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RE: mortar bed reinforcement

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It’s a function of wall type, typically…


Brick and block walls require ladder type due to the varying expansion coefficients

And moisture absorption properties.


Simple CMU walls typically utilize truss type reinf.



Refer to Christine Beall’s masonry design book:




David L. Fisher SE PE

Senior Director


Cape Cod Grand Cayman Holdings Ltd. - Cayman

Fisher+Partners Structural Engineers Ltd. - Cayman

372 West Ontario Chicago 60610

75 Fort Street Georgetown Grand Cayman BWI

319 A Street Boston 02210




312.573.1726 facsimile

312.622.0409 mobile





From: Andrew Kester, PE [mailto:akester(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 3:08 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: mortar bed reinforcement


What are the advantages of truss-type reinforcement vs ladder-type in mortar beds in CMU wall construction?

Opinions on is it really worth it for normal, everyday CMU walls, low(ish) shear, under 4 stories?

Is it worth the extra cost to specify?


Thanks in advance,



Andrew Kester, PE
Principal/Project Manager
Lake Mary, FL