Steel Plate Shear Walls Resist Lateral Load, Cut Costs

by Richard G. Troy, (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Welton Becket Assocs., Los Angeles, Calif.,
Ralph M. Richard, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 2, Pg. 53-55

Document Type: Feature article


Two new buildings have a seldom-used stiffening system — steel plate shear walls. Reasons for using them, rather than reinforced concrete shear walls or steel or concrete rigid frames, include cutting down on wall thickness, preventing concrete construction from pacing steel erection and reducing the amount of steel needed by up to one-half. On one building, steel plate walls saved about $2.85 million — on the other, $3.5 million — over the cost of a steel moment-resistant frame. Except where walls were used with trusses, had many large openings or needed dyamic analysis, shear wall designs were made using hand calculations. Computer check verified stresses and deflections, which meant that simple steel plate shear walls could be designed without finite element analysis.

Subject Headings: Steel frames | Steel plates | Shear walls | Lateral loads | Reinforced concrete | Concrete frames | Steel construction | Shear resistance

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