CCFSS Library (1939 - present)


David Rokas


The use of light gauge steel framing elements sheathed with wood plywood or oriented strand board are becoming more common in the construction of structural shear walls for low-rise platform frame structural systems in Canada. Canadian standards and codes do not currently outline design methods for this type of wall system. Therefore, research at McGill University is underway to help develop design parameters for seismic and wind loading that can be used in conjunction with the 2005 National Building Code of Canada for this type of shear wall system. The research is based on the monotonic and reversed cyclic testing of full-scale wall specimens. This report presents design capacity and stiffness parameters for walls with 9.5 mm (3/8”) Canadian softwood plywood sheathing for various screw spacing configurations, based on the analysis of results from 25 full-scale wall tests following the equivalent energy elastic-plastic (EEEP) method. The results of the test specimens constructed with spruce based plywood sheathing were found to represent the lower bound for shear wall strength and stiffness. Wall specimens constructed with sheathing panels of this species make-up were used to develop the final recommended design parameters. This research concludes that a resistance factor (f) of 0.7 should be used for limit states design calculations for walls subjected to wind or seismic loading as determined from the 2005 NBCC. It was determined that an overstrength factor of 1.2 should be used for capacity design calculations of all non-fuse elements that are part of the seismic force resisting system. It was found that a ductility-related force modification factor (Rd) of 2.5 and an overstrength-related force modification factor (Ro) of 1.7 should be used for the calculation of seismic design forces using the 2005 NBCC. Yield strength (Fy) and elastic stiffness design values for various wall configurations are presented in this report.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University

Research Center/Lab(s)

Wei-Wen Yu Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures


McGill University

Publication Date

01 Nov 2006

Document Version

Final Version


© 2006 McGill University, All rights reserved.


Project Supervisor: Colin Rogers, PhD

Document Type

Technical Report

File Type




Language 2