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Re: Why more Sheathing than in Zone 4???????

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Dennis,
 
My observation of plywood-sheathed houses in areas outside So. CA is that they may be sheathed with plywood, but the nailing has no relationship to shear load transfer requirements.  Plywood on a two story house may have no nailing to the plate or rim joist at the second floor level, whether or not the sheet layout puts horizontal plywood edges at the floor line.  And blocking is not used.  This makes plywood a simple-to-apply sheathing material.  If the nailing becomes complicated in order to assure strength and lateral load paths, the complications and costs increase.  My guess is that So. CA, engineers don't allow plywood sheathing with for which they don't control the nailing, so minimizing costs means minimizing the plywood.
 
Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA
njineer(--nospam--at)att.net