SEU, a program provided by SE Solutions, LLC

Structural Engineering of Light-Frame Wood Over Concrete Podium Structures

Ashley Cagle, PE, SE / WoodWorks
April 7, 2021
Session Details

Wood over podium structures have become common in the United States as demand has increased for dense, mixed-use spaces and multi-unit residences. Using the maximum allowable building heights can result in structures with five or six stories of wood over two or more stories of concrete; however, there are unique design considerations for podium structures of this height. For wood superstructures, this includes gravity and lateral loads far greater than their low-rise counterparts, as well as fire-retardant treatment requirements for exterior walls. Meanwhile, concrete podium levels must be designed to support the wood superstructure, including large anchorage forces from the ends of the wood shear walls, while maintaining shallow floor/ceiling thicknesses.

This webinar is geared toward the practicing engineer who may have experience with low rise wood structures but is new to mid-rise podium structures. It will address some of the unique design considerations, particularly as they relate to the seismic design of Type III wood structures over post-tensioned concrete slabs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review code provisions from IBC and ASCE 7 that allow and limit podium type structures.
  • Highlight structural implications of utilizing fire retardant-treated wood in exterior wall assemblies of Type III construction.
  • Explain important engineering issues—such as stacked bearing wall forces and load path continuity—that must be considered to successfully design a mid-rise wood structure.
  • Demonstrate effective detailing practices for wood shear wall tie-down attachments to concrete podiums slabs


Session Length: 1.5 Hours

Current SE University subscribers can access the recording in their SEU Resource Center account. Please use the link below to view the session page in the SEU Session Library.