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RESIDENTIAL: Shearwall Line Offsets

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The conventional framing provisions of the Prescriptive Design as described in Chapter 3 of the Wood Frame Construction Manual allows a maximum four-foot offset for shear walls.

When the offset is greater than four feet, "the structure shall be considered as separate structures attached in the plane of the offset." (WFCM 3.1.3.3 c.)

However, the WFCM goes on to say: "FOR WIND DESIGN, the structure shall be permitted to be designed as a regular structure with perimeter dimensions which inscribe the total structure (see Figure 3.1b)."

Figure 3.1b shows an irregular structure in plan with offsets varying, some greater and some less than four feet. The "inscribed structure" is the least-size rectangle that will encompass the entire plan.

I'm not sure what this means. Does it mean that you compute the wind loads on the structure assuming that rectangular size, and transfer those loads to the segment of "real wall" at the extremity of the "inscribing rectangle"?

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