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American Wood Council

DES315-A1 – Connection Options for Wood-Framed and Heavy Timber Buildings

PDF SelfStudy

In wood buildings, effective connections provide strength, stiffness, stability and ductility. They are critical to building performance—under regular loads, and especially during extreme events such as hurricanes and earthquakes. According to post-disaster surveys, structural failures during these events are often due to faults in connection design or assembly. This continuing education course provides an overview of connection options for modern wood structures, both light wood-frame and heavy timber. It covers mechanical connections—including dowel, shear, and metal connector plates—and joinery connections, as well as proprietary connections that are in many ways supporting the current surge in innovative wood design. Proper selection and installation, and ways to avoid potential problems, are also discussed.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Describe basic categories of mechanical and joinery connections for modern wood structures, and application in both light wood-frame & heavy timber construction.
  2. Examine wide range of connection options, from traditional joinery methods to fasteners & connectors to proprietary connection systems that are enabling longer wood spans, higher walls and taller buildings.
  3. Apply practical and technical design guidance to ensure effective performance of connections in wood structures.
  4. Discuss key considerations for selection and installation of connections, for best performance and to avoid potential problems.

Equivalencies: 1.0 Hours of Instruction = 0.1 Continuing Education Units (CEU) = 1 Professional Development Hours (PDH) = 1 Learning Units (LU)


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