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RE: SW's w/ steel light gauge construction

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I would say that it does not matter which side of the wall you place your
structural panel on, as long as you have a clearly defined and uninterrupted
load path from diaphragm to foundation.  Penetrations and cutouts in the
shear wall must be carefully detailed and reinforced and this would seem to
be more trouble than it is worth if you are placing heating registers,
plumbing cutouts and partition interruptions on the interior faces of the
walls.  Also - contractor can effectively use control joints at shear wall
boundaries to control stucco cracking between sheathed and unsheathed areas.

J. Baltar

-----Original Message-----
From: Michelle Kam-Biron [mailto:michellekb(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 1999 07:45
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