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2018 Midwest Wood Solutions Fair
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2018 Midwest Wood Solutions Fair

AWC's Jim Smith will be presenting Code-Compliant Fire-Resistance Design for Wood Construction, and Michelle Kam-Biron will be presenting Introduction to AWC's 2015 NDS and SDPWS

When: May 23, 2018
Where: Rosemont Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois 
United States
Presenter: Michelle Kam-Biron and Jim Smith, AWC
Contact: Dawn Veach

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Wood Solutions Fairs are FREE multi-faceted, day-long educational events on the use of wood in non-residential and multi-family buildings.

Attendees can earn up to 6 AIA/CES LUs (HSW) or PDH credits (one per attended seminar).  AIA/CES forms and professional development certificates will be available on site.

Title:  Code-Compliant Fire-Resistance Design for Wood Construction

Determining the proper code application for fire-resistant wood-frame assemblies and exposed wood structural members can be challenging and is often further complicated with increases in a project’s size and scale. In a building environment where the ability to maximize height and area is key to cost effectiveness, designers must understand the gamut of fire protection considerations applicable to wood structures. This presentation will include code requirements, compliance options and nuances related to assembly selection for required fire resistance-rated floors/ceilings and roofs/ceilings, interior and exterior walls, fire barriers, fire partitions, and fire walls. Topics will also include distinctions between fire-resistive elements for separation vs. type of construction.        

Learning Objectives:

1. Apply approved methods and alternatives for establishing the fire-resistance of wood building elements.

2. Discuss the differences in exterior walls, fire walls, fire barriers, and fire partitions considering performance expectations, code requirements, and appropriate application.

3. Understand the paths to achieving code-compliant, fire-rated wood-frame assemblies as outlined by the 2015 IBC.

4. Recognize important nuances in the various methods for demonstrating fire-resistance including: tested assemblies, prescriptive designs, calculations, and engineering analysis.


James B. Smith, P.E., American Wood Council
Jim Smith joined the American Wood Council (AWC) staff in 2014 as the Midwest Regional Manager, and serves as a resource for code officials in the States of ND, SD, MN, IA, WI, IL, MI, IN, OH and KY. He is a member of the ICC Building Code Action Committee (BCAC) and serves as Chair of the ICC Region III Code Development Committee. Prior to joining AWC, Jim was the Chief Building Inspector and Zoning Administrator for the City of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Before Waukesha he was with the State of Wisconsin’s Safety and Buildings Division as the Program Manager responsible for their Commercial Building Code program and their Building Product Evaluation Program. Jim is a graduate of Madison College.


Title: Introduction to AWC's 2015 NDS and SDPWS

The American Wood Council’s 2015 National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Construction and 2015 Special Design Provisions for Wind and Seismic (SDPWS) are ANSI American National Standards referenced in US building codes and used to design wood structures worldwide. This presentation will provide an overview of design provisions included in these documents, including those related to connections, gravity load design and shear walls and diaphragms. Some of the significant changes in the recently approved 2018 NDS will also be reviewed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Review the content and design provisions contained in the 2015 NDS and SDPWS.
2. Discuss the load and material resistance design process and how it applies to wood structural design.
3. Identify the lateral resisting systems and understand where to obtain related design provisions.
4. Become familiar with the format and content of the 2018 NDS in order to expedite its use.


Michelle Kam-Biron is a California licensed structural engineer and Senior Director of Education for the American Wood Council (AWC) where she is expanding continuing education resources for architects, engineers, and building officials as well as coordinating the development of university level wood design course. Before joining AWC, she worked for nearly five years in the wood industry as the Senior Technical Director – National Lead Mid-rise/Multi-family Construction for the Wood Products Council initiative WoodWorks. Ms. Kam-Biron has authored several articles and white papers related to the use of structural wood. She also has over 20 years of experience managing and designing a wide range of projects of various structural materials as well as Division of State Architect contract plan review. Ms. Kam-Biron graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Architectural Engineering (ARCE) and has served on the ARCE Industry Advisory Council. She is a certified Earthquake Disaster Assessment volunteer and a member of the International Code Council. She also volunteers her time on the National Council of Structural Engineers Association (NCSEA) Basic Education and California Building Officials (CALBO) Structural Safety Committees, is Chair of American Society of Civil Engineers Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE-SEI) Wood Education Committee, a former Director for Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) and Past-President for Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC).


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