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RE: Hole limitations in solid sawn wood joists

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As I read the IRC 2000 code, it is prescriptive in nature.  According to Section R301.1.2 Engineered design, if you can prove the adequacy of something other than that prescribed in the code, it is accepted.  Anyone correct me if I'm wrong.
 -----Original Message-----
From: Jim Wilson [mailto:wilsonengineers(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2004 9:56 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Hole limitations in solid sawn wood joists

The codes limit hole sizes in sawn lumber joists to D/3, with a minimum of 2in edge distance.  Does the code allow an engineer to approve a larger hole opening (4in dia, at the N.A., 30 in from bearing in a 13'-8in long 2x10)?  I checked the shear and bending at the section, and they are very acceptable, but there must be more to it than that.  But what?  AWC has a good on-line publication that explains the notch limitations in depth, but I couldn't find explanation of the hole limitations.  I understand that the shear zone extends something like 3xdepth into a wood beam, but how does that translate into numbers to calculate?
Local home builders are facing the new building codes for the first time, and I am afraid these types of questions are going to come up often.  The residential codes are new to me too, and I don't want to overstep my responsibility by overruling the code.
Jim Wilson, PE
Stroudsburg, PA

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