It was never my intent to jeopardize another engineer's license. I can see
that my wording was a bit strong and that I started this search for other
opinions on the wrong foot.
I am an expert witness for the defense (the framer) in a law suit involving
structural defects in a large housing tract. The plaintiff's structural
listed as one of the defects, the nailing of plywood shear walls with box
nails. I pulled nails out of several walls in several units and they were
all box nails.
The plans as previously stated made no mention of common nails in the shear
wall schedule or in the general notes on the structural detail sheets. The
structural calcs were done using full values for common nails in the 1985 and
1988 U.B.C plywood shear wall tables.
I too do not like the word blame, so let us assume that this was an honest
mistake by one or both parties to some extent. Was it common knowledge for
framing contractors to use common nails for plywood shear wall nailing during
that construction period (1989-1990)? I gather from your response that you
felt that they should have known or that were knowledgeable of the building
code's requirement for them.
My experience has been that if you did not specify common nails you would get
box nails. I know some engineers that would design using box nails with
reduced values for plywood shear walls. In that circumstance the contractor
would have no idea that there was a problem using them on some other job
unless common nails were specified.
My original query based on this information was meant to be whether or not it
is fair for the framer to accept full responsibility for this problem. As
this is a touchy subject and the end result may be costly repairs, I wanted
other opinions as to how this matter should be evaluated. I respect your
opinion and thank you for your comments regarding the legal issues. I will
tread lightly with regards to those issues.