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2x Built-up columns

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The NDS Commentary references 2 papers that the current methodology in Chapter
15 is based on:

110.    Malhotra, S.K. and A.P. Sukumar.  A simplified procedure for built-up
wood compression members.  St. John's, Newfoundland:  Annual conference,
Canadian Society for Civil Engineering.  (June): 1-18; 1989.
111.    Malhotra, S.K. and D.B. Van Dyer.  Rational approach to the design of
built-up timber columns.  Madison, WI:  Forest Products Research Society, Wood
Science.  Vol. 9, No. 4:  174-186; 1977.

For more information on the NDS Commentary see:

Hope this information helps.

Buddy Showalter, P.E.


From: "Pat Clark" <bcinc(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Re: 2x Built-up columns.

I am also working on a wood structure being constructed in Lost Wages (Las
Vegas) and am having similar problems with many large column loads bearing
on built-up 2x8 columns.  We are currently trying to inform the
pre-fabricator of the elements (Illinois I believe) that the requirements of
the NDS need to be applied (what is the NDS they say), and that we need to
develop a more serious brace at the column-ceiling interface.  The most
difficult thing we are having to design are the connector requirements that
specify penetrating through the entire assembly into a portion of the final
ply.  Does anyone know more about how the Appendix in the NDS was developed?

-----Original Message-----
From: Helen Zhou <Helen_Zhou(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at) <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Date: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:37 AM
Subject: 2x Built-up columns.

** Proprietary **


Moving from southern California to St. Louis, MO,  I noticed more built-up
beams and columns in the residential construction here. 2-2x4 or 3-2x4 as
columns to support girder trusses with up to 8000 lbs. or 12000 lbs, If the
column ht goes to more than 12',  I saw some 2x6 s. 10d or 16d nail @ 12" or
24" are common for these built-up columns. ½" plywood exterior and ½" gyp
board interior are the only bracing for those columns. Per NDS 97 sec. 15.3,
I have problems to justify the design. But I have been told, they built
thousands of houses like these, none of these columns failed. Please help me

Helen Zhou  PE

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