WoodWORKS! new design software saves time and money for wood-based projects

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 Components ensure accuracy and building code compliance

Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer

The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) continues its efforts to ensure design professionals have the information they need through a new release of WoodWorks Design Office software. The  structural design software package allows users to quickly design light-frame or heavy timber structures based on the latest codes and standards through different U.S. and Canadian versions.

The package includes a pdf version of codes, an editable database, free technical support and specialized modules for sizing, shearwalls and connections.

Robert Jonkman, WoodWORKS’ manager for structural engineering and Woodworks software, describes the component-based program as intuitive, quick and easy and inexpensive.      “It does not require a full building information modelling of the structure,” he said.  “Whole-building modelling is often very time-consuming and not necessary for many projects where wood is the main structural component.”

WoodWorks Sizer software allows up to six spans including cantilevers, up to 100 types of load distributions and allows for any building code load type. Sizer can be customized by WoodWorks developers at a low cost or edited for free by the designer.

WoodWorks Shearwalls allows the engineer to model the building, determine the wind and seismic loads, distribute the loads properly and then design the shearwalls. “I consider our most time saving software module to be WoodWorks® Shearwalls,” Jonkman said.

“Building codes and standards in both Canada and the U.S. require a rigorous lateral analysis and design, a very time-consuming task,” he said. “Shearwalls allows engineers to very quickly model a building either using an AutoCAD exported file as a template or drawing from scratch.  Most buildings can be modelled in minutes, and once complete, requires little more than ensuring the proper seismic data and wind speed and exposure is entered before clicking the “generate loads” button and then the “run” design button.”
WoodWorks Connections has been revised to be more intuitive, allowing for connections using bolts, lag screws, wood screws, nails, rivets and shear plates. “WoodWorks Connections not only deals with the number of fasteners in the group, but it draws a CAD-quality detail drawing of the connection, like this,” says Jonkman.

The software is intended for structural engineers designing wood buildings to resist lateral loads and gravity loads as well as designers of wood-based connections.

It is available for free for building officials, plans examiners, and university and college professors.  Others can download a free demo version to confirm its usefulness.

A new U.S. version will be available this fall conforming to the new IBC 2012, NDS 2012, and ASCE7-10.  The latest Canadian version conforms with latest code (NBC 2010) and standard (CSA O86-09).  Both the US and Canadian versions also keep customers up to date with errata changes.

The software (including the free demo)  is available through www.woodworks-software.com.

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