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RE: Foundations for Shear Walls

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The Shearwalls in houses I design in California are in high seismic and heavy snow loads require sufficient foundations.  Some architects draw foundations based on the minimum required by the building code ( like 12" wide for single story etc.) I design the foundation for the design forces.  typical hardy frames at the sides of a garage door use 2' wide x 2' deep grade beams with 4-#5 bars.  ACI allows leaving out stirrups in foundation grade beams.  The design of newer houses with more windows and engineered systems not only use more nails and holddowns but more concrete to hold it all in place. Enercalc software has a shearwall design module that also designs the footing for overturning (ala grade beam along the wall line).
Tim Rudolph
Pinyon Engineering
Bishop, CA
Subject: Foundations for Shear Walls
From: "Mike Rhodebeck" <
To: <

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We are designing mostly residential structures in high wind country and
are routinely faced with issues of large uplift and download forces - 5
to 20 kips -  generated by overturning resistance forces at the ends of
shear wall segments.  Some conditions have the loads very close
together, as in using a Simpson Strongwall, while others might be 6 to
10 feet apart with conventional wood frame shear wall segments.
Supporting concrete is typically a monolithic slab edge member or
interior thickened slab footer.  How should the concrete be designed?
Is it advisable/required to have enough weight of concrete to resist the
entire uplift?  How are people handling this issue?=20
Mike Rhodebeck, P.E.
Vice President, Engineering
Builders FirstSource
Florida Design Center, LLC
6550 Roosevelt Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL  32244
904.772.6100  X2285
Fax: 904.317.2835