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Ah, the Great Debate. Subsequent to SEAOSC's seminar on the Wood Design
Provisions of the 1997 UBC, I posted a comment on the seminar with this
issue as one of the primary problems. Unfortunately, I cannot find the post
in my archives and I have not spent the time to search for it on SEAOSC's

According to the presenter at the seminar, the Rw=3 would apply to all of
the lateral force resisting elements in the direction where the "flagpoles"
would be resisting the lateral force. The example used in the seminar was a
two story townhouse project. The presenter pointed out a problem with this
provision in that the shear walls at the opposite end of the townhouse does
not "know" that there are flagpoles at the garage entry. The presenter (a
SEAOSC committee member) pointed out in his presentation that this provision
should have been corrected, but the 1997 UBC had already gone to press. His
conclusion was essentially a shrug of the shoulders and a meek response
something to the effect of "Oh well, maybe we'll catch it in the IBC 2000".

The entire audience (composed mainly of design engineers as well as building
officials) appeared to agree that this provision is not accurate. Even one
building official offered to adopt an "exception" if SEAOC would publish a
position paper. Even though the President of SEAOSC and the Chairman of the
Code Committee were present, no offer was made to even investigate the
possibility of such a position paper.

Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed in the (non) position SEAOC
has taken with this blunder.

Bill Allen

-----Original Message-----
From: Parkerres <Parkerres(--nospam--at)>
To: seaoc(--nospam--at) <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
Date: Monday, April 13, 1998 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: WOOD MOMENT FRAMES, Rw = 3

>The real question we have in the office, is whether or not the Rw=3 now
>applies to the entire building since you are using it for one shear line in
>one direction.

>Bruce Resnick, SE
>Parker Resnick Str. Eng.