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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Shiling Pei


An experimental research study was conducted to investigate the performance and design of perforated, light-frame wood shear walls. Experimental testing data used for the analysis was collected as part of studies conducted by three separate organizations: South Dakota State University, Simpson Strong-Tie Company, and the APA. Data from sixteen configurations with a total of thirty-two specimens were utilized in this study to investigate the performance of the perforated wood walls under shear loading. All of the walls tested were constructed with 2x4 studs and OSB sheathing using either the SSW, PSW, or FTAO design method. Three of the wall specimens were tested at SDSU. In-plane loading was applied to each specimen via a hydraulic actuator attached to one end of the wall top plate. All of the walls were tested using a cyclic loading protocol. During the experimental testing, instrumentation was used to record the load, top plate displacement, and forces in the hold-downs, anchor bolts, and straps. The scope of this study included a literature review of the theoretical background and prior experimental studies, instrumentation plan, construction and physical testing of specimens, data reduction, and a numerical and analytical study of the experimental results. The results showed that the current methods being used in design to calculate hold-down forces are largely non-conservative. Techniques for calculating theoretical strap forces were also investigated, with Diekmann’s method displaying the closest correlation with the experimental strap forces. Of the other two techniques investigated, the drag strut method almost always resulted in non-conservative estimations while the cantilevered beam method was mostly over conservative as well as highly variable in its conservativeness. The conservativeness of the shear wall design methods based on global strength was also examined, with the FTAO method being the most conservative. The FTAO method was also determined to be the most cost effective method to increase the capacity of a standard PSW designed shear wall.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Shear walls -- Testing
Shear walls -- Design and construction
Building, Wooden
Structural design


Includes bibliographical references (pages 203-204)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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