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Another question on Rho

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Hi all,


Does rho apply to design forces for diaphragms, chords and/or collectors (specifically in timber construction)?  A younger engineer asked me about this today and I have always thought that it does not apply for these items.  I believe a mentor of mine stated as much in the past, but otherwise there doesn’t seem to be code evidence to back this up.  Obviously, most collectors are designed using the special seismic load combinations (when seismic governs), so that rules out rho right there.  Any help clearing up this question would be appreciated…I certainly hope I haven’t been laboring under a false assumption this whole time.  Oh, I’m working with the 2001 California Building Code (UBC 97) for this.




Doug Mayer, P.E.

Project Engineer


teter a+e, LLP

Architects & Engineers

p: 559.437.0887

f:  559.438.7554

e: dougm(--nospam--at)