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RE: COMP: Lateral Pro

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Bill, that actual author of the program (and the original publisher) is Mark
Chang. I heard rumors that Mark was working with another company who
intended to market the software. I thought it might have been the Canadian
Wood Council, but I might be wrong on this. We ran a review of the program
in SEAOC Online a few years ago.
I too, thought it was an excellent program. The output was very clear and
Mark (who was doing tech support at the time) was very responsive to his
One caution about perforated shear wall analysis. AF&PA presented a panel
discussion on the method at the September Wood Fair in Long Beach. The panel
was comprised of the building officials from Long Beach (Eugene Zeller), Tim
McCormic (Building Official in Santa Monica), Andrew Adelman (new building
official in Los Angeles), John Lawson and John Rose (APA).
The general consensus was one of skepticism by the panel and majority of
those in the audience. The largest concern was at the door openings and the
lack of ties at the narrow piers. It's possible that the speaker could not
adequately answer the audience questions because the method is based upon
empirical testing rather than a formal methodology.
I would approach perforated shear wall design with some caution. The
building officials at the panel discussion told the audience that they would
not accept submittals at this time until more information is received.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Allen, S.E. [mailto:Bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, December 13, 1998 8:10 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: COMP: Lateral Pro

I have had the opportunity to review Lateral Pro 4.0 (includes UBC '97 and
perforated shear walls) and I have found it to be extremely productive. I
have reviewed this software on an ACTUAL project and it has saved me a lot
of time while affording the opportunity to do more "what if" scenarios and
provide more detailed analysis.

Version 4 (still DOS) calculates the redundancy factor (rho) required in the
'97 UBC analysis. Other codes are included as well and is user selectable.
Additionally, provisions for perforated shear walls (in accordance with APA
Report 157) and adjusts the shear strength requirements based on solidity
ratios (Building Official approval required on a project by project basis).
Additionally, the program calculates drag forces and accumulated hold down
forces for multi-story structures.

Further, the program's author, Chuck Williams has gone above and beyond in
getting me going on my projects and is very service oriented.

As with any program, it doesn't do *everything*, but it does a lot and it
does more than any other piece of software for the design and analysis of
plywood shear walls and diaphragms. The Windows version is due out in

I highly recommend this program to anyone who designs wood structures.
Lateral Pro's web site address is:

The version referenced at the web site is 3.1 (pre-UBC 1997). Apparently,
Lateral Pro has been spending their time upgrading their software rather
than updating their website. Better priorities, IMO.

Chuck can be reached at (425) 836-2833.

I am providing this information for no other reason than the fact I am very
satisfied with both the program (that doesn't happen often) and the service
I have received.

Bill Allen