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Re: Shear Wall Elevations

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I'm a firm believer in drawing shear wall elevations for anything more than
one story.  Some plain commercial buildings that require engineering simply
because they are not residential may not need them.  However, just about any
custom residential design is in your office because it ain't simple.  If you
find yourself having trouble keeping track of the load paths, think how the
BUILDER will feel.  Most residential builders are not used to reading
drawings prepared by SE's, and I don't want to rely on them knowing that the
second floor framing plan shows the shear walls at the first floor level,
for instance.

Shear wall elevations are probably the most effective way to convey to the
builder what is pretty much the most essential part of your design.  They
can just be schematics.  I show tie-down anchor rod sizes, post sizes,
tie-down types, shrinkage-compensating-devices, the shear wall schedule
reference for the panels/nailing (noting if panels required both sides of
the wall), blocking and strapping at windows, straps at the low side of
gable-end walls, steps in plate heights, "hillside primary anchor" type
things, connections to drag-struts, etc.....  Anything that the builder will
not do by instinct.

IMO  building departments should require shear wall elevations for anything
that does not meet the "Conventional Light-Frame Construction" provisions of
the code.  Seen too many problems--enough to write a book or two about.....

Thor Matteson

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