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Gypsum wallboard shearwalls

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Title: Gypsum wallboard shearwalls

AF&PA's Special Design Provisions for Wind and Seismic, 2005 Edition [ ] (section and the Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM) for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, 2001 Edition [ ] (Table 3C) permit gypsum shear walls in SDC A through D. Both standards are referenced in the IBC.



John "Buddy" Showalter, P.E.
Director, Technical Media
AF&PA/American Wood Council
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
P: 202-463-2769
F: 202-463-2791

The American Wood Council (AWC) is the wood products division of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA). AWC develops internationally recognized standards for wood design and construction. Its efforts with building codes and standards, engineering and research, and technology transfer ensure proper application for engineered and traditional wood products.

The guidance provided herein is not a formal interpretation of any AF&PA standard.  Interpretations of AF&PA standards are only available through a formal process outlined in AF&PA's standards development procedures.


From: Drew Morris <dmorris(--nospam--at)>
To: SEAINT <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Gypsum wallboard shearwalls
We are having a minor discussion in our office over gypsum wall board as
shearwalls. The 2006 IBC gives allowable shearwall values (Table
2306.4.5) for unblocked and blocked walls for wind and seismic loading.
The IBC 2006 references ASCE 7-05 which list this type of load bearing
walls in Table 12.2.1 (Line A/15) with R=2. In Seismic Design Category
D, buildings with these shearwalls are permitted but limited to 35 feet
in height. Can you use gypsum wall board for shearwalls? Some of us
thought that this type of shearwall was not allowed in SDC D.