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Plywood Shear Walls[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: SEAOSC List Server <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: Plywood Shear Walls
- From: "Skarin, Eric" <skarin(--nospam--at)hninc.com>
- Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 12:29:47 -0800
I have been providing construction support for the seismic upgrade of a wood building in Orange County. My responsibility for this project is to provide the contractor with revisions to the contract details when it is determined that the existing structural conditions are different than the ones we assumed in our design. The client has a construction inspector on staff who has been present during the construction to assure that the work is proceeding according to our plans. Part of the work involves opening up existing plywood shear walls and adding new, or replacing existing holdowns. The inspector has been taking photographs to document the work being done and has provided us with a copy of the photos. I have had a high level of confidence in both the contractor and the inspector based on my observations of the work and conversations with them. However, I noticed one, and possibly several problems recorded in the photographs which I need to make sure are resolved. One problem has to do with the edge nailing of the plywood replaced after the installation of holdowns. The contractor cut the existing plywood above the sill plate and apparantly did not block and and nail the plywood edges at that location. The walls have all been finished with gypboard and painted. I am going to have the contractor remove the finish at the ends of several shear walls to verify that the plywood edges have been blocked and nailed. A second concern I have is the width of the plywood used to replace existing plywood at holdown locations, as well as the width of remaining plywood panels after the removal of a piece for access to the holdowns. It is obvious from the photographs that the widths of the plywood replacement pieces are less than 24". Our plans, and revised details provided for the contractor, clearly show a 24" minimum width for plywood panels, whether the plywood is new or existing. Upon reading Section 2314.5.3 of the 1994 UBC, I found that the code does not limit the width of plywood for diaphragms as long as all the edges are blocked and nailed. Have I correctly interpreted the intent of the code? Also, whether or not the code allows it, is there a good reason to limit the width of plywood panels if the edges are all nailed?
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