Old growth: our timber engineering heritage: shear panel performances

Hank Bier, Technical Editor

This issue of Old Growth is an extract from a TRADA Timber and Wood Products Manual dated December 1973. It is sourced from a workshop held at Canterbury University in the 70’s, and although very old, the table comparing shear
panel performances was referenced very recently in the context of evaluating the performance of old buildings for
seismic performance. When faced with diagonal sarking or timber board linings in old structures the results in Figure 1
can be quite helpful in making a quick assessment. Specifically, whereas it is tempting to say old timber board linings
provide limited or negligible bracing, the data shows that a diagonal pattern could be as efficient as plywood sheet
bracing and the contribution of such systems may warrant more serious evaluation for cash strapped building owners
wanting to upgrade the performance of their existing buildings. Much more is known about plywood shear wall detailing
and design these days as evidenced by the articles in this journal, but there are a number of other interesting historic
options in the extract. Please note that the techniques/technologies referred to in this paper (the papers reproduced in the Old Growth column) are historic and do not reflect current practice.


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