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CMU Wall Reinforcing

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Drew -
I respectfully disagree with Mr. Fix's statement.  If you are designing a special reinforced masonry shear wall then this reinforcing spacing requirement must be met.  The reason this requirement is in the standard is to ensure that the pier does not lose stability and that it will be able to support whatever gravity loads are placed on it.  Yes the lateral shear may be small, but if the wall looses axial capacity after a few cycles and collapses then life safety is not met.  The work-around is to detach the pier from the lateral system and that is not an easy thing to do.  Depending on the case it may be more cost effective (both design fee wise and construction cast wise) to add in the additional reinforcing than to detach the pier from the lateral system.
Andre J. Sidler, S.E., P.E.
Sr. Structural Engineer
Port of Seattle
Seattle, WA
1 Message:0001 1
From: "Keith Erick Fix" <keith.fix(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: RE: CMU wall reinforcing


If the in-plane lateral loads are really low, is this really a shear =
wall? In other words, can the lateral force resistance be provided =
elsewhere? If the lateral force is resisted elsewhere, then the wall you =
described isn't a shear wall, and the rules change.

Keith Erick Fix
Principal Engineer
Red Pepper Consulting, Inc.

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