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RE: Report on Wood Diaphragm Issues

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Although I was a beta tester for Woodworks 2000, I did sit through a
demonstration of Keylat. Both programs are good, but here are the two major
restrictions that make me seriously concerned:
1. Neither will allow skewed shearwalls in their initial release. For the
most part this appears to be a decision based on not knowing if any
restrictions exist in the methodology that expressly limit shear transfers
to orthogonal walls. In my opinion, if the diaphragm is rigid, the forces
will be resolved orthogonal in all skewed walls. This also complicates the
transference of shear in multistory structures and both company's felt it
was prudent to release their software restricted to only orthogonal walls.
2. As far as I can tell neither program allows for any other types of shear
resisting elements than Plywood type walls (I think they include gypsum and
stucco) or the proprietary Strongwall from Simpson.

Outside of these limitations, both programs look pretty slick. Very nicely
done and with good output. I am most familiar with the woodworks 2000
Shearwall program. It takes a bit of learning but the results are very good.

I would say that the software is not appropriate for very creative custom
homes that use embedded columns, braced frames, masonry or concrete walls or
proprietary shear elements such as the Hardy or Z-Wall products. Maybe
later. It is also not appropriate where the physical shape of the structure
deviates from fairly conventional orthographic walls.

With this said, both programs appear to do a nice job of gravity load design
and Woodworks, in my opinion, becomes the better choice with the inclusion
of the latest NDS and their expanded Connections program that calculates
various types of wood to wood connections.

My jury is out on rented software (which is what the Keylat software is).
The price appears to be equivalent and the user has the option of purchasing
the software with special pricing on upgrades. My advise is to see if
Keymark Industries will allow you to do a one or two month evaluation of the
product at your expense (two months worth of rental fees).

Dennis S. Wish, PE
SEConsultant(--nospam--at) <mailto:SEConsultant(--nospam--at)>
(208) 361-5447 Efax

> -----Original Message-----
> From: NDZ28(--nospam--at) [mailto:NDZ28(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 8:43 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: Fwd: Report on Wood Diaphragm Issues
> In a message dated 1/4/00 8:41:35 AM Pacific Standard Time, NDZ28 writes:
> << n a message dated 1/3/00 5:08:54 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> MarkD(--nospam--at) writes:
>  << Woodworks 2000 is also out now and includes the same features
> at a far less rapacious price. You can reach them at 1-800-844-1275.
>   >>
>  I called the company this morning and the software will not be
> available for
> 2-3 weeks. Full price is $495, this is cheaper than Keylats
> price, but after
> talking to their rep, I got the feeling that Keylat may be more
> advanced and
> capable of doing more. (This is just my got feeling, and I'm not
> connected
> with Simpson or Keylat) Has anyone tested the full version (prerelease or
> beta) of each? What we need is a reliable testing/comparison of
> the programs
> for code compliance and accuracy to aid in making an educated
> selection. How
> many stories can each handle, can they handle orthogonal walls,
> is there a
> way to input cantilevered steel columns, etc. I don't mind paying
> less but
> since my business depends on it, I want the best program available
> (especially when the difference is only a few hundred dollars)
>  Andrew Vidikan PE. >>