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Re: sandwich panels in seismic design category D?

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Actually, the most current version of AC04 (since March of Feb 2004, but
has since been "tweaked") has a criteria for evaluating the use of SIP
shearwalls in _ALL_ IBC Seismic Design Catergories.  There is now an
Appendix A that does matched testing between a SIP shearwall and a
stick-framed shearwall and if the SIP wall meets bascially 85% or so of
certain cirteria of the stick-framed wall (i.e. energy dissipation,
allowalbe story drift, stiffness criterion, and peak strength).

Now, to my knowledge there are no SIP manufactures that have completed
such testing AND gotten an updateed ICC-ES report with such evaluation
included.  I know that the SIP company (Insulsapn) that I work for
part-time is in the process of completing the testing but does not yet
have an updated report.  Last time I checked Premier does not have an
updated report as of yet, but I am fairly sure that they have completed

Regardless, there are projects with SIP shearwalls going up in high
seismic areas.  We are currently finishing up a home in the Tahoe area
(UBC Zone 3, but HUGE seismic mass due to HUGE ground snow
loads...something like 300 psf).  We have some preliminary test
information from some of our earlier Appendix A testing that I can supply
on a case by case basis that engineers and code officials can use as a
basis to determine if they approve the use of SIP shearwalls.

If you want to discuss this further, then feel free to contact me
privately and I can get you my mobile phone number if you want to call me
(I am currently at the Timber Framers' Guild Conference).


Adrian, MI

On Wed, 8 Nov 2006, Haan, Scott M POA wrote:

> Are wood panel / foam core sandwich panels being used anywhere in Seismic
> Design Category D?  ICC AC04 now says that they are allowed only in Seismic
> Design Categories A, B and C.   It is my understanding that the 2000 ICC
> evaluation reports were silent on this but that ICC evaluation reports based
> on the 2003 IBC say specifically they are only allowed in seismic design
> category A, B and C.
> They used to use these panels in Anchorage Alaska to brace residential
> buildings frequently.  I remember one manufacturer had an engineer down in
> Oregon do their calculations for them and I think it was Premier Panels or
> something like this.
> Where are the bodies?  I would like to know why they are not allowed anymore
> - were their failures in Northridge or something? Are these things being used
> in California or else where in seismic design category D?
> Did some Cheechako [no offense intended to any Cheechakos reading this]
> committee decide they wanted to legislate that you can't use sandwich panels
> like loghomes in Alaska where there is a history of them performing?  There
> were no reports from the November 3, 2002 Mw7.9 Mentasta earthquake that
> sandwich panel braced houses in the Fairbanks area had to be condemned.

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