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steel frame with masonry infills

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I am the project engineer for the owner of a four
storey steel framed school building with 6" CHB walls.

The building is about 12M wide and 62M long and 14 M
The frame is a special moment resisting space frame
and we are in seismic zone 4. I have little design
experience in steel framed buildings but I believe
that a dual system would be more economical here where
a load bearing 6" CHB wall could act as shear wall.

The design specifies that the CHB be laid 1/2" from
the steel columns and shall have 1/2" thick styrofor
to fill the gap. I find this to be unnecessary. I am
aware that masonry infills specially where there are
low windows can interfere with the frame action as
observed in RC construction in the past earthquakes
but RC columns can be designed against this by
providing more shear reinforcement above the window
level, for steel columns its different because the
section is the same for one length so the design for
maximum shear at the base of the column should be

I would appreciate some comments on this. Thanks.

Alex C. Nacionales, C.E.

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