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Subject:  UBC1997 Wood Panel Shearwall Recommendations
 
This question is in regards to the Uniform Building Code 1997 recommendations for wood structural panel shearwalls, Table 23-II-I-1. 
 
Note 3 below the table clearly states that all wood panel shearwalls with allowable capacities greater than 350 lb/ft are required to be framed with 3" nominal members at all structural panel edges.  I have reviewed the shearwall capacities listed at your web site, and no such requirement is listed (except for panels receiving closer edge nailing than 2" o.c.)
 
Using 3" nominal members (as top & bottom plates or as wall studs at panel edges) is a significant change to standard framing practices.  This change makes shearwall framing and constructability much more difficult.  Continuity is also a concern, as splices are required where 3x top plates over shearwalls must be spliced to the standard double 2x top plates. 
 
Please review the UBC 1997 Code Requirements and offer a recommendation as to whether the requirement for 3" nominal members is valid.  If so, are there any alternatives to engineer shearwalls with 500 lb/ft to 700 lb/ft capacities without significantly modifying standard construction practices for wall framing?  Please call or email.  Thank you. 
 
Thanks,
Evan Mizue
For Baldridge and Associates Structural Engineering, Inc.