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RE: wind loads on CMU walls

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In addition to what Scott said, according to the "Guide to the use of wind
load provisions of ASCE 7-98", CMU design is done as C & C. If you have a
solid wall with no openings, and you are sitting down to figure out where to
put the filled cells, you can assume like others have said that TA= h x
1/3*h. I suppose if you already know you are going to use 4' oc spacing,
then use TA=h*4' . So you do not need to use an effective width less then
1/3 the span width. I generally model masonry walls, with and without
openings, much like Scott explained, as a wood framed wall. Your filled
cells are studs, your lintels above and below the openings as ledgers, etc.,
then take the TA of each member for your design. The filled cells to each
side of a large opening then need to be designed to resist large lateral
point loads from the lintels from the wall above the opening, just like in a
wood framed wall.

See pg. 118 of the above mentioned doc.


Andrew D. Kester, EI
Structural Engineer
Bentley Architects & Engineers
665 W. Warren Ave.
Longwood, FL 32750

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