As humans, we are typically creatures of habit and once we are in our comfort zone in how we do something, it becomes extremely difficult to change, even if it is for the better outcome. While there is an absolute need to comply with ALL of the standards that exist within our construction laws, we need to accept that there is constant innovation within all industries and the construction industry is no different. Together with this innovation comes education so that the installation of these new products ensures that the added performance is met and not lost due to miss-installation, otherwise the innovation is pointless.
The latest case of this is the Roof to Top Plate connection where, due to nails not being placed into the holes in the connectors, Queensland outlawed the use of pneumatic nailing for this application. Back in the day, these connectors were nailed by hand and possibly by the apprentice to reduce the cost, but this is now rare due to the use of the coil nailer. This is well overdue as the integrity of the connection is based on the accurate location of the nail, not just the number and size of them. The builder has, till now, rarely been pulled up on this incorrect installation and we run the risk of having non- compliant installations that should be identified by the certifier, and may not be as they have many things to check.
We now have a number of other solutions that no longer require the placement of nails in a plate, however as we start to see these being installed incorrectly, is this really the solution?
True innovation sometimes requires us to look outside the norm and have a somewhat radical approach that gives us a better solution in both performance as well as installation. The use of the SDWC screw from Simpson Strong-Tie is an innovative connection that exceeds the loads that have been set in the past and yet is quicker and easier for the builder to install. These loads have been tested using local timber in real applications, not just a calculation based on a standard.
If this solution provides a better product and there is less chance of incorrect installation as well as inspection, then we have to be heading in the right direction. At Simpson Strong-Tie we are always looking for the best solution to help build safer, stronger structures and we draw from innovative products from around the world. Not all work for us here in Australia, and these are never seen, but this will not stop us from looking for innovative solutions. For more information on the innovation and solutions that are coming this way go to www.strongtie.com.au
This article was written and provided by Herb Kuhn of FTMA Bronze Sponsor, Simpson Strong-Tie.