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Allowable Out-of-Plane Lateral Deflections of Masonry Veneers

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Back in the early 1980’s I believe, when Architect’s started to go with gage metal stud back up walls in lieu of CMU, the resulting flexibility of the metal studs resulted in a number of problems with masonry veneers primarily as a result of water infiltration through the mortar joints as the brick flexed to a point in which there was actual separation between the brick and the mortar at the joint interface. The metal stud industry and brick industry began pointing fingers at one another with the BIA responding with an H/600 criterion. Most design engineers at the time had trouble accepting this criterion because after all L/360 had worked for stucco finishes for some time. Never the less the H/600 got codified into ACI 530 which adopted the criteria for vertical deflection only.


Does anyone have any insight into the current lack of connection between ACI 530 vertical deflection limitations and the current BIA recommendations for H/600 out-of-plane lateral deflection limitations?  This is an issue because the ACI is a Code and the BIA provides recommendations only.


D. Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE, SECB

Senior Project Manager

Structural Department


Schoor DePalma Engineers and Consultants

200 State Highway Nine

Manalapan, NJ 07726

732-577-9000 (Ext. 1283)

908-309-8657 (Cell)

732-298-9441 (Fax)