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SStud: Need opinions about residential construction and steel stud shearwalls -Reply

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One issue you raised was the recommended use of 16 gage studs for
plywood shear walls over metal framing. Unfortunately, the 1997 UBC
allowable shear value tables requires 20 gage studs. Thicker gages
supposedly cause earlier brittle fastener failure. What happens when
load require 18 gage studs?

The City of LA had about a dozen of these buildings this year. For better
or worse, most used the tension only bracing for lateral load resistance.
All of these buildings uses two tracks, tack welded together, when loads
occurred between studs.