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Removal of Non-Load Bearing Walls

Removal of Non-Load Bearing Walls

Removal of Non-Load Bearing Walls

Hello everyone,

I'm a structural engineer who is currently working on residential-type projects and I seem to be getting conflicting information about what to do when a client wants to remove a non-load bearing wall. So, say you have a contractor call you up asking you for a letter for the city stating that the wall he is removing is non-loadbearing. You then look at the framing and determine that, yes, it is indeed a non-load bearing wall. What do you do at that point? On one hand, I've had colleagues who just write the letter, they remove the wall, done. However, I've had another colleague who felt that removing the wall (even though it's nonloadbearing) was going to affect the building's stability and, therefore, shearwalls are needed nearby to account for that which was removed. What do you think?

RE: Removal of Non-Load Bearing Walls

For residential, you would be under the IRC code in the US. That code provides for required spacing, layout, length, and construction of "braced wall lines".
The IBC has similar requirements in section 2308.

If you remove a wall, you need to look at the other remaining walls to see if you still meet the braced wall lines requirements.
If not, then yes, you need to provide something additional to meet the code.

It's not all just gravity design.

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