American Society of Civil Engineers

Strength-Based Reliability of Wood Shearwalls Subject to Wind Load

by J. W. van de Lindt, (corresponding author), M.ASCE, (Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372 E-mail: and D. V. Rosowsky, M.ASCE, (Department Head and A. P. and Florence Wiley Chair Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX 77843-3136. E-mail:

Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 131, No. 2, February 2005, pp. 359-363, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: Wood shearwalls provide the majority of the lateral force resistance in light-frame wood construction, which makes up the vast percentage of residential and some percentage of commercial construction in the United States. One of the objectives of a recent Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) special project entitled ”Re-evaluation of LRFD for engineered wood products: Keeping pace with changes in ASCE 7” was to evaluate the reliability of wood shearwalls designed using AF&PA/ASCE 16. This technical note describes the evaluation procedure and presents results from an analysis of wood shearwalls subject to wind load considering the ultimate strength (capacity) limit state. In addition to ultimate capacity, statistical distributions of the deformations at ultimate capacity were determined. The resistance of each wall was determined from a monotonic pushover analysis, which uses existing load.slip fastener data to determine the monotonic behavior of a wood shearwall. The wind load statistics were determined as a function of the nominal (code-specified) values using existing load models. Reliability indices for wood shearwalls built using 8d common nails [3.3 mm (0.131 in.) diameter] and subject to the 50 year design wind load ranged from β= 3 to 3.5. The percent drift at ultimate (neglecting uplift) ranged from 1.6 to 2%.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Lateral loads
Load and resistance factor design
Wind loads
Wood structures
Shear walls