StiffWall® shear walls provide both lateral strength and stiffness. Lateral strength is needed to resist horizontal loads due to wind and earthquake forces. Properly designed and constructed shear walls transfer lateral forces to the next structural element in the load path below them, such as other shear walls, floors, or foundations.
Lateral stiffness is needed to prevent the structure from excessive side-sway. When shear walls are of adequate stiffness, they will maintain the lateral deflection or serviceability requirements of the building. In addition, buildings with sufficient lateral stiffness will suffer less nonstructural damage, further avoiding long-term degradation due to veneer cracking and water infiltration.
StiffWall® is custom designed and manufactured to meet the performance requirements of the project. Each component making up the StiffWall® is selected to meet or exceed both strength and stiffness requirements of the applicable building code. The Steel Network has optimized the design and fabrication of StiffWall® through a series of both component and full scale wall assembly tests, using state of the art technology to measure performance.
StiffWall® is designed to carry loads concentrically from the point of applied loads to the foundation or other termination point. Simple attachments are made at corners through the innovative Boot system.
StiffWall® Benefits That Add Value
US Patent #'s 6,892,504 & 7,788,878
|Please download the StiffWall Tech sheet (PDF) for further details|
- StiffWall® Design
- Planning Shear Walls
StiffWall® SW-S is a stick-build system that utilizes light gage straps on both sides of the wall for shear resistance. StiffWall® provides superior quality with high yield ASTM A653 steel and G-60 hot-dipped galvanized coating for long-term durability. The stiffening effects of sheathing are not considered in StiffWall shear resistance values.
StiffWall® is specified using simple nomenclature indicating only essential design requirements for each shear wall element. The design is ideal for job specific sizes with established load requirements.
Planning Shear Walls - Step-By-Step Design Procedure
To develop an efficient shear wall layout several factors need to be considered:
- Shear walls should be evenly distributed across the floor plan to reduce additional lateral loads resulting from torsional effects on the floor plan,
- Walls must stack vertically from top floor of structure to anchorage point or foundation,
- Height to Width aspect ratio guidelines should be observed in order to maximize effectiveness,
- Shear Walls located in load bearing walls may use floor dead loads with the appropriate load combination to offset uplift forces in the StiffWall,
- Shear walls may overlap when the available wall space has been depleted.