Starting Out

Open a new project or use an existing project. Choose the Wood Shearwall Deisgn Module icon located in the design module dropdown to the left of the username, shown here:

Use the properties toolbar on the left side of the screen and make sure all properties are set to their desired state. Double check that the species and grade have been set to something, not having these set will cause an immediate fail of the shearwall calculations. This will also be where lateral loads are added to the shearwall or shearwall line.

Set the Properties

On the left side of the screen is the Properties tab, work progressively from top to bottom to specify the desired properties. The template is used to set predetermined properties. As you move down the properties new selection dropdowns may appear based on previous dropdown selections.

At the top of the properties tab is the LRFD/ASD design options, as well as the dry or wet factors button. The pictures above shows LRFD and Dry. The picture below shows ASD and wet. Click the icons to toggle back and forth between the two options for each.


  • (Template) Select the template or leave as is to make no changes.
  • (Material) This is locked to solid sawn for the main material. Headers and columns been set to various materials if desired.
  • (Species) Select the stud species.
  • (Grade) Select the grade of the studs being used.


  • (Wind Load) Input the horizontal wind point load to be applied to the shearwall entire line.
  • (Seismic Load) Input the horizontal seismic point load to be applied to the shearwall entire line.
  • (SDS) Input the Design Earthquake Spectral Response Acceleration parameter at short periods, SDS.


  • (Wall Height) Input the wall height in ft and select or input the on center spacing of the studs.
  • (Stud Type) Select the type of stud being used for wall construction.


  • (Temperature Factor) Select in service temperature range to apply any temperature factor to the design.


  • (Sheathing Type) Select the sheathing type used for the wall.
  • (Override Panel Thickness) Check this and select the desired panel thickness if you wish to choose the panel thickness to be used in the calculations.
  • (Override Nail Spacing) Check this and select the desired nail spacing if you wish to choose the nail spacing to be used in the calculations.
  • (Blocked or Unblocked) Choose if the shearwall line is blocked or unblocked.
  • (Moisture Fabrication) Input the moisture content for fabrication conditions.
  • (Moisture In-Service) Input the moisture content for in-service conditions.
  • (Single Sided or Double Sided) Choose if the shearwall line is single or double sided sheathing.

Drawing the shearwall

Drawing the shearwall is a simple as click and type. Upon initial open of the design module a template wall will have already been created and the elevation view will be shown.

Use the add and delete buttons, located on the right side of the toolbar between the elevation and plan views, to add more walls to the shearwall line.

The two popups below will come up when using the add button. If the previous wall was an in-plane wall then the arrow can be toggled for up and down for an out-of-plane offset wall. If the previous wall was an offset the direction of the arrow will be right.

The delete button will remove the furthest right wall, one by one.

Here is an example of a shearwall line with 2 two offsets and a total of five individual studwalls. Additionally, in this image the sheathing texture checkbox has been check and toggled to see the sheathing on the wall.

Studwall Inputs

Each wall section in the shearwall module can be double clicked to open it’s own studwall module for inputting openings and additional loads. When added the walls that have not been opened or design will appear highlighted in red in the plan view. After opening and saving their designs the red will go away. Please refer to the studwall module walkthrough for all the capabilities and how to use it.

Studwall Design Module Walkthrough

Each wall section will need to be opened and saved individually. After they have all been saved, use the lock button, located on the left side of the toolbar between the elevation and plan views, to set the shearwall line and bring up the calculation options on the left toolbar typically used for adding loads.

Running a Calculation

Once the lock button has been set, the three calculation methods will appear as buttons on the toolbar on the left side of the elevation view. The sheathing checkbox will be checked to visually indicate the wall is locked and ready for calculations.

From there you can choose from three different analysis methods shown in the left toolbar of the top loading diagram. In descending button order these are: Full-Height Wall Segment, Perforated, or Force Transfer Around Openings.

Upon clicking either of these buttons, start buttons will appear on full height panels that per code requirements are allowed to be used in the shearwall analysis.

After a start location is selected end buttons will appear, click on the furthest end you want to encapsulate this analysis method section.

After an end has been selected, all the available sections will be highlighted in red with X’s located in the middle. The X’s can be clicked and used to remove a section/panel from the analysis.

Once all the panels have been selected, click the calculate button. The calculations will run in the background and text will display in the middle toolbar indicated if the design has passed or failed.

Quick Tip!

The shearwall analysis is not locked to one type. In the longer shearwall line shown earlier with 5 total wall, you could choose Perforated or Force Transfer Around Openings for the section with openings and segmented for the rest.

Clicking the print preview button will bring up a popup with a a full report of the calculation results for more information on the shearwall design.

The second button to the right will clear the calculations and unlock the walls to be redesigned.

These are the steps to creating a new wood shearwall in The Vitruvius Project.