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Title: Full-scale shear wall tests for force transfer around openings

Author: Skaggs, Tom; Yeh, Borjen; Lam, Frank; Rammer, Douglas; Wacker, James;

Date: 2010

Source: Proceedings of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction--Working Commission W18--Timber Structures, 2010 August 22-26, Nelson, New Zealand [electronic resource]. Karlsruhe, Germany : Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 2010: [1 CD ROM]: 9 p.: CIB-W18/43-15-5.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Wood structural panel sheathed shear walls and diaphragms are the primary lateral-load resisting elements in wood-frame construction. The historical performance of light-frame structures in North America are very good due, in part, to model building codes that are designed to preserve life safety, as well as the inherent redundancy of wood-frame construction using wood structural panel shear walls and diaphragms. As wood-frame construction is continuously evolving, designers in many parts of North America are optimizing design solutions that require the understanding of force transfer between load-resisting elements. The North American building codes provide three solutions to walls with openings. The first solution is to ignore the contribution of the wall segments above and below openings and only consider the full height segments in resisting forces, often referred to as segmented shear wall method. The second approach, which is to account for the effects of openings in the walls using an empirical reduction factor, is known as the “perforated shear wall method”. The final method, which has a long history of practical use with surprisingly little research and testing, is the “force transfer around openings method”. This method is accepted as simply following “rational analysis”. Typically walls that are designed for force transfer around openings result in the walls being reinforced with nails, straps and blocking in the portions of the walls with openings. The authors are aware of at least three techniques which fall under the definition of rational analysis. These techniques result in prediction of the internal forces in the walls as differing by as much as 800% in extreme cases. This variation in predicted forces is resulting in either some structures being over-built or some structures king less reliable than the intended performance objective. A joint research project of APA -The Engineered Wood Association, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the USDA Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) was initiated in 2009 to examine the variations of walls with code-allowable openings. This study examines the internal forces generated during these tests and evaluates the effects of size of openings, size of full-height piers, and different construction techniques by using the segmented method, the perforated shear wall method and the force transfer around openings method. Full-scale wall tests as well as analytical modelling were performed. The research results obtained from this study will be used to support design methodologies in estimating the forces around the openings. This paper provides test results from 2.4 m x 3.6 m (8 feet x 12 feet) full-scale wall configurations, which will be used in conjunction with the analytical results from a computer model developed by UBC to develop rational design methodologies for adoption in the U.S. design codes and standards.

Keywords: Buildings, testing, wooden buildings, walls, wooden-frame buildings, design, construction, structural design, structural frames, windows, doors, standards, engineering standards, shear walls, mathematical models, durability, wood construction, openings, force transfer, performance testing

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Skaggs, Tom; Yeh, Borjen; Lam, Frank; Rammer, Doug; Wacker, James; 2010. Full-scale shear wall tests for force transfer around openings. In: Proceedings of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction--Working Commission W18--Timber Structures, 2010 August 22-26, Nelson, New Zealand [electronic resource]. Karlsruhe, Germany : Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 2010: [1 CD ROM]: 9 p.: CIB-W18/43-15-5.

 


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