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RE: jailbreak through CMU

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I had a pretty well known engineering friend tell me how he had a handy man type guy to build him a patio wall around his back yard.  The guy really seemed to know what he was doing, so he just let him work without bugging him at all.  The final product looked good, but when Northridge hit the wall basically fell down.  When he called the guy back, the guy explained that he thought the grout was to strengthen the cells that did NOT have the rebar in them. :)
Josh Plummer, SE

From: Jordan Truesdell, PE [mailto:seaint2(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2007 1:01 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: jailbreak through CMU

How (almost) timely; I just finished a value engineering exercise on a jail. Those cells were precast concrete - we didn't suggest any changes there.

I also saw the ungrouted cell with interest. I once had an owner-building as me how she was supposed to get the rebar into a window jamb after she set the solid precast lintel. She was quite surprised to find out that she had to grout those cells - she expected that putting the rebar in would be enough!