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Design of Masonry Shear Walls

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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

Masonry shear walls have been used in combination with all types of framing systems, from wood to concrete. The code provisions dealing with masonry engineering and detailing have undergone significant changes in recent years, and some formulas and design details used previously are no longer allowed. Conversely, some new approaches are now available to help simplify and speed up the design. From both standpoints, the designers need to become familiar with the latest practice.

The webinar provides a broad overview of the design methods for modern masonry shear walls. The bulk of the presentation is devoted to explanation and illustration of the code provisions for shear and flexure, including two step-by-step design examples. In addition, attendees will learn how to incorporate shear walls into steel-framed buildings, provide a complete load path from roof or floor diaphragms to shear walls, and deal with nonstructural masonry elements.

Many times the challenges facing structural engineers include checking the existing masonry shear walls and assessing their capacities for resisting lateral loads. While a comprehensive treatment of masonry renovation is beyond the focus of the webinar, some discussion on the topic is included. A step-by-step design example explains how to estimate the design shear capacity of an existing unreinforced brick wall with unknown material properties.

Learning Outcomes/Benefits

  • Learn how to design masonry shear walls in accordance with contemporary code provisions
  • Work through step-by-step design examples for fully and partly reinforced CMU shear walls
  • Discover proven details for incorporating masonry shear walls in steel-framed buildings
  • Discuss practical methods of detailing masonry shear walls and their connections to diaphragms
  • Examine the procedures for assessing structural capacities of existing unreinforced-masonry shear walls, including a design example

Intended Audience

Structural and civil engineers and building officials seeking to broaden their knowledge of designing masonry shear walls will benefit from this webinar.

Webinar Outline

  • Introduction: Types of masonry, design codes
  • CMU shear-wall construction details
  • Masonry design for shear and flexure
  • Shear wall design procedures and examples
  • Using shear walls in steel-framed buildings
  • Lateral-load path to shear walls
  • Checking existing shear walls, with a design example