Advancing codes have pushed builders to improve the resilience of homes. The building materials industry has also stepped up with faster, better, easier, and even cheaper ways to achieve that resilience.

When it comes to high wind, high-performance components can help get the job done. Wood structural panels (plywood and OSB) are the classic solution for resisting racking forces. Long-­dimension OSB panels, such as LP’s LongLength panels, simplify the problem by letting builders sheathe higher walls, lap the sheathing up onto a raised-heel truss, or span between first and second stories.

For sealing panel seams against wind-driven water intrusion, many companies are bringing high-performance building tapes to market. Best known may be ZIP tape, designed to work with Huber’s ZIP System weather-­resistive structural panels.

Competitor Georgia-Pacific has introduced ForceField, a comparable system of panels and tapes (so comparable, in fact, that Huber is suing Georgia-Pacific for patent infringement). But you can achieve good rain penetration resistance with many different brands of tape and with uncoated structural panels.

Panels alone won’t achieve the engineered strength required in many applications. Metal connectors, supplied by companies such as Simpson Strong-Tie and USP Structural Connectors, are intrinsic to many braced wall and shear wall designs.

Fastener makers are also on the case: Simpson Strong-Drive screws, GRK RSS Rugged Structural Screws, and the LOK family of heavy-duty structural screws can all perform well as part of the building’s main wind force resisting system in a high-wind exposure.