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RE: Masonry Shear walls

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It depends.  You could use the CMU as shear walls - but you have to design and detail them accordingly.  You have to provide a complete load path for your lateral force to get from the diaphragm into the cmu wall, while still allowing for your gravity system to deflect vertically.
Conversely, if you want to ignore the effect of the CMU backup - you need to detail the wall so that none of the lateral force is resisted by the wall - maybe by horizontal slots, or whatever. 
Bottom line is that the cmu would be so stiff compared to say a moment frame that you have to pick one or the other and detail for that choice.  I don't think you can just ignore more reason to use braced frames.
-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Triest [mailto:tatriest(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 12:40 PM
To: Seaint
Subject: Masonry Shear walls

This question pertains to CMU walls used for back-up to masonry brick.    How much capacity does CMU back-up distribute to the structural frame?  
Does anyone have information on the testing of this assembly?
I use RAM and was wondering if (how much) I can rely on the CMU for lateral resistance.

Terry Triest, EIT
Structural Engineer
P: 814-940-4041
F: 814-949-2644