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Re: Styrofoam seal at plywood shear wall sill plate

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Alexander (Sasha) Itsekson wrote:

Dear list:

I came to inspect sill bolting installation at one of my projects and found that the contractor (he is a licensed architect too) installed a 1/8" Styrofoam seal. This material is usually used around windows at in concrete buildings. The architect/builder thought that he is improving things by installing at all the exterior walls. Is there any concern about the sill plate shear resistance with having this new slip surface and a small gap? Please let me know you thoughts.

Here's the link to the product info:,/PublishToInternet/InternetDOWCOM/styrofoam_old/pdfs/noreg_old/179-07153.pdf&fromPage=BasicSearch

/Alexander (Sasha) Itsekson, SE/

*Enginious Structures, Inc.*

Oakland, CA <>

I have seen this on most residential and commercial buildings in Anchorage. The idea is to create a barrier between the concrete or CMU that can get wet and the sill plate that will wick up the moisture. Even without the barrier, I have never heard of anyone calculating the shear transfer using the friction between the sill plate and the top of the foundation wall. The shear transfer is still through the anchor rod bearing on the wood sill plate.

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