College - Author 1

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 1

Architectural Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Architectural Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 2

Architectural Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Architectural Engineering



Primary Advisor

Michael Deigert, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Architectural Engineering Department


In a recent iteration of an upper-division engineering design lab course at Cal Poly SLO, students were challenged to identify and understand the probable failure mechanism of conventionally built plywood shear walls and hypothesize how they could delay or prevent common failure mechanisms to increase the overall lateral load capacity. After observing the results of a test on a conventional, code specified wall, a solution to integrate metal gauge strapping into edge nailing was developed to address the common failure mechanisms of nail head pull through and panel edge tear out. A shear wall with metal strapping installed between the nails and plywood face at panel edges was designed, built, and tested to investigate the outcomes of this solution. The results of “Mega Wall 1” testing warranted further investigation and a similar, more robust system, “Mega Wall 2” was designed, built, and tested. The results of both tests show metal gauge strapping increases the ultimate capacity and stiffness of solid timber shear walls. The results of these tests are promising, and future areas of inquiry are discussed. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2019198. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.