Despite the widespread use of light-frame timber construction in residential building, wood design courses are typically offered to graduate students and focus on member-level calculations for gravity and lateral systems per the National Design Specification (NDS) for Wood Construction. In years prior, the 10-week advanced undergraduate class described in this paper exposed students through a system-level perspective through a group design project of a multistory, mixed-use wood building located in a seismic region. A significant course modification in Fall 2020 involved the two class sections constructing and testing large-scale wood shear walls representing a one-story segment of a wall present in their multi-story building project: (i) segmented and (ii) force transfer around openings (FTAO) shear walls. The stages of each shear wall experiment included: design calculations and drawings, fabrication of wall specimens, experimental test set-up, conduct of test, and analysis of data.

This new activity exposed students to additional technical concerns related to constructability and seismic performance of shear walls. Also, it promoted development of skills in project management and teamwork. Feedback collected via surveys of the students indicated that the addition of the timber shear wall experiment allowed students to physically comprehend how these structural components are assembled and behave under loading.


Architectural Engineering

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/aen_fac/145