Current design provisions comprise broadly described information for the detailing of reinforcement around the openings of pierced shear walls. To address this deficiency, the load capacity and stress distribution around the openings were analyzed by conducting three-dimensional (3D) nonlinear pushover analyses on typical shear wall dominant building structures. The diaphragm flexibility, behavior of transverse walls and slab-wall interaction during the 3D action were investigated in addition to effects of 3D and 2D modeling on the capacity evaluation. An effort was spent to illuminate the significance of different size and location of openings within the pierced walls having variable reinforcement ratios. The results of this study indicated that the stress flow and crack patterns around the openings of the 3D cases were drastically different than those computed for the 2D cases. The tension-compression coupling effects caused by the wall-to-wall and wall-to-slab interactions provided a significant contribution for increasing the global lateral resistance.