California Building Codes and SIPS

Hi, my name is Jack Dinkelspiel and I am member of the Civil team. Recently, our team has been working to perform structural calculations for the tiny house. Although our house is so small, we have a great amount of work to meet the calculations required for the various building codes. The rEvolve House must be designed for high lateral forces due to the fact that it will be transported at high speeds on the highway and the fact that it will ultimately be placed in an area of high seismic activity. This process has proved to be challenging, for our house does not meet the size requirements to be considered a house by the California Building Code. We want to make our house as safe as possible, so we are designing it to fulfill the seismic provisions that are listed in the California Building Code. This requires doing an analysis of the site characteristics of Operation Freedom Paws as well as Consumnes River College and building to whichever site proves to have the most critical requirements. To do this, all of the weight contributions of the Tiny House must be analyzed with their respective locations to determine how the force distributions would act in the case of high lateral loads. These loads then have to be transferred to our foundation through shear walls within the SIPS. Because we are using SIPS as our main vertical force resisting system, we have come up with a special assembly process in order to install the seismic tie downs within the core of our insulated panels.

Another aspect of our tiny house that requires special attention is the fact that we have so many windows. This limits the amount of wall space that can be considered shear walls while doing calculations. In two segments, we have used calculations techniques that allow for a perforated shear wall with capacity adjustments based on total opening width and area. This process has proved to be challenging, but we have determined a final design with specified connection types that will allow for our house to meet the lateral force requirements.

Our team is lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with two different types of construction and perform calculations on the two types. As previously stated, or walls will be constructed of SIPS, however our roof deck and cathedral framing will be constructed of traditional stick framing. When performing calculations for stick framing, the California Residential Codes is used as well as the National Design Specification for Wood Construction. We are trying to use the smallest members possible in order to maximize ceiling height while providing enough room for our MEP equipment to travel between joists.

The process of performing structural calculations on our preliminary designs has proved to be extremely insightful and has provided the team with experience in real life applications of Civil Engineering. Now that the majority of SIP calculations are completed, we will place the order for our SIPS to be manufactured and shipped to the build site at SCU. We cannot wait to start the assembly of our Tiny House this summer and see all of our hard work come to life!