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RHO Factor

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I heard from a sometimes reliable source that the RHO factor was developed by Bob Bachman in his backyard during a moment of inspiration after a couple of glasses of red wine.  At least that is what he told me?!?

To say that California is using the 1997 UBC and is not going to change it is not quite accurate.  The governing code in California is the California Building Code (which is based on the 1997 UBC) and it was in fact just updated and released.  Some of the goofy load combination errors were corrected and the infamous 1.1 factor for concrete was removed.  So there has been some clean up.

Unfortunately they did not revise the RHO factor for shear walls in the general chapter 16 however in chapter 16A (For DSA/SS and OSHPD projects) section 1630A.1.1 they have added "[For OSHPD 1& 4] The value of the ratio of 10/Lw need not be taken as greater than 1.0 for light-framed construction".  Go Figure??

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting