FWPA Building Innovations

Mid ply shear wall

Wood frame construction has evolved to include 3 or 4 storey multi-family residence. Large, long span openings and the use of concrete toppings have become common practice but these new construction practices can create additional demand on lateral load resistance. Mid ply shear walls are a modification to traditional wall framing where the plywood shear wall panel is situated between two studs turned flatwise. Multiple plywood layers can be used to achieve higher levels of lateral resistance compared to traditional shear walls.


Panels constructed with the mid-ply system have more than double the shear resistance of single face ply-braced panels. The nails are in double shear and more stud surface area is available for connection. This system could be very useful in situations where only short runs of wall are available for bracing. Also could be useful against seismic loads.


More stud timber required and a slightly thicker wall.


The concept of a glue free, nailed only, fully automated manufactured panel is appealing. Material cost would be a possible issue, but it may suit use of low grade timber, even so, the mechanical fixing detail may call for a better grade of plantation softwood than glued systems. The manufacturing process is sophisticated. Milling of the laminate edges and nailing requires accurate computer controlled equipment which may be expensive. Many standard details have been thought out but would need adjustment for local conditions and termite considerations.


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About FWPA

Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA), a not for profit company, is the Australian forestry and wood  products industry’s service provider, investing in research and development, and providing research results and generic promotions to the Australoian industry. FWPA aims to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian forest and wood products industry through innovation, investment in effective and relevant R&D and communication of the results to stakeholders. Read more about FWPA at www.fwpa.com.au

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Forest and Wood Products Australia
Level 11, 10-16 Queen Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

Phone: +61 3 9927 3200
Fax: +61 3 9927 3288
Email: info@fwpa.com.au