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Hardy Frame, between code changes

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Has anyone used "The Hardy Frame" as an alternate to plywood shearwalls or
steel frames. I have the brochure and I will give them a call when they open
this morning. They apparently have an ICBO Report. I have just started
working on two new custom homes in San Francisco that have exterior walls
that just meet the 3.5:1 aspect ratio, not sure yet if the holdowns would
work anyway.

About every three years I come across this dilemma. San Francisco does not
adopt the 97 UBC (presumably with SF amendments) until February of 1999. I
do not want to design a building  that becomes seismically obsolete (ie 94
UBC w/ SF amendments) 6 months after construction begins. I know I will have
a hard time selling the 97 UBC seismic requirements to the architect since
it will have a big impact on aesthetics, cost and the seismic design unless
the architect was to change the elevations to allow for 2:1 shearwalls.
This, I am sure, is not expectable to the architect. A main feature of these
houses are large amounts of floor to ceiling storefront type wide systems.
Even if I went with frames, the frames would protrude offensively into
finished space. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Jeff Smith