Panels offer an alternative to field framed walls. Wall panels are built in our shop, loaded on a trailer and delivered to the job site ready to be set in place like a 3D puzzle. Buildings utilizing panels must be built/poured to plan so that all joints and connections are precise.
Second story wall panel package for delivery to Jackson, Wyoming
Same trailer of wall panels as pictured above being set by crane. Panels were delivered at 10:00 am and setting of panels was finished by 2:00 pm to complete the framing of the second floor of this custom home in Jackson, Wyoming.
Computer-aided design and drawing (CADD) software allow designers to modify every header and corner to frame the wall panel to your specifications.
Wall Panels are typically considered the "same wall" as a field framed system, with some minor connection differences. Manufactured wall panels are built to the same guidelines lined out in the structural drawings (Stud grade, spacing, species, headers, trimmers, sheeting, nailing, etc).
MiTek Sapphire software suit offers building sheets that specify each member in the wall.
Boundary Nailing/ Connection Detail
Panels are typically built inside in a controlled environment in a production shop setting. One fabrication difference is the sheeting is applied when the wall is built (not after it is stood). As such, the boundary nailing to connect various building components (panel-to-panel, to cca plate, rim boards, blocking, etc) addressed slightly different.
Sheeting will typically hang over the edge of the panels to facilitate the shear nailing connection.
- Panel Bottom: Sheeting typically hangs over 1-1/2" , so boundary nailing can be connected to CCA plate or rim board. In the case of a rim board a field sheet/ ribbon will be placed below to fill or bridge shear load path.
- Panel bottom plate is glued and stitched nailed to floor below upon standing ( same as field frame).
- Top of Panel: Similarly, sheeting will hang over provide boundary nailing above.
- Note second top plate is left off in fabrication so panel splices can be bridged when the field applied "very top plate" is applied. Additionally the double stud at the panel to panel connection is stitch nailed ( as defined in structural drawings) .
- Panel-to-panel, Corners: Corners are connected by leaving the appropriate width sheeting "fly-by" ( 5-1/2" for 2X6) - same as a field framed wall. Studs-to-studs are then field stitch nailed ( as defined in structural drawings).
Simpson Strong Tie has developed a product line specifically engineered to wall panel systems.
- J- Bolts: Although J-Bolts can be used with panels, they are typically replaced with MASA/MASAP mudsill anchors (page 29, Simpson 2013-14 book). They state a greater load-carrying capacity, require no.3" square plate washers, and are a time saving alternative to J-bolts.
- Hold-Downs: STHD Strap-Tie Holdown are the preferred hardware when using wall panels ( Page 51). As opposed to HD anchor bolts/holdown systems that are difficult to field place in the exact location when coordinating with manufactured panels off site. STHD straps are easily placed in concrete forms and provide greater flexibility when connecting to panels. Additional studs can always be field applied when connecting to panels. Additional studs can always be field applied if the strap as been placed off location.
- Quick-Tie Holdowns System (alternative): The Quick-Tie Holdown system was developed in Flroda to satisfy the hold down requirements of high winds and hurricanes. It has an engineered cabling system that conects the top plate of the structure (or the trusses) to the concrete stem wall pre-tensioned cables ( of various sizes). See http://www.quicktieproducts.com/