The American Wood Council’s authoritative engineering handbook, the “Wood Frame Construction Manual,” is a comprehensive guide for engineers designing wood structures in high-wind environments along the coast. But the lengthy document requires expertise and training to use — and for relatively simple situations, it can be overkill. That’s why the American Wood Council produced simplified guides that contain “prescriptive” solutions for a limited set of cases: the “Guides to Wood Construction in High Wind Areas.”

The guides make it easier to find answers for one-family or two-family homes, as long as the buildings aren’t too big or too complicated. But whenever the source document is updated, the guides have to be updated too. The latest set of guides is written to harmonize with the 2012 Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM) for One- and Two-Family Dwellings. The 2012 version of the WFCM is referenced in the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC). (So far, four coastal states — Rhode Island, Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida — have updated to those 2012 codes.)

The new Guides, as well as the WFCM itself, are available for download at the American Wood Council website (see: Wood Frame Construction Manual — 2012.)