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RE: steel formdeck as shearwall?

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I would definitely not ignore seismic.  I would hate to use the SBC 99
knowing that my design might not work when some governmental organization
decides to adopt the latest code.  I know that a SBC 99 design might not
push you in the seismic arena, but prudent engineering will tell you that
you should investigate seismic with the current state of the practice.  

Regardless of that issue, as I recall, the SBC invokes ASCE 7.  And the SBC
99 invoked the ASCE 7-98.  The ASCE 7-98 uses the new seismic spectral 0.2
second and 1.0 second maps along with the site classes that can often drive
your design.  I think that you may be surprised especially when you consider
the omega sub zero amplifications.  

Now regarding using steel plate sheer walls, the codes refer to these as
"Special Steel Plate Walls".  The research was done by guys like Takanashi,
Elgaali, Kulak, Timler, Ventura, Astanaeh-Asl, and Driver.  Most of the
research is in solid steel plate, not with corrugated deck shapes.  I would
not do it.

 If the architect is predisposed to hollow core, why not use precast walls
for shear.  I like to look at the trades involved.  Light gauge metal studs
are carpenter trade, precast installation is iron worker trade, masonry is
obviously the masonry trade.  I do not like to mix trades for load bearing
elements.  My preference would be to use precast hollow core bearing on
precast wall panels.  

And I definitely would consider seismic.  Look at Barista's article in
Building Design and Construction, June 2003.  Look at the map of Alabama and
compare it to traditional "high" seismic states.  From about the mid point
of Alabama to the north you can be forced to a Category C.  The northern
portion can be in a Category D, E or even F according to the IBC 2000.   

Harold O. Sprague

-----Original Message-----
From: John C. Jones [mailto:john(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 9:58 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: steel formdeck as shearwall?

I have a project that will be a 6 story hotel.  The Architect wants to use
light gauge studs and hollow core planks.  I want to use load bearing
masonry and hollow core planks.  I will likely lose out on my choice.  We
can't use plywood as shear walls due to combustibility.  I have never seen
form deck used, but it's roughly the same thickness as plywood and can act
as a roof diaphragm.  It seems like it would work as a shearwall too.  The
job is in Birmingham, AL under SBC99, so seismic isn't much of an issue.

Have any of you seen this stuff used for shear walls?


John C. Jones, PE
Barnett Associates
Pell City, AL
205-884-0099 (fax)


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