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Seismic - Isolating CMU infill wall

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If you have significant amount of infill on the perimeter, you might want
to include them in you lateral load resisting system.  The detailing for
nominally reinforced infill panels is much more reliable than if you wanted
to isolate the panels.

As far as increasing the shear demand in columns, by adding infill panel,
the columns may demonstrate shear critical (short captive column) behavior.
However, these columns can easily be designed to be flexure critical by
providing sufficient confinement.  This concern is a valid one for existing
(early 1900's) building where the columns are nominally reinforced for

The advantages that you get by integrating the infill panels into the
lateral load resisting system easily out-weigh the disadvantages.  The
advantages may include; smaller and lightly reinforced beams and column
frames, lower drifts etc.

Hope this helps


Niaz A. Nazir, PhD, PE