I’m an independent framing carpenter and experienced ironworker. Over the years, that combination of skills has landed me a number of unconventional and challenging projects. The contemporary home I’ll discuss in this article featured large expanses of glass separated by slender columns supporting a flat roof. Because I work in a 110-mph coastal wind zone, wall bracing was an especially vital consideration.

But in a facade composed of more glass than studs and plywood, there’s little opportunity to incorporate conventional shear walls or engineered panel systems. Instead, you have to resort to a steel moment frame. Whether bolted or welded, the moment connections in a steel frame don’t allow the joint rotation seen in wood-to-wood connections and...

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