Wind Load Calculations to American Standards


Wednesday, May 24, 2023
5:00 PM

 Watch Video

Learn how to analyze wind load requirements for residential buildings based on the American Standards.

About this event

All buildings are subject to weather elements, including wind forces. Common building and construction codes normally require that a building is designed to withstand extreme or commonly repeated loads, including wind effects.

However, calculating wind loads for a residential building can be difficult and time-consuming. With considerations such as various different adjustment factors, zones on the building, reductions based on tributary area, etc., wind load calculations can be daunting to structural designers.

Join Laurent Gérin, ClearCalcs’ structural expert, on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023, from 1 pm to 2 pm Eastern Time (ET) to learn more about how you would typically calculate wind loads for a typical residential building by going over the basics of Components & Cladding and Main Wind Force Resisting System (MWFRS).

We'll also explain how ClearCalcs' calculators can help automate your wind load analysis and save you time in your design workflow.

In this webinar, we will cover:

  • General overview of ASCE 7-16, the governing standard for wind loads in the US
  • Common factors to consider when calculating wind loads
  • Worked examples using our wind load calculators in ClearCalcs


Webinar Summary

This is a transcript from a webinar on Wind Load Calculations to American Standards held on May 24th, 2023. The webinar was hosted by Connor Conzelman, ClearCalcs Director of Customer Success and presented by Laurent Gérin, P.Eng., North America Engineering Team Lead.

They began the webinar by discussing with the attendees the most annoying parts of calculating wind loads and introduced ClearCalcs, a cloud-based structural engineering platform.

Laurent Gérin discusses the basics of wind loads, including lateral loads and roof uplift, and emphasizes the importance of using the correct wind speed when designing for wind. He also mentions that ASCE 7 is the standard used in most states for wind load calculations.

Gérin explains the three categories of exposure in ASCE 7, which are based on the level of wind obstruction, and emphasizes the importance of considering topography and elevation when calculating wind loads. He also discusses the four categories of building enclosure, which take into account the presence and strength of openings in the building.

Gérin explains that wind loads on buildings can be divided into two categories: components and cladding, and main wind force resisting systems. He notes that for small residential buildings like houses, ASCE 7 provides a convenient way to calculate wind loads based on different zones and coefficients. Gérin also emphasizes the impact of building enclosure on wind loads and how it affects the pressure on the inside of a building.

In this segment, Gérin explains the two types of wind loads: components and cladding, and main wind force resisting systems. He also discusses the two methods to calculate the MWFRS loads in ASCE 7 and emphasizes the importance of using the correct load factor when designing for wind. Finally, he introduces a design example in ClearCalcs for a stud wall spanning two floors in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Gérin creates a new wind load calculation in ClearCalcs for a gable roof in Lincoln, Nebraska, using the correct wind speed and exposure category. He emphasizes the importance of considering building properties such as enclosure type and roof pitch when calculating wind loads.

Gérin explains how wind pressures vary based on tributary area and provides a table that shows the different wind pressures for positive and negative wind forces in different zones. He then demonstrates how to use this information to calculate wind loads on a stud wall using ClearCalcs.

Gérin demonstrates how to enter distributed gravity loads and wind loads into ClearCalcs, emphasizing the importance of being conservative with load eccentricity assumptions. He also discusses the use of project defaults and invites feedback on how users are utilizing them. Finally, he shows how to determine which member size is appropriate based on governing factors such as deflection.

Gérin then proceeds to demonstrate how to design an exterior stud wall to resist components and cladding loads using ClearCalcs. He explains the process of calculating effective wall member area based on the span of the tall wall studs and their spacing, and entering roof geometry and ground elevation factor. Gérin also addresses a question about parapet components and cladding in ClearCalcs, which is currently not supported but will be added in the future.

Gérin explains how to convert wind loads in PSF to loads on shear walls and introduces a future feature of ClearCalcs that will automate this process. He invites feedback from the audience on this feature and concludes by emphasizing the importance of considering topography and building enclosure when calculating wind loads.

Gérin discusses new features in ClearCalcs, including the ability to enter custom wood properties and the recent addition of wood and steel truss design. He also mentions upcoming webinars on the Sheriken connection system, steel base plate design, and starting your own engineering practice with mass timber design expert David Ortekin. Gérin invites feedback from users on how ClearCalcs can improve wind load calculations and address missing elements like overhang loads and parapets.

Your speakers

Laurent Gérin, P.Eng., North America Engineering Team Lead

Laurent is an experienced structural engineer passionate about all things structural engineering and applying theory, whether in groundbreaking new software or designing innovative new bridges out of aluminum.

Connor Conzelman, Director of Customer Success

Connor is an experienced Mechanical Engineer who found his passion in connecting his people and technical skills to help engineers in every step of their design process. Before joining ClearCalcs, Connor worked as a Mechanical Design Engineer focusing on energy-efficient designs at Elara Engineering in Chicago and completed his MBA from Western Illinois University.

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