Shear Wall Design
Segmented Shear Wall Design 

There are two design methodologies used for shear walls: Segmented Design and Perforated Design. The majority of this tutorial concentrates on the traditional segmented shear wall (SSW) design approach. An introduction to the perforated design approach and its benefits will be presented later in this tutorial. 

Segmented Shear Wall Design (SSW) is the traditional design method that has been used for many years. In the SSW method, walls are divided into segments of fullheight sheathing. These segments are typically separated by openings in the wall such as doors and windows. The lengths of each fullheight sheathing segment (b_{i}) are summed together, resulting in a conservative estimate of the length of the wall that will resist shear forces. The fullheight segments are then designed to resist the applied loads. Holddown connectors (HD) are required at the bottom corners of each segment to prevent each segment from overturning.
The following illustrations depict a typical shear wall. Figure 1 shows that the wall is made up of six sheathing panels, typically plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), that have been mounted vertically to the framing members. Holes have been framed into the wall to accommodate a window and a door. This wall geometry will be used several times throughout this tutorial. 

Figure 1  Woodframe wall with openings 
Figure 2  Segmented shear wall model 

Figure 2 illustrates the shear wall divided into fullheight sheathing segments, shown in green. Only the fullheight sheathing segments are assumed to provide resistance to lateral loads. The sheathing grade and thickness and the nail size and spacing determine the shear capacity per foot of length of the fullheight segments. IBC Table 2306.4.1 and UBC Table 23III1 relate these variables so that designers can determine the shear capacity (v) in units of lb/ft (plf) of the fullheight segments. The design shear capacity, V, is found using the following equation:  






Topics of this module include:
Introduction, Load Path, UBC Design Table, Wall Shear, Dimension Ratios, Chord Design, 