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Sill plate washer - 2x2 or 3x3?

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Dear List:

For those who are working in areas adopting the IBC/IRC, here is an issue
you may be interested in.  It seems rather trivial, but I bet it will cause
plenty of bickering between the contractor/inspector/engineer/owner.

The original question:

I noticed in the errata to the IRC 602.11.1 that the sill washers that used
to be 2"x2" are now required to be 3"x3".  I did not see a similar errata
for the IBC 2305.3.10 which calls for a 2"x2" sill washer.  Was this the
intent of the ICC, and if so, why?

Thank you for clarifying this.

The response:

    We are pleased to provide you with the following opinion. It should be
noted, however, that the final interpretation is the responsibility of
the local building official.

    In the IRC, the 2 x 2 x 3/16 washer size was changed by errata to 3 x 3
x ¼  based on code change RB 82-02, submitted by the Building Seismic Safety
Council & dealing strictly with coordinating the     IRC provisions with
2000 NEHRP Section 12.5.3. There was no similar code change to the IBC
provision, so it remained unchanged and we [ICC staff] have no basis for an
errata to the 2003 IBC on         this issue.

    Subsequently, the Utah Chapter of ICC submitted code change S83-03/04
which changes the plate washer size to 3 x 3 x ¼ in IBC Sections 2305.3.10
[engineered shear walls] and                     2308.12.8 [conventional
construction]. This approved change will appear on the 2004 Supplement to
the International Codes available later this month. Supplement provisions do
not automatically affect    the application of 2003 IBC, unless they are
incorporated as modifications through local adoption of the code.


So,  it looks like 3x3 is probably the safe bet, but good luck explaining to
the contractor who probably bought 5 cases of 2X2's before the steel prices
went up.

Dmitri Wright, PE
Progressive Consultants Inc.

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