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NCMA TEK

National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

ALL-WEATHER CONCRETE TEK 3-1B
Construction (2000)
MASONRY CONSTRUCTION
Keywords: cold weather construction, construction tech- Mortar and Grout Performance
niques, grout, hot weather construction, mortar, rain, snow, Hydration and strength development in mortar and grout
storage of materials, wet weather construction generally occurs at temperatures above 40oF (4.4oC) and only
when sufficient water is available. However, masonry con-
struction may proceed when ambient temperatures are below
INTRODUCTION freezing, provided the mortar or grout ingredients are heated
and the temperature of the freshly constructed masonry is
Masonry construction can continue during both hot and maintained above freezing during the initial hours after
cold weather conditions. The ability to continue masonry construction.
construction in adverse weather conditions requires consid- Mortars and grouts mixed at low temperatures have
eration of how environmental conditions may affect the longer setting and hardening times, higher air contents, and
quality of the finished masonry. In some cases, environmental lower early strength than those mixed at normal tempera-
conditions may warrant the use of special construction proce- tures. Water requirements to provide a workable consistency
dures to ensure that the masonry work is not adversely may be lower at cold temperatures. However, heated materials
affected. produce mortars and grouts with performance characteristics
One of the prerequisites of successful all-weather con- identical to those at the same temperature during warm
struction is advance knowledge of local conditions. Work weather.
stoppage may be justified if a short period of very cold or very
hot weather is anticipated. The best source for this type of Effects of Freezing
information is the U.S. Weather Bureau, Environmental The water content of mortar is a significant factor
Science Services Administration (ESSA) of the U.S. Depart- affecting mortar properties. When mortars with water con-
ment of Commerce. tents in excess of 8% freeze, the resulting expansion has a
Although “normal”, “hot”, and “cold” are relative terms, disruptive effect on the cement-aggregate matrix of the
building codes dictate when special construction procedures mortar (ref. 1). This disruptive effect increases as the water
are required. Typically, temperatures between 40 and 90oF content increases. Therefore, mortar should not be allowed to
(4.4 and 32.2oC) are considered “normal” temperatures for freeze until the mortar water content is reduced from the
masonry construction. initial 11% to 16% range to a value below 6%. Dry concrete
In both hot and cold weather masonry construction, the masonry units have a demonstrated capacity to achieve this
governing requirements are based on the ambient tempera- moisture reduction in a relatively short time, commonly
ture during the construction phase and the mean daily tem- within 3 to 5 minutes (ref. 1).
perature during the protection (curing) phase after construc- Grout is a close relative of mortar in composition and
tion. The ambient temperature refers to the surrounding performance characteristics. During cold weather, however,
jobsite temperatures when the preparation activities and special attention must be directed toward the protection of
construction are in progress while the mean daily temperature grout because of the higher water content and resulting
is the average of the hourly temperatures forecast by the local disruptive expansion that can occur from freezing of that
weather bureau over a 24 hour period. water.
Like mortars, grouts undergo the hydration process, gain
COLD WEATHER CONSTRUCTION strength, cool down, lose moisture to the adjacent masonry
units, and require protection through material heating or
Materials selected for normal temperature construction enclosures. Unlike mortars, grouts are confined within the
will generally require little change during construction in low enclosed cells of hollow concrete masonry units. To maintain
temperature weather other than to insure that their tempera- grout fluidity and mobility during placement, water content
ture is conducive to hydration of the cement. must be maintained at a very high level. These conditions

TEK 3-1B © 2000 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 3-1A)
make grouted masonry particularly vulnerable to detrimental not permitted to be used in mortar (ref. 3). The use of chloride
expansion with early freezing. Therefore, grouted masonry admixtures is discouraged in grout.
needs to be protected for longer periods to allow the water There are several noncloride accelerators for mortar and
content to be dissipated. grout available that do not have the problems associated with
chloride accelerators. While these accelerating admixtures
Cement can be of assistance in a cold weather environment project
During cold weather masonry construction, Type III, they must be used in addition to cold weather procedures and
high-early strength portland cement should be considered in not as a replacement for them.
lieu of Type I portland cement in mortar or grout to accelerate Actual antifreezes, including several types of alcohol,
setting. The acceleration not only reduces the curing time but are available. However, the bond strength of the masonry is
generates more heat which is beneficial in cold weather. typically reduced if used in quantities that will significantly
lower the freezing point of mortar. Therefore, true antifreezes
Admixtures are not recommended.
The purpose of an accelerating type of admixture is to
hasten the hydration of the portland cement in mortar or Material Storage
grout. Calcium chloride is an ingredient in many proprietary Construction materials should be received, stored,
cold weather admixtures. However, even small amounts of and protected in ways that prevent water from entering the
calcium chloride promote corrosion of metals embedded in materials. Sand, when bulk delivered, should be covered
or in contact with the masonry, can contribute to efflores- to prevent the entrance of water from rain or melted snow.
cence, and may cause masonry spalling. Accordingly, admix- Consideration should be given to methods of stockpiling
tures containing chlorides in excess of 0.2% chloride ions are the sand that permit heating when low temperatures

Table 1a—Cold Weather Masonry Construction Requirements (ref. 1, 3)

Ambient
temperature Construction requirements

25 to 40oF Do not lay masonry units having a temperature below 20oF (-6.7oC). Remove visible ice on
(-3.9 to 4.4oC) or masonry units before the unit is laid in the masonry. Heat mixing water or sand to produce
masonry units below mortar and grout temperatures between 40 and 120oF (4.4 and 48.9oC). Maintain mortar
o
40oF (4.4 C) above freezing until placement.

20 to 25oF Same as above, plus use heat sources on both sides of the masonry under construction and
(-6.7 to -3.9oC) install wind breaks when wind velocity exceeds 15 mph (24.1 km/hr).

below 20oF (-6.7oC) Same as above, plus provide an enclosure for the masonry under construction and use heat
sources to maintain temperatures above 32oF (0oC) within the enclosure.

Table 1b—Cold Weather Masonry Protection Requirements (ref. 1,3)

Mean daily
temperature Protection requirements

32 to 40oF Protect completed masonry from rain or snow by covering with a weather-resistive
(0 to 4.4oC) membrane for 24 hours after construction.

25 to 32oF Completely cover the completed masonry with a weather-resistive membrane for 24 hours
(-3.9 to 0oC) after construction.

20 to 25oF Completely cover the completed masonry with insulating blankets or equal protection for
(-6.7 to -3.9oC) 24 hours after construction.

below 20oF (-6.7oC) Maintain masonry temperature above 32oF (0oC) for 24 hours after construction by
enclosure with supplementary heat, by electric heating blankets, by infrared heat lamps,
or by other acceptable methods.
warrant. Bagged materials and masonry units should be Masonry should never be placed on a snow or ice-
protected from precipitation and ground water by storage covered surface. Movement occurring when the base thaws
on pallets or other acceptable means. will cause cracks in the masonry. Furthermore, the bond
Coverings for materials include tarpaulins, reinforced between the mortar and the supporting surface will be com-
paper, polyethylene, or other water repellent sheet mate- promised.
rials. If the weather and size of the project warrant, a
shelter may be provided for the material storage and Protection and Wind Breaks
mortar mixing areas. An enclosed construction site maintained at a tempera-
ture greater than 40oF (4.4oC) would be ideal for all cold
Material Heating weather construction. Specific minimum levels of protection
If climatic conditions warrant, temperatures of construc- and wind breaks are outlined in Tables 1a and 1b. Materials
tion materials should be measured. This can be accomplished commonly used for protection are canvas and synthetic
using a metal tip immersion thermometer for materials, coverings (reinforced polyethylene and vinyl).
mortar, and grout. The temperature of masonry units can be
measured using a metallic surface contact thermometer. Glass Unit Masonry
Although the Specifications for Masonry Structures For glass unit masonry, both the ambient temperature and the
(ref. 3) allows heating of either the mixing water or the sand unit temperature must be above 40oF (4.4oC) and maintained
to increase the temperature of mortar or grout, the most above that temperature for the first 48 hours (ref. 3).
convenient method of increasing the temperature during cold
weather is to heat the mixing water. Material temperature HOT WEATHER CONSTRUCTION
requirements for cold weather construction are given in Table
1a. High temperatures, solar radiation, and ambient relative
As indicated in Table 1a, the temperature of dry humidity influence the absorption characteristics of the ma-
masonry units may be as low as 20oF (-6.7 oC) at the time sonry units and the setting time and drying rate for mortar.
of placement (ref. 3). However, wet frozen masonry units When mortar gets too hot, it may lose water so rapidly that the
should be thawed before placement in the masonry. Also, cement does not fully hydrate. Early surface drying of the
even when the temperature of dry units approach the 20oF mortar results in decreased bond strength and less durable
(-6.7oC) threshold, it may be advantageous to heat the mortar. Hot weather construction procedures involve keeping
units for greater mason productivity. masonry materials as cool as possible and preventing exces-

Table 2a—Hot Weather Masonry Preparation and Construction Requirements (ref. 1, 3)

Ambient
temperature Preparation and construction requirements

Above 100oF (37.8oC) or Maintain sand piles in a damp, loose condition. Maintain temperature of mortar and grout
above 90oF (32.2oC) below 120oF (48.9oC). Flush mixer, mortar transport container, and mortar boards with
with a wind > cool water before they come into contact with mortar ingredients or mortar. Maintain
8 mph (12.9 km/hr) mortar consistency by retempering with cool water. Use mortar within 2 hours of initial
mixing.

Above 115oF (46.1oC) or Same as above, plus materials and mixing equipment are to be shaded from direct sunlight.
above 105oF (40.6oC) Use cool mixing water for mortar and grout. Ice is permitted in the mixing water as long as
with a wind > it is melted when added to the other mortar or grout materials.
8 mph (12.9 km/hr)

Table 2b—Hot Weather Masonry Protection Requirements (ref. 1,3)

Mean daily
temperature Protection requirements

Above 100oF (37.8oC) or Fog spray all newly constructed masonry until damp, at least three times a day until the
above 90oF (32.2oC) masonry is three days old.
with a wind >
8 mph (12.9 km/hr)
sive water loss from the mortar. Specific hot weather require- spreading mortar. This is no longer a requirement in the
ments of the Specifications for Masonry Structures (ref. 3) current document but the concept still merits consideration.
are shown in Tables 2a and 2b. Actual distance and time varies according to the site condi-
tions and should be determined on an individual basis. If
Additional Recommendations surface drying does occur, the mortar can often be revitalized
Masonry materials stored in the sun can become hot by wetting the wall to reintroduce water to complete the
enough to impact mortar temperatures. It is helpful if hydration process. If a fog spray nozzle is not available, care
materials can be stored in a shaded area. Dark colored should be taken to avoid washout of fresh mortar joints when
materials will heat up faster than lighter colored materials, using a higher pressure water spray.
and may require more protection from unwanted heat gain.
By the same token, water hoses exposed to direct sunlight can WET WEATHER CONSTRUCTION
result in water with highly elevated temperatures. To allevi-
ate this, a water barrel should be used. The barrel may be filled Masonry construction should not continue during rain. When
with water from a hose, but the hot water resulting from hose rain is likely, all materials including sand and units both on
inactivity should be flushed and discarded first. Additionally, the ground and on the scaffold should be covered. Newly
mortar mixing times should be no longer than 3 to 5 minutes constructed walls should be protected by draping a weather-
since long mix times can accelerate the mortar setting time. resistant covering over the wall and extending it below mortar
Mixing smaller batches of mortar also will help minimize that is still susceptible to washout. Partially set mortar during
drying time on the mortar boards. heavy downpours can be susceptible to washout of some of the
To minimize mortar surface drying, past requirements cementitious components resulting in reduced strength and
of Specifications for Masonry Structures (ref. 3) were to not possible staining of the wall. However, after about 24 hours
spread mortar bed joints more than 4 feet (1.2 m) ahead of of hardening, wetting by rain provides additional beneficial
masonry and to set masonry units within one minute of curing of the masonry (ref. 2).

REFERENCES
1. Hot & Cold Weather Masonry Construction. Masonry Industry Council, 1999.
2. Drysdale, Robert G., Ahmad A. Hamid, and Lawrie R. Baker, Masonry Structures Behavior and Design, Second Edition.
The Masonry Society, 1999.
3. Specifications for Masonry Structures, ACI 530.1-99/ASCE 6-99/TMS 602-99. Reported by the Masonry Standards Joint
Committee, 1999.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
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NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

CONCRETE MASONRY CONSTRUCTION TEK 3-8A
Construction (2001)

Keywords: ASTM specifications, bond patterns, cleaning, perform as a unit.
construction techniques, construction tolerances, grout, mortar. Grout is used to fill masonry cores or wall cavities to
improve the structural performance and/or fire resistance of
masonry. Grout is most commonly used in reinforced con-
INTRODUCTION struction, to structurally bond the steel reinforcing bars to the
Concrete masonry is a popular building material because masonry, allowing the two elements to act as one unit in
of its strength, durability, economy, and its resistance to fire, resisting loads.
noise, and insects. To function as designed however, concrete Reinforcement incorporated into concrete masonry struc-
masonry buildings must be constructed properly. tures increases strength and ductility, providing increased re-
This TEK provides a brief overview of the variety of sistance to applied loads and, in the case of horizontal rein-
materials and construction methods currently applicable to forcement, to shrinkage cracking.
concrete masonry. In addition, a typical construction sequence Specifications governing material requirements are listed
is described in detail. in Table 1.

MATERIALS CONSTRUCTION METHODS

The constituent masonry materials: concrete block, mor- Mortared Construction
tar, grout, and steel, each contribute to the performance of a Most concrete masonry construction is mortared con-
masonry structure. Concrete masonry units provide strength, struction, i.e., units are bonded together with mortar. Varying
durability, fire resistance, energy efficiency, and sound attenu- the bond or joint pattern of a concrete masonry wall can create
ation to a wall system. In addition, concrete masonry units are a wide variety of interesting and attractive appearances. In
manufactured in a wide vari-
ety of sizes, shapes, colors,
and architectural finishes to
achieve any number of ap-
pearances and functions. The
Concrete Masonry Shapes
and Sizes Manual (ref. 4)
illustrates a broad sampling
of available units.
While mortar consti-
tutes approximately 7% of a
typical masonry wall area, its
influence on the performance
of a wall is significant. Mor-
tar bonds the individual ma-
sonry units together, allow-
ing them to act as a compos-
ite structural assembly. In
addition, mortar seals joints
against moisture and air leak-
age and bonds to joint rein-
forcement, anchors, and ties
to help ensure all elements Placement of Concrete Masonry Units

TEK 3-8A © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 3-8)
Table 1—Masonry Material Specifications contains further information on this method of construction.

Units CONSTRUCTION SEQUENCE
Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90
Concrete Building Brick, ASTM C 55 Mixing Mortar
Calcium Silicate Face Brick (Sand-Lime Brick), ASTM C 73 To achieve consistent mortar from batch to batch, the same
Nonloadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 129 quantities of materials should be added to the mixer, and they
Prefaced Concrete and Calcium Silicate Masonry should be added in the same order. Mortar mixing times,
Units, ASTM C 744 placement methods, and tooling must also be consistent to
achieve uniform mortar for the entire job.
Mortar In concrete masonry construction, site-mixing of mortar
Mortar for Unit Masonry, ASTM C 270 should ideally be performed in a mechanical mixer to ensure
proper uniformity throughout the batch. Mortar materials
Grout should be placed in the mixer in a similar manner from batch
Grout for Masonry, ASTM C 476 to batch to maintain consistent mortar properties. Typically,
about half the mixing water is added first into a mixer. Ap-
Reinforcement proximately half the sand is then added, followed by any lime.
Axle-Steel Deformed and Plain Bars for Concrete The cement and the remainder of the sand are then added. As
Reinforcement, ASTM A 617 the mortar is mixed and begins to stiffen, the rest of the water
Deformed and Plain Billet-Steel Bars for Concrete is added. Specification for Masonry Structures (ref. 7) re-
Reinforcement, ASTM A 615 quires that these materials be mixed for 3 to 5 minutes. If the
Epoxy-Coated Reinforcing Steel Bars, ASTM A 775 mortar is not mixed long enough, the mortar mixture may not
Low-Alloy Steel Deformed Bars for Concrete attain the uniformity necessary for the desired performance. A
Reinforcement, ASTM A 706 longer mixing time can increase workability, water retention,
Rail-Steel Deformed and Plain Bars for Concrete and board life.
Reinforcement, ASTM A 616 The mortar should stick to the trowel when it is picked up,
Zinc-Coated (Galvanized) Steel Bars for Concrete and slide off the trowel easily as it is spread. Mortar should
Reinforcement, ASTM A 767 also hold enough water so that the mortar on the board will not
Masonry Joint Reinforcement, ASTM A 951 lose workability too quickly, and to allow the mason to spread
mortar bed joints ahead of the masonry construction. The mor-
Ties & Anchors tar must also be stiff enough to initially support the weight of
Steel Wire, Plain, for Concrete Reinforcement, ASTM A 82 the concrete masonry units.
Stainless and Heat-Resisting Steel Wire, ASTM A 580 To help keep mortar moist, the mortarboard should be
moistened when a fresh batch is loaded. When mortar on the
board does start to dry out due to evaporation, it should be
addition, the strength of the masonry can be influenced by the retempered. To retemper, the mortar is mixed with a small
bond pattern. The most traditional bond pattern for concrete amount of additional water to improve the workability. After a
masonry is running bond, where vertical head joints are offset significant amount of the cement has hydrated, retempering
by half the unit length. will no longer be effective. For this reason, mortar can be
Excluding running bond construction, the most popular retempered for only 11/2 to 21/2 hours after initial mixing,
bond pattern with concrete masonry units is stack bond. Al- depending on the site conditions. For example, dry, hot, and
though stack bond typically refers to masonry constructed so windy conditions will shorten the board life, and damp, cool,
that the head joints are vertically aligned, it is defined as calm conditions will increase the board life of the mortar. Mor-
masonry laid such that the head joints in successive courses are tar should be discarded if it shows signs of hardening or if 21/2
horizontally offset less than one quarter the unit length (ref. 2). hours have passed since the original mixing.
Concrete Masonry Bond Patterns (ref. 3) shows a variety of
bond patterns and describes their characteristics. Placing Mortar
Head and bed joints are typically 3/8 in. (10 mm) thick, except at
Dry-Stacked Construction foundations. Mortar should extend fully across bedding sur-
The alternative to mortared construction is dry-stacked faces of hollow units for the thickness of the face shell, so that
(also called surface bonded) construction, where units are joints will be completely filled. Solid units are required to be
placed without any mortar, then both surfaces of the wall are fully bedded in mortar.
coated with surface bonding material. Shims or ground units are Although it is important to provide sufficient mortar to
used to maintain elevations. This construction method results in properly bed concrete masonry units, excessive mortar should
faster construction, and is less dependent on the skill of the not extend into drainage cavities or into cores to be grouted.
laborer than mortared construction. In addition, the surface For grouted masonry, mortar protrusions extending more than
bonding coating provides excellent rain penetration resistance. 1/2 in. (13 mm) into cells or cavities to be grouted should be

Surface Bonded Concrete Masonry Construction (ref. 9) removed (ref. 7).
and angle of the corners. It is essential that the corner be built
The Importance of Laying to the Line as shown on the foundation or floor plan, to maintain modular
Experienced masons state that they can lay about five times dimensions.
as many masonry units when working to a mason line than when
using just their straightedge. The mason line gives the mason a Laying the Corner Units
guide to lay the block straight, plumb, at the right height, and Building the corners is the most precise job facing the
level. The line is attached so that it gives a guide in aligning the mason as corners will guide the construction of the rest of the
top of the course. wall. A corner pole can make this job easier. A corner pole is
If a long course is to be laid, a trig may be placed at one or any type of post which can be braced into a true vertical posi-
more points along the line to keep the line from sagging. Be- tion and which will hold a taut mason’s line without bending.
fore work begins, the mason should check to see that the line Corner poles for concrete block walls should be marked every
is level, tight, and will not pull out. 4 or 8 in. (102 to 203 mm), depending on the course height,
Each mason working to the same line needs to be careful and the marks on both poles must be aligned such that the
not to lay a unit so it touches the line. This will throw the line mason’s line is level between them.
off slightly and cause the rest of the course to be laid out of Once the corner poles are properly aligned, the first course
alignment. The line should be checked from time to time to be of masonry is laid in mortar. Typically, a mortar joint between
certain it has remained in position. 1/4 and 3/4 in. (6.4 to 19 mm) is needed to make up for irregu-

larities of the footing surface. The initial bed joint should be a
PLACING UNITS full bed joint on the foundation, footing, or slab. In some ar-
eas, it is common practice to wet set the initial course of ma-
The Foundation sonry directly in the still damp concrete foundation.
Before building the block wall, the foundation must be Where reinforcing bars are projecting from the founda-
level, and clean so that mortar will properly adhere. It must tion footing or slab, the first course is not laid in a full mortar
also be reasonably level. The foundation should be free of ice, bed. In this case, the mason leaves a space around the rein-
dirt, oil, mud, and other substances that would reduce bond. forcing bars so that the block will be seated in mortar but the
mortar will not cover the area adjacent to the dowels. This per-
Laying Out the Wall mits the grout to bond directly to the foundation in these loca-
Taking measurements from the foundation or floor plan tions.
and transferring those measurements to the foundation, foot- After spreading the mortar on the marked foundation, the
ing, or floor slab is the first step in laying out the wall. first block of the corner is carefully positioned. It is essential
Once two points of a measurement are established, cor- that this first course be plumb and level.
ner to corner, a chalk line is marked on the surface of the foun- Once the corner block is in place, the lead blocks are set—
dation to establish the line to which the face of the block will three or four blocks leading out from each side of the corner.
be laid. Since a chalk line can be washed away by rain, a grease The head joints are buttered in advance and each block is lightly
crayon, line paint, nail or screwdriver can mark the surface for shoved against the block in place. This shove will help make a
key points along the chalk line, and a chalk line re-snapped along tighter fit of the head joint, but should not be so strong as to
these key points. After the entire surface is marked for loca- move the block already in place. Care should be taken to spread
tions of walls, openings, and control joints, a final check of all mortar for the full height of the head joint so voids and gaps do
measurements should be made. not occur.
If the mason is not working with a corner pole, the first
The Dry Run—Stringing Out The First Course course leads are checked for level, plumb, and alignment with
Starting with the corners, the mason lays the first course a level.
without any mortar so a visual check can be made between the Corners and leads are usually built to scaffold height, with
dimensions on the floor or foundation plan and how the first each course being stepped back one half block from the course
course actually fits the plan. During this dry layout, concrete below. The second course will be laid in either a full mortar
blocks will be strung along the entire width and length of the bed or with face shell bedding, as specified.
foundation, floor slab, and even across openings. This will show
the mason how bond will be maintained above the opening. It Laying the Wall
is helpful to have 3/8 in. (10 mm) wide pieces of wood to place Each course between the corners can now be laid easily
between block as they are laid dry, to simulate the mortar joints. by stretching a line between. It should be noted that a block has
At this dry run the mason can check how the block will thicker webs and face shells on top than it has on the bottom.
space for openings which are above the first course—windows, The thicker part of the webs should be laid facing up. This pro-
etc., by taking away block from the first course and checking vides a hand hold for the mason and more surface area for mor-
the spacing for the block at the higher level. These checks will tar to be spread. The first course of block is thereafter laid
show whether or not units will need to be cut. Window and from corner to corner, allowing for openings, with a closure
door openings should be double checked with the window shop block to complete the course. It is important that the mortar
drawings prior to construction. for the closure block be spread so all edges of the opening
When this is done, the mason marks the exact location between blocks and all edges of the closure block are buttered
before the closure block is carefully set in place. Also, the brushed off with a stiff brush.
location of the closure block should be varied from course to Masons will sometimes purposefully not spend extra
course so as not to build a weak spot into the wall. time to keep the surface of the masonry clean during con-
The units are leveled and plumbed while the mortar is still struction because more aggressive cleaning methods may
soft and pliable, to prevent a loss of mortar bond if the units have been specified once the wall is completed. This is of-
need to be adjusted. ten the case for grouted masonry construction where grout
As each block is put in place, the mortar which is squeezed smears can be common and overall cleaning may be neces-
out should be cut off with the edge of the trowel and care should sary.
be taken that the mortar doesn’t fall off the trowel onto the The method of cleaning should be chosen carefully as
wall or smear the block as it is being taken off. Should some aggressive cleaning methods may alter the appearance of
mortar get on the wall, it is best to let it dry before taking it off. the masonry. The method of cleaning can be tested on the
All squeezed out mortar which is cut from the mortar joints sample panel or in an inconspicuous location to verify that
can either be thrown back onto the mortar board or used to it is acceptable.
butter the head joints of block in place. Mortar which has fallen Specification for Masonry Structures (ref. 7) states
onto the ground or scaffold should never be reused. that all uncompleted masonry work should be covered at
At this point, the mason should: the top for protection from the weather.
• Use a straightedge to assure the wall is level, plumb and
aligned. DIMENSIONAL TOLERANCES
• Be sure all mortar joints are cut flush with the wall, await-
ing tooling, if necessary. While maintaining tight construction tolerances is de-
• Check the bond pattern to ensure it is correct and that sirable to the appearance, and potentially to the structural
the spacing of the head joints is right. For running bond, integrity of a building, it must be recognized that factors
this is done by placing the straightedge diagonally across such as the condition of previous construction and non-
the wall. If the spacing of head joints is correct, all the modularity of the project may require the mason to vary the
edges of the block will be touched by the straightedge. masonry construction slightly from the intended plans or
• Check to see that there are no pinholes or gaps in the specifications. An example of this is when a mason must
mortar joints. If there are, and if the mortar has not yet vary head or bed joint thicknesses to fit within a frame or
taken its first set, these mortar joint defects should be other preexisting construction. The ease and flexibility with
repaired with fresh mortar. If the mortar has set, the only which masonry construction accommodates such change is
way they can be repaired is to dig out the mortar joint one advantage to using masonry. However, masonry should
where it needs repairing, and tuckpoint fresh mortar in still be constructed within certain tolerances to ensure the
its place. strength and appearance of the masonry is not compromised.
Specification for Masonry Structures (ref. 7) contains
Tooling Joints site tolerances for masonry construction which allow for
When the mortar is thumbprint hard, the head joints are deviations in the construction that do not significantly alter
tooled, then the horizontal joints are finished with a sled run- the structural integrity of the structure. Tighter tolerances
ner and any burrs which develop are flicked off with the blade may be required by the project documents to ensure the fi-
of the trowel. When finishing joints, it is important to press nal overall appearance of the masonry is acceptable. If site
firmly, without digging into the joints. This compresses the tolerances are not being met or cannot be met due to previ-
surface of the joint, increasing water resistance, and also pro- ous construction, the Architect/Engineer should be notified.
motes bond between the mortar and the block. Unless other-
wise required, joints should be tooled with a rounded jointer, Mortar Joint Tolerances
producing a concave joint. Once the joints are tooled, the wall Mortar joint tolerances are illustrated in Figure 1. Al-
is ready for cleaning. though bed joints should be constructed level, they are per-
mitted to vary by ± 1/2 in. (13 mm) maximum from level
Cleanup provided the joint does not slope more than ± 1/4 in. (6.4
Masonry surfaces should be cleaned of imperfections that mm) in 10 ft (3.1 m).
may detract from the final appearance of the masonry structure Collar joints, grout spaces, and cavity widths are per-
including stains, efflorescence, mortar droppings, grout drop- mitted to vary by -1/4 in. to + 3/8 in. (6.4 to 9.5 mm). Provi-
pings, and general debris. sions for cavity width are for the space between wythes of
Cleaning is most effective when performed during the wall non-composite masonry. The provisions do not apply to situ-
construction. Procedures such as skillfully cutting off excess ations where the masonry extends past floor slabs or span-
mortar and brushing the wall clean before scaffolding is raised, drel beams.
help reduce the amount of cleaning required.
When mortar does fall on the block surface, it can often Dimensions of Masonry Elements
be removed more effectively by letting it dry and then knock- Figure 2 shows tolerances that apply to walls, columns,
ing it off the surface. If there is some staining on the face of and other masonry building elements. It is important to note
the block, it can be rubbed off with a piece of broken block, or that the specified dimensions of concrete masonry units are
3
/8 in. (9.5 mm) less than the nominal dimensions. Thus a Location of Elements
wall specified to be constructed of 8 in. (203 mm) concrete Requirements for location of elements are shown in Fig-
masonry units should not be rejected because it is 7 5/8 in. (194 ures 4 and 5.
mm) thick, less than the apparent minimum of 7 3/4 in. (197
mm) (8 in. (203 mm) minus the 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) tolerance).
Instead the tolerance should be applied to the 7 5/8 in. (194
mm) specified dimension.

Plumb, Alignment, and Levelness of Masonry Elements
Tolerances for plumbness of masonry walls, columns,
and other building elements are shown in Figure 3. Masonry
building elements should also maintain true to a line within
the same tolerances as variations from plumb.
Columns and walls continuing from one story to an-
other may vary in alignment by ± 3/ 4 in. (19 mm) for
nonloadbearing walls or columns and by ± 1/2 in. (13 mm)
for bearing walls or columns.
The top surface of bearing walls should remain level
within a slope of ± 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) in 10 ft (3.1 m), but no
more than ± 1/2 in. (13 mm).

