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Spec'ing PEMBs [was Slender CMU Wall Design]

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> From: "Michael L. Hemstad" <>

> If memory serves, I ended up specifying a deflection limit for the PEMB
> of Ht/200 under the DESIGN wind, at which point the rep I was working
> with just went nuts.  They're used to Ht/100 or worse under a 10-year
> wind.  It probably still wasn't stiff enough, but I don't know, as I've

Find another manufacturer to work with if they balk at your specs.

> never been back to the jobsite.  My client couldn't find a contractor to
> bid the job (that, of course, was my fault too) and when he finally did
> the guy knew he could do whatever he wanted, and did.  My client did me
> the huge favor of deselecting me for construction inspection (he allowed
> as that he knew enough to do it himself) and I quietly thanked God and
> left.

This is one of the many reasons that PEMB's get a bad reputation. They
are the low-dollar project and everybody is chasing pennies. All too
often, while doing site review, I hear the dreaded, "that's the way
we've always done it!", while I look in amazement at something that
doesn't resemble the design drawings in any form.

> In general, every time I've tried to do something with a PEMB that was
> not right out of their catalog, I've regretted it or cost my client
> money (usually both).  As a result, I've come to have something of an
> attitude toward them.  With how well I hide it, you may not have
> noticed.

I make a good buck working both sides of the street (hold the jokes)...
advising consultants on how to do it properly and saving manufacturers
from self-destruction. Then there are the back alleys (anybody looking
for a hangar to hold 3 747s?) full of people with a little bit of

> As Paul Ransom said yesterday (Geez, Paul, take a day off once
> in a while)

Make hay while the sun shines. :)

Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
<mailto:ad026(--nospam--at)> <>

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