Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Architecture - Architectural Engineering


John Lawson, Peter Laursen, and Brent Nuttall


The goal of this thesis is to determine whether continuity ties in large wood diaphragms are stiff enough to engage and provide diaphragm flexural stiffness in a collective chord model. Four series of continuity tie assemblies using Simpson Strong-Tie steel connectors were tested to determine the stiffness of each assembly. The results found from testing were applied to an example building and then analyzed using both the traditional chord method and the collective chord method.

The completed analysis on a typical size warehouse building showed that the collective chord model will act inadvertently on an existing building designed with a traditional chord, or alternatively will potentially act intentionally in the design of a new building. The relative stiffness of the continuity ties will determine if they engage and allow them to act collectively. The testing and analysis completed creates a basis for further research into the actual static and dynamic behavior of these diaphragms. The collective chord model does seem to be a reasonable approximation for how diaphragms actually behave. If more research is conducted into different shaped and sized buildings to confirm that the collective chord model will work on most buildings then it will be a more accurate way to design new diaphragms and analyze existing diaphragms than the current traditional model.