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Masonry Control Joints

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This may sound like a basic question, but I will ask it anyhow.

I have seen many details with a vertical rebar on each side of a masonry
control joint. If the wall spans vertically between supports, what is the
reason for these bars? Is it required to stiffen the edge of the wall
against out of plane loading? Is it the end of a shear wall because of the
discontinuity of the joint?

Is there a particular code that requires this? Is it necessary only in
seismic zones?

Jim Kestner
Green Bay, WI

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