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Re:Wood:"en" and Plywood question.

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Because your reaction to the concept of using 3/8" CDX plywood (structural 
II) for common shear walls was somewhat puzzling, I checked with a few of the 
local lumber yards and found that it is a common shear wall call-out here in 
the central coast of California (sometimes referred to as the Middle 
Kingdom). It's possible the 1997 UBC required design loads will increase the 
shear panel requirements such that 3/8" panel values will no longer be 
compatible but in the past it it was used extensively in this area.
According to one lumber yard, OSB  is commonly used as a "Performance Rated"  
substitute for CDX.