Numeric Parameters


Wood Frame System
Typical uses
Numeric Parameters



Numeric Parameters

Please follow the links for additional information provided by the American Institute for Timber Construction, as they do not all fit onto this one page alone!


When designing a wood frame structure the engineer must take into consideration the many live and dead loads that will be present on the structure, not only when completed but also during construction.  These factors, when complied together can be input into standard charts and tables that have been developed to help the engineer make the appropriate choice of size, span, and type of wood to be used.

 Beam Capacities:

The following link shows different tables for wood beam loading.  The tables take into consideration the type of wood, length, width, and depth to provide the user with a quick reference to the loading capabilities of the different sizes and spans.  Different tables have been devised to take into consideration live loads (snow loads), dead loads, and construction loads for both roof and floor joists.  The two most common types of construction woods have different tables.  As you can imagine the material properties of each vary the loads they can withstand.

Capacity Tables

Column Tables:

The following link shows different tables that can be used by engineers to determine the proper column size for a wood frame structure.  Again, the column size is determined by it's size, height, and material properties.  Knowing the duration of a load to be applied and the type of wood to be selected, a designer can reference these tables to make the appropriate decision based on prior testing and construction knowledge.  Again, the two most common types of wood used in wood frame construction each have their own separate set of tables to take into account their own specific material properties.

Column Tables

Section Properties:

The section properties tables allow the user to reference different aspects of the beam or column they have selected.  Information such as cross sectional area, shear modulus and moment of inertia can be found by simply using the table.  Again, the two most standard types of wood, and the most standard sizes have been selected for use in the tables.

Section Properties

Conversion Tables:

Another important tool that is found on this page is the tables for conversion to different types of materials.  Theses tables provide the wood member sizes that can be substituted for various other materials such as steel, structural composite lumber or sawn lumber.  These tables prove helpful when value engineering a building and trying to reduce costs by changing the material to be specified.  Again, the two most common types of wood have been chosen for the tables.

Conversion Tables

Other Helpful Parameters:

Other helpful tables that are also available on this site include tables for pitched and curved beams, three hinged arches, and pitched and tapered curve beams.  Theses tables help when the scope of construction goes beyond the simple ninety degree angles we are use to and begin incorporating arches and curves.  The setup of the tables is similar to the rest of the charts and again uses the most common types of wood found in wood frame construction.

Pitched and Curved Beam Tables

Three Hinged Arch Tables

Pitched and Tapered Curve Beam Tables

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This site was last updated 04/17/05