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RE: Concrete Masonry Load Bearing Buildings

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Actually designing the kind of buildings you mentioned in your region can be
simplified using CMU construction. You can come up with some design
standards for your company that will satisfy required parameters and then
evaluate their load carrying capacities. I personally like designing with
steel more than masonry....there is more engineering in steel design, and
the buildings will be lighter. For load bearing CMU buildings location of
control joints and details of reinforcement are among the important items.
The US Army Corps has a technical manual on CMU. It is called TM 5-809-3. It
has some standardized designs and tables that you might find useful.

Ghassem Khosrownia

-----Original Message-----
From: Randy Diviney [mailto:rsdiviney(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, October 07, 1999 7:05 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Concrete Masonry Load Bearing Buildings

I am a structural engineer employed by an architectural firm. We do mostly
education (80%) and medical facilities (20%). Recently the partners of my
firm requested we do schools as masonry load bearing rather than steel
frame due to costs. Our projects are all in the north east and usually 1 to
3 stories. I don't really care for the load bearing system. Perhaps it's
because I am so accustomed to doing steel frame. It seems I can handle
lateral loads and changing roof and floor elevations better with steel.

Does anyone have any thoughts on masonry load bearing vs steel?

- Cost, steel vs masonry?

- Resistance to seismic and wind loads?

- Quality control of construction?

- Anything to look out for?

- etc etc

Randy Diviney
Structural Engineering Dept.
Hayes Large Architects
Altoona, Pa