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Summary of the Structural Performance of Single-Family, Wood-Frame Housing



Charles W. Yancey, Geraldine Cheok, Fahim H. Sadek, B Mohraz


A review of the structural performance of single-family, wood-frame houses is presented. The performance of these structures in selected earthquakes and hurricanes is summarized. In general, wood-frame houses performed well with relatively few instances of structural failures and without serious loss of lives. Failures mainly resulted from poor construction practices and noncompliance with building codes. The issue of repair costs due to non-structural damage suggests that different performance objectives are needed for residential structures. The review of experimental research covers studies on full-scale houses, shear walls and intercomponent connections. The database for full-scale house tests is sparse while there are numerous studies of shear walls and only a limited number of studies on intercomponent connections. Test methodology for shear wall tests has evolved from prevalent use of ASTM Standard E72 to more frequent use of ASTM Standard E564-76. Within the last ten years there have been adaptations of E564 for cyclic and dynamic test procedures: however, the wide variation in test procedures for cyclic and dynamic tests points to a need to standardize these procedures.The development of analytical procedures to predict component and structural behavior under different types of loading is also presented. It is found that while significant progress has been made in recent years in analytical modeling of shear walls and horizontal diaphragms, only limited progress has been made on the modeling of a complete house and intercomponent connections. Most of these analytical procedures are used primarily as research tools rather than design tools.Based on this review, a multi-year research program is proposed to determine the baseline performance of single-family houses.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6224
Report Number


Analytical tools, building technology, computer modeling, earthquakes, experiments, houses, hurricanes, performance, single-family houses


Yancey, C. , Cheok, G. , Sadek, F. and Mohraz, B. (1998), Summary of the Structural Performance of Single-Family, Wood-Frame Housing, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed June 17, 2024)


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Created August 31, 1998, Updated October 12, 2021