The increasing complexity of homes, the use of innovative materials and technologies, and the increased population in high-hazard areas of the United States have introduced many challenges to the building industry and design profession as a whole. These challenges call for the development and continual improvement of efficient engineering methods for housing applications as well as for the education of designers in the uniqueness of housing as a structural design problem.
This text is an initial effort to document and improve the unique structural engineering knowledge related to housing design and performance. It compliments current design practices and building code requirements with value-added technical information and guidance. In doing so, it supplements fundamental engineering principles with various technical resources and insights that focus on improving the understanding of conventional and engineered housing construction. Thus, it attempts to address deficiencies and inefficiencies in past housing construction practices and structural engineering concepts through a comprehensive design approach that draws on existing and innovative engineering technologies in a practical manner. The guide may be viewed as a “living document” subject to further improvement as the art and science of housing design evolves.