Figure 3—Permissible Variations From Plumb

Figure 1—Mortar Joint Tolerances

Figure 4—Location Tolerances in Plan

Figure 2—Element Cross Section and Elevation
Tolerances Figure 5—Location Tolerances in Story Height
REFERENCES
1. Building Block Walls, VO 6. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1988.
2. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530-99/ASCE 5-99/TMS 402-99. Reported by the Masonry
Standards Joint Committee, 1999.
3. Concrete Masonry Bond Patterns, TEK 14-6. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1999.
4. Concrete Masonry Shapes and Sizes Manual, CM 260A. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1997.
5. Inspection of Concrete Masonry Construction, TR 156. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1996.
6. Nolan, K. J. Masonry & Concrete Construction. Craftsman Book Company, 1982.
7. Specification for Masonry Structures, ACI 530.1-99/ASCE 6-99/TMS 602-99. Reported by the Masonry Standards Joint
Committee, 1999.
8. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90-00. American Society for Testing and
Materials, 2000.
9. Surface Bonded Concrete Masonry Construction, TEK 3-5A. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1998.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA Staff:
¨ R. L. Carter
¨ C. Clark
¨ L. Dunne
¨ D. W. Graber
TEK REVIEW AND COMMENT REQUESTED ¨ J. H. Greenwald
¨ J. R. Harke
¨ M. B. Hogan
¨ H. W. Junk
Date: March 19, 2003 ¨ B. R. KamHong
¨ R. D. Thomas
TEK 3-7A CM Fireplaces ¨ J. J. Thompson
State Alliance Reps:
TEK is an educational series directed to designers, contractors, producers ¨ Gene Abbate
and consumers. The series is intended to reflect state-of-the-art technology ¨ Robert Bertazon
¨ Joan Borter
in accordance with a consensus of experts. To help ensure this consensus,
¨ Jan Boyer
your review and comment is needed. Your comments, along with those
¨ James Darcy
from other reviewers, will be the basis for revisions. Your assistance in ¨ David Dimmick
maintaining this resource is greatly appreciated. ¨ Aleta Fairbanks
¨ Ben Fry
Return comments by: Wednesday, March 26 2003 ¨ Mike Johnsrud
¨ Wayne Kawano
To help your review, the following highlights items updated from the ¨ Roy Keck
previous version of this TEK: ¨ Paul LaVene
• Fireplace requirements were updated to the 2000 IRC ¨ Chris Lechner
¨ Donald D. Littler
¨ Andrew Mackie
Please return comments to Maribeth Bradfield via e-mail
¨ Robert Melton
(mb.bradfield@verizon.net) by fax (703-524-4277) or phone (703-599- ¨ Linda S. Muller
8234). ¨ Josh Naragon
¨ Charles Ostrander
Comments: ¨ Jeff Patterson
q See Attached q Reviewed/No comments q Not reviewed ¨ Otis Russell
¨ David Sethre
Specific Comments: ¨ Robert Sitter
¨ Mark Smith
¨ Jack Stubbs
¨ Ann Sullivan
¨ Robert Varner
¨ Linda Warden
¨ Richard Walter
¨ Tom Young
Other Reviewers:
¨ Don Beers
¨ Bruce Clark
¨ Allan Gow
¨ Jim Gulde
¨ Doug Jeffords
¨ Tim Mallis
¨ John Melander
¨ James McKinney
¨ W. David Miller
¨ Greg Page
¨ Don Sheffield
¨ Jeff Speck
¨ Ken Sroka
¨ Billy Wehunt
¨ Frank Werner
¨ Mark Wilhelms
¨ Daniel Zechmeister
\\KITCHEN\SharedDocs\TEK-rvw.doc ¨ Rob Zobel
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

CONCRETE MASONRY FIREPLACES

F T TEK 3-7A
Construction (2003)

A
Keywords: chimneys, construction details, corbels, walls, support for the combustion chamber and the hearth
fireplaces, fire protection, footings extension are necessary. The hearth extension may be sup-
ported by corbelling the masonry foundation wall, but is

R
usually provided by a poured concrete slab that also supports
INTRODUCTION the combustion chamber. Forming the concrete slab requires
“block outs” for external combustion air dampers and ash

D
The fireplace is an American tradition
and remains today a central feature of the
home. Concrete masonry, due to its inherent Air space
Chimney block Flue
fire resistance and beauty, is a popular and or concrete brick Chimney
Fire clay
versatile building material for fireplace con- flue liner
struction. Mantle
Noncombustible concrete masonry ef- Smoke Flue liner
dome support Smoke chamber,
fectively isolates the fireplace fire from Parging height ≤ inside
nearby combustible materials such as wood, Throat width of fireplace
damper opening
plastic and insulation. In addition, because Smoke
Lintel angle Parging
of concrete masonry's thermal mass, heat is shelf
stored in the concrete masonry itself. Thus, 8 in. (203 mm),
heat is not only radiated to the room from min.
the fire, but also from the concrete masonry Noncombustible
hours after the fire dies. Hearth, 4in. material
Combustion
Concrete masonry fireplaces are a safe Fireplace (102 mm) min. chamber
opening thickness
and efficient source of auxiliary heat when height
20 in.
(508 mm) min.
properly designed and constructed. All External air Ash drop
fireplaces contain essentially the same ele- damper
ments: a base, combustion chamber, smoke
chamber and chimney, as shown in Figure 1 External air
for a single opening fireplace. Require- Hearth supply register
Air
ments herein are based on the 2000 Interna- extension,
passageway
2 in. (51 mm) Non-combustible
tional Residential Code (IRC) (ref. 1). min. thickness forming
8 in. (203 mm),
Double joists
BASE min.
Concrete slab Base
The fireplace base consists of the foun- Temporary forming assembly

dation and hearth extension support. The Ash dump Cleanout door
foundation consists of a concrete footing
and concrete masonry foundation walls or a
thickened slab for slab-on-grade construc-
6 in. (152 mm),
tion (see Figure 1). Void areas are often min.
provided in the base to form an air passage 12 in.
Concrete footing
for external combustion air, an ash pit or (305 mm),
min.
both. Nonessential void areas should be
solidly filled with masonry.
Immediately above the foundation Figure 1—Single Opening Fireplace

TEK 3-7A © 2003 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 3-7)
drops if there are air passageways or ash pits incorporated into lining is used, this minimum thickness is 10 in. (254 mm).
the base of the fireplace. If permanent forming is required at The fireplace opening should be based on the room size
the top of the foundation walls, it must be a noncombustible for aesthetics and also to prevent overheating the room.
material. Temporary wood forming is typically used to pour Suggested fireplace opening widths are provided in Table 1.
the hearth extension support. The forming should be placed Once the opening width is selected, the dimensions of the
so that the projected slab will meet a doubled wood floor joist, masonry combustion chamber may be determined using Table 2.

T
and be such that it can be easily removed. The steel angle lintel used above the fireplace opening
The concrete slab should be 4 in. (102 mm) thick, should not be solidly embedded in mortar. With the ends free
reinforced and capable of resisting thermal stresses resulting to move, lintel expansion due to high temperatures will not

F
from high temperatures. crack the masonry. The use of noncombustible fibrous insu-
The hearth extension must extend at least 16 in. (406 mm) lation at the ends of the lintel angle will usually compensate
in front of the fireplace face and at least 8 in. (203 mm) beyond for this expansion and eliminate cracking problems.

R A
each side of the fireplace opening for fireplaces with openings
that are less than 6 ft 2 (0.56 m2). If the area of the fireplace
opening is 6 ft 2 (0.56 m2) or larger, the hearth extension must
be 20 in. (508 mm) in front of the fireplace face and at least
12 in. (305 mm) beyond each side of the opening. Because the
The size and position of the throat is critical for proper
burning and draft. The fireplace throat should be as wide as
the firebox and should be not less than 8 in. (203 mm) above
the fireplace opening.

D
hearth extension must be constructed of noncombustible SMOKE CHAMBER
materials, concrete brick or decorative concrete masonry
units are often used to construct the hearth extension. The smoke chamber consists of the damper, smoke shelf,
smoke dome and surrounding concrete masonry. The damper,
COMBUSTION CHAMBER which is critical for proper performance, is placed directly
over the throat. The metal damper, like the lintel over the
The combustion chamber consists of the hearth exten- fireplace opening, should not be solidly embedded in mortar.
sion, the firebox and surrounding masonry and the throat. When the fireplace is not in use, the damper should be closed
Fire brick, if used, must a conform to Standard
Classification of Fireclay and High-Alumina Re- Table 1—Suggested Width of Fireplace Openings Appropriate
fractory Brick, ASTM C 27 or Standard Specifica- to Size of Room (ref. 5)
tion for Firebox Brick for Residential Fireplaces, C
1261 (refs. 2, 3), laid to form a firebox wall thick- Size of room, Width of fireplace opening, in. (mm)
ness of at least 2 in. (51 mm). Fire brick is laid using ft x ft (m x m) in short wall in long wall
medium-duty refractory mortar conforming toStan- 10 x 14 (3.05 x 4.27) 24 (610) 24 to 32 (610-813)
dard Test Method for Pier Test for Refractory 12 x 16 (3.66 x 4.88) 28 to 36 (711-914) 32 to 36 (813-914)
Mortars, ASTM C 199 (ref. 4), with mortar joints 12 x 20 (3.66 x 6.10) 32 to 36 (813-914) 36 to 40 (914-1,016)
1
no larger than /4 in. (6.35 mm). The total minimum 12 x 24 (3.66 x 7.32) 32 to 36 (813-914) 36 to 48 (914-1,219)
thickness of the back and side walls must be 8 in. (203 14 x 28 (4.27 x 8.53) 32 to 40 (813-1,016) 40 to 48 (1,016-1,219)
mm) of solid masonry including the lining. When no 16 x 30 (4.88 x 9.14) 36 to 40 (914-1,016) 48 to 60 (1,219-1,524)
20 x 36 (6.10 x 10.97) 40 to 48 (1,016-1,219) 48 to 72 (1,219-1,829)

Table 2—Single-Opening Fireplace Dimensions, Inches (ref. 5)a

Opening Firebox Throat Smoke chamber Steel angles
Rear wall depth
Width Height Depth Width Vertical Splayed Width Height Shelf Length Size
height height depth
24 24 16 11 14 18 83/4 32 19 12 36 3 x 3 x 1/4
26 24 16 13 14 18 83/4 34 21 12 36 3 x 3 x 1/4
28 24 16 15 14 18 83/4 36 21 12 36 3 x 3 x 1/4
30 29 16 17 14 23 83/4 38 24 12 42 3 x 3 x 1/4
32 29 16 19 14 23 83/4 40 24 12 42 3 x 3 x 1/4
36 29 16 23 14 23 83/4 44 27 12 48 3 x 3 x 1/4
40 29 16 27 14 23 83/4 48 29 12 48 3 x 3 x 1/4
42 32 16 29 16 24 83/4 50 32 12 54 31/2 x 3 x 1/4
48 32 18 33 16 24 83/4 56 37 14 60 31/2 x 3 x 1/4
54 37 20 37 16 29 13 68 45 12 66 31/2 x 3 x 1/4
60 37 22 42 16 29 13 72 45 14 72 31/2 x 3 x 1/4
60 40 22 42 18 30 13 72 45 14 72 5 x 31/2 x 5/16
72 40 22 54 18 30 13 84 56 14 84 5 x 31/2 x 5/16

a For millimeters, multiply inches by 25.4.
to prevent heat loss. When a fire is started, the damper should the thickness of the flue lining to permit the flue lining, when hot,
be wide open. Once the fire is burning readily, the damper to expand freely without cracking the chimney wall. Note that in
should be adjusted to produce more efficient combustion. Seismic Design Categories D and E, additional reinforcement
Keeping the damper wide open reduces the fireplace effi- and anchorage requirements apply to masonry chimenys.
ciency. For convenience and safety, a rotary controlled damper To ensure the fireplace draws adequately, flue size is
that is adjusted with a control on the face of the fireplace is determined by the shape of the flue and either the size of the
preferred, since adjusting a poker controlled damper usually fireplace opening (see Table 3) or the chimney height.

T
requires reaching into the firebox. The chimney must extend at least 3 ft (914 mm) above the
The masonry above the damper should be supported on point where the chimney passes through the roof and at least
a second lintel angle rather than bearing on the damper. This 2 ft (610 mm) above any part of the building within 10 ft
lintel angle must be allowed to expand independently from the
masonry and thus should not be solidly embedded in the
masonry.

A
Immediately behind the damper is the smoke shelf, which
checks down drafts. Any down drafts strike the smoke shelf
F
(3,048 mm) of the chimney (see Figure 2). Higher chimneys
may be required for adequate draft. Good draft is normally
achieved with 15 ft (4,572 mm) high chimneys (measured
from the top of the fireplace opening to the top of the chimney).
The chimney must be capped to resist water penetration.

R
and are diverted upward by the damper assembly. The smoke A mortar wash that is feathered to the edge of the chimney wall
shelf may be curved to assist in checking down drafts, but flat is not an adequate cap. The cap should be either cast-in-place
smoke shelves perform adequately. or precast concrete, as shown in Figure 2. Metal pan flashing

D
The smoke dome should be constructed so that the side over the top of the chimney will also perform adequately.
walls and front wall taper inward to form the chimney support.
The walls of the smoke dome should be solid masonry or CLEARANCES AND FIREBLOCKING
hollow unit masonry grouted solid and should provide a
minimum of 8 in. (203 mm) of solid masonry between the Adequate clearance between combustibles and both the
smoke dome and exterior surfaces when no lining is used. fireplace and chimney is important to provide a safe solid fuel
When the smoke dome is lined using fire brick at least 2 in. (51 burning assembly. A minimum 2 in. (51 mm) airspace must be
mm) thick or vitrified clay at least 5/8 in. (16 mm) thick, this maintained between the front faces and sides of masonry
minimum thickness is reduced to 6 in. (152 mm). The inside fireplaces, or 4 in. (102 mm) from the back face, and any
of the smoke dome should be parged to reduce friction and combustibles, excluding trim and the edges of sheathing
help prevent gas and smoke leakage (when the inside is materials. The IRC (ref. 1) contains minimum clearances
formed by corbelling the masonry, this parging is required). between masonry fireplaces or chimneys and exposed com-
For ease of construction, a high form damper may be bustible trim and the edges of sheathing materials such as
used. High form dampers are constructed such that the damper, wood siding, flooring and drywall as well as mantles. These
smoke shelf and smoke dome are contained in one metal unit. air spaces should be firestopped using noncombustible mate-
In addition, fireplace inserts may be used. Inserts include the rials as precribed by the building code.
elements of the high form damper as well as the firebox. The A 2 in. (51 mm) clearance is required around the perim-
inserts are placed directly on the firebrick hearth. eter of the chimney wall. This clear space should be firestopped
in the same manner as described for fireplaces. If the entire
FLUE AND CHIMNEY perimeter of the chimney wall is outside the building, exclud-
ing soffits or cornices, the clearance between the chimney
The chimney should be positioned so that it is centered on wall and combustibles may be reduced to 1 in. (25 mm).
the width of the fireplace and the back of the flue liner aligns
with the vertical rear surface of the smoke dome. This con- ENERGY EFFICIENCY
figuration funnels the smoke and gases from the fire into the
chimney. The chimney is constructed directly on the smoke Proper fireplace design and operation helps maximize
chamber and consists of a flue liner and a chimney wall. For the efficiency. Maintaining efficient fuel consumption by
residential fireplaces, the flue lining may be a clay flue lining properly adjusting the damper is critical. There are several
complying with Standard Specification for Clay Flue Lin- other ways to significantly improve the performance of the
ings, ASTM C 315 (ref. 6), a listed chimney lining system concrete masonry fireplace. For example, positioning the
complying with Standard for Safety for Chimney Liners, UL fireplace on interior rather than exterior walls reduces heat
1777 (ref. 7) or other approved system or material. Fireclay
flue liners are laid in medium-duty refractory mortar con- Table 3—Minimum Flue Net Cross-Sectional Area
forming to Standard Test Method for Pier Test for Refractory for Masonry Fireplaces
Mortars, ASTM C 199 (ref. 4), with flush mortar joints on the
inside. Care should be taken to use only enough mortar to make Flue shape Net cross-sectional area of flue,
the joint. Flue lining installation should conform to Standard fraction of fireplace opening size
1/ 12
Practice for Installing Clay Flue Lining, ASTM C 1283 (ref. 8). Round
1/ 10
The chimney wall must be constructed of solid masonry Square
units or hollow units grouted solid, and be at least 4 in. (102 Rectangular:
1 10
mm) in nominal thickness. The chimney wall should be separated aspect ratio < 2 to 1 /
1 8
from the flue lining by an airspace or insulation not thicker than aspect ratio > 2 to 1 /
loss when the fireplace is not in operation, Cast-in-Place Cap: Precast Cap:
and increases the amount of usable radiant
Sealant and backer rod
heat from the concrete masonry.
Fireplace efficiency can also be improved Joint filler
by introducing external air into the firebox Concrete cap
Temporary forming
for draft and combustion. An external com-
bustion air system requires a damper in the 2 in. (51 mm), min.
Precast cap
firebox, adequate ducting or air passageways
and a grill or louver at the exterior opening. 24 in.
The external air damper should permit the (610 mm) min.
control of both the direction and volume of 36 in.
(914 mm) min.
the airflow for temperature control. The
damper should be capable of directing air
flow towards the back of the firebox so that
when down drafts or negative pressures oc-
Roof rafter
cur, hot ashes or embers are not forced into
the room.
Counter flashing Base flashing
REFERENCES (fire stop)
1 . 2000 International Residential Code. In- Fire clay flue liner
ternational Code Council, 2000. Air space
2. Standard Classification of Fireclay and
Chimney block
High-Alumina Refractory Brick, ASTM
Concrete brick
C 27-98. ASTM International, 1998. 1
2 in. (13 mm) non-combustible
3. Standard Specification for Firebox Brick wall board (fire stop)
for Residential Fireplaces, ASTM C 1261-
98. ASTM International, 1998.
4. Standard Test Method for Pier Test for
Refractory Mortars, ASTM C 199-84 Ceiling joist
(2000). ASTM International, 2000. Figure 2—Chimney Roof Penetration
5. Book of Successful Fireplaces, How to
Build, Decorate and Use Them, 20th Edition, by R. J. Lytle and Marie-Jeanne Lytle, Structures Publishing Company,
Farmington, Michigan, 1977.
6. Standard Specification for Clay Flue Linings, ASTM C 315-02. ASTM International, 2002.
7. Standard for Safety for Chimney Liners, UL 1777. Underwriters Laboratory, 1996.
8. Standard Practice for Installing Clay Flue Lining, ASTM C 1283-02. ASTM International, 2002.

F T
R A
D
NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
13750 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon, Virginia 20171 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
4-2A: ESTIMATING CONCRETE MASONRY MATERIALS Page 1 of 7

Provided by:
Featherlite Building Products

4-2A: ESTIMATING CONCRETE MASONRY MATERIALS

Keywords: concrete masonry units, construction, estimating, grout,
mortar

INTRODUCTION

Estimating the quantity or volume of materials used in a typical masonry project can range from the
relatively simple task associated with an unreinforced single wythe garden wall, to the comparatively
difficult undertaking of a partially grouted multiwythe wall coliseum constructed of varying unit sizes,
shapes, and configurations.

Large projects, due to their complexity in layout and detailing, often require detailed computer
estimating programs or an intimate knowledge of the project to achieve a reasonable estimate of the
materials required for construction. However, for smaller projects, or as a general means of obtaining
ballpark estimates, the rule of thumb methods described in this TEK provide a practical means of
determining the quantity of materials required for a specific masonry construction project.

It should be stressed that the information for estimating materials quantities in this section should be
used with caution and checked against rational judgment. Design issues such as non-modular layouts or
numerous returns and corners can significantly increase the number of units and the volume of mortar or
grout required. Often, material estimating is best left to an experienced professional who has developed
a second hand disposition for estimating masonry material requirements.

ESTIMATING CONCRETE MASONRY UNITS

Probably the most straightforward material to estimate for most masonry construction projects is the
units themselves. The most direct means of determining the number of concrete masonry units needed
for any project is to simply determine the total square footage of each wall and divide by the surface
area provided by a single unit specified for the project.

For conventional units having nominal heights of 8 in. (203 mm) and nominal lengths of 16 in. (406
mm), the exposed surface area of a single unit in the wall is 8/9 ft2 (0.083 m2). Including a 5 percent
allowance for waste and breakage, this translates to 119 units per 100 ft2 (9.29 m2) of wall area. (See
Table 1 for these and other values.) Because this method of determining the necessary number of
concrete masonry units for a given project is independent of the unit width, it can be applied to
estimating the number of units required regardless of their width.

Table 1—Approximate Number of Concrete
Masonry Units Required for Single Wythe
Constructiona
Number of units
Unit Unit face per
type size, in. (mm) 100 ft (100 m2) of
2
wall area

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4-2A: ESTIMATING CONCRETE MASONRY MATERIALS Page 2 of 7

8 x 16 (203 x
406)
conventional 4 x 16 (102 x 119 (1,275)
half-high 406) 238 (2,550)
half-length 8 x 8 (203 x 203) 238 (2,550)
brick 710 (7,610)
22/3 x 8 (68 x
203)
a based on net area of masonry wall, includes
about 5% waste

When using this estimating method, the area of windows, doors and other wall openings needs to be
subtracted from the total wall area to yield the net masonry surface. Similarly, if varying unit
configurations, such as pilaster units, corner units or bond beam units are to be incorporated into the
project, the number of units used in these applications need to be calculated separately and subtracted
from the total number of units required.

ESTIMATING MORTAR MATERIALS

Table 2—Mortar Estimation for Single Wythe Concrete Masonry Wallsa

Approximate number of
units that can be laid
using one batch of
mortar
Brick-
Conventional
sized
CMU:
Mortar type & batch proportions CMU:
Masonry cement:
8-70 lb (31.8 kg) bags masonry cement, 1 ton
(907 kg) sandb 240 1,000
Preblended mortar:
1-80 lb (36.3 kg) bag 16 50
1-3,000 lb (1,361 kg) bag 420 1,550
Site-mixed mortarc:
Portland cement-lime:
Type M
1 ft3 portland cement, 1/4 ft3 hydrated lime, 3 3/4
ft3 sand
Type S
1 ft3 portland cement, 1/2 ft3 hydrated lime, 41/2
ft3 sand 38 187
Type N
1 ft3 portland cement, 1 ft3 hydrated lime, 6 ft3 46 225
sand
Type O 62 300
1 ft3 portland cement, 2 ft3 hydrated lime, 9 ft3

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4-2A: ESTIMATING CONCRETE MASONRY MATERIALS Page 3 of 7

sand 93 450
Mortar cement:
Type M
1 ft3 portland cement, 1 ft3 Type N mortar
cement, 6 ft3 sand, or
1 ft3 Type M mortar cement, 3 ft3 sand
Type S
1/ ft3 portland cement, 1 ft3 Type N mortar
62 300
2 31 150
cement, 41/2 ft3 sand, or
46 225
1 ft3 Type S mortar cement, 3 ft3 sand 31 150
Type N or O
1 ft3 Type N mortar cement, 3 ft3 sand 31 150
Masonry cement:
Type M
1 ft3 portland cement, 1 ft3 Type N masonry
cement, 6 ft3 sand, or
1 ft3 Type M masonry cement, 3 ft3 sand
Type S
1/ ft3 portland cement, 1 ft3 Type N masonry
62 300
2 31 150
cement, 41/2 ft3 sand, or
46 225
1 ft3 Type S masonry cement, 3 ft3 sand 31 150
Type N or O
1 ft3 Type N masonry cement, 3 ft3 sand 31 150
a Number of units can vary from those listed in the table, based on factors
such as the skill level of the mason, non-modular layouts, numerous returns
and corners, etc. Values include nominal amounts for waste. Assumes face
shell mortar bedding for conventional concrete masonry units and full
bedding for brick-sized concrete masonry units. 1 ft3 = 0.0283 m3.
b 1 ton (907 kg) damp loose sand = 25 ft3 (0.71 m3)
c For conversion purposes, the following can be used:
Portland cement: typical bag volume = 1 ft3 (0.028 m3); typical bag
weight 94 lb (42.6 kg); typical density 94 lb/ft3 (1,506 kg/m3)
Hydrated mason's lime: typical bag volume = 11/4 ft3 (0.035 m3); typical
bag weight 50 lb (22.7 kg); typical density 40 lb/ft3 (641 kg/m3)
Sand: 1 ft3 is equivalent to about 7 shovelfuls; typical density of damp
loose sand 80 lb/ft3 (1,281 kg/m3)
Masonry and mortar cement bag weights vary, although commonly:
Type N masonry cements and mortar cements are packaged in 70 lb (31.8
kg) bags; Type S masonry cements and mortar cements are packaged in 75
lb (34.0 kg) bags; Type M masonry cements and mortar cements are
packaged in 80 lb (36.3 kg) bags.

Next to grout, mortar is probably the most commonly misestimated masonry construction material.

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Variables such as site batching versus pre-bagged mortar, mortar proportions, construction conditions,
unit tolerances and work stoppages, combined with numerous other variables can lead to large
deviations in the quantity of mortar required for comparable jobs.

As such, masons have developed general rules of thumb for estimating the quantity of mortar required to
lay concrete masonry units. These general guidelines are as follows for various mortar types. Note that
the following estimates assume the concrete masonry units are laid with face shell mortar bedding;
hence, the estimates are independent of the concrete masonry unit width.

Masonry cement mortar

Masonry cement is typically available in bag weights of 70, 75 or 80 lb (31.8, 34.0 and 36.3 kg),
although other weights may be available as well. One 70 lb (31.8 kg) bag of masonry cement will
generally lay approximately 30 hollow units if face shell bedding is used. For common batching
proportions, 1 ton (2,000 lb, 907 kg) of masonry sand is required for every 8 bags of masonry cement. If
more than 3 tons (2,721 kg) of sand is used, add 1/2 ton (454 kg) to account for waste. For smaller sand
amounts, simply round up to account for waste. This equates to about 240 concrete masonry units per
ton of sand.

Preblended mortar

Preblended mortar mixes may contain portland cement and lime, masonry cement or mortar cement, and
will always include dried masonry sand. Packaged dry, the mortars typically are available in 60 to 80 lb
(27.2 to 36.3 kg) bags or in bulk volumes of 2,000 and 3,000 lb (907 and 1,361 kg).

Portland cement lime mortar

One 94 lb (42.6 kg) bag of portland cement, mixed in proportion with sand and lime to yield a lean Type
S or rich Type N mortar, will lay approximately 62 hollow units if face shell bedding is used. This
assumes a proportion of one 94 lb (42.6 kg) bag of portland cement to approximately one-half of a 50 lb
(22.7 kg) bag hydrated lime to 4 1/4 ft3 (0.12 m3) of sand. For ease of measuring in the field, sand
volumes are often correlated to an equivalent number of shovels using a cubic foot (0.03 m3) box, as
shown in Figure 1.

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4-2A: ESTIMATING CONCRETE MASONRY MATERIALS Page 5 of 7

Figure 1—Measuring Mortar Sand Volume

ESTIMATING GROUT

The quantity of grout required on a specific job can vary greatly depending upon the specific
circumstances of the project. The properties and configuration of the units used in construction can have
a huge impact alone. For example, units of low density concrete tend to absorb more water from the mix
than comparable units of higher density. Further, the method of delivering grout to a masonry wall
(pumping versus bucketing) can introduce different amounts of waste. Although the absolute volume of
grout waste seen on a large project may be larger than a comparable small project, smaller projects may
experience a larger percentage of grout waste.

Table 3 provides guidance for the required volume of grout necessary to fill the vertical cells of walls of
varying thickness. Additional grout may be necessary for horizontally grouting discrete courses of
masonry. Note that walls constructed of 4-in. (102-mm) masonry units are not included in Table 3. Due
to the small cell size and difficulty in adequately placing and consolidating the grout, it is not
recommended to grout conventional 4-in. (102-mm) units.

Table 3—Grout Volume Estimation for Hollow Single Wythe Concrete
Masonry Walls
Volume of grout, ft per 100 ft2 of wall (m3 per 100 m2)a
3

Grout Wall width:
spacing, 6 in. (152 8 in. (203 10 in. (254 12 in. (305 14 in. (356
in. (mm) mm) mm) mm) mm) mm)
8 (203) 25.6 (7.8) 36.1 (11.0) 47.0 (14.3) 58.9 (18.0) 74.5 (22.7)
16 (406) 12.8 (3.9) 18.1 (5.5) 23.5 (7.2) 29.5 (9.0) 37.3 (11.4)
24 (610) 8.6 (2.6) 12.1 (3.7) 15.7 (4.8) 19.7 (6.0) 24.8 (7.6)
32 (813) 6.4 (2.0) 9.1 (2.8) 11.8 (3.6) 14.8 (4.5) 18.6 (5.7)
40 (1,016) 5.2 (1.6) 7.3 (2.2) 9.4 (2.9) 11.8 (3.6) 14.9 (4.5)
48 (1,219) 4.3 (1.3) 6.1 (1.9) 7.9 (2.4) 9.9 (3.0) 12.4 (3.8)

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56 (1,422) 3.7 (1.1) 5.2 (1.6) 6.8 (2.1) 8.5 (2.6) 10.6 (3.2)
64 (1,626) 3.2 (1.0) 4.6 (1.4) 5.9 (1.8) 7.4 (2.3) 9.3 (2.8)
72 (1,829) 2.9 (0.9) 4.1 (1.2) 5.3 (1.6) 6.6 (2.0) 8.3 (2.5)
80 (2,032) 2.6 (0.8) 3.7 (1.1) 4.7 (1.4) 5.9 (1.8) 7.5 (2.3)
88 (2,235) 2.4 (0.7) 3.3 (1.0) 4.3 (1.3) 5.4 (1.6) 6.8 (2.1)
96 (2,438) 2.2 (0.7) 3.1 (0.9) 4.0 (1.2) 5.0 (1.5) 6.2 (1.9)
104 (2,642) 2.0 (0.6) 2.8 (0.9) 3.7 (1.1) 4.6 (1.4) 5.7 (1.7)
112 (2,845) 1.9 (0.6) 2.6 (0.8) 3.4 (1.0) 4.3 (1.3) 5.3 (1.6)
120 (3,048) 1.8 (0.5) 2.5 (0.8) 3.2 (1.0) 4.0 (1.2) 4.9 (1.5)
a Assumes two-core hollow concrete masonry units and 3% waste.

Tables 4 and 5 contain estimated yields for bagged preblended grouts for vertical and horizontal
grouting, respectively.

