Design, Fabrication, and Installation of Engineered Panelized Walls: Two Case Studies
Through intensive "roadmapping" with leaders in the housing industry, the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing Program (PATH) identified panelized wall construction as presenting significant opportunities for improving housing quality, safety, and affordability. While panelized wall construction is a well-known building technology, it has seen only limited use and its benefits are largely untapped. In part, this situation may be a result of technical and procedural barriers to optimum use of panelized wall systems.
This publication, Design, Fabrication, and Installation of Engineered Panelized Walls: Two Case Studies, provides an evaluation of current technology used in the design, fabrication, and installation of panelized wall systems, including engineered wood frame walls and an innovative steel frame wall system. In addition, procedures used for regulatory approval and, ultimately, the delivery of products and services associated with panelized wall construction are documented. Where appropriate, recommendations for improved technology and procedures are provided.
The two case study projects provided a "real world" evaluation of existing panelized wall systems used in the home construction industry. One case study, a custom-home, was located in an area subject to hurricane-force winds. The other case study, a production-built home, was located in an area subject to severe earthquakes. At one site, innovative engineering technology from previous HUD-sponsored research was used to demonstrate advanced methods for design, fabrication, and installation of panelized wall systems. This innovative approach to building design and construction holds the promise of greater affordability and safety, particularly for homes built in the most hazardous areas of the United States.
The companion document titled, Model Guidelines for Design, Fabrication, and Installation of Engineered Panelized Walls, implements many of the findings and recommendations made in this document. In particular, it addresses key technology and procedural barriers to the effective use of conventional and innovative panelized wall systems.