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RE: WOOD: Lateral Design Software

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Thanks for your comments, Dennis. I still can't decide :o).

And, I apologize for not including your spreadsheet in the list. From what
I've been following, it appears that your spreadsheet may have features not
found in either KeyLat or Woodworks. Unfortunately, it is not an option for
me since no one (AFAIK) has compiled a "user's manual" with sample problems,
thus elongating the "learning curve" (for me, anyway).

Frankly, I'm surprised that someone like RISA or STAAD or CSI or even
Enercalc hasn't developed a FEM program with specific shear wall elements
that best replicate the peculiar behavior of a plywood shear wall and wood
diaphragms. This way, non-shear wall elements could be included because, as
you have pointed out, MOST structures have lateral resisting elements other
than shear walls. Maybe the market is just too small or has been determined
to be non-profitable. I dunno.

With regards to Lateral Pro, I've had a few conversations with Chuck
Williams who wrote the program. Yes, Chuck has sold it to Simpson, but it is
unrelated to KeyLat. Chuck is in the process of writing the Windows version.
The last time I was in communication with Chuck, this task was not yet
complete. For those of you not familiar with Lateral Pro, I found it very
powerful and was capable of doing a 1997 UBC lateral analysis a long, long
time ago. Unfortunately, it's in DOS and a PITA to print and edit data
files. No, it didn't do RDA, but I believe the Windows version will (if it's
ever completed).

I for one would appreciate an update should you do any more evaluation of
this software category.


Bill Allen, S.E.
Laguna Niguel, CA