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RE: SW's w/ steel light gauge construction

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Each trade that is required to construct a building has their own
"ideas" on how to do things better.  

Yes this is a problem with plywood shear walls.  Some solutions that I
have used in the past is to sheath the entire exterior (somewhat more
expensive), install stucco control joints at the transition, or install
additional layers of lathe reinforcement over the transition.  

You are right about the interference to other trades.  I have actually
seen plumbers take down a interior plywood sheathing and reinstall it
after their work is done using the incorrect nail spacing and creating a
weak "stitch" line with all the additional nail holes.

My opinion is to discuss the problem with the Project Supervisor,
Architect, and Owner.  If everybody is happy with the solution
(labor/cost/structural performance)  then why worry about it.

-----Original Message-----
From: Michelle Kam-Biron [mailto:michellekb(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 1999 10:45 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: SW's w/ steel light gauge construction

Hi fellow Engineers:

We are in the process of designing some 4 story steel light gauge
buildings.  Our lateral system is single sided plywood shear walls.  We
had a meeting with a contractor last week and he suggested to the
Architect to put the plywood shear walls on the interior face of all the
exterior walls to prevent extensive cracking of the stucco due to
unevenness of the plywood with non-sheathed areas.  When I heard this I
was surprised.  First, we are using a vast majority of the exterior
walls for shear walls.  Second, on all the wood framed buildings I've
ever done, the plywood has been put on the outside face of the exterior
wall to prevent problems with  installation of the plumbing and
electrical.  I foresee a lot of problems with this, especially since
scaffolding is not going to be provided to install the utilities at the
upper levels they are going to have to do it from the inside face.  Does
this seem reasonable?

Any insight that you can share with me would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Michelle Biron