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OSB panel question

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Wood panels in walls can be installed either horizontally or vertically.  
Since joints have to be blocked, most contractors elect to install them 
vertically.  (A little sketch of an 8-ft wall with the panels installed 
horizontally shows the tremendous amount of blocking required.)

The latest issue of "Wood Design Focus" describes tests on unblocked walls.  
Photographs show a tremendous amount of movement at the joints.


A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Kipp Martin wrote:

. > I haven't done much wood design in the last 10 years, so I'm a little 
. > rusty on a few things.  My church is having a new preschool built, and I 
. > took a look at the construction over the weekend.  It is basically a 
. > large house like structure of approximately 3000 sq. ft. with 2x6 stud 
. > walls and OSB sheathing on the walls. The OSB panels are standard 4' X 8' 
. > panels, 7/16" thick. There is a mark on one side that says something like 
. > "Strength Axis" and has arrows pointing down the long direction of the 
. > panel. Now I remember that the strong direction of most plywood panels is 
. > in the long direction and that is why we always detailed roofs and walls 
. > with the long direction of the panel perpendicular to the joists and 
. > studs. The panels on my church's building have been installed with the 
. > long dimension vertical, parallel to the studs. Other than that, the 
. > workmanship is excellent. The framing is square and well connected. The 
. > seismic holdowns are properly installed, and the OSB panels are properly 
. > nailed. Does having the weak axis of the panels span between the studs 
. > significantly weaken the wall? Does it decrease the shear capacity of the 
. > shear walls? I'm going to take a look at the drawings first chance I get, 
. > but I wanted to get the list's opinions.

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