Table 4—Grout Estimation for Hollow Single
Wythe Concrete Masonry Walls, Vertical
Grouting with Preblended Grouta
CMU size,
Yield, number of cores
in. (mm) 80 lb (36.3 kg) 3,000 lb (1,361 kg)
bag bag
6 (152) 3.6 150
8 (203) 2.7 110
10 (254) 2.2 95
12 (305) 1.8 80
a 80 lb (36.3 kg) bag yields

approximately 0.66 ft3 (0.019 m3);
3,000 lb (1,361 kg) bag yields
approximately 25 ft3 (0.71 m3)

Table 5—Grout Estimation for Hollow Single
Wythe Concrete Masonry Walls, Horizontal
(Bond Beam) Grouting with Preblended Grouta
Yield, number of cores
CMU size,
80 lb (36.3 kg) 3,000 lb (1,361 kg)
in. (mm)
bag bag
6 (152) 2.7 (0.823) 100 (30.48)
8 (203) 2.0 (0.609) 80 (24.38)
12 (305) 1.6 (0.488) 60 (18.29)
a 80 lb (36.3 kg) bag yields

approximately 0.66 ft3 (0.019 m3);
3,000 lb (1,361 kg) bag yields
approximately 25 ft3 (0.71 m3)

REFERENCES

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4-2A: ESTIMATING CONCRETE MASONRY MATERIALS Page 7 of 7

1. Kreh, D. Building With Masonry, Brick, Block and Concrete. The Taunton Press, 1998.
2. Annotated Design and Construction Details for Concrete Masonry, TR 90B. National Concrete
Masonry Association, 2003.

Disclaimer: Although care has been taken to ensure the enclosed information is as accurate and
complete as possible, NCMA does not assume responsibility for errors or omissions resulting from the
use of this TEK.

Provided by: Featherlite Building Products

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NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

FLOOR AND ROOF CONNECTIONS TO TEK 5-7A
Details (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS
Keywords: connections, floor systems, hollowcore, floor system. Hangers are generally anchored to a wall
joists, ledger, loadbearing concrete masonry, pocket, through a joint and into a bond beam. However, hangers
roof systems, trusses approved for direct attachment to the surface of a masonry
wall are also available.
· Ledger Connection – As with hangers, ledger connec-
INTRODUCTION
tions minimize the impact on the continuity of a masonry
wall. A ledger connection reduces the necessary pre-plan-
Floor and roof systems for use with loadbearing struc-
ning and does not unduly impact the mason’s work as opposed
tural concrete masonry walls serve three primary functions:
to a pocket connection; thereby reducing the number of field
they transmit the vertical dead load and live load to the bearing
modifications.
walls; they function as diaphragms, transmitting lateral wind
Note: Most of the connections herein depict flashing for
and seismic loading through the walls to the foundation; and
water penetration resistance which should be used in all exterior
they act to support the walls from out-of-plane loads. In
walls. Normally flashing is not provided in interior walls.
addition to these structural functions, floors and roofs should
provide a satisfactory barrier to the transmission of sound,
FLOOR AND ROOFING SYSTEMS
fire, and heat. The many types of floor and roof systems in use
today are designed to satisfy all of these requirements in an
Several materials are common to roof and floor con-
economical manner.
struction. Wood, concrete, and steel are among the most
frequently used framing materials in these applications.
CONNECTIONS
Wood Systems
The transfer of loads between diaphragms and walls
Wood framed floors and roofs are common in residen-
requires the proper design and detailing of the connection
tial and low-rise construction. It is imperative when con-
linking these elements. Connections critical to the integrity
structing a wood-framed system that it not be in direct
of a structure. The connections detailed herein address
contact with the concrete masonry. Wood in contact with
minimal requirements. Additional requirements may be
masonry materials may absorb moisture present in the con-
necessary in some locals, particularly where earthquake and
crete masonry causing the wood to rot. To prevent the
high wind forces are to be resisted. The four primary types of
resulting unwanted decay, the lumber used should be pres-
connections, each having specific advantages, include:
sure-treated, naturally decay resistant, or have a moisture
· Direct Bearing Connection – The direct bearing connec-
barrier placed between the wood and the concrete masonry.
tion is often the simplest type of connection. This connec-
tion is used at the top of concrete masonry walls or when a
Steel Systems
change in wall thickness provides a ledge with sufficient
Steel-framed roofs using steel bar joints are very com-
bearing area as shown in Figure 1.
mon in commercial structures because they are capable of
· Pocket Connection – A pocket connection consists of
spanning long distances. Steel bar joists typically use pock-
framing the floor or roof system into a void in the masonry
eted or ledger connections to concrete masonry walls. Pro-
wall. This detail is used when masonry continues above
prietary systems that use concrete masonry units as a filler
(either as part of the wall or as a parapet) the connection
between the steel joists are also available.
location and eccentricity is to be minimized. Care must be
taken to insure that the use of a pocket does not interfere with
Concrete Systems
the continuity of the vertical reinforcement in the wall.
Concrete slabs can take many forms, including pre-
· Hanger Connection – When it is desired to maintain the
stressed, precast, and cast-in-place construction. Depending
continuity of the wall for structural, aesthetic, or construc-
upon the size and number of stories associated with a given
tion reasons, a wall hanger can be used to suspend the roof or

TEK 5-7A © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 5-7 and TEK 17-5 )
Superstructure
Blocking or band joist
Toenail or tie as required
Solid or filled masonry
unit to support flashing
Wood joist Stop flashing at
Cavity fill or inside of faceshell
other mortar Void/pocket
Sill (pressure treated collection device Fire-cut end of joist
or provide moisture barrier) (as required)
Anchorage as required 1 in. (25 mm) Sheathing
partially open
"L" shaped head
Reinforced bond beam joints for weeps
Concrete masonry wall at 32 in. (814 mm)
o.c.
Drip edge Wood joist
Figure 1—Direct Bearing Wood Floor Joist (ref. 2) Pressure treated or
provide moisture barrier
Reinforcement
Stop flashing at inside
Cavity fill or other mortar of faceshell Grout stop Concrete masonry bond beam
collection device Provide gap or moisture
barrier as required
Blocking or band joist Figure 5—Wood Floor Joist With Pocket
1 in. (25 mm) partially Sheathing
open "L" shaped head Wood joist
joints for weeps Toe nail or tie
at 32 in. (814 mm) as required

Drip edge Sill (pressure treated or
provide moisture barrier) 2 in. (51 mm) deep
Cavity fill or other Solid or filled
4 in. (102 mm) unit Anchorage as required unit to support
mortar collection device flashing
(solid or filled) to
Reinforced bond beam Reinforced
support flashing 1 in. (25 mm) partially
open "L" shaped head bond beam
Concrete masonry wall Ledger
joints for weeps
at 32 in. (814 mm)
Sheathing
Figure 2—Direct Bearing Wood Floor Joist Drip edge

Stop flashing at Grout stop
Cavity fill or other mortar inside of faceshell Wood joist
collection device Joist hanger; fasten
as required by Joist hanger
1 in. (25 mm) partially hanger manufacturer
open "L" shaped head Double (shown) or
Sheathing staggered anchor
joints for weeps bolt as required
Drip edge Wood joist
4 in. (102 mm) unit Reinforced
Figure 6—Wood Ledger and Hanger
(solid or filled) to bond beam
support flashing

Figure 3—Wood Floor Joist Hanger (ref. 2)

Concrete masonry wall
Stop flashing at Stop flashing at
inside of faceshell inside of faceshell
Cavity fill or Cavity fill or
other mortar 4 in. (102 mm) unit (solid or Provide gap or moisture
filled) to support flashing other mortar barrier as required
collection device collection device
Notch/pocket
1 in. (25 mm) Wood truss 1 in. (25 mm)
partially open partially open
"L" shaped head
joints for weeps "L" shaped head
at 32 in. (814 mm) joints for weeps
at 32 in. (814 mm)
o.c. o.c. Wood Truss
Drip edge Bearing truss hanger; Drip edge Reinforcement
fasten as required by hanger
Concrete manufacturer Bond beam
masonry wall
Reinforced bond beam

Figure 4—Wood Floor Truss Hanger (ref. 2) Figure 7—Wood Floor Truss Pocket (ref. 2)
Sloping sheet metal coping
cap with cont. cleat. each side
Grout cores solid at anchor bolts
Wood Nailer with anchor bolts
Attachment strip
Cavity fill or other mortar
collection device Counter flashing
Standard unit with Sealant
inside faceshell and
part of web removed Stop flashing at inside of
Sill (pressure treated or faceshell (see TEK 19-2A)
provide moisture barrier) 1 in. (25 mm) partially
Toenail per open "L" shaped head Cant
code or use Anchor bolt or joints for weeps Parapet flashing
rated connector specialty anchor at 32 in. (814 mm) Sealant
as required
Drip edge Roofing membrane
Bond beam
Concrete masonry wall Solid unit notched
around joist steel
plate with anchor
Figure 8—Wood Roof Truss with Top Plate (ref. 2) Grout stop

Reinforced bond beam
Masonry wall Steel bar joist welded
or bolted to bearing
plate

Figure 11—Steel Joist with Pocket (ref. 3, 4, 5)
+
+
+
+
o
o
o
Moisture barrier
Uplift connector
as required
Reinforced bond beam
Concrete masonry wall Isolation joint
1 in. (25 mm) partially Steel bar joist welded or
Figure 9—Wood Roof Truss with Embedded open "L" shaped head bolted to ledger angle
Strap Anchor (ref. 2) joints for weeps
at 32 in. (814 mm)
Drip edge

Steel ledger angle
bolted to wall

1
Reinforced bond beam
2 in. (51 mm) min. to 4 /2 in.
(114 mm) max. cavity
Sloping sheet metal coping Figure 12—Steel Joist with Ledger Angle
cap with cont. cleat. each side
Attachment strip
Wood Nailer with anchor bolts
Counter flashing
Sealant
Cant
Wall ties (typ.) Parapet flashing
Sealant
Roofing membrane
Reinforced bond beam
Anchor bolts spaced
as required
Insulation

Steel Decking attached
Steel bar joist welded angle to steel
Cavity fill or other mortar
collection device or bolted to bearing angle as
1 in. (25 mm) partially plate required for
open "L" shaped head Reinforced bond beam diaphragm
joints for weeps shear transfer
Reinforced lintel
at 32 in. (814 mm) o.c.
Sealant at top of
Drip edge flashing unless self Concrete masonry wall
Steel shelf angle adhearing flashing or
tuck into mortar joint

Figure 10—Steel Joist Direct Bearing on Cavity Wall Figure 13—Steel Joist at Sidewall
Stop flashing at inside Stop flashing at inside
Cavity fill or other mortar of faceshell (see TEK 19-2A) Cavity fill or other mortar of faceshell (see TEK 19-2A)
collection device collection device
4 in. (25 mm) unit (solid 4 in. (25 mm) unit (solid
1 in. (25 mm) partially or filled) to support flashing 1 in. (25 mm) partially or filled) to support flashing
open "L" shaped head Hooked shear bar grouted open "L" shaped head Reinforcement with hooks
joints for weeps in slab keyway joints for weeps on both ends grouted
into broken core
at 32 in. (814 mm) at 32 in. (814 mm) o.c.
o.c. Topping if required Topping if required
Drip edge
Drip edge Grouted cells at
location of
Reinforced shear bar
bond beam
Reinforced
Grout stop bond beam
Precast hollow core slab Precast hollow core slab
Bearing strip Grout stop
Hooked bar in wall at shear Hooked bar in wall at shear
bar (not required if vertical bar (not required if vertical
reinforcement at this location) reinforcement at this location)

Figure 14—Concrete Hollowcore at Bearing (ref. 3) Figure 15—Hollowcore at Sidewall (ref. 3)

project, one concrete framing system may have unique ben- REFERENCES
efits over another. For example, hollow core prestressed 1. Architectural and Engineering Concrete Masonry De-
slabs can be erected quickly, without the need for formwork tails for Building Construction, TR-95. National Concrete
or shoring. Where sufficient space is available at the job site, Masonry Association, 1973.
precast slabs can be formed in stacks on-site, starting with the 2. Concrete Masonry Homes: Recommended Practices.
roof slab and using the top surface of the lower slab as the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office
form for the next slab. Once cured, the precast slabs are lifted of Policy Development and Research, 1999.
to their final location. The use of cast-in-place concrete 3. Design for Dry Single-Wythe Concrete Masonry Walls,
floors and roofs, because of the time needed for forming, TEK 19-2A. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1998.
pouring, finishing, and curing, requires a building plan which 4. Flashing Details for Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK
is large enough to permit the masonry work to progress in one 19-5A. National Concrete Masonry Association, 2000.
part of the structure while the floor in another area is com- 5. Generic Wall Design for Single-Wythe Loadbearing
pleted. Walls. Masonry Institute of Michigan, 2000.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

R-VALUES OF MULTI-WYTHE TEK 6-1A
Energy & IAQ (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS
Keywords: cavity wall, insulation, multi-wythe wall,
heat loss due to air infiltration into the building.
thermal properties, R-values
CAVITY WALLS
INTRODUCTION
Typical cavity walls are constructed with a 4, 6, 8, or 12
R-values of building components are used to estimate a in. (102, 152, 203, or 305 mm) concrete masonry backup
building's energy consumption under steady-state conditions. wythe, a 2 to 41/2 in. (51 to 114 mm) wide cavity, and a 4 in.
In order to estimate a building's actual energy consumption, (102 mm) masonry veneer. Building Code Requirements for
however, the effects of building design, thermal mass, and Masonry Structures (ref. 3) allows cavity widths up to 41/2 in.
climate, among other factors, must be included. (114 mm), beyond which a detailed wall tie analysis must be
R-value is an estimate of the overall steady-state resis- performed.
tance to heat transfer. It is determined in the laboratory by When placing rigid board insulation in the cavity, a
applying a constant temperature difference across a wall minimum 1 in. (25 mm) clear airspace (2 in. (51 mm) is
section, then measuring the steady state heat flow through the preferred) between the insulation and the outer wythe is
wall under this condition. For design, calculation methods recommended to ensure proper drainage in the event water
have been developed to aid in determining R-values of various enters the wall. Perlite and vermiculite loose fills can occupy
building systems (ref. 1). the entire cavity space since these materials allow water to
The thermal mass of concrete masonry walls can drain freely through them. For this reason, these insulation
significantly reduce energy consumption. Thermal mass materials are typically treated for water repellency. When
effects are determined primarily by the properties of the loose fill insulation is used, screens placed over the weep
construction materials used, the climate, building type, holes or wicks should be used to contain the fill while
and the position of the insulation within the wall. Con- allowing water to drain freely out of the weep holes.
crete masonry buildings often require significantly lower
insulation levels because of thermal mass. Energy codes R-VALUE TABLES
and standards such as ASHRAE Standards 90.1 and 90.2
(refs. 4, 5) and the International Energy Conservation Table 1 presents R-values of uninsulated concrete ma-
Code (ref. 6) permit concrete masonry walls to have lower sonry cavity walls with 4, 6, 8, and 12 in. (102, 152, 203, and
R-values than frame wall systems to achieve the same 305 mm) backup wythes and 4 in. (102 mm) concrete
level of energy efficiency. masonry veneer. These R-values should be added to the
Concrete masonry cavity walls provide a wide array of applicable R-values in Tables 2 and 3 to account for cavity
options for including insulation to obtain high R-values. insulation and/or interior furring with insulation. Table 4
Typically, the cavity is insulated with rigid board or with contains the thermal data used to develop the tables.
mineral loose-fill insulation. Cavity walls are also built As an example, to determine the R-value of a concrete
with insulation in the cores of masonry units leaving the masonry cavity wall with 8 in. (152 mm) 105 pcf (1682 kg/
entire cavity space open for drainage. In addition, furring m3) backup insulated with 2 in. (51 mm) of extruded polysty-
with rigid board or mineral fiber batt insulation can be rene insulation in the cavity, first determine the R-value of the
installed on the interior side of the wall to further increase uninsulated wall from Table 1 (4.0 ft2.hr.oF/Btu, 0.70 m2.K/
wall R-values. W), then add the cavity insulation R-value from Table 2 (10
Placing insulation between two wythes of masonry ft2.hr.oF/Btu, 1.8 m2.K/W), to obtain the total R-value of 14.0
offers maximum protection for the insulation. High R- ft2.hr.oF/Btu (2.5 m2.K/W).
values are easily obtainable, since the cavity installation Calculations are performed using the series-parallel
allows a continuous layer of insulation to envelop the (also called isothermal planes) calculation method recom-
masonry. This continuous insulation layer can also reduce mended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating,

TEK 6-1A © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 6-1)
and Air-Conditioning Engineers (refs. 1, 8). The method These published values reflect a compendium of histori-
accounts for the thermal bridging that occurs through the cal data on thermal conductivity of concrete (refs. 1, 9).
webs of concrete masonry units and is briefly described on the Locally available products and local conditions may result in
following page. thermal values which fall outside of this range. The middle-
Thermal values for concrete masonry walls are corre- of-the-range values are presented for use in cases where more
lated to density, since the thermal conductivity of concrete accurate values are not available from local manufacturers.
increases with increasing concrete density. For each den- The values in Table 1 are based on an ungrouted backup
sity, Table 1 lists a range of R-values as well as a single value, wythe. However, the addition of grout to a hollow concrete
which represents the middle of the range. masonry backup wythe does not significantly affect the
A range of thermal values is appropriate for concrete overall R-value of an insulated cavity wall. For example, the
products because the thermal conductivity of concrete R-value of a cavity wall with 8 in. (203 mm) ungrouted 105
cannot always be accurately estimated from density alone. pcf (1682 kg/m3) backup and 2 in. (51 mm) of perlite in the
The thermal conductivity of concrete varies with aggre- cavity is 9.3 hr.ft2.oF/Btu (1.72 m2.K/W). When the backup
gate type(s) used in the concrete mix, the mix design, wythe is grouted solid, the R-value becomes 8.8 hr.ft2.oF/Btu
moisture content, etc. (1.67 m2.K/W), a decrease of about 5 percent.

Table 1—R-Values of Uninsulated Cavity Walls With 4 in. Concrete Masonry Veneer (ft2.hr.oF/Btu)(a)
Nominal
thickness of Density of concrete used in concrete masonry backup unit (pcf):
backup, in. 85 95 105 115 125 135
range mid range mid range mid range mid range mid range mid
4 3.8-4.1 3.9 3.7-4.0 3.8 3.6-3.9 3.7 3.5-3.8 3.6 3.4-3.7 3.5 3.3-3.6 3.4
6 4.1-4.3 4.2 3.9-4.2 4.0 3.8-4.1 3.9 3.7-3.9 3.8 3.5-3.8 3.7 3.4-3.7 3.5
8 4.2-4.5 4.4 4.1-4.4 4.2 3.9-4.2 4.0 3.8-4.1 3.9 3.7-4.0 3.8 3.6-3.9 3.7
10 4.3-4.7 4.5 4.2-4.5 4.3 4.0-4.3 4.1 3.8-4.2 4.0 3.8-4.0 3.8 3.6-4.0 3.8
12 4.4-4.8 4.6 4.2-4.6 4.4 4.1-4.4 4.2 4.0-4.3 4.1 3.8-4.2 4.0 3.7-4.0 3.8
(a)
(ft2.hr.oF/Btu)(0.176) = m2.K/W. Includes a minimum 1 in. (25 mm) nonreflective air space. Mortar joints are assumed to be 3/8 in.
(9.5 mm) thick, with full mortar bedding on 4 in. (102 mm) units, and face shell bedding on hollow backup units.

Table 2—R-Values of Cavity Insulation(a) Table 3—R-Values of Finish Systems(a)
System: R-value (hr.ft2.oF/Btu)
Insulation Insulation R-value 1/2 in. gypsum board on furring 1.4
type thickness, in. (hr.ft2.oF/Btu) 1/2 in. foil-faced gypsum board 2.9
Vermiculite loose fill 1 1.3 on furring
2 3.6
3 5.8 Wood furring, insulation, Spacing of furring strips:
41/2 9.3 and 1/2 in. gypsum wallboard: 16 in. o.c. 24 in. o.c.
Perlite loose fill 1 2.2 3/4 in. extruded polystyrene(b) 5.2 5.2
2 5.3 3/4 in. polyisocyanurate(c) 8.0 8.1
3 8.4 11/2 in. extruded polystyrene(b) 8.9 8.9
41/2 13.1 11/2 in. polyisocyanurate(c) 13.2 13.4
Extruded polystyrene(b) 1 5.0 R-11 mineral fiber batt 9.6 10.2
11/2 7.5 R-13 mineral fiber batt 10.8 11.6
2 10.0 R-15 mineral fiber batt 11.9 12.9
21/2 12.5 R-19 mineral fiber batt 15.9 16.9
3 15.0 R-21 mineral fiber batt 17.1 18.3
31/2 17.5
Polyisocyanurate(c) 1 8.7 Metal furring, insulation,
11/2 12.3 and 1/2 in. gypsum wallboard(d):
2 15.8 R-11 mineral fiber batt 6.0 7.1
R-13 mineral fiber batt 6.5 7.7
21/2 19.3
R-15 mineral fiber batt 6.9 8.3
3 22.8
R-19 mineral fiber batt 7.6 9.1
31/2 26.3
R-21 mineral fiber batt 7.9 9.5
(a)
These values should be added to the values presented in Table (a)
Values should be added to those presented in Table 1 to
1 to achieve the total R-value of an insulated cavity wall. achieve the total R-value of a cavity wall with a finish applied.
(b)
A minimum 1 in. (25 mm) nonreflective air space is included (b)
Values include a 3/4 in. (19 mm) nonreflective air space.
in the values in Table 1. (c)
Values include a 3/4 in. (19 mm) reflective air space.
(c)
Values adjusted to include a 1 in. (25 mm) reflective air space. (d)
Values from ref. 4, Appendix A.
R-VALUE CALCULATION

For estimating R-values of concrete masonry walls, the series-parallel calculation method is recommended (refs. 1, 8). The
series-parallel calculation treats the block as a series of thermal layers, as illustrated in Figure 1. The face shells form
continuous outer layers, which are in series with the layer containing webs and cores. The webs and cores form parallel paths
for heat flow within this thermal layer. The total R-value, RT, of the block is the sum of the R-values of each layer, as outlined
below. Note: When the core is partially filled (i.e. when using insulation inserts), break the core into multiple layers.
R f Rm Rw Rc
RT = Ri + + + Ra + Rv + Ro
a f Rm + am R f ac Rw + aw Rc
where:
ac = fractional web area, Figure 1, Section A-A Ro = thermal resistance of outside air surface film
af = fractional face shell area, Figure 1, elevation RT = total thermal resistance of wall
am = fractional mortar joint area, Figure 1, elevation Rv = thermal resistance of veneer
aw = fractional core area, Figure 1, Section A-A Rw = thermal resistance of concrete webs, rc x tw
Ra = thermal resistance of cavity rc = thermal resistivity of concrete
Rc = thermal resistance of cores rm = thermal resistivity of mortar
Rf = thermal resistance of both face shells, rc x (2tfs) tfs = face shell thickness
Ri = thermal resistance of inside air surface film tw = length of concrete webs
Rm = thermal resistance of mortar joint, rm x (2tfs)

tfs
Section A-A
A A
tw

tfs

Elevation of unit face
Figure 1—Thermal Model of Concrete Masonry Units for R-Value Calculation

Table 4—Thermal Data Used to Develop Tables

Material: Thermal resistivity (hr.ft2.oF/Btu.in) Material: R-value (hr.ft2.oF/Btu)
Vermiculite 2.27 / in. gypsum wallboard
12 0.45
Perlite 3.13 Surface air films:
Extruded polystyrene 5.00 inside 0.68
Cellular polyisocyanurate, gas-impermeable facer 7.04 outside 0.17
Concrete: Air spaces:
85 pcf 0.23-0.34 nonreflective 0.97
95 pcf 0.18-0.28 reflective 2.67
105 pcf 0.14-0.23 4 in. concrete masonry exterior wythe 0.84
115 pcf 0.11-0.19
125 pcf 0.08-0.15
135 pcf 0.07-0.12
Mortar 0.20
REFERENCES
1. ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook. Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning
Engineers, Inc., 2001.
2. 90.1 User's Manual, Atlanta, Georgia: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, 2000.
3. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530-02/ASCE 5-02/TMS 402-02. Reported by the Masonry
Standards Joint Committee, 2002.
4. Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, ASHRAE/IES 90.1-1999. Atlanta, GA: American
Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. and Illuminating Engineering Society of North
America, 1999.
5. Energy-Efficient Design of New Low-Rise Residential Buildings, ASHRAE 90.2-1993. Atlanta, GA: American Society of
Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1993.
6. International Energy Conservation Code. International Code Council, 2000.
7. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90-01. American Society for Testing and
Materials, 2001.
8. Valore, Rudolph C. Calculation of U-Values of Hollow Concrete Masonry. Concrete International, February, 1980, pp 40-
63.
9. Valore, Rudolph C. The Thermophysical Properties of Masonry and Its Constituents, Parts I and II. Washington, DC:
International Masonry Institute, 1988.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 22071-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

R-VALUES FOR SINGLE WYTHE TEK 6-2A
Energy & IAQ (1996)
CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS
Keywords: insulation, reinforced concrete masonry, R- Table 1—Percent Ungrouted Area/Percent Grouted
values, thermal insulation, thermal properties Area For Partially Grouted Walls

INTRODUCTION Vertical grout spacing, in. (mm)
no vert. 48 40 32 24 16
Concrete masonry walls are often constructed of hollow grout (1219) (1016) (813) (610) (406)
units with cores filled with loose fill material and/or grout. This no horiz. 100 83 80 75 67 50

Horizontal grout spacing, in. (mm)
construction method provides the minimum wall thickness, grout 0 17 20 25 33 50
while allowing insulation and reinforcement to be included to
48 (1219) 83 69 67 63 56 42
increase thermal and structural performance, respectively. 17 31 33 37 44 58
Determining the thermal insulation values of these
walls, however, can be time consuming, especially when the 40 (1016) 80 67 64 60 53 40
20 33 36 40 47 60
wall is composed of several materials. This TEK facilitates
the determination of thermal resistance (R) and thermal 32 (813) 75 63 60 56 50 37
transmittance (U) of these single wythe concrete masonry walls. 25 37 40 44 50 63
24 (610) 67 56 53 50 44 33
R-VALUE TABLES 33 44 47 50 56 67
16 (406) 50 42 40 37 33 25
Tables of calculated R-values for hollow block of 6, 8, 10 50 58 60 63 67 75
and 12 in. (152, 203, 254, and 305 mm) thicknesses, for
concrete densities of 85 to 135 lb/ft3 (1362 to 2163 kg/m3) are through the webs of concrete masonry units. R-values of the
included. In addition, Table 1 shows the approximate per- various finish systems are added to these base values. To
centage of grouted and ungrouted wall area for different determine R-values for walls with 2 in. (51 mm) of rigid
vertical and horizontal grout spacings, which can be used to insulation (expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, or
determine R-values of partially grouted walls. Thermal prop- polyisocyanurate) rather than the 1 in. (25 mm) shown in the
erties used in compiling the tables are listed in Table 6. tables, simply add the appropriate insulation thermal resistiv-
In addition to the core insulations listed in Tables 2 ity value from Table 6 to the R-values in Tables 2 through 5.
through 5, polystyrene inserts are available which fit in the R-values of concrete masonry walls are correlated to
cores of concrete masonry units. Inserts are available in many concrete density, since thermal conductivity of concrete in-
shapes and sizes to provide a range of insulating values and creases with increasing density. Tables 2 through 5 list a
accommodate various construction conditions. Specially de- range of R-values for each density, as well as a single value,
signed concrete masonry units may incorporate reduced- which represents a calculated middle of the range. The U-factor
height webs to accommodate inserts. Such webs also reduce is determined by simply inverting the R-value (i.e., U = 1/R).
thermal bridging through masonry, since the reduced web A range of thermal values is appropriate for concrete
area provides a smaller cross-sectional area for heat flow products because the thermal conductivity of concrete cannot
through the wall. To further reduce thermal bridging, some always be accurately estimated from density alone. The
manufacturers have developed units with two cross webs rather thermal conductivity of concrete varies with aggregate type(s)
than three. In addition, some inserts have building code ap- used in the concrete mix, the mix design, moisture content, etc.
proval to be left in the grouted cores, thus improving the thermal These published values reflect a compendium of histori-
performance of fully or partially grouted masonry walls. cal data on thermal conductivity of concrete (refs. 1,3).
The ASHRAE series-parallel method (also called iso- Locally available products and local conditions may result in
thermal planes) (ref. 1) was used to calculate the base case thermal values which fall outside of this range. The middle-
values (i.e., the row Exposed block, both sides) in Tables 2 of-the-range values are presented for use in cases where more
through 5. This method accounts for the thermal bridging accurate values are not available from local manufacturers.
(continued on back page)
TEK 6-2A © 1996 National Concrete Masonry Association
Table 2—R-Values For 6 in. (152 mm) Concrete Masonry Walls, hr.ft2.oF/Btua

Cores filled withb:
Density Cores Loose-fill insulation Polyurethane
of concrete, empty Perlite Vermiculite foamed insulation Solid grouted
Construction pcf range mid range mid range mid range mid range mid
Exposed block, 85 2.2-2.5 2.4 4.8-6.1 5.3 4.5-5.6 5.0 5.2-7.0 5.9 1.6-1.8 1.7
both sides 95 2.1-2.4 2.2 4.1-5.4 4.6 3.9-5.0 4.3 4.4-6.1 5.0 1.5-1.7 1.6
105 2.0-2.2 2.1 3.5-4.8 4.0 3.3-4.5 3.8 3.7-5.2 4.3 1.4-1.6 1.5
115 1.8-2.1 2.0 3.0-4.2 3.4 2.9-4.0 3.3 3.1-4.5 3.6 1.4-1.5 1.4
125 1.7-2.0 1.8 2.5-3.7 3.0 2.5-3.5 2.9 2.6-3.9 3.1 1.3-1.5 1.4
135 1.6-1.9 1.7 2.2-3.2 2.6 2.2-3.1 2.5 2.2-3.4 2.7 1.3-1.4 1.3

