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Surface Bonded CMU Construction

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I'd like to hear some people's experiences with using surface bonded unit
masonry construction (ie - no morter between heads and beads of blocks, but
instead a thin concrete coat on interior and exterior).  NCMA publications
claim that out-of-plane bending is comparable to conventional construction
but vertical compressive strength of surface bonded walls is only half as
good as conventional construction.  Additionally, the method is supposed to
result in a 70% increase in labor productivity on unit masonry jobs.  How
does such construction fare under seismic loads?  Is the wall durable under
severe weathering conditions?

Thanks in advance,

Joe McCormick