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Reinforced Masonry Design and Construction

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Instructor Information: Alexander Newman, P.E., F.ASCE

Course Length: 1.5 Hours

This webinar was co-sponsored by ASCE's Structural Engineering Institute and ASCE Continuing Education. 

Purpose and Background

This webinar provides a concise and practical explanation of the relevant code provisions, current construction practices, and proven design details.  

The latest code provisions increasingly require that masonry in building structures be reinforced. Among other benefits, reinforced masonry is stronger and better able to resist lateral loading. It behaves in a more ductile manner than plain masonry, allowing for some deformation under load rather than brittle failure.

Some engineers may not be familiar with the design requirements and practices involving reinforced masonry. This webinar addresses the needs of these professionals by providing a concise and practical explanation of the relevant code provisions, current construction practices, and proven design details. The presenter highlights significant code changes that have taken place in recent years and explains how some new approaches help simplify and speed up the design.

Much of the presentation is devoted to explanation and illustration of the code provisions relating to design of masonry walls made with concrete masonry units (CMU), including two step-by-step design examples. In addition, attendees will learn how blocks are placed around steel reinforcement and how new products can help simplify this difficult task, whether providing two layers of reinforcement in CMU walls offers a path to construction savings, the significance of tolerances in masonry construction, and discuss many other practical topics.

Learning Outcomes/Benefits

  • Learn how to design reinforced-masonry walls in accordance with contemporary code provisions
  • Work through two step-by-step design examples
  • Discover proven details for reinforced-masonry construction
  • Examine some widely promoted designs that may not be as cost-effective as they sound
  • Find out how the seismic category of the building affects the spacing and amount of steel reinforcement in its walls

Intended Audience

Structural and civil engineers, architects, facility managers, and building officials seeking to broaden their knowledge of designing and building reinforced-masonry structures will benefit from this webinar.

Webinar Outline

  • Introduction
  • Reinforced CMU basics
  • Reinforced CMU construction details
  • Wall reinforcement
  • Wall details
  • Reinforced CMU design (with design examples)
  • On construction site