/ in. (13 mm)
12 85 3.6-3.9 3.8 6.2-7.5 6.7 5.9-7.0 6.3 6.6-8.4 7.3 3.0-3.2 3.1
gypsum board 95 3.5-3.8 3.6 5.5-6.8 6.0 5.3-6.4 5.7 5.8-7.5 6.4 2.9-3.1 3.0
on furring 105 3.4-3.6 3.5 4.9-6.2 5.4 4.7-5.9 5.2 5.1-6.6 5.7 2.8-3.0 2.9
115 3.2-3.5 3.4 4.4-5.6 4.8 4.3-5.4 4.7 4.5-5.9 5.0 2.8-2.9 2.8
125 3.1-3.4 3.2 3.9-5.1 4.4 3.9-4.9 4.3 4.0-5.3 4.5 2.7-2.9 2.8
135 3.0-3.3 3.1 3.6-4.6 4.0 3.6-4.5 3.9 3.6-4.8 4.1 2.7-2.8 2.7

1 in. (25 mm) 85 7.6-7.9 7.8 10.2-11.5 10.7 9.9-11.0 10.3 10.6-12.4 11.3 7.0-7.2 7.1
expanded 95 7.5-7.8 7.6 9.5-10.8 10.0 9.3-10.4 9.7 9.8-11.5 10.4 6.9-7.1 7.0
polystyrenec 105 7.4-7.6 7.5 8.9-10.2 9.4 8.7-9.9 9.2 9.1-10.6 9.7 6.8-7.0 6.9
115 7.2-7.5 7.4 8.4-9.6 8.8 8.3-9.4 8.7 8.5-9.9 9.0 6.8-6.9 6.8
125 7.1-7.4 7.2 7.9-9.1 8.4 7.9-8.9 8.3 8.0-9.3 8.5 6.7-6.9 6.8
135 7.0-7.3 7.1 7.6-8.6 8.0 7.6-8.5 7.9 7.6-8.8 8.1 6.7-6.8 6.7

1 in. (25 mm) 85 8.6-8.9 8.8 11.2-12.5 11.7 10.9-12.0 11.3 11.6-13.4 12.3 8.0-8.2 8.1
extruded 95 8.5-8.8 8.6 10.5-11.8 11.0 10.3-11.4 10.7 10.8-12.5 11.4 7.9-8.1 8.0
polystyrenec 105 8.4-8.6 8.5 9.9-11.2 10.4 9.7-10.9 10.2 10.1-11.6 10.7 7.8-8.0 7.9
115 8.2-8.5 8.4 9.4-10.6 9.8 9.3-10.4 9.7 9.5-10.9 10.0 7.8-7.9 7.8
125 8.1-8.4 8.2 8.9-10.1 9.4 8.9-9.9 9.3 9.0-10.3 9.5 7.7-7.9 7.8
135 8.0-8.3 8.1 8.6-9.6 9.0 8.6-9.5 8.9 8.6-9.8 9.1 7.7-7.8 7.7

1 in. (25 mm) 85 12.1-12.4 12.2 14.6-16.0 15.2 14.3-15.5 14.8 15.1-16.9 15.8 11.5-11.7 11.6
polyiso- 95 12.0-12.2 12.1 13.9-15.3 14.5 13.7-14.9 14.2 14.2-15.9 14.9 11.4-11.6 11.5
cyanurated 105 11.8-12.1 12.0 13.3-14.6 13.8 13.2-14.3 13.7 13.5-15.1 14.1 11.3-11.5 11.4
115 11.7-12.0 11.8 12.8-14.1 13.3 12.7-13.8 13.2 12.9-14.4 13.5 11.2-11.4 11.3
125 11.6-11.9 11.7 12.4-13.5 12.8 12.3-13.4 12.7 12.5-13.8 13.0 11.2-11.3 11.2
135 11.5-11.8 11.6 12.1-13.1 12.4 12.0-13.0 12.4 12.0-13.2 12.5 11.1-11.3 11.2

2 x 4 furring 85 13.0-13.3 13.2 15.6-16.9 16.1 15.3-16.4 15.7 16.0-17.8 16.7 12.4-12.6 12.5
with R13 batt 95 12.9-13.2 13.0 14.9-16.2 15.4 14.7-15.8 15.1 15.2-16.9 15.8 12.3-12.5 12.4
& 1/2 in. (13 mm) 105 12.8-13.0 12.9 14.3-15.6 14.8 14.1-15.3 14.6 14.5-16.0 15.1 12.2-12.4 12.3
gypsum board 115 12.6-12.9 12.8 13.8-15.0 14.2 13.7-14.8 14.1 13.9-15.3 14.4 12.2-12.3 12.2
on furring 125 12.5-12.8 12.6 13.3-14.5 13.8 13.3-14.3 13.7 13.4-14.7 13.9 12.1-12.3 12.2
135 12.4-12.7 12.5 13.0-14.0 13.4 13.0-13.9 13.3 13.0-14.2 13.5 12.1-12.2 12.1
a
Notes: (hr.ft2.oF/Btu) (0.176) = m2.K/W. Mortar joints are 3/8 in. (10 mm) thick, with face shell mortar bedding assumed. Unit dimen-
sions based on Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90 (ref. 2). Surface air films are included.
b
Values apply when all masonry cores are filled completely. Grout density is 140 pcf (2243 kg/m3). Lightweight grouts, which will
provide higher R-values, are also available in some areas.
c
Installed over wood furring.Includes 1/2 in. (13 mm) gypsum board and nonreflective air space.
d
Installed over wood furring.Includes 1/2 in. (13 mm) gypsum board and reflective air space.
Table 3—R-Values For 8 in. (203 mm) Concrete Masonry Walls, hr.ft2.oF/Btua

Cores filled withb:
Density Cores Loose-fill insulation Polyurethane
of concrete, empty Perlite Vermiculite foamed insulation Solid grouted
Construction pcf range mid range mid range mid range mid range mid
Exposed block, 85 2.4-2.7 2.5 6.3-8.2 7.1 5.9-7.5 6.6 6.9-9.4 8.0 1.9-2.1 2.0
both sides 95 2.3-2.6 2.4 5.3-7.2 6.1 5.0-6.7 5.7 5.8-8.1 6.7 1.7-2.0 1.8
105 2.1-2.4 2.2 4.5-6.3 5.2 4.3-5.9 4.9 4.8-7.0 5.6 1.6-1.9 1.7
115 2.0-2.3 2.1 3.8-5.5 4.4 3.7-5.2 4.3 4.0-6.0 4.7 1.5-1.8 1.6
125 1.9-2.2 2.0 3.2-4.8 3.8 3.1-4.6 3.7 3.3-5.1 4.0 1.5-1.7 1.5
135 1.7-2.1 1.9 2.7-4.2 3.3 2.7-4.0 3.2 2.8-4.4 3.4 1.4-1.6 1.5

/ in. (13 mm)
12 85 3.8-4.1 3.9 7.7-9.6 8.5 7.3-8.9 8.0 8.3-10.8 9.4 3.3-3.5 3.4
gypsum board 95 3.7-4.0 3.8 6.7-8.6 7.5 6.4-8.1 7.1 7.2-9.5 8.1 3.1-3.4 3.2
on furring 105 3.5-3.8 3.6 5.9-7.7 6.6 5.7-7.3 6.3 6.2-8.4 7.0 3.0-3.3 3.1
115 3.4-3.7 3.5 5.2-6.9 5.8 5.1-6.6 5.7 5.4-7.4 6.1 2.9-3.2 3.0
125 3.3-3.6 3.4 4.6-6.2 5.2 4.5-6.0 5.1 4.7-6.5 5.4 2.9-3.1 2.9
135 3.1-3.5 3.3 4.1-5.6 4.7 4.1-5.4 4.6 4.2-5.8 4.8 2.8-3.0 2.9

1 in. (25 mm) 85 7.8-8.1 7.9 11.7-13.6 12.5 11.3-12.9 12.0 12.3-14.8 13.4 7.3-7.5 7.4
expanded 95 7.7-8.0 7.8 10.7-12.6 11.5 10.4-12.1 11.1 11.2-13.5 12.1 7.1-7.4 7.2
polystyrenec 105 7.5-7.8 7.6 9.9-11.7 10.6 9.7-11.3 10.3 10.2-12.4 11.0 7.0-7.3 7.1
115 7.4-7.7 7.5 9.2-10.9 9.8 9.1-10.6 9.7 9.4-11.4 10.1 6.9-7.2 7.0
125 7.3-7.6 7.4 8.6-10.2 9.2 8.5-10.0 9.1 8.7-10.5 9.4 6.9-7.1 6.9
135 7.1-7.5 7.3 8.1-9.6 8.7 8.1-9.4 8.6 8.2-9.8 8.8 6.8-7.0 6.9

1 in. (25 mm) 85 8.8-9.1 8.9 12.7-14.6 13.5 12.3-13.9 13.0 13.4-15.8 14.4 8.3-8.5 8.4
extruded 95 8.7-9.0 8.8 11.7-13.6 12.5 11.4-13.1 12.1 12.2-14.5 13.1 8.1-8.4 8.2
polystyrenec 105 8.5-8.8 8.6 10.9-12.7 11.6 10.7-12.3 11.3 11.2-13.4 12.0 8.0-8.3 8.1
115 8.4-8.7 8.5 10.2-11.9 10.8 10.1-11.6 10.7 10.4-12.4 11.1 7.9-8.2 8.0
125 8.3-8.6 8.4 9.6-11.2 10.2 9.5-11.0 10.1 9.7-11.5 10.4 7.9-8.1 7.9
135 8.1-8.5 8.3 9.1-10.6 9.7 9.1-10.4 9.6 9.2-10.8 9.8 7.8-8.0 7.9

1 in. (25 mm) 85 12.3-12.6 12.4 16.2-18.1 17.0 15.7-17.3 16.4 16.8-19.3 17.8 11.7-12.0 11.8
polyiso- 95 12.1-12.4 12.3 15.2-17.1 16.0 14.9-16.5 15.6 15.6-18.0 16.6 11.6-11.9 11.7
cyanurated 105 12.0-12.3 12.1 14.4-16.2 15.1 14.2-15.8 14.8 14.6-16.8 15.5 11.5-11.7 11.6
115 11.9-12.2 12.0 13.7-15.4 14.3 13.5-15.1 14.1 13.8-15.8 14.6 11.4-11.6 11.5
125 11.7-12.0 11.9 13.1-14.7 13.7 13.0-14.4 13.5 13.2-15.0 13.9 11.3-11.5 11.4
135 11.6-11.9 11.7 12.6-14.0 13.1 12.5-13.9 13.0 12.7-14.3 13.2 11.3-11.5 11.4

2 x 4 furring 85 13.2-13.5 13.3 17.1-19.0 17.9 16.7-18.3 17.4 17.7-20.2 18.8 12.7-12.9 12.8
with R13 batt & 95 13.1-13.4 13.2 16.1-18.0 16.9 15.8-17.5 16.5 16.6-18.9 17.5 12.5-12.8 12.6
1/2 in. (13 mm) 105 12.9-13.2 13.0 15.3-17.1 16.0 15.1-16.7 15.7 15.6-17.8 16.4 12.4-12.7 12.5
gypsum board 115 12.8-13.1 12.9 14.6-16.3 15.2 14.5-16.0 15.1 14.8-16.8 15.5 12.3-12.6 12.4
on furring 125 12.7-13.0 12.8 14.0-15.6 14.6 13.9-15.4 14.5 14.1-15.9 14.8 12.3-12.5 12.3
135 12.5-12.9 12.7 13.5-15.0 14.1 13.5-14.8 14.0 13.6-15.2 14.2 12.2-12.4 12.3
a
Notes: (hr.ft2.oF/Btu) (0.176) = m2.K/W. Mortar joints are 3/8 in. (10 mm) thick, with face shell mortar bedding assumed. Unit dimensions
based on Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90 (ref. 2). Surface air films are included.
b
Values apply when all masonry cores are filled completely. Grout density is 140 pcf (2243 kg/m3). Lightweight grouts, which will
provide higher R-values, are also available in some areas.
c
Installed over wood furring. Includes 1/2 in. (13 mm) gypsum board and nonreflective air space.
d
Installed over wood furring.Includes 1/2 in. (13 mm) gypsum board and reflective air space.
Table 4—R-Values For 10 in. (254 mm) Concrete Masonry Walls, hr.ft2.oF/Btua

Cores filled withb:
Density Cores Loose-fill insulation Polyurethane
of concrete, Empty Perlite Vermiculite foamed insulation Solid grouted
Construction pcf range mid range mid range mid range mid range mid
Exposed block, 85 2.5-2.9 2.7 7.5-9.9 8.5 7.0-9.1 7.9 8.2-11.3 9.5 2.1-2.4 2.2
both sides 95 2.4-2.7 2.5 6.3-8.7 7.2 6.0-8.0 6.8 6.7-9.7 7.9 1.9-2.2 2.0
105 2.2-2.5 2.3 5.2-7.5 6.1 5.0-7.0 5.8 5.5-8.2 6.6 1.8-2.1 1.9
115 2.1-2.4 2.2 4.4-6.5 5.2 4.2-6.2 5.0 4.6-7.0 5.5 1.7-2.0 1.8
125 1.9-2.3 2.1 3.7-5.6 4.4 3.6-5.4 4.3 3.8-6.0 4.6 1.6-1.9 1.7
135 1.8-2.1 2.0 3.1-4.9 3.7 3.0-4.7 3.6 3.2-5.1 3.9 1.5-1.8 1.6

/ in. (13 mm)
12 85 3.9-4.3 4.1 8.9-11.3 9.9 8.4-10.5 9.3 9.6-12.7 10.9 3.5-3.8 3.6
gypsum board 95 3.8-4.1 3.9 7.7-10.1 8.6 7.4-9.4 8.2 8.1-11.1 9.3 3.3-3.6 3.4
on furring 105 3.6-3.9 3.7 6.6-8.9 7.5 6.4-8.4 7.2 6.9-9.6 8.0 3.2-3.5 3.3
115 3.5-3.8 3.6 5.8-7.9 6.6 5.6-7.6 6.4 6.0-8.4 6.9 3.1-3.4 3.2
125 3.3-3.7 3.5 5.1-7.0 5.8 5.0-6.8 5.7 5.2-7.4 6.0 3.0-3.3 3.1
135 3.2-3.5 3.4 4.5-6.3 5.1 4.4-6.1 5.0 4.6-6.5 5.3 2.9-3.2 3.0

1 in. (25 mm) 85 7.9-8.3 8.1 12.9-15.3 13.9 12.4-14.5 13.3 13.6-16.7 14.9 7.5-7.8 7.6
expanded 95 7.8-8.1 7.9 11.7-14.1 12.6 11.4-13.4 12.2 12.1-15.1 13.3 7.3-7.6 7.4
polystyrenec 105 7.6-7.9 7.7 10.6-12.9 11.5 10.4-12.4 11.2 10.9-13.6 12.0 7.2-7.5 7.3
115 7.5-7.8 7.6 9.8-11.9 10.6 9.6-11.6 10.4 10.0-12.4 10.9 7.1-7.4 7.2
125 7.3-7.7 7.5 9.1-11.0 9.8 9.0-10.8 9.7 9.2-11.4 10.0 7.0-7.3 7.1
135 7.2-7.5 7.4 8.5-10.3 9.1 8.4-10.1 9.0 8.6-10.5 9.3 6.9-7.2 7.0

1 in. (25 mm) 85 8.9-9.3 9.1 13.9-16.3 14.9 13.4-15.5 14.3 14.6-17.7 15.9 8.5-8.8 8.6
extruded 95 8.8-9.1 8.9 12.7-15.1 13.6 12.4-14.4 13.2 13.1-16.1 14.3 8.3-8.6 8.4
polystyrenec 105 8.6-8.9 8.7 11.6-13.9 12.5 11.4-13.4 12.2 11.9-14.6 13.0 8.2-8.5 8.3
115 8.5-8.8 8.6 10.8-12.9 11.6 10.6-12.6 11.4 11.0-13.4 11.9 8.1-8.4 8.2
125 8.3-8.7 8.5 10.1-12.0 10.8 10.0-11.8 10.7 10.2-12.4 11.0 8.0-8.3 8.1
135 8.2-8.5 8.4 9.5-11.3 10.1 9.4-11.1 10.0 9.6-11.5 10.3 7.9-8.2 8.0

1 in. (25 mm) 85 12.4-12.7 12.5 17.4-19.8 18.4 16.9-18.9 17.8 18.0-21.1 19.3 11.9-12.2 12.1
polyiso- 95 12.2-12.6 12.4 16.1-18.5 17.1 15.8-17.9 16.7 16.6-19.5 17.8 11.8-12.1 11.9
cyanurated 105 12.1-12.4 12.2 15.1-17.4 16.0 14.9-16.9 15.7 15.4-18.1 16.5 11.7-11.9 11.8
115 11.9-12.3 12.1 14.3-16.4 15.1 14.1-16.0 14.9 14.4-16.9 15.4 11.6-11.8 11.7
125 11.8-12.1 11.9 13.5-15.5 14.3 13.5-15.2 14.1 13.7-15.9 14.5 11.5-11.7 11.6
135 11.7-12.0 11.8 13.0-14.7 13.6 12.9-14.6 13.5 13.0-14.9 13.7 11.4-11.6 11.5

2 x 4 furring 85 13.3-13.7 13.5 18.3-20.7 19.3 17.8-19.9 18.7 19.0-22.1 20.3 12.9-13.2 13.0
with R13 batt & 95 13.2-13.5 13.3 17.1-19.5 18.0 16.8-18.8 17.6 17.5-20.5 18.7 12.7-13.0 12.8
1/2 in. (13 mm) 105 13.0-13.3 13.1 16.0-18.3 16.9 15.8-17.8 16.6 16.3-19.0 17.4 12.6-12.9 12.7
gypsum board 115 12.9-13.2 13.0 15.2-17.3 16.0 15.0-17.0 15.8 15.4-17.8 16.3 12.5-12.8 12.6
on furring 125 12.7-13.1 12.9 14.5-16.4 15.2 14.4-16.2 15.1 14.6-16.8 15.4 12.4-12.7 12.5
135 12.6-12.9 12.8 13.9-15.7 14.5 13.8-15.5 14.4 14.0-15.9 14.7 12.3-12.6 12.4
a
Notes: (hr.ft2.oF/Btu) (0.176) = m2.K/W. Mortar joints are 3/8 in. (10 mm) thick, with face shell mortar bedding assumed. Unit dimen-
sions based on Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90 (ref. 2). Surface air films are included.
b
Values apply when all masonry cores are filled completely. Grout density is 140 pcf (2243 kg/m3). Lightweight grouts, which will
provide higher R-values, are also available in some areas.
c
Installed over wood furring. Includes 1/2 in. (13 mm) gypsum board and nonreflective air space.
d
Installed over wood furring.Includes 1/2 in. (13 mm) gypsum board and reflective air space.
Table 5—R-Values For 12 in. (305 mm) Concrete Masonry Walls, hr.ft2.oF/Btua

Cores filled withb:
Density Cores Loose-fill insulation Polyurethane
of concrete, Empty Perlite Vermiculite foamed insulation Solid grouted
Construction pcf range mid range mid range mid range mid range mid
Exposed block, 85 2.6-3.0 2.8 9.1-12.1 10.3 8.5-11.0 9.6 10.0-13.8 11.5 2.3-2.6 2.4
both sides 95 2.4-2.8 2.6 7.6-10.5 8.8 7.2-9.7 8.2 8.2-11.8 9.6 2.1-2.4 2.3
105 2.3-2.6 2.4 6.3-9.1 7.4 6.0-8.5 7.0 6.7-10.0 8.0 2.0-2.3 2.1
115 2.1-2.5 2.3 5.2-7.9 6.2 5.1-7.4 6.0 5.5-8.5 6.6 1.9-2.2 2.0
125 2.0-2.3 2.2 4.4-6.8 5.3 4.2-6.5 5.1 4.5-7.2 5.5 1.8-2.0 1.9
135 1.9-2.2 2.0 3.6-5.8 4.4 3.6-5.6 4.3 3.7-6.1 4.6 1.7-1.9 1.8

/ in. (13 mm)
12 85 4.0-4.4 4.2 10.5-13.5 11.7 9.9-12.4 11.0 11.4-15.2 12.9 3.7-4.0 3.8
gypsum board 95 3.8-4.2 4.0 9.0-11.9 10.2 8.6-11.1 9.6 9.6-13.2 11.0 3.5-3.8 3.7
on furring 105 3.7-4.0 3.8 7.7-10.5 8.8 7.4-9.9 8.4 8.1-11.4 9.4 3.4-3.7 3.5
115 3.5-3.9 3.7 6.6-9.3 7.6 6.5-8.8 7.4 6.9-9.9 8.0 3.3-3.6 3.4
125 3.4-3.7 3.6 5.8-8.2 6.7 5.6-7.9 6.5 5.9-8.6 6.9 3.2-3.4 3.3
135 3.3-3.6 3.4 5.0-7.2 5.8 5.0-7.0 5.7 5.1-7.5 6.0 3.1-3.3 3.2

1 in. (25 mm) 85 8.0-8.4 8.2 14.5-17.5 15.7 13.9-16.4 15.0 15.4-19.2 16.9 7.7-8.0 7.8
expanded 95 7.8-8.2 8.0 13.0-15.9 14.2 12.6-15.1 13.6 13.6-17.2 15.0 7.5-7.8 7.7
polystyrenec 105 7.7-8.0 7.8 11.7-14.5 12.8 11.4-13.9 12.4 12.1-15.4 13.4 7.4-7.7 7.5
115 7.5-7.9 7.7 10.6-13.3 11.6 10.5-12.8 11.4 10.9-13.9 12.0 7.3-7.6 7.4
125 7.4-7.7 7.6 9.8-12.2 10.7 9.6-11.9 10.5 9.9-12.6 10.9 7.2-7.4 7.3
135 7.3-7.6 7.4 9.0-11.2 9.8 9.0-11.0 9.7 9.1-11.5 10.0 7.1-7.3 7.2

1 in. (25 mm) 85 9.0-9.4 9.2 15.5-18.5 16.7 14.9-17.4 16.0 16.4-20.2 17.9 8.7-9.0 8.8
extruded 95 8.8-9.2 9.0 14.0-16.9 15.2 13.6-16.1 14.6 14.6-18.2 16.0 8.5-8.8 8.7
polystyrenec 105 8.7-9.0 8.8 12.7-15.5 13.8 12.4-14.9 13.4 13.1-16.4 14.4 8.4-8.7 8.5
115 8.5-8.9 8.7 11.6-14.3 12.6 11.5-13.8 12.4 11.9-14.9 13.0 8.3-8.6 8.4
125 8.4-8.7 8.6 10.8-13.2 11.7 10.6-12.9 11.5 10.9-13.6 11.9 8.2-8.4 8.3
135 8.3-8.6 8.4 10.0-12.2 10.8 10.0-12.0 10.7 10.1-12.5 11.0 8.1-8.4 8.2

1 in. (25 mm) 85 12.5-12.8 12.6 19.0-22.0 20.2 18.4-20.9 19.4 19.8-23.7 21.4 12.2-12.5 12.3
polyiso- 95 12.3-12.6 12.4 17.4-20.4 18.6 17.0-19.6 18.1 18.0-21.6 19.5 12.0-12.3 12.1
cyanurated 105 12.2-12.5 12.3 16.2-19.0 17.3 15.9-18.4 16.9 16.5-19.9 17.8 11.9-12.2 12.0
115 12.0-12.3 12.1 15.1-17.7 16.1 14.9-17.3 15.8 15.3-18.4 16.5 11.8-12.0 11.9
125 11.9-12.2 12.0 14.2-16.6 15.1 14.1-16.3 14.9 14.4-17.1 15.4 11.7-11.9 11.8
135 11.8-12.1 11.9 13.5-15.7 14.3 13.4-15.5 14.2 13.6-16.0 14.5 11.6-11.8 11.7

2 x 4 furring 85 13.4-13.8 13.6 19.9-22.9 21.1 19.3-21.8 20.4 20.8-24.6 22.3 13.1-13.4 13.2
with R13 batt & 95 13.2-13.6 13.4 18.4-21.3 19.6 18.0-20.5 19.0 19.0-22.6 20.4 12.9-13.2 13.1
1/2 in. (13 mm) 105 13.1-13.4 13.2 17.1-19.9 18.2 16.8-19.3 17.8 17.5-20.8 18.8 12.8-13.1 12.9
gypsum board 115 12.9-13.3 13.1 16.0-18.7 17.0 15.9-18.2 16.8 16.3-19.3 17.4 12.7-13.0 12.8
on furring 125 12.8-13.1 13.0 15.2-17.6 16.1 15.0-17.3 15.9 15.3-18.0 16.3 12.6-12.8 12.7
135 12.7-13.0 12.8 14.4-16.6 15.2 14.4-16.4 15.1 14.5-16.9 15.4 12.5-12.7 12.6
a
Notes: (hr.ft2.oF/Btu) (0.176) = m2.K/W. Mortar joints are 3/8 in. (10 mm) thick, with face shell mortar bedding assumed. Unit dimensions
based on Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90 (ref. 2). Surface air films are included.
b
Values apply when all masonry cores are filled completely. Grout density is 140 pcf (2243 kg/m3). Lightweight grouts, which will
provide higher R-values, are also available in some areas.
c
Installed over wood furring. Includes 1/2 in. (13 mm) gypsum board and nonreflective air space.
d
Installed over wood furring.Includes 1/2 in. (13 mm) gypsum board and reflective air space.
The values for insulated and grouted cores in Tables 1 Table 6—Thermal Data Used to Develop Tables
through 5 are based on the assumption that all masonry cores
are either insulated or grouted. That is, for walls which are Thermal resistivity
either not grouted or are fully grouted, the values in Tables 2 (R-value per inch),
through 5 can be used directly. Material: hr.ft2.oF/Btu.in (m.K/W)
Vermiculite 2.27 (15.7)
R-VALUES FOR PARTIALLY GROUTED MASONRY Perlite 3.13 (21.7)
Expanded polystyrene 4.00 (27.7)
For partially grouted walls, the values in Tables 2 through Extruded polystyrene 5.00 (34.7)
5 must be modified. The first step is to determine how much Cellular polyisocyanurate,
of the wall area is grouted, from Table 1. The U-factor of the gas-impermeable facer 7.04 (48.8)
wall is calculated from the area-weighted average of the U- Polyurethane foamed-in-place insulation 5.91 (41.0)
factor of the grouted area and the U-factor of the ungrouted Wood 1.00 (6.9)
area as follows: Concrete:
U = (agr x Ugr ) + (aungr x Uungr )and R = 1/U 85 pcf 0.23-0.34 (1.6-2.4)
where: 95 pcf 0.18-0.28 (1.2-1.9)
agr = fractional grouted area of wall 105 pcf 0.14-0.23 (0.97-1.6)
aungr = fractional ungrouted area of wall 115 pcf 0.11-0.19 (0.76-1.3)
R = total thermal resistance of wall, hr.ft2.oF/Btu (m2.K/W) 125 pcf 0.08-0.15 (0.55-1.0)
U = total thermal conductance of wall, Btu/hr·ft2·oF (W/ 135 pcf 0.07-0.12 (0.49-0.83)
m2.K) 140 pcf 0.06-0.11 (0.40-0.78)
Ugr = conductance of fully grouted wall, Btu/hr·ft2·oF (W/ Mortar 0.20 (1.4)
m2.K)
Uungr = conductance of ungrouted wall, Btu/hr·ft2·oF (W/m2.K) R-value, hr.ft2.oF/Btu
Material (m2.K/W)
For example, consider an 8 in. (203 mm) wall composed 1/2 in. (13 mm) gypsum wallboard 0.45 (0.08)
of hollow 105 lb/ft3 (1682 kg/m3) concrete masonry, and grouted Inside surface air film 0.68 (0.12)
at 48 in. (1219 mm) o.c. both vertically and horizontally. The Outside surface air film 0.17 (0.03)
ungrouted cores contain perlite loose fill insulation. Nonreflective air space 0.97 (0.17)
From Table 1, 31% of the wall is grouted and 69% Reflective air space 2.38 (0.42)
contains insulation. From Table 3, the R-value for a solidly
grouted concrete masonry wall is 1.7 hr.ft2.oF/Btu (0.30 m2.K/ REFERENCES
W). The corresponding U-factor is 1/1.7 or 0.588 Btu/hr.ft2.oF 1. ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook. Atlanta, GA: Ameri-
(3.3 W/m2.K). Again from Table 3, a wall containing perlite can Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Condition-
loose fill insulation has an R-value of 5.2, with a correspond- ing Engineers, Inc., 1993.
ing U-factor of 0.192. The U-factor and R-value of the wall are 2. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Ma-
calculated as follows: sonry Units, ASTM C 90-95. American Society for Test-
U = agr x Ugr + aungr x Uungr ing and Materials, 1995.
= (0.31 x 0.588) + (0.69 x 0.192) 3. Valore, Rudolph C. The Thermophysical Properties of
= 0.315 Btu/hr·ft2·oF (1.79 W/m2.K) Masonry and Its Constituents, Parts I and II. Washington,
R = 1/U = 1/0.315 = 3.2 hr·ft2·oF/Btu (0.56 m2.K/W) DC: International Masonry Institute, 1988.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 22071-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

