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Re: Seismic - Isolating CMU infill wall

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Richard,

If the CMU infill is unreinforced and/or has no dowels to the foundation, it 
makes sense that it would increase the shear at the base of the column by 
attracting seismic shear (due to its rigidity) that it is unable to deliver 
to the foundation -- so it bears against the column, increasing the load in 
the base of the column.  Is that the case you are describing?  

If so why not include the CMU walls in the seismic load resisting system, 
reinforce them and dowel them to foundations designed to handle their seismic 
load?

The alternative, isolating them from the lateral load resisting system while 
keeping them restrained to the building could get fussy -- no suggestions.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer