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Rich - More information is needed.  Are you talking about partial height CMU
walls, or full height?  Are the infill walls "enclosing" a level, or are
they for example at a garage level?

The trick is usually to provide gaps between the columns and the wall, in
order to prevent their interaction (more applicable to partial height walls
which would create a short column), while at the same time providing
restraint to keep the wall stable for out of plane (face) loading.

Depending on the architectural constraints, you may try gapping the wall
then providing steel angles on both faces to stabilize it out of plane.
Your gap requirements would be based on the expected maximum drift for your
particular structure (or an assumed conservative drift level of say 2.5%).

This becomes a bit trickier if you have partial height walls, since archs
don't often like steel angles bulging out of their columns.  If the partial
height wall is low enough, you can cantilever it an eliminate the angles.

Perhaps you could give some more info on this?

T. Eric Gillham PE
GK2 Inc.
PO Box 3207  Agana, Guam  96932
Email - gk2(--nospam--at)
Ph:  (671) 477-9224
Fax: (671) 477-3456
-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Lewis <rlewis(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at) <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Date: Wednesday, June 16, 1999 4:16 PM
Subject: Seismic - Isolating CMU infill wall

>I am designing a 2 story concrete framed building in a seismic zone 3.
>will be some CMU infill walls at the building perimeter.  I know if the CMU
>is built tight to the concrete column it increases the shear in the column.
>What are some good details for isolating the CMU infill wall from the
>concrete frame?
>Richard Lewis, P.E.
>Missionary TECH Team
>The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
>may turn to for technical assistance and know-how.