Effect of Diaphragm Stiffness on Lateral-Load Distribution

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The following Figure illustrates the effect of diaphragm stiffness on the distribution of lateral loads to the lateral-load-resisting elements. The building shown in the figure has three walls of equal lateral stiffness. If the diaphragm is essentially rigid in-plane and there is no torsion, all three walls will displace by the same amount, and each wall will resist one-third of the total lateral load, as shown in Fig. a. On the other hand, if the diaphragm is very flexible relative to the walls, the two end walls will each resist approximately a quarter of the lateral shear and the center wall will resist half of it, as shown in Fig. b.Effect of Diaphragm Stiffness on Lateral-Load Distribution

James K. Wight

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