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Retrofit masonry reinforcing

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I have a project where an existing commercial building is to be remodeled.  The building has been gutted of all partition walls with only the structure remaining.  The exterior walls are 8” masonry.  Portions of the masonry are 8” CMU and portions are 8” slump block.  The problem is has been found that the walls are virtually unreinforced, even basement walls supporting 8’ of soil.  The basement walls are basically ungrouted also.  With no grout and no reinforcing the walls are in good shape to every ones surprise.  The new owner wants to retrofit these walls; the question is what is the most economical solution?  I feel that saw cutting face shells, drilling dowels to footings, adding vertical reinforcing to the walls and then grouting the cells is probably the solution.  I have done this before, but only for a couple of cells at a time around new openings and such, not for this extent.  There is about 600 L.F. of wall that needs to be retrofitted, with the walls about 8’ from floor to plate.  There have been other solutions discussed.  Steel sections attached to the wall at the interior and spanning from floor to ceiling, and steel sections partially embedded in a newly grouted cell are other solutions that have been discussed.


Have any of you done a lot of this before, and is this the usual preferred method, or is there a better solution?  Will spacing of the new reinforced cells be required to conform to spacing as required for new masonry construction?


Comments will be appreciated.



Joe Grill



Joseph R. Grill, P.E. (Structural)

Shephard - Wesnitzer, Inc.

Civil Engineering and Surveying

1146 W. Hwy 89A Suite B

Sedona, AZ  86340

PHONE (928) 282-1061

FAX (928) 282-2058