FIRE RESISTANCE RATING OF TEK 7-1A
Fire Resistance (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY ASSEMBLIES

directory of listed fire rated assemblies. The listing service
Keywords: columns, control joints, equivalent thickness,
also monitors materials and production to verify that the
fire resistance ratings, fire walls, multi-wythe walls, speci-
concrete masonry units are and remain in compliance with
fications
appropriate standards. A premium is usually charged for
units of this type. The system also is somewhat inflexible in
that little variation from the original tested wall assembly is
INTRODUCTION allowed including unit size, shape, mix design, ingredients,
and even the plant of manufacture.
This TEK conforms to the stated parameters of the The third option, testing of representative elements of the
Standard Method for Determining Fire Resistance of Con- construction in accordance with standard fire test methods is
crete and Masonry Construction Assemblies, ACI 216.1-97/ generally not practical due to the expense of the test and time
TMS 0216.1-97 (ref. 1–hereinafter referred to as the Stan- required to build, cure, and test representative specimens.
dard). Concrete masonry is widely specified for fire walls and
fire separation walls because these elements are: CALCULATED FIRE RESISTANCE METHOD
· noncombustible,
· provide durable fire resistance, and Scope
· are economical to construct. This TEK covers methods for determining the fire resis-
For the most part, the contents of the Standard are not tance rating of concrete masonry assemblies, including walls,
new, but rather are a compilation and refinement of the many columns, lintels, beams, and concrete masonry fire protection
documents previously published by the various segments of for steel columns. It also includes assemblies composed of
the masonry and concrete industry. More importantly, the concrete masonry and other components including plaster
Standard is a document that has gone through a formal and drywall finishes, and multi-wythe masonry components
consensus process and is written in mandatory language, and including clay or shale masonry units.
therefore is now incorporated by reference into the national
model codes. Background
The calculated fire resistance method is based on exten-
Methods of Determining Fire Resistance Ratings sive research and results of previous testing of concrete
The fire resistance rating period of concrete masonry masonry walls. Fire testing of wall assemblies is conducted
elements can be determined by three methods: in accordance with the Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests
· calculation, of Building Construction and Materials, ASTM E 119 (ref. 7)
· through a listing service, or which measures four performance criteria.
· by testing. ASTM E 119 Performance Criteria:
The calculation method is the most practical and most · resistance to the transmission of heat through the
commonly used method of determining the fire resistance wall assembly,
rating of concrete masonry. It is based on extensive research · resistance to the passage of hot gases through the
which established a relationship between physical properties wall sufficient to ignite cotton waste,
of materials and the fire resistance rating. The calculation · load carrying capacity of loadbearing walls, and
method is utilized in the Standard which determines fire · resistance to the impact, erosion, and cooling effects
resistance ratings based on the equivalent thickness of con- of a hose stream on the assembly after exposure to
crete masonry units and aggregate types used in their manu- the standard fire.
facture. The fire resistance rating of concrete masonry is typically
An alternative to the calculation method is provided by governed by the heat transmission criteria. This type of
private commercial listing services. The listing service failure mode is certainly preferable to a structural collapse
approach allows the designer to select a fire rated assembly endpoint characteristic of many other building materials
which has been previously classified and listed in a published from the standpoint of life safety (particularly for fire fighters)
TEK 7-1A © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 7-1 and 7-3)
Table 1—Fire Resistance Rating Period of Concrete Masonry Assemblies (ref. 1)

Aggregate type in the Minimum required equivalent thickness for fire resistance rating, in. (mm) 1
concrete masonry unit 2 4 hours 3 hours 2 hours 1.5 hours 1 hour 0.75 hours 0.5 hours
Calcareous or siliceous gravel 6.2 (157) 5.3 (135) 4.2 (107) 3.6 (91) 2.8 (71) 2.4 (61) 2.0 (51)
Limestone, cinders or slag 5.9 (150) 5.0 (127) 4.0 (102) 3.4 (86) 2.7 (69) 2.3 (58) 1.9 (48)
Expanded clay, shale or slate 5.1 (130) 4.4 (112) 3.6 (91) 3.3 (84) 2.6 (66) 2.2 (56) 1.8 (46)
Expanded slag or pumice 4.7 (119) 4.0 (102) 3.2 (81) 2.7 (69) 2.1 (53) 1.9 (48) 1.5 (38)

1. Fire resistance rating between the hourly fire resistance rating periods listed may be determined by linear interpolation based on the
equivalent thickness value of the concrete masonry assembly.
2. Minimum required equivalent thickness corresponding to the hourly fire resistance rating for units made with a combination of aggregates
shall be determined by linear interpolation based on the percent by volume of each aggregate used in the manufacture.

and salvageability. equal to that of an ungrouted unit.
Fire testing of concrete masonry columns evaluates the Loadbearing units conforming to ASTM C 90 (ref. 6)
ability of the column to carry design loads under standard fire that are commonly available include 100% solid units, 75%
test conditions. Fire testing of a concrete masonry protected solid units, and hollow units meeting minimum required
steel column assembly evaluates the structural integrity of the faceshell and web dimensions. Typical equivalent thickness
steel column under fire test conditions by measuring the values for these units are listed in Table 2.
temperature rise of the steel.
Fire testing of concrete masonry beams and lintels evalu- Filling Cells with Loose Fill Material
ates the ability of the member to sustain design loads under If the cells of hollow unit masonry are filled with
standard fire test conditions. This is accomplished by insur- approved materials, the equivalent thickness of the assembly
ing that the temperature rise of the tensile reinforcing does can be considered the same as the actual thickness. The list
not exceed 1100 oF (593 oC) during the rating period. of approved materials includes: sand, pea gravel, crushed
stone, or slag that meets ASTM C 33 (ref. 3) requirements;
Equivalent Thickness pumice, scoria, expanded shale, expanded clay, expanded
Extensive testing has established a relationship between slate, expanded slag, expanded flyash, or cinders that comply
the fire resistance and the equivalent solid thickness for with ASTM C 331 (ref. 4) or C 332 (ref. 5), or perlite or
concrete masonry walls as shown in Table 1. Equivalent vermiculite meeting the requirements of ASTM C 549 and C
thickness is essentially the solid thickness that would be 516 (refs. 9 and 8), respectively.
obtained if the same amount of masonry contained in a hollow
unit were recast without core holes. The equivalent thickness Wall Assemblies
of a hollow unit is equal to the percentage solid times the The fire resistance rating is determined in accordance
actual thickness of the unit. See Figure 1. The percentage with Table 1 utilizing the appropriate aggregate type of the
solid is determined in accordance with Standard Methods of masonry unit and the equivalent thickness. Units manufac-
Sampling and Testing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C tured with a combination of aggregate types are addressed by
140 (ref. 2). footnote (2) which may be expressed by the following equa-
The equivalent thickness of a 100% solid unit or a solid tion:
grouted unit is equal to the actual thickness. For partially
grouted walls where the unfilled cells are left empty, the Table 2—Equivalent Thickness of Concrete
equivalent thickness for fire resistance rating purposes is Masonry Units, in. (mm)

Nominal Based on Based on
If this hollow width, in. typical percent solid
unit is 53% solid, (mm) hollow units 1 (75%) (100%)

4 (102) 2.7 (69) [73.8] 2.7 (69) 3.6 (91)
the equivalent 6 (152) 3.1 (79) [55.0] 4.2 (107) 5.6 (142)
thickness is 8 (203) 4.0(102) [53.0] 5.7 (145) 7.6 (193)
4
/8" .04" 4.04 inches 10 (254) 5.0(127) [51.7] 7.2 (183) 9.6 (244)
75
12 (305) 5.7(145) [48.7] 8.7 (221) 11.6 (295)
Equivalent Thickness = 0.53 x 7-5/8 in. = 4.04 in.
1. Values in brackets [ ] are percent solid values based
Figure 1—Equivalent Thickness Calculation on typical two core concrete masonry units.
Tr = (T1 x V1) + (T2 x V2) For multi-wythe walls of clay brick and concrete ma-
sonry, use the values of Table 3 for the brick wythe in the
Where: above equation.
T r = required equivalent thickness for a specific fire
resistance rating of an assembly constructed of Table 3—Fire Resistance of Brick or Tile
units with combined aggregates, in. (mm) of Clay or Shale (ref.1)
T1, T2 = required equivalent thickness for a specific fire
Minimum required equivalent thickness 1 for
resistance rating of a wall constructed of units with
Material type fire resistance rating, in. (mm)
aggregate types 1 and 2, respectively, in. (mm)
V1, V2= fractional volume of aggregate types 1 and 2, re- 4 hours 3 hours 2 hours l hour
spectively, used in the manufacture of the unit
> 75% solid 6.0 (152) 4.9 (124) 3.8 (97) 2.7 (69)
Hollow units2 5.0 (127) 4.3 (109) 3.4 (86) 2.3 (58)
Blended aggregate example: Hollow units3 6.6 (168) 5.5 (140) 4.4 (112) 3.0 (76)
The required equivalent thickness of an assembly
constructed of units made with expanded shale (80% by 1. See section entitled "Equivalent Thickness" for calculation.
2. Unfilled hollow units.
volume), and calcareous sand (20% by volume), to meet a
3. Grouted or filled per section entitled "Filling Cells with
3 hour fire resistance rating is: Loose Fill Material".

T1 for expanded shale (3 hour rating) = 4.4 in. (112 mm)
T2 for calcareous sand (3 hour rating) = 5.3 in. (135 mm)
Reinforced Concrete Masonry Columns
Tr = (4.4 x 0.80) + (5.3 x 0.20) = 4.58 in. (116 mm)
The fire resistance rating of reinforced concrete masonry
columns is based on the least plan dimension of the column
as indicated in Table 4. The minimum required cover over the
Multi-Wythe Wall Assemblies vertical reinforcement is 2 in. (51 mm).
The fire resistance rating of multi-wythe walls (Figure 2) is
based on the fire resistance of each wythe and the air space
between each wythe in accordance with the following Equa- Table 4—Reinforced Concrete Masonry Columns
tion. (ref. 1)

R = (R10.59 + R20.59 +...+Rn0.59 + A1 + A2 +... An)1.7 Minimum column dimensions, in. (mm),
for fire resistance rating of:
Where:
R1, R2,...Rn = fire resistance rating of wythe 1, 2,...n, 1 hour 2 hours 3 hours 4 hours
respectively (hours).
A1, A2,...An = 0.30; factor for each air space, 1, 2,...n, 8 (203) 10 (254) 12 (305) 14 (356)
respectively, having a width of 1/2 to 31/2 in. (13 to 89 mm)
between wythes. Note: It does not matter which side is
exposed to the fire.
Concrete Masonry Lintels
The fire resistance rating of concrete masonry lintels is
Wythe (R2) Air space factor (A1) for
determined based upon the nominal thickness of the lintel
widths 1/2 in. (13 mm) or
and the minimum cover of longitudinal reinforcement in
greater
accordance with Table 5. Cover requirements in excess of 1½
in. (38 mm) protect the reinforcement from strength degra-
dation due to excessive temperature during the fire exposure
period. Cover requirements may be provided by masonry
units, grout, or mortar.

Table 5—Reinforced Concrete Masonry Lintels
Wythe (R1) Minimum Longitudinal Reinforcing Cover,
in. (mm) (ref. 1)
R1 = Fire resistance rating of wythe 1 Nominal
R2 = Fire resistance rating of wythe 2 lintel width, Fire resistance rating
A1 = Air space factor = 0.3 in., (mm) 1 hour 2 hours 3 hours 4 hours
6 (152) 11/2 (38) 2 (51) - -
Figure 2—Fire Resistance of Multi-Wythe 8 (203) 11/2 (38) 11/2 (38) 13/4 (44) 3 (76)
Masonry Wall (ref. 1) 10 (254) or more 11/2 (38) 11/2 (38) 11/2 (38) 13/4 (44)
Control Joints
Figure 3 shows control joint details in fire rated wall
assemblies in which openings are not permitted or where Sealant and backer
openings are required to be protected. Maximum joint width
is ½ in. (13 mm). Preformed gasket

Steel Columns Protected by Concrete Masonry
The fire resistance rating of steel columns protected by
concrete masonry as illustrated in Figure 4 is determined by
the following equation:

R = 0.401(Ast /p s)0.7 + {0.285(Tea1.6/k 0.2) x
[1.0 + (42.7{(Ast/DTea)/(0.25p + Tea)}0.8 )]}(English units)
R = 7.13(Ast p s)0.7 + {0.0027(Tea1.6/k 0.2) x
[1.0 + (2.49x107{(Ast/DTea)/(0.25p + Tea)}0.8 )]}(SI units)

Where:
R = Fire resistance rating of the column assembly, hr.
Ast = Cross-sectional area of the steel column, in.2 (m2) 2 Hour Fire Resistance Rating
D = Density of concrete masonry protection, pcf (kg/m3)
ps = Heated perimeter of steel column, in. (mm)
k = Thermal conductivity of concrete masonry, Table 6, Sealant and backer
Btu/hr•ft•oF (W/m•K)
p = Inner perimeter of concrete masonry protection, in. (mm) Ceramic fiber felt
Tea = Equivalent thickness of concrete masonry protec- (alumina-silica fibers)
tion, in. (mm)
Vertical reinforcement
Table 6—Properties of Concrete Masonry Units each side of joint

Density, D Thermal conductivity1, k
pcf (kg/m3) Btu/hr•ft•oF (W/m•K)
80 (1281) 0.207 (0.358)
85 (1362) 0.228 (0.394)
90 (1442) 0.252 (0.436)
95 (1522) 0.278 (0.481)
100 (1602) 0.308 (0.533) 4 Hour Fire Resistance Rating
105 (1682) 0.340 (0.588)
110 (1762) 0.376 (0.650)
Bond breaker Sealant and backer
115 (1842) 0.416 (0.720)
120 (1922) 0.459 (0.749)
125 (2002) 0.508 (0.879)
130 (2082) 0.561 (0.971)
135 (2162) 0.620 (1.073)
140 (2243) 0.685 (1.186) Grout key
145 (2323) 0.758 (1.312) 4 Hour Fire Resistance Rating
150 (2403) 0.837 (1.449)
Mortar (1/2 in., 13 mm
1. Thermal conductivity at 70 oF. oC = (oF-32)(5/9) Sealant and backer
minimum depth)

Effects of Finish Materials
In many cases drywall, plaster or stucco finishes are
added to concrete masonry walls. While finishes are nor-
mally applied for architectural reasons, they also provide 4 Hour Fire Resistance Rating
additional fire resistance value. The Standard (ref. 1) makes
provision for calculating the additional fire resistance pro-
Figure 3—Control Joints for Fire Resistant
vided by these finishes.
Concrete Masonry Assemblies (ref. 1)
It should be noted that when finishes are used to achieve
finish is converted to equivalent thickness of concrete ma-
w d
sonry by multiplying the thickness of the finish by the factor
given in Table 7. This is then added to the base concrete
masonry wall equivalent thickness which is used in Table 1
to determine the fire resistance rating.
For finishes on the fire exposed side of the wall, a time
d is assigned to the finish in Table 8 which is added to the fire
tweb
resistance rating determined for the base wall and non-fire
side finish. The times listed in Table 8 are essentially the
length of time the various finishes will remain intact when
exposed to fire (on the fire side of the wall).
p s = 2(w + d) + 2(w - tweb) p s = 4d When calculating the fire resistance rating of a wall with
finishes, two calculations are performed. The first is assum-
d
ing fire on one side of the wall and the second is assuming the
fire on the other side. The fire rating of the wall assembly is
then the lowest of the two. Note that there may be situations
where the wall needs to rated with the fire on only one side.
p s = pd
0.25p
Installation of Finishes
Finishes that are assumed to contribute to the total fire
resistance rating of a wall must meet certain minimum
installation requirements. Plaster and stucco need only be
0.25p applied in accordance with the provisions of the building
code. Gypsum wallboard and gypsum lath may be attached
Figure 4—Details of Concrete Masonry Column to wood or metal furring strips spaced a maximum of 24 in.
Protection for Commonly Used Shapes (ref. 1) (610 mm) on center or may be attached directly to the wall
with adhesives. Drywall and furring may be attached in one
the required fire resistance rating, the masonry alone must of two ways:
provide at least one-half of the total required rating. This is
to assure structural integrity during a fire. Table 8—Time Assigned to Finish Materials on
Certain finishes deteriorate more rapidly when exposed Fire Exposed Side of Wall (ref. 1)
to fire than when on the non-fire side of the wall. Therefore, Finish description Time, min
two separate tables are required. Table 7 applies to finishes
on the non-fire exposed side of the wall and Table 8 applies Gypsum wallboard
3
/8 i n . ( 1 0 m m ) 10
to finishes on the fire exposed side. 1
/2 i n . ( 1 3 m m ) 15
For finishes on the non-fire exposed side of the wall, the 5
/8 i n . ( 1 6 m m ) 20
3
Two layers of / 8 i n . ( 1 0 m m ) 25
One layer of 3/ 8 in. (10mm) and one layer
Table 7—Multiplying Factor for Finishes on of 1/ 2 i n . ( 1 6 m m ) 35
Non-Fire Exposed Side of Wall (ref. 1) Two layers of 1/ 2 i n . ( 1 6 m m ) 40

Type of material used in concrete Type “X” gypsum wallboard
1
masonry units /2 i n . ( 1 3 m m ) 25
5
/8 i n . ( 1 6 m m ) 40
Type of finish
Expanded shale,
applied to slab Siliceous or
expanded clay, Direct-applied portland cement-sand plaster See Note 1
or wall carbonate aggregate
expanded slag, or
concrete masonry Portland cement-sand plaster on metal lath
pumice less than 20
unit 3
/4 i n . ( 1 9 m m ) 20
percent sand 7
/8 i n . ( 2 2 m m ) 25
Portland cement- 1 in. (25 mm) 30
s a n d p l a s t e r1 or 1.00 0.75
terrazzo Gypsum-sand plaster on 3/ 8 i n . ( 1 0 m m )
gypsum lath
1 35
Gypsum-sand /2 i n . ( 1 3 m m )
1.25 1.00 5 40
plaster /8 i n . ( 1 6 m m )
3 50
/4 i n . ( 2 2 m m )
Gypsum-vermic-
ulite or perlite 1.75 1.25 Gypsum-sand plaster on metal lath
3
plaster /4 i n . ( 1 9 m m ) 50
7
/8 i n . ( 2 2 m m ) 60
Gypsum wall- 1 in. (25 mm) 80
3.00 2.25
board
1. For purposes of determining the contribution of portland cement-
5
1. For portland cement-sand plaster / 8 in. (16 mm) or less in sand plaster to the equivalent thickness of concrete or masonry for
thickness, and applied directly to concrete masonry on the non-fire- use in Table 1, it shall be permitted to use the actual thickness of
exposed side of the wall, multiplying factor shall be 1.0. the plaster, or 5 / 8 in. (16 mm), whichever is smaller.
1). Self-tapping drywall screws spaced a maximum of 12 in. REFERENCES
(305 mm) and penetrating a minimum of 3/8 in. (10 mm)
into resilient steel furring channels running horizontally 1. Standard Method for Determining Fire Resistance of Con-
and spaced a maximum of 24 in. (610 mm) on center. crete and Masonry Construction Assemblies, ACI 216.1-97/
2). Lath nails spaced at 12 in. (305 mm) on center maxi- TMS 0216.1-97. American Concrete Institute and The Ma-
sonry Society, 1997.
mum, penetrating 3/4 in. (19 mm) into nominal 1 x 2 in.
2. Standard Methods of Sampling and Testing Concrete Ma-
(25 x 51 mm) wood furring strips which are attached to sonry Units, ASTM C 140-01. American Society for Testing
the masonry with 2 in. (51 mm) concrete nails spaced a and Materials, 2001.
maximum of 16 in. (41 mm) on center. 3. Standard Specification for Concrete Aggregates, ASTM C
Gypsum wallboard must be installed with the long 33-01. American Society for Testing and Materials, 2001.
dimension parallel to the furring members and all horizontal 4. Standard Specification for Lightweight Aggregates for Con-
and vertical joints must be supported and finished. The only crete Masonry Units, ASTM C 331-01. American Society for
exception is 5/8 in. (16 mm) Type "X" gypsum wallboard Testing and Materials, 2001.
which may be installed horizontally without being supported 5. Standard Specification for Lightweight Aggregates for
at the horizontal joints. Insulating Concrete, ASTM C 332-99. American Society for
For drywall attached by the adhesive method, a 3/8 in. (10 Testing and Materials, 1999.
mm) bead of panel adhesive must be placed around the 6. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry
perimeter of the wallboard and across the diagonals and then Units, ASTM C 90-01. American Society for Testing and
secured with a masonry nail for each 2 ft 2 (0.19 m2)of panel. Materials, 2001.
7. Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construc-
tion and Materials, ASTM E 119-00a. American Society for
CONCLUSION Testing and Materials, 2000.
8. Standard Specification for Vermiculite Loose Fill Insulation,
The calculated fire resistance procedure is practical, ASTM C 516-80(1996)e1 . American Society for Testing and
versatile, and economical. It is based on thousands of tests. Materials, 1996.
It is incorporated by reference into the major model codes of 9. Standard Specification for Perlite Loose Fill Insulation,ASTM
the US and allows the designer virtually unlimited flexibility C 549-81(1995) e1 . American Society for Testing and Materials,
to incorporate the excellent fire resistive properties of con- 1995.
crete masonry into the design.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

FIRE RESISTANCE RATING OF TEK 7-1A
Fire Resistance (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY ASSEMBLIES

directory of listed fire rated assemblies. The listing service
Keywords: columns, control joints, equivalent thickness,
also monitors materials and production to verify that the
fire resistance ratings, fire walls, multi-wythe walls, speci-
concrete masonry units are and remain in compliance with
fications
appropriate standards. A premium is usually charged for
units of this type. The system also is somewhat inflexible in
that little variation from the original tested wall assembly is
INTRODUCTION allowed including unit size, shape, mix design, ingredients,
and even the plant of manufacture.
This TEK conforms to the stated parameters of the The third option, testing of representative elements of the
Standard Method for Determining Fire Resistance of Con- construction in accordance with standard fire test methods is
crete and Masonry Construction Assemblies, ACI 216.1-97/ generally not practical due to the expense of the test and time
TMS 0216.1-97 (ref. 1–hereinafter referred to as the Stan- required to build, cure, and test representative specimens.
dard). Concrete masonry is widely specified for fire walls and
fire separation walls because these elements are: CALCULATED FIRE RESISTANCE METHOD
∑ noncombustible,
∑ provide durable fire resistance, and Scope
∑ are economical to construct. This TEK covers methods for determining the fire resis-
For the most part, the contents of the Standard are not tance rating of concrete masonry assemblies, including walls,
new, but rather are a compilation and refinement of the many columns, lintels, beams, and concrete masonry fire protection
documents previously published by the various segments of for steel columns. It also includes assemblies composed of
the masonry and concrete industry. More importantly, the concrete masonry and other components including plaster
Standard is a document that has gone through a formal and drywall finishes, and multi-wythe masonry components
consensus process and is written in mandatory language, and including clay or shale masonry units.
therefore is now incorporated by reference into the national
model codes. Background
The calculated fire resistance method is based on exten-
Methods of Determining Fire Resistance Ratings sive research and results of previous testing of concrete
The fire resistance rating period of concrete masonry masonry walls. Fire testing of wall assemblies is conducted
elements can be determined by three methods: in accordance with the Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests
∑ calculation, of Building Construction and Materials, ASTM E 119 (ref. 7)
∑ through a listing service, or which measures four performance criteria.
∑ by testing. ASTM E 119 Performance Criteria:
The calculation method is the most practical and most ∑ resistance to the transmission of heat through the
commonly used method of determining the fire resistance wall assembly,
rating of concrete masonry. It is based on extensive research ∑ resistance to the passage of hot gases through the
which established a relationship between physical properties wall sufficient to ignite cotton waste,
of materials and the fire resistance rating. The calculation ∑ load carrying capacity of loadbearing walls, and
method is utilized in the Standard which determines fire ∑ resistance to the impact, erosion, and cooling effects
resistance ratings based on the equivalent thickness of con- of a hose stream on the assembly after exposure to
crete masonry units and aggregate types used in their manu- the standard fire.
facture. The fire resistance rating of concrete masonry is typically
An alternative to the calculation method is provided by governed by the heat transmission criteria. This type of
private commercial listing services. The listing service failure mode is certainly preferable to a structural collapse
approach allows the designer to select a fire rated assembly endpoint characteristic of many other building materials
which has been previously classified and listed in a published from the standpoint of life safety (particularly for fire fighters)
TEK 7-1A © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 7-1 and 7-3)
Table 1—Fire Resistance Rating Period of Concrete Masonry Assemblies (ref. 1)

Aggregate type in the Minimum required equivalent thickness for fire resistance rating, in. (mm)1
concrete masonry unit2 4 hours 3 hours 2 hours 1.5 hours 1 hour 0.75 hours 0.5 hours
Calcareous or siliceous gravel 6.2 (157) 5.3 (135) 4.2 (107) 3.6 (91) 2.8 (71) 2.4 (61) 2.0 (51)
Limestone, cinders or slag 5.9 (150) 5.0 (127) 4.0 (102) 3.4 (86) 2.7 (69) 2.3 (58) 1.9 (48)
Expanded clay, shale or slate 5.1 (130) 4.4 (112) 3.6 (91) 3.3 (84) 2.6 (66) 2.2 (56) 1.8 (46)
Expanded slag or pumice 4.7 (119) 4.0 (102) 3.2 (81) 2.7 (69) 2.1 (53) 1.9 (48) 1.5 (38)

1. Fire resistance rating between the hourly fire resistance rating periods listed may be determined by linear interpolation based on the
equivalent thickness value of the concrete masonry assembly.
2. Minimum required equivalent thickness corresponding to the hourly fire resistance rating for units made with a combination of aggregates
shall be determined by linear interpolation based on the percent by volume of each aggregate used in the manufacture.

and salvageability. equal to that of an ungrouted unit.
Fire testing of concrete masonry columns evaluates the Loadbearing units conforming to ASTM C 90 (ref. 6)
ability of the column to carry design loads under standard fire that are commonly available include 100% solid units, 75%
test conditions. Fire testing of a concrete masonry protected solid units, and hollow units meeting minimum required
steel column assembly evaluates the structural integrity of the faceshell and web dimensions. Typical equivalent thickness
steel column under fire test conditions by measuring the values for these units are listed in Table 2.
temperature rise of the steel.
Fire testing of concrete masonry beams and lintels evalu- Filling Cells with Loose Fill Material
ates the ability of the member to sustain design loads under If the cells of hollow unit masonry are filled with
standard fire test conditions. This is accomplished by insur- approved materials, the equivalent thickness of the assembly
ing that the temperature rise of the tensile reinforcing does can be considered the same as the actual thickness. The list
not exceed 1100 oF (593 oC) during the rating period. of approved materials includes: sand, pea gravel, crushed
stone, or slag that meets ASTM C 33 (ref. 3) requirements;
Equivalent Thickness pumice, scoria, expanded shale, expanded clay, expanded
Extensive testing has established a relationship between slate, expanded slag, expanded flyash, or cinders that comply
the fire resistance and the equivalent solid thickness for with ASTM C 331 (ref. 4) or C 332 (ref. 5), or perlite or
concrete masonry walls as shown in Table 1. Equivalent vermiculite meeting the requirements of ASTM C 549 and C
thickness is essentially the solid thickness that would be 516 (refs. 9 and 8), respectively.
obtained if the same amount of masonry contained in a hollow
unit were recast without core holes. The equivalent thickness Wall Assemblies
of a hollow unit is equal to the percentage solid times the The fire resistance rating is determined in accordance
actual thickness of the unit. See Figure 1. The percentage with Table 1 utilizing the appropriate aggregate type of the
solid is determined in accordance with Standard Methods of masonry unit and the equivalent thickness. Units manufac-
Sampling and Testing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C tured with a combination of aggregate types are addressed by
140 (ref. 2). footnote (2) which may be expressed by the following equa-
The equivalent thickness of a 100% solid unit or a solid tion:
grouted unit is equal to the actual thickness. For partially
grouted walls where the unfilled cells are left empty, the Table 2—Equivalent Thickness of Concrete
equivalent thickness for fire resistance rating purposes is Masonry Units, in. (mm)

Nominal Based on Based on
If this hollow width, in. typical percent solid
unit is 53% solid, (mm) hollow units1 (75%) (100%)

4 (102) 2.7 (69) [73.8] 2.7 (69) 3.6 (91)
the equivalent 6 (152) 3.1 (79) [55.0] 4.2 (107) 5.6 (142)
thickness is 8 (203) 4.0 (102) [53.0] 5.7 (145) 7.6 (193)
4
/8" .04" 4.04 inches 10 (254) 5.0 (127) [51.7] 7.2 (183) 9.6 (244)
75
12 (305) 5.7 (145) [48.7] 8.7 (221) 11.6 (295)
Equivalent Thickness = 0.53 x 7-5/8 in. = 4.04 in.
1. Values in brackets [ ] are percent solid values based
Figure 1—Equivalent Thickness Calculation on typical two core concrete masonry units.
Tr = (T1 x V1) + (T2 x V2) For multi-wythe walls of clay brick and concrete ma-
sonry, use the values of Table 3 for the brick wythe in the
Where: above equation.
Tr = required equivalent thickness for a specific fire
resistance rating of an assembly constructed of Table 3—Fire Resistance of Brick or Tile
units with combined aggregates, in. (mm) of Clay or Shale (ref.1)
T1, T2 = required equivalent thickness for a specific fire
resistance rating of a wall constructed of units with Minimum required equivalent thickness 1 for
aggregate types 1 and 2, respectively, in. (mm) Material type fire resistance rating, in. (mm)
V1, V2= fractional volume of aggregate types 1 and 2, re- 4 hours 3 hours 2 hours l hour
spectively, used in the manufacture of the unit
> 75% solid 6.0 (152) 4.9 (124) 3.8 (97) 2.7 (69)
Hollow units2 5.0 (127) 4.3 (109) 3.4 (86) 2.3 (58)
Blended aggregate example: Hollow units3 6.6 (168) 5.5 (140) 4.4 (112) 3.0 (76)
The required equivalent thickness of an assembly
constructed of units made with expanded shale (80% by 1. See section entitled "Equivalent Thickness" for calculation.
volume), and calcareous sand (20% by volume), to meet a 2. Unfilled hollow units.
3. Grouted or filled per section entitled "Filling Cells with
3 hour fire resistance rating is: Loose Fill Material".

