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Re: wood framing - commercial structures

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I'm not certain about height limitations, but getting all the wind shear out to stiff lateral elements (stair towers) might be difficult, and using light framed shear walls, especially on the first floor, I would think, would be a real headache without interior shear walls.

As for wall thicknesses, I can't imagine a 2x4 10' tall wall that could withstand C&C loads in a 130mph region.  I have to do arithmetic gymnastics just to get a 2x4 S. Pine in a 10' wall in my area of Virginia, which has 90mph winds - anything taller requires 2x6 construction.  Where I have done it, I've had to use engineered columns (PSL) for king studs in the jambs of larger windows.

At 09:02 AM 10/22/2004 -0400, you wrote:

My experience with this subject is limited? in my opinion if it?s going to last, you should be using conc. and steel. However, in changing of jobs you inevitably inherit some projects of the past, and this is the predicament I?m in:  we?ve got a 4-story condominium structure on top of a parking level- so essentially, it?s 5 stories. The roof will be a terrace area with jacuzzi?s and separation walls.  The design is concrete walls around the bottom level and load bearing stud walls the rest of the way up to the roof.  There are two cmu stairwells and one cmu elevator shaft, continuous to the roof level.

The original question raised by the contractor was - can we use 2x4 stud walls instead of 2x6 for the load bearing walls? Investigating this led me to several other questions:


1 -- can we use wood framing for a structure this high? The floor-to-floor heights are 10?.  In sect. 2308.12.1 (seismic cat D requirements) it specifies conventional light framing is not to exceed one story for this category? what is defined as conventional light framing?? Can we get around this and if so?


2 ? sect 2308.12.2 says conc or masonry walls cannot extend above the basement.  Any way around this and if so?


3 ? the contractor and owner want 2x4 stud walls all around. Our walls (load bearing) are currently 2x6 stud walls for the first two levels, and 2x4 for the top two. This was decided from Table 2308.9.1 from IBC 2000.  Is there something I?m missing here, or am I correct in saying we need 2x6 walls to support 3 floors and a roof?


I?ve just done a brief scanning of IBC2000 so if there are additional code (or other) issues we need to consider, please let me know.







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