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SEAOCC Wood Design and Detailing Seminar
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Michelle Kam-Biron will be presenting Design Example of Shear Equal Deflection Requirements 2015 SDPWS and Fire Resistance Design for Wood Construction - A Primer for Structural Engineers

When: Thursday, March 8, 2018
From 8am - 5pm
Where: City of West Sacramento, Community Center
1075 West Capitol Avenue
West Sacramento, California  95691
United States
Contact: Sonia Eliseo

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Michelle Kam-Biron will be presenting two topics at this all day seminar.

Design Example of Shear Equal Deflection Requirements 2015 SDPWS

AWC's 2015 Special Design Provisions for Wind and Seismic (SDPWS) is referenced in the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) for design of structures using wood shear walls and diaphragms to resist wind and seismic lateral loads. Provisions in the SDPWS contain the equal deflection requirement for distribution of shear to shear walls in a line which can be met either by calculation of shear wall deflections or use of reduced design unit shear strength. This course will discuss the 2015 SDPWS provisions for distributing shear using the deflection calculation approach and effects on calculated design shear capacity of a shear wall line. It will be compared to the adjustment factor approach which permits distribution of shear in proportion to strength where reduced strengths are determined by use of the 2bs/h factor for wood structural panels. Allowable stress design (ASD) examples, excerpted from the 2015 SDPWS Commentary are included.

Learning Objectives

On completion of this course, participants will:

  1. Be able to understand the 2015 SDPWS provisions for distribution of shear to shear walls in a line
  2. Be familiar with the 2015 SDPWS provisions for shear distribution based on either i) deflection calculation, or ii) use of reduced shear strengths in accordance with the 2bs/h factor for wood structural panels
  3. Be able to understand how distribution of shear provisions affects design shear capacity of shear walls in a line
  4. Be familiar with new strength reductions for shear walls based on shear wall aspect ratio

Fire Resistance Design for Wood Construction - A Primer for Structural Engineers 

Determining proper code applications for designing for fire-resistance in wood-frame construction can be challenging. This presentation will include code requirements, compliance options, and nuances related to fire-resistance rated assemblies, fire design of exposed wood members, and flame-spread performance of wood products. Included will be design examples for calculating fire-resistance for exposed wood members and the component additive method for assemblies.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion, participants will be better able to:

  1. Apply approved methods and alternatives for establishing the fire-resistance of wood building elements.
  2. Identify some distinguishing characteristics of fire-resistance rated exterior walls, fire walls, fire barriers, and fire partitions.
  3. Understand the basic fire-resistance design procedures for wood frame assemblies and certain exposed wood members.
  4. Understand code requirements for flame spread performance of wood products.


Michelle Kam-Biron is a California licensed structural engineer and Senior Director of Education for the American Wood Council (AWC) where she is expanding continuing education resources for architects, engineers, and building officials as well as coordinating the development of university level wood design course. Before joining AWC, she worked for nearly five years in the wood industry as the Senior Technical Director – National Lead Mid-rise/Multi-family Construction for the Wood Products Council initiative WoodWorks. Ms. Kam-Biron has authored several articles and white papers related to the use of structural wood. She also has over 20 years of experience managing and designing a wide range of projects of various structural materials as well as Division of State Architect contract plan review. Ms. Kam-Biron graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Architectural Engineering (ARCE) and has served on the ARCE Industry Advisory Council. She is a certified Earthquake Disaster Assessment volunteer and a member of the International Code Council. She also volunteers her time on the National Council of Structural Engineers Association (NCSEA) Basic Education and California Building Officials (CALBO) Structural Safety Committees, is Chair of American Society of Civil Engineers Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE-SEI) Wood Education Committee, a former Director for Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) and Past-President for Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC).


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