T1 for expanded shale (3 hour rating) = 4.4 in. (112 mm)
T2 for calcareous sand (3 hour rating) = 5.3 in. (135 mm)
Reinforced Concrete Masonry Columns
Tr = (4.4 x 0.80) + (5.3 x 0.20) = 4.58 in. (116 mm)
The fire resistance rating of reinforced concrete masonry
columns is based on the least plan dimension of the column
as indicated in Table 4. The minimum required cover over the
Multi-Wythe Wall Assemblies vertical reinforcement is 2 in. (51 mm).
The fire resistance rating of multi-wythe walls (Figure 2) is
based on the fire resistance of each wythe and the air space
between each wythe in accordance with the following Equa- Table 4—Reinforced Concrete Masonry Columns
tion. (ref. 1)

R = (R10.59 + R20.59 +...+Rn0.59 + A1 + A2 +... An)1.7 Minimum column dimensions, in. (mm),
for fire resistance rating of:
Where:
R1, R2,...Rn = fire resistance rating of wythe 1, 2,...n, 1 hour 2 hours 3 hours 4 hours
respectively (hours).
A1, A2,...An = 0.30; factor for each air space, 1, 2,...n, 8 (203) 10 (254) 12 (305) 14 (356)
respectively, having a width of 1/2 to 31/2 in. (13 to 89 mm)
between wythes. Note: It does not matter which side is
exposed to the fire.
Concrete Masonry Lintels
The fire resistance rating of concrete masonry lintels is
Wythe (R2) Air space factor (A1) for
determined based upon the nominal thickness of the lintel
widths 1/2 in. (13 mm) or
and the minimum cover of longitudinal reinforcement in
greater
accordance with Table 5. Cover requirements in excess of 1½
in. (38 mm) protect the reinforcement from strength degra-
dation due to excessive temperature during the fire exposure
period. Cover requirements may be provided by masonry
units, grout, or mortar.

Table 5—Reinforced Concrete Masonry Lintels
Wythe (R1) Minimum Longitudinal Reinforcing Cover,
in. (mm) (ref. 1)
R1 = Fire resistance rating of wythe 1 Nominal
R2 = Fire resistance rating of wythe 2 lintel width, Fire resistance rating
A1 = Air space factor = 0.3 in., (mm) 1 hour 2 hours 3 hours 4 hours
6 (152) 11/2 (38) 2 (51) - -
Figure 2—Fire Resistance of Multi-Wythe 8 (203) 11/2 (38) 11/2 (38) 13/4 (44) 3 (76)
Masonry Wall (ref. 1) 10 (254) or more 11/2 (38) 11/2 (38) 11/2 (38) 13/4 (44)
Control Joints
Figure 3 shows control joint details in fire rated wall
assemblies in which openings are not permitted or where Sealant and backer
openings are required to be protected. Maximum joint width
is ½ in. (13 mm). Preformed gasket

Steel Columns Protected by Concrete Masonry
The fire resistance rating of steel columns protected by
concrete masonry as illustrated in Figure 4 is determined by
the following equation:

R = 0.401(Ast /ps)0.7 + {0.285(Tea1.6/k0.2) x
[1.0 + (42.7{(Ast/DTea)/(0.25p + Tea)}0.8 )]}(English units)
R = 7.13(Ast ps)0.7 + {0.0027(Tea1.6/k0.2) x
[1.0 + (2.49x107{(Ast/DTea)/(0.25p + Tea)}0.8 )]}(SI units)

Where:
R = Fire resistance rating of the column assembly, hr.
Ast = Cross-sectional area of the steel column, in.2 (m2) 2 Hour Fire Resistance Rating
D = Density of concrete masonry protection, pcf (kg/m3)
ps = Heated perimeter of steel column, in. (mm)
k = Thermal conductivity of concrete masonry, Table 6, Sealant and backer
Btu/hr•ft•oF (W/m•K)
p = Inner perimeter of concrete masonry protection, in. (mm) Ceramic fiber felt
Tea = Equivalent thickness of concrete masonry protec- (alumina-silica fibers)
tion, in. (mm)
Vertical reinforcement
Table 6—Properties of Concrete Masonry Units each side of joint

Density, D Thermal conductivity1, k
pcf (kg/m3) Btu/hr•ft•oF (W/m•K)
80 (1281) 0.207 (0.358)
85 (1362) 0.228 (0.394)
90 (1442) 0.252 (0.436)
95 (1522) 0.278 (0.481)
100 (1602) 0.308 (0.533) 4 Hour Fire Resistance Rating
105 (1682) 0.340 (0.588)
110 (1762) 0.376 (0.650)
Bond breaker Sealant and backer
115 (1842) 0.416 (0.720)
120 (1922) 0.459 (0.749)
125 (2002) 0.508 (0.879)
130 (2082) 0.561 (0.971)
135 (2162) 0.620 (1.073)
140 (2243) 0.685 (1.186) Grout key
145 (2323) 0.758 (1.312) 4 Hour Fire Resistance Rating
150 (2403) 0.837 (1.449)
Mortar (1/2 in., 13 mm
1. Thermal conductivity at 70 oF. oC = (oF-32)(5/9) Sealant and backer
minimum depth)

Effects of Finish Materials
In many cases drywall, plaster or stucco finishes are
added to concrete masonry walls. While finishes are nor-
mally applied for architectural reasons, they also provide 4 Hour Fire Resistance Rating
additional fire resistance value. The Standard (ref. 1) makes
provision for calculating the additional fire resistance pro-
Figure 3—Control Joints for Fire Resistant
vided by these finishes.
Concrete Masonry Assemblies (ref. 1)
It should be noted that when finishes are used to achieve
finish is converted to equivalent thickness of concrete ma-
w d
sonry by multiplying the thickness of the finish by the factor
given in Table 7. This is then added to the base concrete
masonry wall equivalent thickness which is used in Table 1
to determine the fire resistance rating.
For finishes on the fire exposed side of the wall, a time
d is assigned to the finish in Table 8 which is added to the fire
tweb
resistance rating determined for the base wall and non-fire
side finish. The times listed in Table 8 are essentially the
length of time the various finishes will remain intact when
exposed to fire (on the fire side of the wall).
ps = 2(w + d) + 2(w - tweb) ps = 4d When calculating the fire resistance rating of a wall with
finishes, two calculations are performed. The first is assum-
d
ing fire on one side of the wall and the second is assuming the
fire on the other side. The fire rating of the wall assembly is
then the lowest of the two. Note that there may be situations
where the wall needs to rated with the fire on only one side.
ps = pd
0.25p
Installation of Finishes
Finishes that are assumed to contribute to the total fire
resistance rating of a wall must meet certain minimum
installation requirements. Plaster and stucco need only be
0.25p applied in accordance with the provisions of the building
code. Gypsum wallboard and gypsum lath may be attached
Figure 4—Details of Concrete Masonry Column to wood or metal furring strips spaced a maximum of 24 in.
Protection for Commonly Used Shapes (ref. 1) (610 mm) on center or may be attached directly to the wall
with adhesives. Drywall and furring may be attached in one
the required fire resistance rating, the masonry alone must of two ways:
provide at least one-half of the total required rating. This is
to assure structural integrity during a fire. Table 8—Time Assigned to Finish Materials on
Certain finishes deteriorate more rapidly when exposed Fire Exposed Side of Wall (ref. 1)
to fire than when on the non-fire side of the wall. Therefore, Finish description Time, min
two separate tables are required. Table 7 applies to finishes
on the non-fire exposed side of the wall and Table 8 applies Gypsum wallboard
3
/8 in. (10 mm) 10
to finishes on the fire exposed side. 1
/2 in. (13 mm) 15
For finishes on the non-fire exposed side of the wall, the 5
/8 in. (16 mm) 20
Two layers of 3/8 in. (10 mm) 25
One layer of 3/8 in. (10mm) and one layer
Table 7—Multiplying Factor for Finishes on of 1/2 in. (16mm) 35
Non-Fire Exposed Side of Wall (ref. 1) Two layers of 1/2 in. (16 mm) 40

Type of material used in concrete Type “X” gypsum wallboard
1
masonry units /2 in. (13 mm) 25
5
/8 in. (16 mm) 40
Type of finish Expanded shale,
applied to slab Siliceous or Direct-applied portland cement-sand plaster See Note 1
expanded clay,
or wall carbonate aggregate
expanded slag, or
concrete masonry pumice less than 20 Portland cement-sand plaster on metal lath
unit 3
/4 in. (19 mm) 20
percent sand 7
/8 in. (22 mm) 25
Portland cement- 1 in. (25 mm) 30
sand plaster 1 or 1.00 0.75
terrazzo Gypsum-sand plaster on 3/8 in. (10 mm)
gypsum lath
1 35
Gypsum-sand /2 in. (13 mm)
1.25 1.00 5 40
plaster /8 in. (16 mm)
3 50
/4 in. (22 mm)
Gypsum-vermic-
ulite or perlite 1.75 1.25 Gypsum-sand plaster on metal lath
3
plaster /4 in. (19 mm) 50
7
/8 in. (22 mm) 60
Gypsum wall- 1 in. (25 mm) 80
3.00 2.25
board
1. For purposes of determining the contribution of portland cement-
1. For portland cement-sand plaster 5/8 in. (16 mm) or less in sand plaster to the equivalent thickness of concrete or masonry for
thickness, and applied directly to concrete masonry on the non-fire- use in Table 1, it shall be permitted to use the actual thickness of
exposed side of the wall, multiplying factor shall be 1.0. the plaster, or 5/8 in. (16 mm), whichever is smaller.
1). Self-tapping drywall screws spaced a maximum of 12 in. REFERENCES
(305 mm) and penetrating a minimum of 3/8 in. (10 mm)
into resilient steel furring channels running horizontally 1. Standard Method for Determining Fire Resistance of Con-
and spaced a maximum of 24 in. (610 mm) on center. crete and Masonry Construction Assemblies, ACI 216.1-97/
2). Lath nails spaced at 12 in. (305 mm) on center maxi- TMS 0216.1-97. American Concrete Institute and The Ma-
sonry Society, 1997.
mum, penetrating 3/4 in. (19 mm) into nominal 1 x 2 in.
2. Standard Methods of Sampling and Testing Concrete Ma-
(25 x 51 mm) wood furring strips which are attached to sonry Units, ASTM C 140-01. American Society for Testing
the masonry with 2 in. (51 mm) concrete nails spaced a and Materials, 2001.
maximum of 16 in. (41 mm) on center. 3. Standard Specification for Concrete Aggregates, ASTM C
Gypsum wallboard must be installed with the long 33-01. American Society for Testing and Materials, 2001.
dimension parallel to the furring members and all horizontal 4. Standard Specification for Lightweight Aggregates for Con-
and vertical joints must be supported and finished. The only crete Masonry Units, ASTM C 331-01. American Society for
exception is 5/8 in. (16 mm) Type "X" gypsum wallboard Testing and Materials, 2001.
which may be installed horizontally without being supported 5. Standard Specification for Lightweight Aggregates for
at the horizontal joints. Insulating Concrete, ASTM C 332-99. American Society for
For drywall attached by the adhesive method, a 3/8 in. (10 Testing and Materials, 1999.
mm) bead of panel adhesive must be placed around the 6. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry
perimeter of the wallboard and across the diagonals and then Units, ASTM C 90-01. American Society for Testing and
secured with a masonry nail for each 2 ft2 (0.19 m2)of panel. Materials, 2001.
7. Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construc-
tion and Materials, ASTM E 119-00a. American Society for
CONCLUSION Testing and Materials, 2000.
8. Standard Specification for Vermiculite Loose Fill Insulation,
The calculated fire resistance procedure is practical, ASTM C 516-80(1996)e1. American Society for Testing and
versatile, and economical. It is based on thousands of tests. Materials, 1996.
It is incorporated by reference into the major model codes of 9. Standard Specification for Perlite Loose Fill Insulation, ASTM
the US and allows the designer virtually unlimited flexibility C 549-81(1995)e1. American Society for Testing and Materials,
to incorporate the excellent fire resistive properties of con- 1995.
crete masonry into the design.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

CRACK CONTROL IN TEK 10-1A
Movement Control (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS
Keywords: control joints, crack control, joint reinforcement, standing the cause of potential cracking allows the designer to
moisture, reinforced concrete masonry, wall movement incorporate appropriate design procedures to control it. The
most common causes of cracking in concrete masonry are
shown in Figure 1 and are discussed below.

INTRODUCTION Shrinkage/Restraint
Cracking resulting from shrinkage can occur in concrete
Cracks in buildings and building materials normally result masonry walls because of drying shrinkage, temperature fluc-
from restrained movement. This movement may originate tuations, and carbonation. These cracks occur when masonry
within the material, as with temperature expansion or shrink- panels are restrained from moving.
age; or may result from movements of adjacent materials, such
as deflection of beams or slabs. In many cases, movement is Drying Shrinkage
inevitable and must be accommodated or controlled. Concrete products are composed of a matrix of ag-
Designing for effective crack control requires an under- gregate particles coated by cement which bonds them
standing of the sources of stress which may cause cracking. It together. Once the concrete sets, this cementitious-
would be a simple matter to prevent cracking if there were only coated aggregate matrix expands with increasing mois-
one variable. However, prevention is made more difficult by the ture content and contracts (shrinks) with decreasing mois-
fact that cracking often results from a combination of sources. ture content. Drying shrinkage is therefore a function of
change in moisture content.
CAUSES OF CRACKING Although mortar, grout, and concrete masonry units
are all concrete products, unit shrinkage has been shown
There are a variety of potential causes of cracking. Under- to be the predominate indicator of the overall wall shrink-

Clay brick
expands

Concrete
masonry Steel
shrinks beam

a) Shrinkage/restraint b) Differential movement c) Excessive deflection

Shear
load

d) Structural overload e) Differential settlement
Figure 1 – Proper Design Can Avert Cracking of These Types

TEK 10-1A © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 10-1)
age principally due to the fact that it represents the largest in./in./°F (0.0000081 mm/mm/°C) coefficient.
portion of the wall. Therefore, the shrinkage properties of
the unit alone are typically used to establish design criteria Carbonation
for crack control. Carbonation is an irreversible reaction between cemen-
For an individual unit, the amount of drying shrinkage is titious materials and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which
influenced by the wetness of the unit at the time of placement occurs slowly over a period of several years. Since there
as well as the characteristics and amount of cementitious currently is no standard test method for carbonation shrink-
materials, the type of aggregate, consolidation, and curing. age, it is suggested that a value of 0.00025 in./in. (mm/mm)
Specifically, drying shrinkage is influenced in the following be used for the carbonation shrinkage coefficient. This
ways: results in a shortening of 0.3 in. (7.6 mm) in a 100 foot
• walls constructed with "wet" units will experience more (30.48 m) long wall.
drying shrinkage than drier units ;
• increases in cement content increase drying shrinkage; Restraint
• aggregates which are susceptible to volume change due As previously mentioned, the above phenomenon produce
to moisture content will result in increased shrinkage; movement in the wall. When external restraint is provided that
and resists this movement ,the result is tension within the wall and
• units which have undergone at least one drying cycle will a corresponding potential for cracking. Typically, concrete
not undergo as much shrinkage in subsequent drying masonry walls are restrained along the bottom of the wall with
cycles (ref. 6). partial restraint along the top of the wall. The ends of the typical
Typical drying shrinkage coefficients range from 0.0002 concrete masonry wall panel may be partially restrained by
to 0.00045 in./in. (mm/mm) or 0.24 to 0.54 in. (6.1 to 13.7 pilasters or wall intersections, but this partial restraint usually
mm) in 100 ft (30.48 m). The maximum of 0.00065 in./in. does not significantly alter the wall's cracking potential. Excep-
(mm/mm) allowed by ASTM C 90, Standard Specification tions to the typical restraint condition include cantilevered
for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units (ref. 7), is from walls which are restrained along their base, but free (unre-
a 100% saturated condition (immersed in water for 48 hrs.) strained) at the top. It is conservative to base general crack
Typically however, the moisture content of units placed in control design criteria on a condition of restraint along the top
the wall is less than 70% accounting for the lower maximum and bottom of the wall.
field value than allowed in the lab. In addition to external restraint, reinforcement causes
Standard Test Method for Drying Shrinkage of Con- some internal restraint within the wall. Reinforcement
crete Masonry Units, ASTM C 426 (ref. 8), is the method responds to temperature changes with corresponding changes
for determining the potential drying shrinkage of concrete in length; however, reinforcement does not undergo volu-
masonry units. This is a measure of shrinkage from a metric changes due to moisture changes or carbonation.
saturated moisture content (100%) to that in equilibrium Consequently, as the wall shrinks, the reinforcement under-
with a relative humidity of 17% - usually resulting in a goes elastic shortening (strain) which results in compres-
moisture content of about 8 to 10% of total absorption. sive stress in the steel. Correspondingly, the surrounding
masonry offsets this compression by tension. At the point
Temperature Changes when the masonry cracks and tries to open, the stress in the
Concrete masonry movement has been shown to be reinforcement turns to tension and acts to limit the width of
linearly proportional to temperature change. The coeffi- the crack by holding it closed.
cient of thermal movement normally used in design is The net effect is that reinforcement controls crack
0.0000045 in./in./°F (0.0000081 mm/mm/°C) (ref. 2). width by causing a greater number (frequency) of cracks to
Actual values may range from 0.0000025 to 0.0000055 in./ occur. As the horizontal reinforcement ratio (cross-sec-
in./°F (0.0000045 to 0.0000099 mm/mm/°C) depending tional area of horizontal steel vs. vertical cross-sectional
mainly on the type of aggregate used in the unit. The actual area of masonry) increases, crack width decreases. Smaller
change in temperature is, of course, determined by geo- sized reinforcement at closer spacings is more effective
graphical location and exposure. Other environmental fac- than larger reinforcement at wider spacings, although hori-
tors may also impact wall temperatures as well. For ex- zontal reinforcement at spacings up to 144 in. (3658 mm) is
ample, dark-colored south-facing exterior walls normally considered effective in controlling crack widths in some
experience higher temperature fluctuations than lighter col- areas.
ored walls or walls with a different orientation.
For typical design purposes, surface wall temperatures Differential Movement
are assumed to range between 0 and 140°F (-18 and 60°C). Various building materials may react differently to
Expansion and contraction of the wall will occur within this changes in temperature, moisture, or structural loading. Any
range depending on the temperature of the wall at the time of time materials with different properties are combined in a
construction. For example, a wall constructed during 70°F wall system, a potential exists for cracking due to differen-
(21°C) weather and subjected to a minimum temperature of tial movement. With concrete masonry construction, two
0°F (-18°C) results in a shortening of about 0.38 in. (9.7 materials in particular should be considered: clay brick and
mm) in a 100 foot (30.48 m) long wall using the 0.0000045 structural steel.
Differential movement between clay brick and con- is controlled by applying appropriate structural design
crete masonry must be considered when the two are criteria such as allowable stress design or strength de-
attached since concrete masonry has an overall tendency sign. These criteria are discussed in detail in Allowable
to shrink while clay brick masonry tends to expand. These Stress Design Tables for Reinforced Concrete Masonry
differential movements may cause cracking, especially in Walls and Strength Design of Tall Concrete Masonry
composite construction and in walls that incorporate Walls (refs. 1 and 9).
brick and block in the same wythe.
Composite walls are multi-wythe walls designed to Settlement
act structurally, as a single unit in resisting applied loads. Differential settlement occurs when portions of the
The wythes are typically bonded together using wall ties supporting foundation subside due to weak or improperly
at prescribed intervals to assure adequate load transfer. compacted foundation soils. Foundation settlement typi-
When the composite wall includes a brick wythe bonded cally causes a stair-step crack along the mortar joints in
to a concrete masonry wythe, ladder-type joint reinforce- the settled area as shown in Figure 1(E). Preventing
ment, or box ties are used to provide some degree of settlement cracking depends on a realistic evaluation of
lateral movement between wythes. In addition, expansion soil bearing capacity, and on proper footing design and
joints are installed in the clay brick wythe to coincide construction.
with a control joint in the concrete masonry wythe. Footings should be placed on undisturbed native soil,
When clay brick is used as an accent band in a con- unless this soil is unsuitable, weak, or soft. Unsuitable
crete masonry wall, or vice-versa, the differential move- soil should be removed and replaced with compacted soil,
ment of the two materials may result in cracking unless gravel, or concrete. Similarly, tree roots, construction
provisions are made to accommodate the movement. To debris, and ice should be removed prior to placing foot-
prevent cracking a slip plane can be placed between the ings. Adding reinforcement in foundations can also lessen
band and the surrounding wall to accommodate differen- the effects of differential settlement.
tial shrinkage and expansion. However, the effect of this
slip plane on the structural capacity of the wall should be CRACK CONTROL STRATEGIES
considered. Horizontal reinforcement and frequent con-
trol joints will also reduce cracking. In addition to the proper design strategies discussed
Thermal movement differences also need to be taken above for structural capacity and differential movement,
into consideration when using masonry in conjunction the following recommendations can be applied to limit
with structural steel. In addition to differences in ther- cracking in concrete masonry walls.
mal coefficients, steel shapes typically have a much higher
surface area to volume ratio and tend to react to changes Material Properties
in temperature more quickly. This is normally accommo- Traditionally, crack control in concrete masonry has
dated with slotted and flexible connections. Concrete relied on specifying concrete masonry units with a low
Masonry Walls for Metal Buildings (ref. 3) provides moisture content, using horizontal reinforcement, and
more detailed information on this subject. using control joints to accommodate movement. Prior to
the 2000 edition of ASTM C 90 (ref.7), low moisture
Excessive Deflection content was specified by requiring a Type I moisture
As walls and beams deflect under structural loads, controlled unit. The intent was to provide designers an
cracking may occur. Additionally, deflection of support- assurance of units with lower moisture content to mini-
ing members can induce cracks in masonry elements. To mize potential shrinkage cracking. However, there are
reduce the potential for cracking, the following alterna- several limitations to relying on moisture content alone
tives are available: since there are other factors that influence shrinkage
• adding reinforcing steel into the masonry to cross the which are not accounted for by specifying a Type I unit.
expected cracks and to limit the width of the cracks, Additionally, Type I units were not always inventoried by
• limiting the deflection of members providing vertical concrete masonry manufacturers. Most importantly, Type
support of unreinforced masonry to acceptable levels I units needed to be kept protected until placed in the wall,
(less than or equal to l/600 nor more than 0.3 in. (7.6 which was proven to be difficult on some projects.
mm) due to dead load and live load when supporting Because of the above problems associated with the
unreinforced masonry) (ref. 2), and; Type I specification, ASTM removed the designations of
• utilizing movement joints to effectively panelize the Type I, Moisture-Controlled Units and Type II,
masonry so that it can articulate with the deflected Nonmoisture Controlled Units from the standard. To
shape of the supporting member. accommodate this change, two methods of determining
control joint spacings have been devised irrespective of
Structural Overload unit type: 1). Empirical crack control criteria which is
All wall systems are subject to potential cracking based on successful, historical performance over many
from externally applied design loads due to wind, soil years in various geographic conditions and 2). Engi-
pressure or seismic forces. Cracking due to these sources neered crack control criteria based on a Crack Control
Coefficient (CCC) which includes the combined effects Control Joints
of movement due to drying shrinkage, carbonation shrink- Control joints are essentially vertical separations built
age, and contraction due to temperature change. The first into the wall to reduce restraint and permit longitudinal
is presented in NCMA TEK 10-2B, Control Joints for movement. Because shrinkage cracks in concrete masonry
Concrete Masonry Walls - Empirical Method (ref. 4) are an aesthetic rather than a structural concern, control
and the second in TEK 10-3 Engineered Crack Control joints are typically only required in walls where shrinkage
Criteria for Concrete Masonry Walls (ref. 5). For more cracking may detract from the appearance or where water
information on these two methods see TEK 10-2B and penetration may occur. In addition, walls with a relatively
TEK 10-3. large amount of horizontal reinforcement may not require
control joints, as the reinforcement alone reduces the width
Limiting Crack Width of shrinkage cracks effectively. For walls that require them,
Studies have shown that reinforcement, either in the control joints should be located where volume changes in
form of joint reinforcement or reinforced bond beams, the masonry due to drying shrinkage, carbonation, tempera-
effectively limits crack width in concrete masonry walls. ture changes or other factors are likely to create tension in
As indicated previously, as the level of reinforcement the masonry that will exceed its capacity. Specific detailed
increases and as the spacing of the reinforcement de- recommendations for control joint spacings, steel sizing
creases, cracking becomes more uniformly distributed and spacing, and Crack Control Coefficients are contained in
and crack width decreases. TEK 10-2B (ref. 4) and TEK 10-3 (ref. 5).

REFERENCES
1. Allowable Stress Design Tables for Reinforced Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK 14-19A. National Concrete Masonry
Association, 2000.
2. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530-99/ASCE 6-99/TMS 402-99. Reported by the Masonry
Standards Joint Committee, 1999.
3. Concrete Masonry Walls for Metal Buildings, TR-149. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1996.
4. Control Joints for Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK 10-2B. National Concrete Masonry Association, 2001.
5. Engineered Crack Control Criteria for Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK 10-3. National Concrete Masonry Association,
2001.
6. Measuring Shrinkage of Concrete Block - A Comparison of Test Methods, E.L. Saxer and H.T. Toennies, Pages 988-1004,
1957.
7. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90-00. American Society for Testing and
Materials, 1997.
8. Standard Test Method for Drying Shrinkage of Concrete Block, ASTM C 426-99. American Society for Testing and
Materials, 1996.
9. Strength Design of Tall Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK 14-11A. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1996.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

CONTROL JOINTS FOR CONCRETE MASONRY TEK 10-2B
Movement Control (2001)
WALLS - EMPIRICAL METHOD
Keywords: bond beams, construction details, control
joints, crack control, joint reinforcement, reinforcing bars,
reinforced concrete masonry, shrinkage, wall movement

INTRODUCTION tensile stresses due to shrinkage of the concrete masonry
units, mortar, and when used, grout. They are essentially
Concrete masonry is a popular construction material vertical separations built into the wall at locations where
because its inherent attributes satisfy the diverse needs of stress concentrations may occur. These joints reduce re-
both exterior and interior walls. While these attributes are straint and permit longitudinal movement.
the primary basis for concrete masonry’s popularity, perfor- Control joints are typically only required in exposed
mance should not be taken for granted. Like all construction concrete masonry walls, where shrinkage cracking may
systems, design decisions significantly influence field per- detract from the appearance of the wall. Shrinkage cracks
formance of the concrete masonry wall system. Proper in concrete masonry are an aesthetic, rather than a struc-
application of crack control measures, including control tural, concern. In addition, walls with adequate horizontal
joints when required, can help ensure satisfactory perfor- reinforcement may not require control joints, as the
mance of the concrete masonry. reinforcement effectively reduces the width of shrinkage
Control joints are one method used to relieve horizontal cracks. Foundation walls traditionally do not include
control joints due to concerns with
waterproofing the joint to withstand
hydrostatic pressure. Additionally,
MAXIMUM OF ONE
since foundation walls are subjected
HALF JOINT SPACING
FROM CORNERS
BETWEEN MAIN AND to relatively constant temperature and
INTERSECTING WALL
moisture conditions, shrinkage crack-
ing in below grade walls tends to be
AT CHANGES IN
WALL HEIGHT
less significant than in above grade
walls.
ADJACENT
This TEK focuses on cracking
TO
OPENING
resulting from internal volume change
ADJACENT
TO of the concrete masonry. Potential
OPENING
cracking resulting from externally ap-
plied design loads due to wind, soil
pressure, seismic forces, or differ-
ential settlement of foundations is
AT
controlled by limiting the design
PILASTER
stress in allowable stress design or by
providing adequate strength when
strength design is used. These design
considerations are not covered here.
Where external loads are an issue in
combination with internal volume
change, the design should consider
Figure 1—Typical Control Joint Locations the combined effects of these influ-
ences on cracking.

