Conventional or prescribed building practices are based on experience as well as technical analysis and theory (HEW, 1931). The minimum building codes set forth by the International Residential Code (IRC) codify traditional building practices, but are based to some extent on basic engineering principles; the building codes set for thin the IRC can be easily followed by builders without design expertise and inspected by building code officials The purpose of the IRC is to ensure that It is also common for design professionals, including architects and engineers, to apply conventional practices in typical design conditions, but to make special designs for specific parts of the house that are beyond the scope of the IRC and prescriptive residential design guides.
It is critical for design professionals to understand the limitations when relying on prescriptive standards. The housing market has historically operated with minimal design professional involvement. However, as building codes advance, environmental impacts are better understood, and performance requirements for residential construction continue to increase, the role of the design professional continues to grow. Section 1.5 discusses the current role of the design professional in residential construction.
About the Book
This book consists of seven chapters. The layout and application of each chapter is illustrated in the figures on page 6. Chapter1 describes the fundamentals of American housing, including conventional building methods, alternative materials, building codes, the role of the design professional, and practical experiences with performance problems and successes.
Chapter2 introduces basic engineering concepts of safety, load paths, and structural system response of residential buildings, subassemblies, and components to various types of loads.
Chapter3 addresses design loads as they apply to residential buildings. Chapters4 and 5 provide step-by-step design procedures for the various components and assemblies that make up the structure of a house, from the foundation to the roof. Chapter 6 is devoted to the design of lightweight steel-frame houses to with stand lateral loads from wind and earthquakes. Chapter7 deals with the design of the various joints of a wood-frame house, which are critical to the overall function of the many components. Where appropriate, this guide has added to this section.