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Re: Stucco or GWB as shear wall in seismic zone 4 (1997 UBC/2001 CBC)

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In a message dated 6/22/2006 10:18:35 P.M. Atlantic Daylight Time, T.W.Allen(--nospam--at) writes:
I haven't used stucco or GWB since Northridge, but a new customer is asking
me to look into it. If the loads are less than the capacity (even the
reduced capacity of GWB), I might have trouble justifying WSP just because
it "feels good".

Does anyone have evidence which would allow me to not use stucco or GWB as
SWs and still feel like I've tried to accommodate a customer's request?


T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E.


Consulting Structural Engineers
V (949) 248-8588 * F(949) 209-2509

The reality is that wallboard is stronger than stucco and plywood is stronger than wallboard; hence, it will take more energy//a more forceful earthquake to cause catastrophic failure. This is a double edged sword because the size of the survivable voids (hence number of survivors) is inversely proportionate to the weight of the structural members.
During catastrophic collapse more people survive in reinforced stucco structures.
As a specific example of one of many: none of the indigenous stucco-like structures during the Gujarat Earthquake collapsed; whereas, many thousands of modern structures did.