Simpson Develops New Wide Portal Frame System

Originally published by: Simpson Strong-TieMarch 8, 2019

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Simpson Strong-Tie launched the Strong-Wall site-built portal frame system (PFS) to provide designers, engineers, and builders in prescriptive markets with an easy way to meet code-defined wood wall-bracing requirements when building narrow wall widths. Until now, contractors in high-wind, prescriptive markets looking to build garage portals and other wide openings could opt either to use prefabricated wall panels or to design narrower openings to standards developed by the APA Engineered Wood Association and accepted into the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) requirements.

Simple and quick to install, the PFS provides builders with a cost-effective alternative to IRC braced-wall solutions. Available in single-wall and double-wall portal frame kits, the PFS includes holdown assemblies, standoff and adjustable post bases, truss-ply screws, connector screws, a six-lobe T40 driver bit, and complete installation instructions. Contractors simply add lumber and assemble.

“Like most of the construction industry, builders in prescriptive markets are looking for ways to speed construction time by mitigating problematic and complex installations,” said Simpson Strong-Tie Vice President of Connectors and Lateral Systems Sam Hensen. “The Strong-Wall PFS provides a turnkey solution for constructing site-built walls while maintaining aspect ratios and design features at lower costs.”

In addition to reducing construction costs, the PFS can significantly cut contractor time onsite and negate callback issues associated with complex site-built alternatives. Part of a larger suite of prescriptive design and construction solutions from Simpson Strong-Tie, the PFS is supported by an online wall-bracing length calculator, a bracing selector app, and other free tools available on www.strongtie.com to help Designers meet IRC wall-bracing requirements.

Features and benefits of the Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Wall site-built portal frame system include:

  • Allowance for narrow wall widths: The PFS allows builders to maintain narrow return walls at garage openings and provides Designers with a solution to maximize portal openings for large picture windows or sliding glass doors in standard wall framing.
  • Easy assembly: The PFS saves time for installers and increases engineers’ and specifiers’ confidence that parts will be installed properly.
  • Cost effectiveness: The PFS is a less expensive option than prefabricated shearwalls or moment frames.
  • Design flexibility: The PFS helps maximize equivalent wall length, enabling engineers to design structures with wider portal openings more economically.

For more information about the Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Wall site-built portal frame system, visit www.strongtie.com/PFS.