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If I may be so bold:  8" CMU, which is 27" tall is a bit too tall for my
taste.  How about 12" CMU to create a design which has a considerably lower
chance of collapse or major structural damage?  How about introducing
structural pilasters (16x32?) at about 20' or so along the wall where your
main structural girders attach to the wall and letting the wall span
horizontally to them?  Maybe this is why we don't too many of these types of
buildings in our office!

Bruce Resnick