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shear wall program

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As the manager of the WoodWorks software development (CWC with tech support from AWC), I can offer the following:

WoodWorks Design Office, which includes a Shearwalls design module, distributes automatically generated ASCE7 or UBC seismic and wind loads by flexible and rigid diaphragm methods, and also designs both perforated and segmented shearwalls, based on NDS 2005.  Engineers tell me that the interface is simple to use, and within a day the basics of using the software are learned, so the return on this investment of time is paid off in one or two projects.  

The process of modeling your structure is quite simple:  Either starting from scratch or by importing up to 6 levels of AutoCAD saved Windows Meta File (.wmf) plans view(s) of your structure to use as a template, draw blocks where your walls will be, and draw window and door openings using the wmf as a guide.  For 3-4 storey apartment buildings with similar layouts and window configurations, you will appreciate the software's ability to copy the first level layout including openings to all floors above.  Next, place a roof with overhangs over the structure (gable, hip, flat, or combined), select the appropriate seismic and wind properties such as R, Soil Class and wind speed, topographic characteristics etc), and hit the "generate loads" button.  After running the program, tables are generated for quick reference of loads and design, pass/fail etc, and each shearwall can be viewed and printed with a summary of the nailing, sheathing thickness etc below it. 

The software does not calculate shearwall deflections.  By default for rigid diaphragm analysis WoodWorks® approximates the "rigidity" of each shearline with its "capacity", or strength x length, instead of using deflection to calculate the actual rigidity.  Using this capacity method requires less time for the users to enter data especially regarding chord slip and nail slip components of the deflection formula in the NDS/IBC and is recognized as a legitimate alternative in the 2000 IBC Structural/Seismic Design Manual - Volume 2, p67, Published by Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) and edited by the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO).  That said we still plan to add deflection in the future.

The software bases all the results on the applicable building codes and standards, and has accurately been doing so for approximately 15 years.  I look forward to others opinions of the software either through this forum or offline. 

Robert J. Jonkman, P.Eng.
Manager, Structural Engineering
Canadian Wood Council
Suite 400, 99 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6B9
Tel: 613-747-5544 ext 252
Toll Free: 800-463-5091 ext 252
Fax: 613-747-6264
email: rjonkman(--nospam--at)
Visit our website at:
Wood Engineering Software:

I was just wondering if any one of you is familiar with the Woodworks shear wall software. I need a program that can comply with the flexible and rigid diaphragm requirements of the code and also provide me with wall deflections.  I have several larger buildings to do in Los Angeles,  and doing these calculations manually are rather time consuming. This would be used on 3-4 story apartments with mostly stacking units.  Does any one have any likes, dislikes or any other recommendations.  How easy is it to learn to use, model, and how accurate is the results?


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