MARCH JLC 1997
by Patricia Hamilton
New custom-designed oceanfront
homes all seem to share one feature:
lots of glass looking out on the water.
In the case of one house we recently
built, the architect filled most of the
east side of the house with an expansive
two-story window-wall (see Figure
1), so no effective plywood shear walls
could be incorporated (see "Strength
of Plywood Sheathing," Practical
Engineering, 11/96). To achieve lateral
stability on that side of the house, we
integrated a structural steel moment
frame into the wood framing.
A Moment for Definitions
The word "moment" is a physics
term adopted by engineers to refer to
"the measure of a force with reference
to its effect in producing rotation."