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Sheathing vs Shear Wall

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MarioA

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Entry level plans examiner here. Basic question I couldn't get a clear answer from google. Difference between a shear wall and sheathing? Is the wall the framing itself supporting the sheathing? Thanks guys.
 

Mark K

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A plans examiner with this question would be well advised to talk to an engineer employed by the building department and should limit his efforts to the most basic sort of permits.

From an engineer's perspective the sheathing that is a part of a shear wall and consists of either plywood or OSB.

The existence of sheathing does not automatically make a wall a shear wall.

The basic concern is that the building needs to resist the horizontal loads resulting from significant wind or rom an earthquake. To be effective there must be a load path that allows the forces to be transferred to the foundation. The framing and hardware must allow the shear wall to resist overturning forces. If not the shear wall will tilt over.

While the IRC provides prescriptive provisions that address these situations for a limited set of buildings in general the determination of whether there is sufficient lateral resistance needs the knowledge of a professional engineer.
 

ICE

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A plans examiner with this question would be well advised to talk to an engineer employed by the building department and should limit his efforts to the most basic sort of permits.

From an engineer's perspective the sheathing that is a part of a shear wall and consists of either plywood or OSB.

The existence of sheathing does not automatically make a wall a shear wall.

The basic concern is that the building needs to resist the horizontal loads resulting from significant wind or rom an earthquake. To be effective there must be a load path that allows the forces to be transferred to the foundation. The framing and hardware must allow the shear wall to resist overturning forces. If not the shear wall will tilt over.

While the IRC provides prescriptive provisions that address these situations for a limited set of buildings in general the determination of whether there is sufficient lateral resistance needs the knowledge of a professional engineer.
Snarky as ever. Why can't you be nice to the people that come here for advice. Mario started out with, "Entry level plans examiner here." and you just couldn't keep your big mouth shut.

Mario,
There was a day when the blowhard was not an engineer. He didn't know a shear wall from a shitter wall. Well he does now. He thinks that he's a big fish in a little pond. Tigers don't like fish....too boney.
 
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steveray

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West of the river CT
Sheathing may resist shear forces...but it may not.....I believe Simpson Strong Tie has some good online classes or maybe even in person....Only a mild plug as I have learned a bunch from our northeast folks....
 

Mark K

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Gypsum sheathing has very limited values and is seldom used by engineers. In addition when subject to earthquakes the nails crush the gypboard causing the lateral capacity of the gypsum panels to degrade very quickly.

A plans examiner should know his or her limits.
 

redeyedfly

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Minneapolis, MN
Gypsum sheathing has very limited values and is seldom used by engineers. In addition when subject to earthquakes the nails crush the gypboard causing the lateral capacity of the gypsum panels to degrade very quickly.

A plans examiner should know his or her limits.
You might want to dust off your SDPWS. Gyp sheathing has less capacity than plywood but not that much less. Also, you're typically counting both sides of a gyp shear wall unlike wood panels where you're often asymmetrical and cannot. Gyp shear walls are used all the time in wind country, often as you get to higher floors.
Granted, if you need high numbers you can't reduce edge nailing spacing to get more capacity out of gyp like you can with wood panels.
 

Beniah Naylor

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Entry level plans examiner here. Basic question I couldn't get a clear answer from google. Difference between a shear wall and sheathing? Is the wall the framing itself supporting the sheathing? Thanks guys.
Mario, go to the apawood.org and look for their free webinars on Braced Wall Panels - they will teach you a lot. APA stands for the American Plywood Association, they changed their name to "The Engineered Wood Association" but they still go by APA.

They also have a Youtube channel, but you can get CEU credits if you watch on their website.

 

Joe.B

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Myrtletown Ca
I would note that the term "shear-wall" is not used prescriptively in the IRC. In the IRC it is defined as:

"[RB] SHEAR WALL. A general term for walls that are designed and constructed to resist racking from seismic and wind by use of masonry, concrete, cold-formed steel or wood framing in accordance with Chapter 6 of this code and the associated limitations in Section R301.2 of this code."

