Shear Wall Loading
The ILC's three-story shear wall is an eye-catching feature. The oval cylinder rises through three stories of the building and houses the Design Studio, the Active Learning Centre and the Teaching Studio. But the curving, three-story wall is also functional: it provides a significant amount of shear (lateral) building support.
Even though the ILC touches Goodwin Hall and Dupuis hall in several spots, it can not use those buildings for structural support; to meet earthquake codes, it must be able to completely support itself without transferring load onto other buildings; shear walls are specifically designed to provide horizontal support and stiffness to buildings.
In residential construction, shear walls are straight external walls that typically form a box which provides all of the lateral support for the building. In the IL Centre, as in most industrial buildings, the building envelope actually provides little to no lateral support; rather, the outside walls "hang" off the sides of the building and interior beams and columns support the structure. Additionally, the IL Centre's shear wall is also curved; this half-oval shape makes it even better-able to bear the building's horizontal load.
The shear wall also houses three cut-outs to demonstrate building concepts like rebar and a wall foundation. (Extra reinforcement has been added around the cutouts, since rebar is designed to work inside concrete - as a reinforcer - and does not provide sufficient support if concrete is not present). One cutout in the shear wall has been designed to expose structural rebar so that it can be monitored with a data acquisition system. Strain gauges can be mounted on the rebar in the vertical and horizontal directions to measure the effects of minor earthquake loads. The second cutout showcases a few different kinds of rebar materials used in modern buildings.