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Steel Strong-Wall® Garage Portal Systems on Concrete Foundations

Simpson Strong-Tie® offers a Steel Strong-Wall shearwall option for garage portal systems which combines simplified installation with superior performance.

  • Higher allowable loads with reduced concrete anchorage requirements (see Alternate Garage Front Options below for other options)
  • Same anchor bolt template
  • Complete kit available to simplify the connection to the header or beam

See product data and naming scheme information.

Suggested Example Specification: SSW12x7 with SSWP-KT

Garage Header Rough Opening Height

Table: Garage Header Rough Opening Height
  1. The height of the garage curb above the garage slab is critical for rough header opening at garage return walls.
  2. Shims are not provided with Steel Strong-Wall.
  3. Furring down garage header may be necessary for correct rough opening height.
  4. Refer to wall dimensions.
Drawing: Exterior face


  • Portal Frame Connection Kit is required to achieve increased load values listed for portal frame system.
  • SSWPS straps must be installed on exterior face of the Steel Strong-Wall shearwall. Position header flush with exterior face of the Steel Strong-Wall shearwall.
  • Do not cut the Steel Strong-Wall or enlarge existing holes. Doing so will compromise the performance of the wall.
  • Do not use an impact wrench to tighten nuts on the anchor bolts.
  • Maximum shim thickness between the Steel Strong-Wall and header is 7/8" using Simpson Strong-Tie Strong-Drive® 1/4" x 3 1/2" SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws.
  • Walls with 2x4 preattached studs may also be used in 2x6 wall framing. Install the wall flush to exterior face of the framing and add furring to the opposite side.
  • Walls may be installed with solid headers in all cases or multi-ply headers in Wind and SDC A-C, see detail 11/SSW2.

Portal Frame Connection Kit

Table: Portal Frame Connection Kit
Drawing: Installation reflecting lateral load requirements of a single-wall portal system
This installation reflects lateral load requirements of a single-wall portal system.
It is the designer’s responsibility to provide a complete load path for all loads in accordance with the governing codes.
Refer to footnotes 2, 4 and 9.
Table: Single-Wall Garage Portal System
  1. Allowable shear loads and anchor tension forces are applicable to Single-Wall Garage Portal System installation on concrete with minimum f'c = 2,500 psi using the ASD basic (Section 1605.3.1) or the alternative basic (Section 1605.3.2) load combinations. Load values include evaluation of bearing stresses.
  2. A Double-Wall Garage Portal System consists of two walls with a header continuous across both panels. The allowable load is twice the Single-Wall Portal value.
  3. For seismic designs based on the 2018 IBC using R=6.5. For other codes, use the seismic coefficients corresponding to light-frame bearing walls with wood structural panels or sheet steel panels.
  4. The minimum header size shown in the details is the minimum required for lateral rigidity of the portal system. Larger headers may be required due to vertical loading. Support post uplift connectors may be reduced where justified by calculations.
  5. Recommended header moisture content is 19% or less at time of installation.
  6. Allowable shear, drift and anchor tension values may be interpolated for intermediate height or axial loads.
  7. High-strength anchor bolts are required for anchor tension forces exceeding the allowable load for standard-strength bolts. High-strength anchor bolts are required for SSW12 when the seismic overturning moment (seismic shear x shearwall height) exceeds 61,600 in.-lb. See SSWAB anchor bolt information and anchorage solutions.
  8. Tabulated anchor tension loads assume no resisting axial load. For anchor tension loads at design shear values and including the effect of axial load, refer to the Strong-Wall Selector (include K factor in uplift calculations). Drifts at lower design shear may be linearly reduced.
  9. Longer header spans can be accommodated if larger headers are used such that equivalent stiffness is equal to or greater than that provided by the minimum header size and maximum length indicated.

Alternate Garage Front Options

These alternate garage front options may be used for applications when the Steel Strong-Wall shearwall is installed at the full height (option 1) or without the additional Portal Frame Kit (option 2), when higher capacity or reduced concrete anchorage are not needed. Refer to the Standard Application on Concrete Foundations for product data and allowable load values.

For Garage Wall Option 2, the designer shall design for:

  1. Shear transfer
  2. Out-of-plane loading effect
  3. Increased overturning and drift due to additional height
Drawing: Alternate Garage Front Options