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RE: 1997 UBC PROVISIONS FOR WALL PIERS

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Title: RE: 1997 UBC PROVISIONS FOR WALL PIERS

The intent of the figure 23-II-1 is to provide some alternate means of defining the height to width of the shear wall panels. With the new h/w requirements of 2:1 for zone 3 and 4, it could be difficult to achieve this for the overall height (sill plate to top plate) to width (pier width) of the shear wall.

So in lieu of using the overall height of the wall, you can define the pier height as the height from the window or doorsill to the header, as shown in the figure. In my opinion at least two things need to be done if you choose this approach:

  1. Blocking and edge nailing should be provided at the top and bottom of the pier for the entire width of the pier. (along with some straps as collectors)

  2. Drift calculations should be provided to show the deflection of the entire wall (including the openings) is within acceptable limits.

One item that we have always struggled with is whether overturning should be checked for each pier or the wall as whole. I would be interested in hearing other's input on that.

Ben Yousefi, SE
San Jose, CA