsoring agencies. The modules will also be fully compatible with existing web-based timber engineering design modules previously developed at Washington State University. The full suite of timber engineering modules can be used to provide a comprehensive educational experience for architects, engineers and building officials lacking sufficient background in the design of wood structures.

Deliverables. Draft outlines of the content of each module will be submitted for review within two months of the project initiation date. Final project deliverables include three web-based or CD-based educational modules (6 copies each) on seismic design of woodframe buildings, ready for installation on websites of CUREe-Caltech Woodframe Project sponsoring agencies. Final delivery date: August 31, 2001.

Development of Educational Modules on the Seismic Design of Woodframe Buildings for Practicing Architects and Engineers

Names of Proposers:

  • David G. Pollock, Assistant Professor
  • Kenneth J. Fridley, Professor
  • Michael D. Symans, Assistant Professor

University Affiliation:

  • Washington State University - Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

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last updated 03.27.15