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Timber framing tie-down connectors

The importance of correctly specifying, securing, and fixing timber-framed wall and roof tie-downs in all wind regions is highlighted by the Western Australian Government Building & Energy Department in a recent compliance report.

What's the issue?

A recent compliance inspection regime by Building and Energy has highlighted that in some instances some of the fixing methods being observed were inappropriate and/or some of the connectors being used are the wrong product for that particular use.

These observations are an important reminder. Individual roofing (and walling) tie-down fixings and anchors act as a "system" to maintain structural integrity of timber-framed components during wind events. Should any single connection fail, either due to incorrect product use or installation method, the entire building may be at risk of further damage.

Each tie-down connection is equally important in maintaining a building's structural integrity.

What do I need to look for?

When installing timber frames and manufactured connectors, it is important to ensure that:

  • The right hardware is being used for the proposed connection. For example, a joist-strap is not interchangeable with rafter connection hardware.
  • The approved plans and manufacturer's fixing specification should be followed. For example, the hardware may not allow machine-driven nails to be used, or only to be used in limited circumstances.
  • The correct capacity and number of fixings are used. For example, the required fixings for PGI strapping will differ to that required for multi-angled hardware.
  • Fixings are utilised at the specified or required locations and spacings.

When using proprietary hardware such as manufactured pressings, practitioners and supervisors must always check the right connector has been used and fasteners are installed in accordance with the approved plans and manufacturers' specifications have been followed for installation.

NCC Volume Two adopts AS 1684 as a primary referenced document for residential timber framed construction. Building and Energy have released Industry Bulletin 151 Tie-downs and connections in timber framed walls for wider understanding of the issue, and this should be read in conjunction with Industry Bulletin 121 Tie-down of timber framed sheet metal clad roofs to timber frame walls and beams.

To find out more, contact HIA's Building Services team.

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