Why is stability of a wooden prefab structure so important
Horizontal stability of a wooden prefab structure (thus also prefab houses) is always a main issue. Due to the fact that timber inter-connections do not fit exactly (like steel connections do), the structure is extremely sensitive for horizontal movements (displacements). It is not so difficult to horizontally move a wooden framework by hand, unless proper bracings are provided.
While earthquakes are of minor concern for a wooden house due to flexibility of the wooden structure, the same flexibility is of major concern when a hurricane or a cyclone strikes. The inter-connecting timber parts shall not only be strong enough to absorb the immensely high wind loads, the stability of the house is most important. The high wind pressure loads can easily be absorbed by the tropical hardwoods that we use, however the strength of a wood species does not contribute at all to overall stability. To accomplish this, additional and sometimes far-reaching measures need to be taken (which unfortunately has a negative impact on the price of the house). The second area of concern is the roof structures. Most people believe that it is the wind pressure which may disintegrate a roof. This is a misconception. It is the wind suction which does the major damage. Our engineers have a vast experience in dealing with these problems and knbwo how to solve this.
CONCLUSION: Relying on only the strenght of the materials is not sufficient. An analysis on the stability shall equally be carried out.