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FW: shear wall program

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In answer to your points below:
1.  It's true that Shearwalls does not allow different heights WITHIN
levels.  BUT, you can have different numbers of levels in multiple
locations of your building, but each level needs to be the same.  IE, it
is no problem having a 3 story section beside a 5 story section of
building beside a 1 storey section of the building.  

Here is a 3-step method that can be used to allow for entering
proprietary walls or concrete walls in WoodWorks (lets call these super
rigid relative to the wood shearwalls "special" walls).  This technique
is meant for adjusting entire shearlines to accommodate the different
wall, not segments within a shearline. 

First: Generate and/or apply desired loads and run the design using the
default "capacity" approach to determine the "rigidity" the software
assigns to each wall segment. 

Second:  Manually adjust the relative "per unit length" rigidities for
only the proprietary/concrete sections.  

Third and Last step: Rerun so the force is re-distributed appropriately
to that shearline. 

5.  Our software was originally made as a tool to design shearwalls.
Later versions made it into a much more useful tool by allowing loads to
be generated automatically, accounting for the shape and weights of the
building (as opposed to a box represented in the North America building
codes).  Future plans may warrant an expansion to other shear resisting
elements such as moment frames, but for the for now we simply try to
make it as flexible as possible for the user by allowing them to use
their engineering judgment to determine the relative rigidity of
products or systems that are not wood shear walls.

6.  I think all programs will need to offer a patch to account for
Vista, but probably only the 64 bit version, not the 32 bit version.
USA Design Office 7 was released in November/December 2006, prior to
Vista being released.  Our next version will undoubtedly work on the
Vista platform.

7.  There are two tutorials in the online manual related to Shearwalls,
and three more available on the website.  

8.  Lateral design is complicated business, and to make the results as
easy to view as possible we separate them into easily findable tables,
making the results pretty easy to find and understand, but spread out. 

Thanks for your comments.    

Robert J. Jonkman, P.Eng.
Manager, Structural Engineering
Canadian Wood Council

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