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Re: Plywood shear walls with 3x sills...

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>3.  I've had some contractors whine (no...really?) about this, saying that
>they either cannot get 3x pressure-treated members or they are very
>expensive. Some building officials also are not enforcing this
>(no...really?). Anyone run across this?
>Dave K. Adams, S.E.

I'm going through this right now at the moment also, including the whine
part.  Based on the added weight??, cost, material availability, etc, the
contractor has pleaded with me to use 2-2x members instead of the 3x or 4x.
 He has gone and recieved approval from the building department to do this
as long as he can show a letter from the EOR (me) it is okay.  At the panel
joints, I have agreed to allow multiple studs joined with the same nailing
as the plywood panel edges (studs built-up with 10d at 2" o/c staggered,
e.g. 2 rows of 4" o/c) as I don't see this any different than shear
transfer at a typical top plate on a wall that had 10d at 4" o/c edge
nailing.  I told the contractor I thought they were crazy with the added
labor and materials and that the 3x or 4x had to be cheaper in the "big
picture" than his proposed method (penny wise, pound foolish?).  Apparently
it is cheaper as the 2-2x is still their desired plan.  The only thing I
can figure is that the framers don't know the panel edge locations until
later and think they can add the 2nd stud after the wall is erected.  I
think this will be interesting to observe during construction.

I have, however, not given into using 2-2x plates at the sill.  They want
to use a P.T. 2x with a 2nd 2x nailed on top (2 rows of 10d at 4" o/c) with
the anchors extending through both plates.  I seem to remember seeing
failures of the A.B. pulling through 2x plates which has something to do
with the 3x requirement.  I'm not totally sure if I'm being consistent with
my reasoning.

Any thoughts on using built-up 2-2x members instead of the 3x member??


Peder Golberg, P.E.
Portland, OR