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RE: Plywood shear wall definition

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Mark –


I don’t see any reason to add a holdown at the transition in the case you describe (assuming you sister up the transition studs for the full shear wall capacity).  What you really need to be looking at in your case is getting a proper top plate splice at the transition.  Adding holdowns will effectively make this two separate shear walls, which it sounds like you are trying to avoid.


Eli Grassley

PSM Engineers

Seattle, WA


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Schroeder [mailto:MSchroeder(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 12:38 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Plywood shear wall definition


Thanks for your replies.  Your responses have been great and I agree as well.  The actual transition from 2x4 to 2x6 studs occurs along the length of the shearwall.  My original question must have been confusing.  Most likely, I would have a vertical 3x4 stud lag screwed (to develop shear capacity) to a vertical 3x6 stud and the plywood offset would occur at that transition between 4" and 6" studs.  I believe you could consider this as one wall to define aspect ratio.  The addition of a hold-down at the transition as Gerard indicated would be a good addition as well.


Thanks again,


Mark Schroeder

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Allen, S.E. [mailto:T.W.Allen(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 12:12 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Plywood shear wall definition

I agree with Joe.


T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)


Consulting Structural Engineers

V (949) 248-8588

F (949) 209-2509


-----Original Message-----
From: Jnapd(--nospam--at) [mailto:Jnapd(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 12:07 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Plywood shear wall definition




1.    There is no problem switching plywood from outside to inside face of studs if all other requirements are completed as you stated.


2.    If the holdown strap is on the outside face there should be no problem.  Do not put on inside face.  If PHD holdown is used make sure they lineup. A little offset on the upper more to the center of the lower post. 


        I am assuming the studs change at the 2nd floor diaphragm.  The aspect ratio is between diaphragms, (ground to 2nd floor and 2nd floor to roof) not between ground and roof.


Are these thoughts to be used in a possible plaintiff or defendant position.



Joe Venuti
Johnson & Nielsen Associates
Palm Springs, CA