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[SEAOC] Masonry Shear Walls

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I have the following question regarding the maximum nominal shear strength 
values for masonry walls.

On a recent project I was evaluating the capacity of a two level parking 
structure with masonry shear walls using the strength design provisions in 
the 1994 UBC.  Table 21-J (p.2-353, vol. 2) states the maximum values for the 
following term:  V(n)/(A(e)*(f'm)^0.5) are dependent on the calculated value 
of M/Vd.  The table continues by stating that the term A(e) is limited to the 
range 250in.^2 - 380in.^2.  

If A(e) is refering to the area of the masonry shear wall then 380in^2 is 
equivalent to an 8" thick by 4'-0" shear wall.  This seems rather small.  

This limit on A(e) is puzzling to me.  When I looked in the 1991 UBC code 
Table 24-N everything was identical except that there was no 
restriction on the maximum value of the term A(e).

Does anybody know if the maximum value of A(e) in the 1994 UBC is correct and 
what the intention of that provision is ?


Stephen Fisher, PE