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Re: Town Home Lateral Loads

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I beg to differ. Back when I did condo forensic work, I saw a lot of this construction. It wasn't a "code interpretation" & I would be amazed if you could talk the CBO into something else. With continuity in the roof & exterior sheathing, a little care in the LFRS design to establish stiffness compatibilty, & the units will move in phase. Treat it like a single building. You are worrying about something that probably would never happen during an event that is unlikely to happen in your lifetime.
Chuck Utzman, P.E.

On 7/4/2013 8:38 AM, T.William (Bill) Allen, S.E. wrote:
Jeff - I realize that fires kill more people than earthquakes, but this is not a rational code interpretation by the building official. I suggest that a.) you do not separate the buildings and b.) suggest that the sheathing penetrating the area separation be fire treated. Otherwise, show him/her the section of the code regarding seismic separation which will probably require something like 6" between units (or more) which would kill the project. Most of the other building officials have interpreted it this way (allowing sheathing to run through). Unfortunately, it appears that the jurisdiction you are dealing with is not yet enlightened. Have fun with your project!

T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)
University of Southern California, M.S.C.E., 1983
University of Texas at El Paso, B.S.C.E., 1977

ALLEN DESIGNS
Consulting Structural Engineers
32302 Camino Capistrano, #206
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

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