Seismic Design and Performance Considerations for Anchored Masonry Veneers

June 29, 2011
Publication: 11th North American Masonry Conference, Minneapolis, MN (11 NAMC)

Abstract: Masonry veneers have long been a popular cladding choice for various building types constructed throughout the world. Due to their blend of pleasing aesthetics, efficient use of materials, and reputation for durability, single-wythe anchored masonry veneers with an integral drainage cavity have been a dominant and successful construction method for many years. Modern anchored masonry veneers must accommodate a wide variety, and sometimes conflicting, set of design objectives aimed largely at controlling moisture, differential building movement, and resisting externally applied forces from wind and earthquakes. In regions of high seismicity, understanding the interaction between these various design and detailing requirements is especially important due to the need to resolve relatively high in-plane loads that result from ground shaking. To explore these considerations further, the authors will provide an overview of current North American Building Code requirements for anchored masonry veneers and discuss their implications to designers and industry manufacturers. Following a review of current code requirements, several case studies are presented to illustrate the state of the art in seismic design and detailing methods and to discuss performance considerations for each.