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Wood Stick Framing

Woodard Residence

The Woodard residence is a four-story home situated on a narrow downtown lot adjacent to the Amtrack railway. Three floors of wood framed living space sit atop a concrete block ground floor that houses the garage, an office, and storage space.


An elevator tower constructed of concrete block is featured prominently on the southern façade and services all levels of the residence. The use of open web trusses for the floor joists allowed easy installation of ducting, mechanical, and electrical utilities.


A large wind area, combined with a narrow foot print and complex geometry, created many challenges in implementing the lateral force resisting system. This was achieved primarily through the use of light-gauge steel and off-the-shelf fasteners and clips to tie the building to the plywood shear walls, thereby avoiding expensive steel frames.


OZER has 20 years experience designing wood structures for residential and commercial construction, including many in dense urban areas.

Wood History

Wood construction has a long history in the mid-south. Beginning in the mid-19th century when wood joists were rough sawn from towering old-growth pines and oaks in the region's first mills. Massive timber joists and beams were used to build the floors of the first wharehouses along the Mississippi river.

Quality Wood Designs

Memphis is in a high seismic zone and the building codes reflect that. But implementing the code lateral capacity requirements is no simple task when cantilevers and geometric offsets are involved. If a weakness exists, the earthquake will find it.

Tough Superstructures

When wood structures are built tall and with large clear spans and minimum partitions to block views, additional engineering is required to interconnect the elements to make the structure tough and resilient. Special connections and hardware is required at key load transfer points.

Tough and 4-Story's Tall

At the Woodard residence, three stories of wood framing cantilever over a CMU bearing wall ground floor podium housing the garage and entry areas. The connections of wood to CMU are designed to transfer uplift and shear as well as gravity (down) loads.

Economy Maximized Designs

A mix of prefabricated wood trusses, Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), and dimensional lumber, are used to maximize economy. Efficiently carrying loads, while allowing all of the buildings other systems, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing to easily penetrate the structure is not accidental.

Mississippi Wind Tunnel Tested

The striking form is rock solid. A year after occupancy, the building was buffetted by 100 mile an hour wind gusts directly from the Mississippi river. The storm caused substantial damage to neighboring properties, while this building was not only unblemished, but the tenant reported not noticing any vibration or movement. Quite a feat! as most who survived wind storms in tall residential buildings can attest to.

Simpson Strong-Tie Specified

We specify Simpson Strong-Tie connectors and fasteners, which provide high load capacity, simple specification, fast assembly, and easily verified installation.

Elevator Towers Age Well

The CMU elevator tower, ingeniously placed by the architect, laterally braces the narrow stair wing. 

Superstructure Complete

With the structure complete, work can proceed on the finishes.

Digital Rendering

Visualizing your dream in detail is our first step. It is how it all gets started.

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