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URM: Shear and Tied Veneer Walls

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It has been my understanding for the last ten years, that if the 
veneer is tied properly to a URM wall (i.e., 9" URM with 4" 
veneer) that the full thickness of the wall can be used in the 
pier analysis.
Has there been any changes in the last few years that removes 
the veneer from the in-plane pier analysis. It is my opinion 
that the ties and mortar binding the veneer to the wall make it 
act with the wall in shear in an equal capacity as the header 
courses with a low collar joint would perform.
I'd appreciate your comments ASAP since I have to respond to a 
proposal for another firm that wants to disregard the veneer and 
Gunnite the building.
One more thing, if the veneer is tied, is the H/t ratio 
maintained by the thickness of the wall including the veneer. 
Again, this is how we had been doing it for the last ten years 
of so, but if there has been a change previously, I would like 
to know.

Dennis Wish PE