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Re: Shear Capacity:Sandstone

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Evaluation of a building of stone masonry in a seismic zone is usually best
done using the criteria of the Uniform Code For Building Conservation.  The
1997 edition is available from the International Conference of Building
Officials.

The appropriate shear value will have to be determined by testing.  Stone and
mortar used for stone masonry in different times and locations by builders of
differing purpose and skill has so much variation that there is no way to
generalize.  Design of a test procedure for in-place shear testing of stone
masonry should start with the basic approach of UBC Standard 21-6.  However,
since stone masonry may vary from coursed ashlar (which probably can be tested
using the procedure of UBC Std. 21-6) to random ashlar, to as-found random
rubble, ingenuity may be needed to device a useful test.  

You may contact me directly if you wish to provide specific details of your
project.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer