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Concrete Masonry Load Bearing Buildings

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Randy,

I would suggest that *all* concrete masonry, load bearing and non-load 
bearing, be designed as reinforced masonry using the minimum reinforcing 
requirements in the UBC for Seismic Zone 3 and 4.  The UBC requirements for 
minimum reinforcing in Seismic Zone 2 is based on HUD tests for small (2500 
sq. ft. max. roof area), single story, single family residences in Phoenix, 
Arizona, and is, in my opinion, wholly inadequate.  Somehow, this limitation 
got ignored starting in 1985, and the minimum reinforcing requirements in 
Seismic Zone 2 were extrapolated to include masonry construction of unlimited 
area and stories.

I believe that it is doubly important to use this in schools as children are 
the most precious things that parents have.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Randy Diviney wrote:

>>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<<