TEK 10-2B © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 10-2A)
Table 1—Recommended Control Joint Spacing for openings over 6 ft (1.83 m) wide. Control joints can be
Above Grade Exposed Concrete Masonry Wallsa away from the opening if adequate tensile reinforce-
ment is placed above, below, and beside wall openings.)
Distance between joints should not exceed the lesser of: 6. adjacent to corners of walls or intersections within a
Length to height ratio or ft (m) distance equal to half the control joint spacing.
1½ 25 (7.62)
EMPIRICAL CRACK CONTROL CRITERIA
a
Notes:
1. Table values are based on the use of horizontal reinforcement For walls without openings or other points of stress
having an equivalent area of not less than 0.025 in.2/ft (52.9 concentration, control joints are used to effectively di-
mm2/m) of height to keep unplanned cracks closed (see Table 2). vide a wall into a series of isolated panels. Table 1 lists
2. Criteria applies to all concrete masonry units. recommended maximum spacing of these control joints
3. This criteria is based on experience over a wide geographical based on empirical criteria. This criteria has been
area. Control joint spacing should be adjusted up or down where
developed based on successful, historical performance
local experience justifies but no farther than 25 ft (7.62 m).
over many years in various geographical conditions. It
also assumes that units used in the construction comply
with the minimum requirements of ASTM C 90-00 Stan-
Table 2—Maximum Spacing of Horizontal dard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry
Reinforcement to Achieve 0.025 in.2/ft (52.9 mm2/m) Units (ref. 1) and that a minimum amount of horizontal
Criteria reinforcement is provided as indicated in Footnote 1 of
Table 1. It is intended to provide the most straightforward
Maximum spacing, guidelines for those cases where detailed properties of
Reinforcement size in. (mm) the concrete masonry are not known at the time of design.
2a x W1.7 (9gage)(MW 11) 16 (406) As indicated in Footnote 3 of Table 1, local experience
2a x W2.1 (8gage)(MW 13) 16 (406) may justify an adjustment to the control joint spacings
2a x W2.8 (3/16 in.)(MW 18) 24 (610) presented in the table.
4b x W1.7 (9gage)(MW 11) 32 (813) To illustrate these criteria, consider a 20 ft (6.10 m) tall
4b x W2.1 (8gage)(MW 13) 40 (1016) warehouse with walls 100 ft (30.48 m) long. Table 1
4b x W2.8 (3/16 in.)(MW 18) 48 (1219) indicates control joints spaced every 25 ft (7.62 m). In
No. 3 (M10) 48 (1219) this example, the maximum spacing of 25 ft (7.62 m)
No. 4 (M13) 96 (2348) governs over the maximum length to height ratio of 1½
No. 5 (M16) or larger 144 (3658) times 20 ft (6.10 m) or 30 ft (9.14 m). For walls
containing masonry parapets, consider the parapet as part
Notes: of the masonry wall below if it is connected by masonry
a. Indicates 2 wires per course, one in each faceshell. materials such as a bond beam unit when determining the
b. Indicates 4 wires per course, two in each faceshell. length to height ratio.
The control joint spacings of Table 1 have been devel-
CONTROL JOINT PLACEMENT oped based on the use of horizontal reinforcement to keep
unplanned cracks closed as indicated in Footnote 3. The
When required, control joints should be located where minimum area of reinforcement given, 0.025 in.2/ft (52.9
volume changes in the masonry due to drying shrinkage, mm2/m) of height, translates to horizontal joint reinforce-
carbonation, or temperature changes are likely to create ment spaced as indicated in Table 2.
tension in the masonry that will exceed its capacity. In
practice, this can be difficult to determine, but several meth- CONSTRUCTION
ods are presented in the following sections to provide guid-
ance in locating control joints. Common control joints are illustrated in Figure 2. The
In addition, care should be taken to provide joints at joints permit free longitudinal movement, but may need to
locations of stress concentrations such as (see Figure 1): transfer lateral or out-of-plane shear loads. These loads can
1. at changes in wall height, be transferred by providing a shear key, as shown in Figure 2a,
2. at changes in wall thickness, such as at pipe and duct 2d and 2f. Figure 2e shows smooth dowel bars placed across
chases and pilasters, the control joint to transfer shear. The dowels are typically
3. at (above) movement joints in foundations and floors, greased or placed in a plastic sleeve to reduce bond and allow
4. at (below) movement joints in roofs and floors that bear the wall to move longitudinally. Control joints also must be
on a wall, weather-tight when located in exterior walls.
5. near one or both sides of door and window openings, Nonstructural reinforcement, such as horizontal joint
(Generally, a control joint is placed at one side of an reinforcement which is mostly used for crack control only,
opening less than 6 ft (1.83 m) wide and at both jambs of should not be continuous through a control joint, since this
VERTICAL BARS
IF REQUIRED VERTICAL BARS
IF REQUIRED

PREFORMED CERAMIC FIBER
STOP JOINT JOINT FILLER BLANKET FOR 4
REINFORCEMENT
HOUR FIRE RATING
AT CONTROL
JOINT BACKER ROD

JOINT SEALER BACKER ROD
JOINT SEALER

Figure 2a—Preformed Gasket Figure 2b—4 Hour Fire Rated Control Joint

BACKER ROD AND VERTICAL BARS
JOINT SEALER IF REQUIRED

GROUT
HORIZONTAL BARS TERMINATED BUILDING FILL
2 IN. (51 mm) FROM CONTROL PAPER
JOINTS (EXCEPT WHEN
REINFORCEMENT IS USED TO RAKE JOINT AND
ACCOMMODATE DIAPHRAGM SEAL WITH BACKER
CHORD TENSION) ROD AND SEALANT

Figure 2c—Discontinuous Horizontal Reinforcement Figure 2d—Formed Paper Joint

SMOOTH DOWELS (GREASED
OR SLEAVED TO MINIMIZE
BOND TO GROUT)

HORIZONTAL BARS VERTICAL BARS RAKE JOINT AND SEAL
TERMINATED 2 IN. (51 mm) IF REQUIRED WITH BACKER ROD
FROM CONTROL JOINTS AND SEALANT
(EXCEPT WHEN
REINFORCEMENT IS BACKER ROD
USED TO ACCOMMODATE AND JOINT SEALANT
DIAPHRAGM CHORD TENSION)

Figure 2e—Doweled Joint (for Shear Transfer) Figure 2f—Special Shaped Units

Figure 2—Typical Control Joint Details
will restrict horizontal movement. However, structural rein- control in the facing material as well.
forcement, such as bond beam reinforcement at floor and For example, control joints should extend through plas-
roof diaphragms that resists diaphragm cord tension, must be ter applied directly to masonry units. Plaster applied on lath
continuous through the control joint. which is furred out from masonry may not, however, require
Where concrete masonry is used as a backup for other vertical separation at control joints.
materials, consider the following:
1. control joints should extend through the facing when REFERENCES
wythes are rigidly bonded,
2. control joints need not extend through the facing when 1. Standard Specifications for Loadbearing Concrete
bond is flexible (i.e. metal ties). However, depending on Masonry Units, ASTM C 90-01. American Society for
the type of facing, considerations should be given to crack Testing and Materials, 2001.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
12-1A: ANCHORS AND TIES FOR MASONRY Page 1 of 6

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12-1A: ANCHORS AND TIES FOR MASONRY

Keywords: anchorage, cavity walls, column anchorage, connectors, corrosion
protection, joint reinforcement, veneer, wall anchorage, wall ties

INTRODUCTION

Anchors and ties are types of connectors which attach masonry to a structural support system, or which connect two or more wythes
of masonry together. The design of connectors is covered by national standards (refs. 2, 4) and by model building codes (refs. 1, 5, 6,
7).

The provisions of these codes and standards require that connectors be designed to resist applied loads and that the type, size, and
location of connectors be shown or indicated on project drawings. The design criteria, illustrations, and tables provided in this TEK
are presented as a guide to assist the designer in determining anchor and tie capacity in accordance with the applicable standards and
building code requirements.

DESIGN CRITERIA

Regardless of whether connectors are being used to connect wythes of masonry, intersecting walls, or masonry walls to the structural
frame, they play a very important role in providing structural integrity and good serviceability. As a result, when selecting connectors
for a project, designers should consider a number of design criteria. Connectors should:

1. Transmit out-of-plane loads from one wythe of masonry to another or from masonry to its lateral support with a minimum amount
of deformation. It is important to reduce the potential for cracking in masonry due to deflection. There is no specific criteria on the
stiffness of connectors, but some authorities suggest that a stiffness of 2000 lb/in. (350 kN/m) is a reasonable target.

2. Allow differential in-plane movement between two masonry wythes connected with ties. This design criterion is especially
significant as more and more insulation is used between the outer and inner wythes of cavity walls or where wythes of dissimilar
materials are anchored together. On the surface, it appears that this criterion is in conflict with Item 1, but simply means that
connectors must be stiff in one direction (out-of-plane) and flexible in the other (in-plane). Where control joints are necessary, they
are typically designed to accommodate a movement of 3/16 in. (4.8 mm). Therefore, a designer can base the needed in-plane
flexibility of the connector on this quantity. Some connectors allow much more movement than unreinforced masonry can tolerate, so
designers should not assume that walls can actually move as much as the connector will allow without cracking the masonry.
Additionally, cavity widths are limited to less than 4.5 in. (114 mm) so as not to compromise both the in-plane and out-of-plane
stiffness of the wall ties (ref. 2).

3. Provide adequate corrosion protection. The protection of anchors and ties from the effects of environmental exposure is an
extremely important consideration in any design. Where stainless steel anchors and ties are specified, Specification for Masonry
Structures (ref. 4) requires that AISI Type 304 stainless steel be provided that complies with the following:

Joint reinforcement – ASTM A 580
Sheet metal anchors and ties – ASTM A 167
Wire ties and anchors – ASTM A 580

Where carbon steel ties and anchors are specified, protection from corrosion shall be provided by either galvanizing or epoxy coating
in conformance with the following (ref. 4):

A. Galvanized coatings:

Joint reinforcement, interior walls – ASTM A 641 (0.1 oz zinc/ft2) (0.031 kg zinc/m2)
Joint reinforcement, wire ties or anchors, exterior walls – ASTM A 153 (1.5 oz zinc/ft2) (0.46 kg zinc/m2)
Sheet metal ties or anchors, interior walls – ASTM A 653 Class G60
Sheet metal ties or anchors, exterior walls – ASTM A 153 Class B

B. Epoxy coatings:

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Joint reinforcement – ASTM A 884 Class B Type 2 (18 mils) (457 µm)
Wire ties and anchors – ASTM A 899 Class C Type 2 (20 mils) (508 µm)
Sheet metal ties and anchors – Per manufacturer’s specification (or 20 mils) (508 µm)

4. Accommodate construction by being simple in design and easy to install. Connectors should not be so large and cumbersome as to
leave insufficient room for mortar in the joints. Connectors that take up considerable space in a bed joint will result in a greater
tendency to allow water migration into the wall. In the same way, connectors should readily accommodate installation of rigid board
insulation in wall cavities when necessary.

TYPES OF CONNECTORS

There are three types of connectors: wall ties, anchors, and fasteners. Wall ties connect one masonry wythe to an adjacent wythe.
Anchors connect masonry to a structural support or frame. Fasteners connect an appliance to masonry. This TEK covers metal wall
ties and anchors. Fasteners should be used strictly in accordance with the manufacturer' s recommendations.

Wall Ties

Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ref. 2) has a number of prescriptive requirements for wire wall ties and strap-
type ties for intersecting walls. Wire wall ties can be either one piece unit ties, adjustable two piece ties, joint reinforcements or
prefabricated assemblies made up of joint reinforcement and adjustable ties. Figure 1 shows typical wall ties. Wall ties do not have to
be engineered unless the nominal width of a wall cavity is greater than 4.5 in. (114 mm). The prescribed size and spacing is presumed
to provide connections that will be adequate for the loading conditions covered by the code.

Truss-type joint reinforcement is not recommended for tying the wythes of an insulated cavity wall together. In addition, truss type
joint reinforcement should not be used when the cavity wall is constructed using concrete masonry backup and a clay brick outer
wythe. The truss shape is relatively more stiff in the plane of a wall with respect to ladder type joint reinforcement, and hence restricts
more differential movement. Ladder type joint reinforcement is less rigid, and is recommended when either of these conditions occur
or when vertical reinforcement is used.

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Table 1 summarizes code prescriptive requirements for unit wall ties and joint reinforcement. Figure 2 also shows additional
requirements for adjustable wall ties.

Anchors

Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ref. 2) contains no prescriptive requirements for wall anchors, but does imply
that they be designed with a structural system to resist wind and earthquake loads and to accommodate the effects of deformation.
Typical anchors are shown in Figure 3. The shapes and sizes of these typical anchors have evolved over many years and satisfy the
“constructability” criterion. All of the anchors shown have been tested with the resulting capacities as shown in Table 2.

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Additional tests are needed for adjustable anchors of different configurations and for one piece anchors. Proprietary anchors are also
available. Manufacturers of proprietary anchors should furnish test data to document comparability with industry tested anchors.

Anchors are usually designed based on their contributory area. This is the traditional approach, but some computer models suggest
that this approach does not always reflect the actual behavior of the anchorage system. However, there is currently no accepted
computer program to address this point, so most designers still use the contributory area approach with a factor of safety of 3. The use
of additional anchors near the edges of wall panels is also recommended and required around large openings.

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CONSTRUCTION

When typical ties and anchors are properly embedded in mortar or grout, mortar pullout or pushout will not usually be the controlling
mode of failure. The standard (ref. 4) requires that connectors must be embedded at least 11/2 in. (38 mm) into a mortar bed of solid
units. The required embedment of unit ties in hollow masonry is such that the tie must extend completely across the hollow units
(Figure 4). Proper embedment can be easily attained with the use of prefabricated assemblies of joint reinforcement and unit ties.
Because of the magnitude of loads on anchors, it is recommended that they be embedded in filled cores of hollow units. To save
mortar, screens can be placed under the anchor and 1 to 2 in. (25 to 51 mm) of mortar can be built up into the core of the block above
the anchor (Figure 5).

REFERENCES

1. BOCA National Building Code. Country Club Hills, IL. Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA),
1999.
2. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530-99/ASCE 5-99/TMS 402-99. Reported by the Masonry Standards
Joint Committee, 1999.
3. Porter, Max L., Lehr, Bradley R., Barnes, Bruce A., Attachments for Masonry Structures, Engineering Research Institute, Iowa
State University, February 1992.
4. Specification for Masonry Structures, ACI 530.1-99/ASCE 6-99/TMS 602-99. Reported by the Masonry Standards Joint
Committee, 1999.
5. Standard Building Code. Birmingham, AL. Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI), 1999.
6. Uniform Building Code. Whittier, CA. International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), 1999.
7. 2000 International Building Code, Falls Church, VA. International Code Council, 2000.

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12-2A: The Structural Role of Joint Reinforcement in Concrete Masonry Page 1 of 6

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12-2A: THE STRUCTURAL ROLE OF JOINT REINFORCEMENT IN CONCRETE MASONRY

Keywords: cavity wall, connectors, flexural strength, joint reinforcement, multiwythe
wall, wall ties

Introduction

Joint reinforcement for masonry is a factory-fabricated welded wire assembly consisting of two or more longitudinal wires connected
with cross wires forming a truss or ladder configuration. The primary function for which it was initially conceived is the control of
wall cracking associated with thermal or moisture shrinkage or expansion. Its exemplary performance in this function is well known,
and adequately discussed elsewhere (ref. 2). Less well known are its secondary functions of: (1) metal tie system for bonding adjacent
masonry wythes in composite, faced, cavity, and veneer wall constructions, and (2) structural steel reinforcement increasing
masonry’s resistance to flexural, shear, and tensile stresses.

Bending Strength

Joint reinforcement increases a wall’s resistance to horizontal bending. The effectiveness of joint reinforcement in the horizontal span
depends on several factors, discussed below.

Bond Pattern

The measured relative flexural strength of 8 in. (203 mm) thick concrete masonry walls spanning 8 ft (2.4 m) horizontally is shown in
Figure 1 for two common bonding patterns, both with and without joint reinforcement (ref. 3). Without joint reinforcement, the tested
strength of a stacked bond wall is approximately 40 percent that of a wall laid in running bond. This difference in strength of
unreinforced walls is reflected in code allowable flexural tension stresses which are twice as large for stresses parallel to the bed joint
as they are for stresses perpendicular to the bed joint (ref. 1).

When joint reinforcement is placed at 16 in. (406 mm) intervals, the strength of the two different bonding patterns is increased to the
same level (Figure 1). For the running bond wall, joint reinforcement at 16 in. (406 mm) increased wall strength 20 percent. For the
stacked bond wall, the improvement was three-fold (3 x 40 = 120). With joint reinforcement spaced at 8 in. (203 mm) vertically, a
four-fold improvement was observed for the stacked bond wall, and 60 percent improvement for running bond.

Mortar Strength & Bond

The comparisons shown in Figure 1 are from tests on walls built with mortar having sufficient strength and bond to fully develop the
tensile strength of the deformed longitudinal wire reinforcement. In this regard it is noteworthy that slippage of the deformed side
wires is resisted not only by surface bond but also by the mechanical anchorage afforded by the embedded portions of the weld-
connected cross wires. When masonry unit faceshells are mortared, some excess mortar is squeezed out onto the cross web. It
follows, then, that anchorage of the joint reinforcement is increased when the cross wires align with the block webs.

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It is logical that mortar strength and bond should be influencing factors, especially with respect to the larger wire sizes. Test data
supporting this view are summarized graphically in Figure 2. In these tests the compressive strengths of the mortars were 3540 psi
(24 MPa) for Type S mortar and 1100 psi (8 MPa) for Type N mortar. Walls built with the stronger mortar exhibited a steady increase
in flexural strength as the amount of joint reinforcement was increased. In contrast, walls built with the weaker mortar did not benefit
by increasing the reinforcement above the minimum amount.

Data pertaining more specifically to the bond between deformed wire and mortar are given in Table 1. Taken from pullout tests, the
data indicate that 4 in. (102 mm) of embedment is insufficient in many cases to fully develop the strength of the wire. When splicing
joint reinforcement, a 6 in. (152 mm) lap is recommended, since it provides sufficient embedment to develop full tensile strength of
the wire. In addition, the data suggest that when 3/16 in. (5 mm) longitudinal wires are employed, the accompanying mortar should be
either Type S or Type M.

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Design Strength

Table 2 shows the allowable moment capacity of single-wythe hollow concrete masonry walls spanning horizontally, with and
without joint reinforcement. As noted in footnote C, the calculated moment capacity is lower, in a few cases, for walls with joint
reinforcement than for walls without joint reinforcement. This discrepancy is due to the design assumption in reinforced concrete
masonry that the tensile strength of the masonry is ignored and all tensile force is carried by the steel reinforcement. For these cases,
the wall should be designed as an unreinforced wall or the amount of joint reinforcement should be increased so that the reinforced
capacity exceeds the unreinforced capacity.

Multi-Wythe Walls

The welded cross wires of joint reinforcement are considered acceptable ties for bonding the wythes of composite walls, cavity walls

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and veneer to backups. In composite walls with a solidly-filled collar joint, the cross wires hold the units together so that the
combination of units can be treated as a single solid structural element. In cavity walls and veneer, the metal cross wires transfer
direct tensile and compressive forces from one masonry wythe to the other, but are not considered effective in resisting shear.
However, tests have indicated that the cross wires in joint reinforcement do, in fact, provide some transfer of longitudinal shear across
the wall cavity (ref. 4).

There are a number of advantages to using joint reinforcement for bonding multiwythe walls:

1. When joint reinforcement is compared to other types of connectors (Z-ties, rectangular ties, and masonry headers), walls of
the various types will have about the same initial flexural strength, but the wall with joint reinforcement will maintain greater
structural integrity after cracking. Walls tied with joint reinforcement resist 75 to 90 percent of the maximum test load after
initial cracking.
2. Walls subjected to racking loads sufficient to cause diagonal cracking are protected from failure by the longitudinal wires of
the joint reinforcement. Horizontal steel is roughly three times as efficient as vertical steel in carrying racking shear loads.
3. Walls tied with joint reinforcement resist cracking due to thermal or moisture shrinkage and expansion.

Cavity Width

To gage the impact of increasing cavity width, compressive buckling strength tests were conducted on two joint reinforcement-wall
tie configurations spanning three different cavity widths. The test specimens are shown in Figure 3, while Table 3 lists pertinent
details of the specimens and results of the test. As noted, all tests were duplicated with both crimped and straight wire spanning the
cavity.

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For both joint reinforcement configurations (truss and rectangular), crimps created to form a cavity drip in the cross wires
significantly reduced load carrying capacity, the reduction varying from about one-half when the cavity width was 23/4 in. (70 mm)
to no reduction with the 7 in. (178 mm) cavity. Based on this, Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ref. 1) requires a
50% reduction in the spacing when cavity drips are used.

Recommendations

Recommendations for the use of different types of joint reinforcement are listed in Table 4.

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References

1. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530-95/ASCE 5-95/TMS 402-95. Reported by the Masonry Standards
Joint Committee, 1995.
2. Control of Wall Movement with Concrete Masonry, NCMA TEK 10-2. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1972.
3. Load Tests of Patterned Concrete Masonry Walls. Skokie, IL: Portland Cement Association.
4. Investigation of Masonry Wall Ties, ARF B-870-2. Armour Research Foundation of Illinois Institute of Technology, 1962.

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12-3: Anchor Bolts for Concrete Masonry Page 1 of 7

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12-3: ANCHOR BOLTS FOR CONCRETE MASONRY

Keywords: allowable stress, anchorage, connectors, wall anchorage, wall ties

Introduction

The function of anchor bolts is to transfer loads to the masonry from attachments such as ledgers, sill plates, weld plates, etc. As
illustrated in Figure 1, both shear and tension are transferred through anchor bolts in resisting design forces such as uplift due to wind
or vertical loads on ledgers due to gravity. The magnitude of these loads will vary significantly. The purpose of this TEK is to assist
the designer in determining the proper size, embedment length and spacing of bolts to resist design loads.

Anchor bolts can generally be divided into two categories: embedded anchor bolts which are placed in the grout during construction
of the masonry; and drilled-in anchors which are placed after construction of the masonry.

Drilled-in anchors achieve shear and tension (pull out) resistance by means of expansion against the masonry or sleeves, or by
bonding with epoxy or other adhesives. The design of drilled-in anchors should be in accordance with manufacturer ’literature and is
outside the scope of this TEK.

Types of Embedded Anchor Bolts

Conventional bolts are available in standard sizes (diameters and lengths) or can be fabricated to meet specific project requirements.
The types of conventional anchors most commonly specified are illustrated in Figure 2. These consist of headed, bent bar, and plate
anchor bolts.

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Headed anchor bolts are usually of either the square or hex-headed variety and are popular due to their wide availability and
relatively low cost. Washers are placed against the bolt head for the purpose of enlarging the bearing area and thereby increasing
pullout resistance.

Bent bar anchor bolts are currently fabricated in a variety of shapes, since no standard exists governing the geometric properties, with
the “L” and “J”shapes being the most common. The design provisions in this TEK are based on a bolt with a 90 degree bend and an
extension of 1 1/2 bolt diameters. The inside diameter of bend should be at least three bolt diameters.

Plate anchor bolts are fabricated by welding a square or circular steel plate at right angles to the axis of a steel bar. The dimensions of
the steel plate (length, width, or diameter) should be at least one inch plus the bolt diameter and the thickness should be at least 0.4
times the bolt diameter.

Applications/Uses

In most new masonry construction, anchor bolts are commonly embedded at:

tops of walls xattach sill plates and weld plates for the purpose of supporting wood and steel joists, trusses, and beams
tops of walls xattach sill plates and weld plates for the purpose of supporting wood and steel joists, trusses, and beams
surfaces of walls xattach wood or steel ledger beams used to support wood and steel joists and trusses

Design Requirements

The design provisions for anchor bolts presented here are excerpts from Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ref. 2)
which is referenced by the BOCA National Building Code and Standard Building Code (refs. 1, 3). These provisions are also written
into the Uniform Building Code (ref. 5).

Definition:

Connector mechanical device for securing two or more pieces, parts, or members together, including anchors, wall ties and fasteners.

Notations:

Ab = cross-sectional area of an anchor bolt, in.2 (mm2)
Ap = projected area on the masonry surface of a right circular cone for anchor bolt allowable shear and tension calculations, in.2
(mm2)
ba = total applied design axial force on an anchor bolt, lb (N)
Ba = allowable axial force on an anchor bolt, lb (N)
bv = total applied design shear force on an anchor bolt, lb (N)
Bv = allowable shear force on an anchor bolt, lb (N)

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db = nominal diameter of anchor bolt, in. (mm)
f’m = specified compressive strength of masonry, psi (MPa)
fy = specified yield stress of steel for reinforcement and anchors, psi (MPa)
lb = effective embedment length of plate, headed or bent anchor bolts, in. (mm)
lbe = anchor bolt edge distance measured from the surface of an anchor bolt to the nearest free edge of masonry, in. (mm)

5.14 Anchor Bolts Solidly Grouted in Masonry
5.14.1 Test design requirements
Except as provided in Section 5.14.2, anchors shall be designed based on the following provisions.
5.14.1.1 Anchors shall be tested in accordance with ASTM E 488 under stresses and conditions representing intended use except that
at least five tests shall be performed.
5.14.1.1 Anchors shall be tested in accordance with ASTM E 488 under stresses and conditions representing intended use except that
at least five tests shall be performed.
5.14.2 Plate, headed and bent bar anchor bolts
The allowable loads for plate anchors, headed anchor bolts, and bent bar anchor bolts (J or L type) embedded in masonry shall be
designed in accordance with the provisions of Sections 5.14.2.1 through 5.14.2.4.
5.14.2.1 The minimum effective embedment length shall be 4 bolt diameters, but not less than 2 in. (51 mm).
5.14.2.2 The allowable load in tension shall be the lesser of that given by Eq. (5-1) or Eq. (5-2).

Ap = π lbe2 (5-1)
Ba = 0.2Abfy (5-2)

(a) The area Ap shall be the lesser of Equation 5-3 or Equation 5-4. Where the projected areas of adjacent anchor bolts overlap, p of
each bolt shall be reduced by one half of the overlapping area. That portion of the projected area falling in an open cell or core shall
be deducted from the value of p calculated using Equations 5-3 or 5-4.

Ap = π lb2 (5-3)
Ap = π lbe2 (5-4)

(b) The effective embedment length of plate or headed bolts, lb, shall be the length of embedment measured perpendicular from the
surface of the masonry to the bearing surface of the plate or head of the anchor bolt.

(c) The effective embedment length of bent anchors, lbe, shall be the length of embedment measured perpendicular from the surface
of the masonry to the bearing surface of the bent end minus one anchor bolt diameter.

5.14.2.3 The allowable load in shear, where lbe equals or exceeds 12 bolt diameters, shall be the lesser of that given by Eq. (5-5) or
Eq. (5-6).

Where lbe is less than 12 bolt diameters, the value of Bv in Equation (5-5) shall be reduced by linear interpolation to zero at an lbe
distance of 1 in. (25 mm).

5.14.2.4 Combined shear and tension: Anchors in Section 5.14.2 subjected to combined shear and tension shall be designed to satisfy
Eq. (5-7).

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The minimum effective embedment length is illustrated in Figure 4. When anchor bolts penetrate the face shells of a masonry unit,
the opening in the face shell shall be wide enough to provide at least 1 in. (25 mm) of cover around the perimeter of the bolt.

Minimum edge distance requirements are illustrated in Figure 5.

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Allowable Tension and Shear

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The following tables include allowable tension values for bent bar anchor bolts embedded in concrete masonry with f’ m equal to
1500 psi and 2500 psi.

Table 1 Allowable Tension, lb
f’m = 1500 psi
Bolt diameter, db, in.
lb* 1/4 3/8 1/2 5/8 3/4 7/8 1 1 1/8
4db
60 130 240 380 540 740 970 1240
6db 130 310 540 850 1230 1670 2180 2770
8db 240 550 970 1520 2190 2980 3890 4920
10db 360 790 1440 2230 3160 4320 5680 7130

* Use lesser of Ib or Ibe

Table 2 Allowable Tension, lb
f’m = 2500 psi
Bolt diameter, db, in.
lb* 1/4 3/8 1/2 5/8 3/4 7/8 1 1 1/8
4db
80 180 310 490 710 960 1260 1600
6db 180 400 710 1105 1590 2160 2820 3570
8db 310 710 1260 1960 2820 3850 5025 6350
10db 360 790 1440 2230 3120 4320 5690 7130

* Use lesser of Ib or Ibe

Table 3 Allowable Shear, lb1, 2
Bolt diameter, db, in.
fm 1/4 3/8 1/2 5/8 3/4 7/8 1 1 1/8
1500 210 480 850 1330 1780 1920 2050 2170
2000 210 480 850 1330 1900 2060 2200 2340
2500 210 480 850 1330 1900 2180 2330 2470
3000 210 480 850 1330 1900 2280 2440 2590
3500 210 480 850 1330 1900 2370 2540 2680
1 lbe > 12db
2 f = 36,000 psi
y

Construction

In order to keep the anchor bolts properly aligned during placement of the grout, templates are required to hold the bolts within the
necessary tolerances. Templates can be either of wood or steel, depending upon the degree of accuracy required. Tolerances of 1/4 in.
(6.4 mm) can be maintained using wood templates, while closer tolerances usually require the use of steel.

Locating and drilling the holes in the template after placement is recommended. To be sure that the bolts are not disturbed during the
grouting operation, nuts and washers on both sides of the templates should be used to hold them securely in position.

References

1. BOCA National Building Code. Country Club Hills, IL: Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA),
1993.
2. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530-95/ASCE 5-95/TMS 402-95. Reported by the Masonry Standards
Joint Committee, 1995.
3. Standard Building Code. Birmingham, AL: Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI), 1994.
4. Standard Test Methods for Strength of Anchors in Concrete and Masonry Elements, ASTM E 488-90. American Society for
Testing and Materials, 1990.
5. Uniform Building Code. Whittier, CA: International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), 1994.

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12-4C: STEEL REINFORCEMENT FOR CONCRETE MASONRY Page 1 of 6

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12-4C: STEEL REINFORCEMENT FOR CONCRETE MASONRY

Keywords: allowable stress, ASTM specifications, corrosion protection,
development, embedment, joint reinforcement, reinforcing bars,
reinforcing steel, splice, standard hooks, strength design, wall ties, wire

INTRODUCTION

Reinforcement incorporated into concrete masonry walls increases strength and ductility, provides increased resistance to applied
loads, and in the case of horizontal reinforcement, provides increased resistance to shrinkage cracking. This TEK covers non-
prestressed reinforcement for concrete masonry construction. Prestressing steel is discussed in Post-Tensioned Concrete Masonry
Wall Construction, TEK 3-14 (ref. 12).

MATERIALS

Reinforcement types used in masonry principally are reinforcing bars and cold-drawn wire products. Wall anchors and ties are
usually formed of wire, metal sheets or strips. Table 1 lists applicable ASTM Standards governing steel reinforcement, as well as
nominal yield strengths for each steel type.

Reinforcing Bars
In the United States, reinforcing bars are manufactured in eleven standard bar sizes designated No. 3 through 11 (M #10 - 36), No. 14
(M #43), and No. 18 (M #57). The bar size number designates the nominal diameter in eighths of an inch (or the diameter in
millimeters for metric equivalents) as shown in Table 2. The actual specified diameter (which is used for design purposes) may vary
slightly from the nominal diameter. Bar sizes larger than No. 11 (M #36) (No. 9 (M #29) for masonry designed by strength design
provisions) are not permitted in masonry work (ref. 1).

As a means of field identification, reinforcing bar
manufacturers mark the bar size, producing mill
identification, type of steel and grade of steel on
the reinforcing bars (see Figure 1).

Each applicable ASTM standard includes
minimum requirements for various physical
properties including yield strength and stiffness.
While not all reinforcing bars have a well-defined
yield point, the modulus of elasticity, Es , is
roughly the same for all reinforcing steels and for
design purposes is taken as 29,000,000 psi (200
GPa).

When designing by allowable stress design methods, the allowable tensile stress is limited to 20,000 psi (138 MPa) for Grade 40 or

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50 reinforcing bars and 24,000 psi (165 MPa) for Grade 60 reinforcing bars. For reinforcing bars enclosed in ties, such as those in
columns, the allowable compressive stress is limited to 40% of the specified yield strength, with a maximum of 24,000 psi (165
MPa). For strength design, the nominal yield strength of the reinforcement is used to size and distribute the steel.

Cold-
Drawn
Wire
ASTM
A 951
(ref. 6)
is the
standard
for
joint
reinforcement
used in
masonry.
Cold-
drawn
wire
for
joint
reinforcement,
ties or
anchors
varies
from
W1.1
to W4.9 (MW7 to MW32) with the most popular size being W1.7 (MW11). Table 3 shows standard wire sizes and properties.
Because current codes (ref. 1) limit the size of joint reinforcement to one half the joint thickness, the practical limit for wire diameter
is 3/16 in. (W2.8, 4.8 mm, MW18) for a 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) bed joint. Wire for masonry is plain with the exception that side wires for
joint reinforcement are deformed by means of knurling wheels.

