Cross-Laminated Timber Takes Wood Construction to Greater Heights Than Ever Before

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is changing the way urban builders scrape the sky.

From London to Tokyo, the race is on to build the tallest wood-framed skyscraper in the world. Prized for its workability, low cost and visual aesthetics, wood was widely used by urban builders until the early 20th century, when fires triggered by the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake leveled the largely stick-built city. Until recently, the other knock on wood was a vertical one, in that stick-framed buildings generally top out at five stories, owing to the accumulation of dead and live loads in excess of the allowable loads for lumber.
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Simpson Strong-Tie Connectors and Fasteners Make the Strongest Partners

Parts, however solid and sturdy they are, won’t hold themselves up. They have to be fastened in place. That’s why we offer a complete line of fasteners that are designed and tested specifically for use with our connectors. However, not every fastener can be used with every connector. Here’s how to identify the right fastener-connector combination for your next project.
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It’s Alive! Self-Healing Concrete, Materials Science and Other Evolutionary Developments

Legions of catatonic organisms lie asleep in the matrix, waiting only for momentary exposure to water and oxygen in order to awaken — whereupon the organisms immediately germinate, grow and fulfill their destiny, sealing the cracks in the fabric of their universe before falling dormant once again.
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BIM Inception: The Construction Language of the Future

Robots. Drones. 3D printing. Self-driving bulldozers. If residential construction is ripe for so-called disruption (and sweeping advancements already made by commercial and industrial builders says it is), then most technologists, forward-thinkers and first adopters agree we’ll need a native, digital, data-based language to help run it all. Continue reading “BIM Inception: The Construction Language of the Future”

Little Locales Using Big Data to Prevent Bridge Failures

Situated on the northwest coast of Oregon, the resort town of Seaside — population 6,685 — seems an unlikely place for advanced seismic and tsunami simulations. But just offshore Seaside’s charming 1920s boardwalk and its broad, sandy beaches famed for razor clamming, the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is slowly sliding underneath the behemoth North American plate.
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Hurricane Season: Understanding High-Wind Home Preparation

As we’ve seen with the hurricane seasons of that past decade or so, homes are not always built to withstand a major storm. The hurricane season of 2017 was one of the deadliest and costliest seasons in US history. Countless homes and buildings were severely damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands of families displaced. It will take years for communities to rebuild and recover from such devastation.

Fortunately, there are solutions that can help protect your home from a hurricane or high-wind event.
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Timber Strong Provides Real-World Engineering Experience

For the last three years, Simpson Strong-Tie has sponsored events at the Pacific Southwest Conference, a three-day competition promoted by the  American Society of Civil Engineers for civil engineering students. This year, 18  universities from Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii sent teams to Tempe, Arizona, for the competition, which was co-hosted April 12–14 by Arizona State and Northern Arizona Universities.

The students compete in numerous events over the three days, with the two main events being Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge builds sponsored by American Concrete Institute and American Institute of Steel Construction respectively. In the previous two years, Simpson sponsored Simpson Jeopardy and Timber Towers / Giant Jenga, but this year we were excited to sponsor the inaugural Timber Strong Design Build competition.
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Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer: Exploring Industrial Applications

The fact that carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) is strong enough to replace bulkier strengthening materials can be a surprise even to some experienced commercial contractors. After all, carbon fibers are only 5 to 10 microns in diameter, a little wider than spider silk.

Intuitively, it doesn’t seem that these tiny fibers could be a major component of a concrete strengthening system several times stronger than mounted steel plates.
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3D Printing and Its Impact on the Building and Construction Industry

Whether you call it 3D printing, additive manufacturing or contour crafting, the ability to create something — from a small tabletop model to a livable home or towering skyscraper, to list just a few possibilities — out of paper-thin materials is intriguing, and promises to shape the future of our world. So promising is this recent technology, in fact, that manufacturing industries, government entities and educational institutions have made significant investments in 3D-printing technologies. These ventures, particularly those driven by partnerships, are shaping up to have a big impact on the building and construction industry.
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