If something is being designed prescriptively through the IRC then it will be per R602.10 "Wall bracing" and it should be called a "Braced Wall Panel." If plans call it a "shear wall" then it should be an engineered design and should be accompanied by stamped calculations.

The IBC definition is:

"[BS] SHEAR WALL (for Chapter 23). A wall designed to resist lateral forces parallel to the plane of a wall.

Shear wall, perforated. A wood structural panel sheathed wall with openings, that has not been specifically designed and detailed for force transfer around openings.

Shear wall segment, perforated. A section of shear wall with full-height sheathing that meets the height-to-width ratio limits of Section 4.3.4 of AWC SDPWS."
 

Joe.B

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Snarky as ever. Why can't you be nice to the people that come here for advice. Mario started out with, "Entry level plans examiner here." and you just couldn't keep your big mouth shut.

Mario,
There was a day when the blowhard was not an engineer. He didn't know a shear wall from a shitter wall. Well he does now. He thinks that he's a big fish in a little pond. Tigers don't like fish....too bony.
I don't know man, I think his answer was pretty good, and taken at face value I didn't see anything that was rude or not "nice."
A plans examiner with this question would be well advised to talk to an engineer employed by the building department and should limit his efforts to the most basic sort of permits.
I guess that first statement could be considered snarky, but he's not wrong. Maybe it could be "nicer" if he said "An entry level plans examiner..." and "and the supervisor should limit..."

I think you two need need some boxing gloves and a ring. <said with snark and sarcasm> The rest of us can grab some beer or popcorn and enjoy the show! I know I'm newer here and there's probably some history but I will say it's definitely entertaining! And educational, I've learned a lot from both of your posts.
 

tmurray

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NB, Canada
Entry level plans examiner here. Basic question I couldn't get a clear answer from google. Difference between a shear wall and sheathing? Is the wall the framing itself supporting the sheathing? Thanks guys.
Great question from a new plans examiner to make sure you are doing your job properly and some great responses here in this thread to help you out. Welcome to the forum and the industry!
 

ICE

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I don't know man, I think his answer was pretty good, and taken at face value I didn't see anything that was rude or not "nice."

I guess that first statement could be considered snarky, but he's not wrong. Maybe it could be "nicer" if he said "An entry level plans examiner..." and "and the supervisor should limit..."

I think you two need need some boxing gloves and a ring. <said with snark and sarcasm> The rest of us can grab some beer or popcorn and enjoy the show! I know I'm newer here and there's probably some history but I will say it's definitely entertaining! And educational, I've learned a lot from both of your posts.
Please excuse me.
 
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ADAguy

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Sep 11, 2013
Messages
6,231
Location
California
A plans examiner with this question would be well advised to talk to an engineer employed by the building department and should limit his efforts to the most basic sort of permits.

From an engineer's perspective the sheathing that is a part of a shear wall and consists of either plywood or OSB.

The existence of sheathing does not automatically make a wall a shear wall.

The basic concern is that the building needs to resist the horizontal loads resulting from significant wind or rom an earthquake. To be effective there must be a load path that allows the forces to be transferred to the foundation. The framing and hardware must allow the shear wall to resist overturning forces. If not the shear wall will tilt over.

While the IRC provides prescriptive provisions that address these situations for a limited set of buildings in general the determination of whether there is sufficient lateral resistance needs the knowledge of a professional engineer.
Listen to him, are you ICC certified yet? Buy Ching's books for graphic clarifications .
 

north star

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# # # #

All, ...we want to encourage people like MarioA to come
to this Forum and learn, share and find assistance, and
NOT be put off by asking basic questions.

We want
MarioA to go and tell others that there is "positive"
place on the internet to go and ask Code related questions.

If you noticed, he hasn't asked any more questions.

Ya'll play nice & BE nice to our visitors, and regular Forum
members.


# # # #
 
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Mark K

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Listen to him, are you ICC certified yet? Buy Ching's books for graphic clarifications .
I guess I am to assume that ICC certification trumps being a licensed engineer with considerable experience with residential structures. My mistake.
 
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