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Everything You Need To Know About Shear Wall

In the world of structural engineering, a sheer wall is a vertical element of a system that is designed to resist in-plane lateral forces, typically heavy winds and seismic loads. Apparently, in many jurisdictions, the International Building Code and International Residential Code govern the design of Burbank shear walls.

What’s a Shear Wall?

While columns and load-bearing walls keep buildings straight up, carrying the compression load of the structure down to its foundation, the shear wall is something that keeps structures from blowing over, resisting the lateral forces of wind and seismic activity.

How Do These Walls Work?

Shear wall is a term for a wall that is specifically designed and constructed to resist racking from forces such as wind using masonry, concrete, cold-formed steel, or wood framing. These walls can significantly reduce the sway of the structure to reduce damage to the structure.

Pros and Cons of Shear Wall


  • Shear walls provide unmatchable strength, stability, and stiffness to a building.
  • These walls reduce the lateral sway of a building.
  • They can be easily implemented at the site.
  • They are thinner, which means they are lightweight.
  • They are highly effective in minimizing earthquake damage in structural and non-structural elements.


  • Shear walls are pretty complicated to construct.
  • They are flimsy when it comes to their appearance.
  • Shear walls have low stiffness and energy dissipation capacity.
  • Last but certainly not least, it requires large-moment connections.

What are the types of Shear Walls?

RC shear wall

RC wall consists of reinforced concrete walls and reinforced concrete slabs. These walls’ thickness range from 140 mm to 500 mm, and the thickness depends on the construction age and thermal insulation requirements. Usually, RC shear walls stay at the height of the entire building; however, some walls are closed to the road front or basement level to permit parking areas.

Plywood shear walls

Plywood is a standard material that is used within the building of shear walls. The development of prefabricated shear panels enabled these walls to reinforce small assemblies falling on both aspects of the opening. With sheet steel and steel-backed sheer panels at the structural location, it has become quite sturdy in seismic resistance.

Steel plate shear wall

The steel plate shear walls system comprises steel plate walls, a boundary column, and a horizontal backside beam collectively with the steel plate walls, while the boundary column acts as a vertical plate girder. These columns act as flanges of the vertical plate girder while the steel plate, on the other hand, serves as its web.

MIDPLY shear wall

MIDPLY shear walls are improved wood walls specifically designed to redesign joints between the sheathing and framing members. Within the MIDPLY wall design, a ply is positioned in the center of the walls between pairs of studs oriented at a ninety-degree angle relative to standard shear walls.

Final Thoughts

That’s everything you need to know about Burbank shear walls. These are the kind of walls you need as they transfer lateral forces from the outer walls, floors, and ceiling to the ground level in parallel directions. Consider contacting us at Bolt Down LA to learn more about their installation.

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