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Q: What design and detailing considerations exist when splicing shear wall top plates at wall discontinuities?
A: Disruption of shear wall top plates can occur for many reasons—e.g., the presence of a continuous structural steel column within the wall, installation of plumbing vents, change in wall widths, or a slight jog in wall position. In some cases, a shear wall’s top plates are used as chords and/or collectors for a diaphragm, meaning that discontinuities in the top plates create discontinuities in lateral load paths