Stress-strain characteristics of reinforcing wire have been determined by extensive testing programs. Not only is the yield strength of
cold-drawn wire close to its ultimate strength, but the location of the yield point is not clearly indicated on the stress-strain curve.
ASTM A 82 (ref. 8) defines yield as the stress determined at a strain of 0.005 in./in. (mm/mm).

CORROSION
PROTECTION

Grout,
mortar,
and
masonry
units
usually
provide
adequate
protection
for
embedded
reinforcement
provided that minimum cover and clearance requirements are met. Specification for Masonry Structures (ref. 3) allows reinforcement
with a moderate amount of rust to be used without cleaning or brushing. Reinforcing bars may be used as long as the rust is not so
severe that a wire-brushed sample fails to comply with the minimum dimensions and weight required by the applicable ASTM
specification.

Joint Reinforcement
Carbon steel can be protected from corrosion by coating the steel with zinc (galvanizing). The zinc protects steel by acting as a barrier
between the steel and oxygen and water. During the corrosion process, the zinc is also sacrificed before the steel is attacked. The
protective value of the zinc coating increases with increased coating thickness; therefore the required amount of galvanizing increases

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with the severity of exposure, as listed below.

Mill galvanized:
• for joint reinforcement in interior walls exposed to a mean relative humidity less than or equal to 75%
ASTM A 641 (ref. 10) 0.1 oz/ft2 (0.031 kg/m2)

Hot-dip galvanized:
• joint reinforcement in exterior walls or in interior walls exposed to a mean relative humidity exceeding 75%
ASTM A 153 (ref. 9) 1.5 oz/ft2 (0.46 kg/m2)

Alternatively, corrosion protection can be provided by stainless steel joint reinforcement, AISI Type 304 or Type 316 conforming to
ASTM A 580 (ref. 7) or epoxy coatings in accordance with ASTM A 884 (ref. 15) Class B Type 2, 18 mils (457 mm).

In addition, joint reinforcement must be placed so that longitudinal wires are embedded in mortar with a minimum cover of 1/2 in. (13
mm) when not exposed to weather or earth, and 5/8 in. (16 mm) when exposed to weather or earth.

Reinforcing Bars
Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures requires a minimum amount of masonry cover over reinforcing bars to protect
against steel corrosion. This masonry cover is measured from the exterior masonry surface to the outermost surface of the
reinforcement, and includes the thickness of masonry face shells, mortar and grout. The following minimum cover requirements
apply:

• masonry exposed to weather or earth
bars larger than No. 5 (M #16) 2 in. (51 mm)
No. 5 (M #16) bars or smaller 11/2 in. (38 mm)
• masonry not exposed to weather or earth 11/2 in. (38 mm)

PLACEMENT

Specification for Masonry Structures includes installation requirements for reinforcement and ties to help ensure that elements are
placed as assumed in the design, and that structural performance is not compromised. These requirements also help minimize
corrosion by providing for a minimum amount of masonry and grout cover around reinforcing bars, and providing sufficient
clearance for grout and mortar to surround reinforcement and accessories so that stresses can be properly transferred.

To help address potential problems associated with over-reinforcing and grout consolidation, the Building Code Requirements for
Masonry Structures strength design chapter contains the following requirements:

• maximum bar size No. 9 (M # 29),
• nominal bar diameter not more than 1/8 the nominal member thickness (i.e., maximum No. 8 (M #25) bar in an 8-in. (203-mm)
wall) nor more than 1/4 the least clear dimension of the cell, course or collar joint where it is placed, and
• maximum area of reinforcing bars of 4% of the cell area (i.e., about 1.2 in.2, 1.6 in.2, or 2.1 in.2 for 8, 10 and 12 in. concrete
masonry, respectively (774, 1032 or 1354 mm2 for 203, 254 and 305 mm units, respectively).

Reinforcing Bars
Tolerances for placing reinforcing bars are:
• variation from d for flexural elements (measured from the center of reinforcement to the extreme compressive face of masonry):
d < 8 in. (203 mm) +1/2 in. (13 mm)
8 in. (203 mm) < d < 24 in. (610 mm) +1 in. (25 mm)
d > 24 in. (610 mm) +11/4 in. (32 mm)
• for vertical bars in walls 2 in. (51 mm)
from the location along the length of the wall indicated on the project drawings.

In addition, a minimum clear distance between reinforcing bars and the adjacent face of a masonry unit of 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) for fine
grout or 1/2 in. (13 mm) for coarse grout must be maintained so that grout can flow around the bars.

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DEVELOPMENT

Development length or anchorage is necessary to transfer the forces acting on the reinforcement to the grout in which it is embedded.
Reinforcing bars can be anchored by embedment length, hook or mechanical device. Reinforcing bars anchored by embedment length
rely on interlock at the bar deformations and on sufficient masonry cover to prevent splitting from the reinforcing bar to the free
surface.

For allowable stress design, the required embedment length for reinforcement in tension is:
ld = 0.0015 db Fs, but not less than 12 in. (305 mm) for bars or 6 in. (152 mm) for wires (metric: ld = 0.22 db Fs)

where:
ld = embedment length of straight reinforcement, in. (mm)
db = nominal diameter of reinforcement, in. (mm)
Fs = allowable tensile stress in reinforcement, psi (MPa)

In addition, Section 2.1.10.3 of Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures requires increased embedment lengths for
flexural reinforcement in some cases. In concrete work, bond strength values of deformed reinforcing bars are equated to
development length. The allowable stress design minimum embedment lengths are based on an allowable bond stress of 160 psi (1.10
MPa) (ref. 1).

When using strength design, the required embedment length for reinforcement in tension or compression is:
ld = lde /f, but not less than 12 in. (305 mm)

where:
lde = basic development length of reinforcement, in. (mm)
= 0.13 db2 fy g/K (f'm)1/2 (metric: lde = 1.5 db2 fy g/K (f'm)1/2)
f = strength reduction factor = 0.8
fy = specified yield strength of steel, psi (MPa)
g = reinforcement size factor
= 1.0 for No. 3 through 5 bars (M #10 - 16); 1.4 for No. 6 and 7 bars (M #19 & 22); and 1.5 for No. 8 and 9 bars (M #25 & 29)
K = the least of the masonry cover, the clear spacing between adjacent reinforcement and 5db , in. (mm)
f'm = specified compressive strength of masonry, psi (MPa)

This embedment length is based on developing a minimum reinforcing steel stress of 1.25fy, similar to the requirement for welded or
mechanical splices.

Standard Hooks
Figure 2 illustrates the requirements for standard hooks, when reinforcing bars
are anchored by hooks. Table 4 lists equivalent embedment lengths for
standard hooks of various sizes.

Splices
Splices are used to provide continuity of reinforcement. Tables 5 and 6 list the
allowable stress design and strength design requirements, respectively, for the
most commonly used lap splices including noncontact lap splices. Reinforcing
bars may be spliced using lap, mechanical or welded splices.

Mechanical splices must be capable of developing at least 125% of the
specified yield strength of the bar in tension or compression, as required (ref.
1). This tensile strength requirement ensures sufficient splice strength to avoid
brittle failure. Mechanical splices are typically threaded reinforcing bars,
joined using couplers designed for this application.

Welded splices are accomplished by butting and welding the bars. The welded
splice must be strong enough to develop at least 125% of the specified yield
strength of the bar in tension. All welds must conform to AWS D1.4 (ref. 14).

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End-bearing splices may be used only for bars required for compression and
only in members containing closed ties, closed stirrups or spirals. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ref. 1)
contains requirements to ensure adequate bearing for end-bearing splices.

Joint Reinforcement Splices
Joint reinforcement is typically spliced 6 in. (152 mm) to transfer shrinkage stresses. Slippage of the deformed side wires is resisted
not only by the surface bond but also by the mechanical anchorage afforded by the embedded portions of the weld-connected cross
wires (ref. 11).

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REFERENCES

1. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530-02/ASCE 5-02/TMS 402-02. Reported by the Masonry Standards
Joint Committee, 2002.
2. Manual of Standard Practice, MSP 1-01. Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, 2001.
3. Specification for Masonry Structures, ACI 530.1-02/ASCE 6-02/TMS 602-02. Reported by the Masonry Standards Joint
Committee, 2002.
4. Standard Specification for Deformed and Plain Billet-Steel Bars for Concrete Reinforcement, ASTM A 615/A 615M-01b. ASTM
International, Inc., 2001.
5. Standard Specification for Low-Alloy Steel Deformed and Plain Bars for Concrete Reinforcement, ASTM A 706/A 706M-01.
ASTM International, Inc., 2001
6. Standard Specification for Masonry Joint Reinforcement, ASTM A 951-00. ASTM International, Inc., 2000.
7. Standard Specification for Stainless and Heat-Resisting Steel Wire, ASTM A 580-98. ASTM International, Inc., 1998.
8. Standard Specification for Steel Wire, Plain, for Concrete Reinforcement, ASTM A 82-01. ASTM International, Inc., 2001.
9. Standard Specification for Zinc (1987) Coating (Hot-Dip) on Iron and Steel Hardware, ASTM A 153-01a. ASTM International,
Inc., 2001.
10. Standard Specification for Zinc-Coated (Galvanized) Carbon Steel Wire, ASTM A 641-98. ASTM International, Inc., 1998.
11. Structural Role of Joint Reinforcement in Concrete Masonry, TEK 12-2A, National Concrete Masonry Association, 1997.
12. Post-Tensioned Concrete Masonry Wall Construction, TEK 3-14, National Concrete Masonry Association, 2002.
13. Standard Specification for Rail-Steel and Axle-Steel Deformed Bars for Concrete Reinforcement, A 996/996M-01a. ASTM
International, Inc., 2001.
14. Structural Welding Code - Reinforcing Steel, AWS D1.4. American Welding Society, 1998.
15. Standard Specification for Epoxy-Coated Steel Wire and Welded Wire Fabric for Reinforcement, ASTM A 884/884M-01. ASTM
International, Inc., 2001.

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NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

SOUND TRANSMISSION CLASS RATINGS TEK 13-1A
Sound (2000)
FOR CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS
Keywords: noise control, sound transmission class, sound
transmission loss, STC, STL, testing

INTRODUCTION

Unwanted noise can be a major distraction, whether in sational tones have a frequency of approximately 500 Hz.
the home or the work environment. Concrete masonry walls Regarding intensity, Table 1 provides an indication of the
are often used for their ability to isolate and dissipate noise. decibel as a measure of sound intensity.
Concrete masonry is an excellent noise control material in two Sounds are vibrations transmitted through air or other
ways. First, masonry walls effectively block sound transmission mediums. The speed of sound through a particular medium
over a wide range of frequencies. Secondly, concrete masonry depends on both the density and the stiffness of the medium.
can effectively absorb noise thereby diminishing noise intensity. All solid materials have a natural frequency of vibration.
These abilities have led to the successful use of concrete masonry If the natural frequency of a solid is at or near the frequency of
in applications ranging from party walls to hotel separation walls, the sound which strikes it, the solid will vibrate in sympathy
and even highway sound walls. with the sound, which will be regenerated on the opposite side.
Sound is characterized by its frequency and intensity. The effect is especially noticeable in walls or partitions that
Frequency is a measure of the number of vibrations or cycles are light, thin, or flexible. Conversely, the vibration is effec-
per second. One cycle per second is defined as a hertz (Hz). tively stopped if the partition is heavy and rigid, as is the case
Intensity is measured in decibels (dB), a relative logarithmic with concrete masonry walls. Then, the natural cycle of vibra-
intensity scale. For each 20 dB increase in sound there is a tion will be relatively slow and only sounds of low frequency
corresponding tenfold increase in pressure. This logarithmic will cause sympathetic vibration. Because of its mass and
scale is particularly appropriate for sound because the percep- rigidity, concrete masonry is especially effective in reducing the
tion of sound by human ear is also logarithmic. For example, a transmission of unwanted sound.
10 dB sound level increase is perceived by the ear as a doubling
of the loudness. SOUND TRANSMISSION CLASS
The human ear can perceive sounds as low as 16 Hz to as
high as 20,000 Hz. However, it is most sensitive to sounds Sound transmission class (STC) provides an estimate of
between 500 and 5000 Hz. Human voices speaking in conver- the performance of a wall in certain common sound insula-
tion applications.
Table 1—Representative Sound Levels The STC of a wall is determined by comparing plotted
transmission loss values to a standard contour. Sound trans-
Loudness Decibels Sound mission loss (STL) is the decrease or attenuation in sound
Jet plane takeoff energy, in dB, of airborne sound as it passes through a wall.
Deafening 110-150 Siren at 100 ft (30 m) Although STC is a convenient index of transmission loss, it
Thunder—sonic boom may be necessary in some cases to study the sound transmis-
Hard rock band sion loss data across a range of frequencies. This may be
Very Loud 90-100 Power lawn mower desirable in a case where the main source of noise is of one
Pneumatic jackhammer known frequency. In this case, the STL curve is checked to
Loud 70-80 Noisy office ensure there is not a “hole”, or low STL value, at the particular
Average radio frequency of interest.
Moderate 50-60 Normal conversation To determine STC, the standard curve is superimposed
Average home over a plot of the STL curve obtained by test (Figure 1) and
Faint 30-40 Private office shifted upward or downward relative to the test curve until
Quiet home some of the measured transmission loss values fall below
Very Faint 3-20 Whisper at 4 ft (1.2 m) those of the standard STC contour and the following condi-
Normal breathing tions are fulfilled:
TEK 13-1A © 2000 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 13-1)
Wall Construction STC
30

STC = 25
Transmission loss, dB

STL data 6 in. (140 mm) 100% SOLID CMU

20
2 COATS LATEX BLOCK SEALER 50a

10
Standard contour
6 in. (140 mm) 75% SOLID CMU
1 1/2 in. (38 mm) GLASS FIBER
BATTS INSTALLED BETWEEN
0 WOOD FURRING 55b
200 400 600 800 1000 3000
1/ in. (13 mm)
Frequency, Hz 2
GYPSUM WALLBOARD

Figure 1—Standard Contour Fitted to
Transmission Loss Data
8 in. (190 mm) HOLLOW CMU

49-52c
1. The sum of the deficiencies (deviations below the
standard contour) are not greater than 32 dB, and
2. The maximum deficiency at a single test point is not
greater than 8 dB. 8 in. (190 mm) CMU
1.5 in. (40 mm) WOOD FURRING,
When the contour is adjusted to the highest value that
meets the above criteria, the sound transmission class is taken 5
BOTH SIDES
54d
/8 in. (16 mm) GYPSUM
WALLBOARD, BOTH SIDES
to be the transmission loss value read from the standard
contour at the 500 Hz frequency line. For example, the STC
for the data plotted in Figure 1 is 25.
8 in. (190 mm) CMU
2 in. (50 mm) Z BARS,
DETERMINING STC FOR CONCRETE MASONRY BOTH SIDES
GLASS FIBER BATTS, 64e
BOTH SIDES
5
Many sound transmission loss tests have been performed /8 in. (16 mm) GYPSUM
WALLBOARD, BOTH SIDES
on various concrete masonry walls. These tests have indicated
a direct relationship between wall weight and the resulting
8 in. (190 mm) CMU
sound transmission class—heavier concrete masonry walls 2 1/2 in. (65 mm) GLASS
have higher STC values. As shown in Figure 2, a wide variety FIBER PANEL

of STC values is available with concrete masonry construction,
3 1/2 in. (90 mm) AIR SPACE 79f
4 in. (90 mm) SPLIT
depending on wall weight, wall construction, and finishes. RIB CMU
In the absence of test data, standard calculation methods 5/ in.
8 (16 mm)
GYPSUM
exist, although these tend to be conservative. Standard Method WALLBOARD
SCREWED
for Determining the Sound Transmission Class Rating for TO CMU
Masonry Walls, TMS 0302 (ref. 2), outlines procedures for Notes:
determining STC values of concrete masonry walls. STC can be a
57.1 psf (301 kg/m2) wall weight, test designation TL-88-
based on field or laboratory testing in accordance with stan- 488, ref. 11
dard test methods or on a calculation procedure. The calcula- b
49.2 psf (240 kg/m2) wall weight, test designation TL-88-
tion is based on a best-fit relationship between wall weight and 476, ref. 11
STC based on a wide range of test results, as follows: c
STC = 49: 39 psf (190 kg/m2) wall weight (lightweight),
test designation KAL 1144-1-71, ref. 12
STC = 0.18W + 40
STC = 50: 48.2 psf (236 kg/m2) wall weight (normal
where W = wall weight in psf
weight), test designation TL-88-356, ref. 11
STC = 52: 53 psf (259 kg/m2) wall weight (nomal
The equation is applicable to uncoated fine- or medium-
weight), test designation KAL 1144-3-71, ref. 12
textured concrete masonry. Coarse-textured units, however, d
48.2 psf (236 kg/m2) wall weight of CMU only, test desig-
may allow airborne sound to enter the wall, and therefore
nation TL-88-361, ref. 11
require a surface treatment to seal at least one side of the wall. e
48.2 psf (236 kg/m2) wall weight of CMU only, test desig-
Coatings of acrylic, alkyd latex, or cement-based paint, or of
nation TL-88-384, ref. 11
plaster are specifically called out in TMS 0302, although other f
85.4 psf (417 kg/m2) wall weight of masonry only, test
coatings that effectively seal the surface are also acceptable.
designation TL-88-431, ref. 11
The equation above also assumes the following:
1. Walls have a thickness of 3 in. (76 mm) or greater.
Figure 2—Concrete Masonry STC Test Results
2. Hollow units are laid with face shell mortar bedding, with
mortar joints the full thickness of the face shell. BUILDING CODE REQUIREMENTS
3. Solid units are fully mortar bedded.
4. All holes, cracks, and voids in the masonry that are intended The model building codes contain requirements to
to be filled with mortar are solidly filled with mortar. regulate sound transmission for partitions that separate
If STC tests are performed, the Standard requires the adjacent units in multifamily dwellings and for partitions
testing to be in accordance with ASTM E 90, Standard Test that separate dwelling units from public areas, service
Method for Laboratory Measurement of Airborne Sound areas, or commercial facilities. In the BOCA National
Transmission Loss of Building Partitions (ref. 8) for labo- Building Code and the appendix of the Standard Building
ratory testing or ASTM E 413, Standard Classification for Code (refs. 1, 5), all partitions serving the above purpose
Rating Sound Insulation (ref. 6) for field testing. must have a sound transmission class of at least 45 dB for
airborne noise when tested in accordance with ASTM E 90
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION (ref. 8). The International Building Code and the Appen-
dix of the Uniform Building Code (refs. 9, 10) establish
In addition to STC values for walls, other factors also a lower limit of 50 dB for the same applications.
affect the acoustical environment of a building. For ex-
ample, outside noise levels need to be considered. Low
background noise levels, such as exist in rural areas, may
indicate the need for partition walls to have a higher STC
requirement, since the background noise levels cannot be ELASTOMERIC FOAM, FIBER OR
SEALANT MINERAL WOOL FILL
counted on to mask other noises.
Seemingly minor construction details can also im-
PIPE
pact the acoustic performance of a wall. For example,
When gypsum wallboard is attached to steel furring or ELASTOMERIC
SEALANT MORTAR
resilient channels, using screws that are too long will
ELASTOMERIC SLEEVE, WHERE
result in the screw contacting the face of the concrete SEALANT REQUIRED
masonry substrate, which becomes an effective path for
sound vibration transmission. PIPE
Standard Method for Determining the Sound Trans-
mission Class Rating for Masonry Walls (ref. 2) includes FOAM, FIBER OR
MINERAL WOOL FILL
requirements for sealing openings and joints, to ensure
these gaps do not undermine the sound transmission charac- MORTAR
teristics of the wall. These requirements are described
below and illustrated in Figures 3 and 4.
Through-wall openings should be completely sealed, FOAM, FIBER OR
MINERAL WOOL FILL
after first filling gaps with foam, cellulose fiber, glass fiber, ELASTOMERIC
SEALANT
ceramic fiber or mineral wool. Similarly, partial wall pen-
etration openings and inserts, such as electrical boxes, ELECTRICAL
ELECTRICAL
RECEPTACLE BOX
should also be completely sealed. CONDUIT

Control joints and joints between the top of walls and
roof or floor assemblies should be sealed with elastomeric
joint sealants. The joint space behind the sealant backing can Figure 3—Sealing Around Penetrations and Fixtures
be filled with mortar, grout, foam, cellulose fiber, glass
fiber or mineral wool (see Figure 4).
Additional considerations, not covered in TMS 0302, will
also help minimize sound transmission. For example, in apart-
ment construction, floor plans that reduce the number of
ELASTOMERIC SEALANT ELASTOMERIC
common walls between units are preferred. “Mirror-plan” SEALANT
arrangements, with bedrooms located adjacent to each other, BACKER ROD
and noisy areas such as kitchens abutting each other, will
generally result in less disturbance between neighbors. Door
and window arrangement may also have an effect on the
acoustical environment. Locating apartment doors so that they
are not directly opposite each other diffuses a portion of noise
that would otherwise be transmitted directly across a hall.
Windows in exterior walls should be located as far from
common walls as possible to help diffuse noise that may MORTAR RAKED CONTROL JOINT
BACK 3/4 in. (19 mm) GASKET MATERIAL
travel from one window to another. See TEK 13-2 (ref. 4) for
more information on room layouts to minimize sound trans- Figure 4—Sealing Wall Intersections and Control Joints
mission.
REFERENCES
1. BOCA National Building Code. Country Club Hills, IL: Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA),
1999.
2. Standard Method for Determining the Sound Transmission Class Rating for Masonry Walls, TMS 0302-00. The Masonry
Society, 2000.
3. Noise Control in Buildings, National Research Council of Canada, 1987.
4. Noise Control with Concrete Masonry in Multifamily Units, TEK 13-2. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1997.
5. Standard Building Code. Birmingham, AL: Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI), 1999.
6. Standard Classification for Rating Sound Insulation, ASTM E 413-87(1999). American Society for Testing and Materials, 1999.
7. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90-00. American Society for Testing and
Materials, 2000.
8. Standard Test Method for Laboratory Measurement of Airborne-Sound Transmission Loss of Building Partitions, ASTM
E 90-99. American Society for Testing and Materials, 1999.
9. Uniform Building Code. Whittier, CA: International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), 1997.
10. International Building Code. Falls Church, VA: International Code Council, 2000.
11. Sound Transmission Loss Measurements on 190 and 140 mm Single Wythe Concrete Block Walls and on 90 mm Cavity Block
Walls, Report for Ontario Concrete Block Association. National Research Center of Canada Report No. CR-5588.1, 1989.
12. Kodaras Acoustical Laboratories, Elmhurst, NY, 1971.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

NOISE CONTROL WITH CONCRETE TEK 13-2
Sound (1997)
MASONRY IN MULTIFAMILY HOUSING
Keywords: multifamily housing, noise control, noise reduc-
tion coefficient, openings in walls, paints and painting,
residential, sound absorption, sound transmission class

INTRODUCTION

Multifamily housing is considerably noisier than single Three techniques are commonly used to reduce unwanted
family residences. Here, the occupants of a given unit are not sound. The first is the elimination of the source of the noise. In
only exposed to noise from the exterior and noise generated in multifamily housing, this technique would be impractical if not
their own living area, but they are also exposed to noise from impossible. The second method of reducing noise is to dimin-
occupants of adjoining units. ish the sound level within a room by absorbing the sound
Studies and surveys of occupant desires show conclu- instead of reflecting it back into the room. The third method is
sively that people want residences which are soundproof from to use sound insulating material to prevent sound waves from
the exterior enviroment, between rooms and between living being transmitted from an adjoining area.
units. Since it is not feasible to remove the cause of unwanted
sound, designers of multifamily housing must control the SOUND ABSORPTION
acoustical environment. Concrete masonry is the economical
building material which enables the designing architect or Sound absorption control involves minimizing sound
engineer to effectively respond to this challenge. reflection, so that the noise generated within is controlled.
Concrete masonry is an ideal noise control material in two Sound absoption is most important in applications like assem-
ways. First, masonry walls act as barriers which block sound bly areas or concert halls. The extent of control depends on the
transmission over a wide range of frequencies. Outdoor sounds room surface's ability to absorb rather than reflect sound
and sounds from other living units are thus reflected away by waves. The sound absorption coefficient is an indication of the
concrete masonry walls. Secondly, concrete masonry is an sound absorbing efficiency of a surface. A surface which could
effective sound absorption matrial for absorbing noise gener- theoretically absorb 100% of impinging sound would have a
ated within a room (see Figure 1). sound absorption coefficient of 1. Similarly, a surface absorb-
ing 45% of incident sound would have a coefficient of 0.45.
Another designator, the noise reduction coefficient (NRC),
is calculated by taking a mathematical average of the sound
absorption coefficients obtained at frequencies of 250, 500,
1,000 and 2,000 cycles per second. Table 1 lists the approximate
NRC values of concrete masonry.
NRC values depend on the porosity of the material and the
surface texture. More porous and open-textured surfaces are
able to absorb more sound and, hence, have a higher NRC.

SOUND ISOLATION

For sound violation between dwelling units, walls are
designed to minimize sound transmission. Unlike sound ab-
sorption, for this purpose, higher density concrete tends to be
Figure 1—Sound Reflection and Absorption Characteris- more effective than lighter weight materials.
tics of Concrete Masonry To determine the effectiveness of wall construction as a

TEK 13-2 © 1997 National Concrete Masonry Association
Table 1—Approximate Noise Reduction Coefficients Table 2—Typical STC Ratings of Concrete Masonry Walls
NCR for Unpainted CMU Wall Nominal Density of
SurfaceTexture STCa
wall thickness, in. concrete, pcf
Coarse Medium Fine
6 105 43
Lightweight concrete 0.50 0.45 0.40
135 45
masonry
8 105 45
Normal weight concrete 0.28 0.27 0.26
135 48
masonry 10 105 47
NRC for Painted Lightweight CMU Wall
135 50
Paint, application Coats Surface Texture
12 105 49
Coarse Medium Fine
Any, sprayed 1 0.45 0.41 0.36 135 51
a
2 0.40 0.36 0.32 Applies to ungrouted single wythe walls. Grout, or other core
Oil, brushed 1 0.40 0.36 0.32 fill materials, and finish systems will increase the wall weight, and
2 0.23 0.21 0.18 therefore, increase the STC.
Latex, brushed 1 0.35 0.32 0.28
2 0.23 0.21 0.18
Cement, brushed 1 0.20 0.18 0.16 Table 3— Sound Transmission Class Requirements
2 0.05 0.05 0.04
NRC for Painted Normal Weight CMU Wall STC
Paint, application Coats Surface Texture Location of partition
Coarse Medium Fine UBC BOCA SBC
Any, sprayed 1 0.25 0.24 0.23 a
Living unit to living unit 50 45 45
2 0.22 0.22 0.21
(average noise)
Oil, brushed 1 0.22 0.22 0.21
2 0.13 0.13 0.12
Living unit to public space 50a 45 45
Latex, brushed 1 0.20 0.19 0.18
and service area
2 0.13 0.13 0.12
(high noise)
Cement, brushed 1 0.11 0.11 0.10
2 0.03 0.03 0.03
a
May be reduced to 45 if field tested.
means of sound isolation, a steady sound is generated and
measured on one side of a wall, and the transmitted sound is considered to be areas of average noise, while public spaces
measured in an adjacent room. The difference in sound levels such as corridors, stairs, halls or service areas are considered
indicates the transmission loss of the wall. For example, if a to have high noise levels.
generated sound level of 80 dB is observed in one room, and
30 dB measured in the adjacent room, the reduction in sound SELECTION OF WALLS
intensity due to the intervening wall is 50 dB. The wall is said
to have a 50 dB sound transmission loss. The higher the In choosing the type of concrete masonry for walls,
transmission loss of a wall, the better it functions as a sound evaluate the porosity and density of the material. Sound
barrier. transmission loss increases with unit weight and decreases
Arithmetic averages of sound transmission loss at se- with porosity. Transmission loss characteristics of unpainted,
lected frequencies were extensively used in the past to rate the open textured units can be increased by plastering or painting.
effectiveness of walls. The classification method was some- At the same time, sealing the pores results in a corresponding
times unreliable, however, because a good average could be reduction in the sound absorption (NRC) of the block.
ascribed to a wall that performed poorly at a particular fre- It is sometimes thought that by using open textured
quency. The American Society for Testing and Materials concrete block, both sound absorption and sound insula-
provides a test standard, ASTM E 90, to provide a sound tion can effectively be obtained, although this is generally
reduction rating by a single number called sound transmission not completely achievable. There are instances, however,
class (STC). A detailed explanation of determining STC ratings when the designer may wish to use both properties of
is published in NCMA TEK 13-1 (ref. 2 ). concrete block to advantage. In multifamily housing the
STC ratings for concrete masonry walls can be easily designer can consider using concrete masonry partitions
estimated using the equation: to separate public areas such as stairwells and corridors
STC = 23 w0.2 from adjacent living areas. In this application the open
where w = wall weight in lb/ft2 textured surface of the concrete block is left unpainted to
Some representative STC values are listed in Table 2. retain sound absorption and to reduce the echo from
Model building codes provide minimum STC ratings for corridor sounds. Sound transmission reduction is achieved
partitions that separate adjacent units in multifamily dwellings by painting or plastering the surface of the living area on
and similar partitions that separate a dwelling unit from public the opposite side of the partition. A similar technique,
and service areas (see Table 3). Generally, living units are which affords sound absorption on both sides of the wall,
as well as sound reduction, uses open textured units in a cavity STAGGER THE DOORS OF APARTMENTS
wall with back plastering on the inside face of one of the wythes. OPENING ONTO THE SAME HALL

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

Early in the design stages, a detailed noise survey should
be conducted to determine the outside noise level and the
anticipated background noise level in completed living units.
A building layout can then be developed which will effectively
reduce the noise transmission from one area to another.
All of the design elements that are employed in sound
control—proper layout, selection of walls, etc., can be made
ineffective through poor or improper construction. Sound
leakage will occur through any opening in a wall. An improperly
fitted corridor door is a prime source of sound leakage, as well
as openings around ducts, piping, and electrical outlets which
are improperly fitted or sealed. A crack just 0.007 in. (0.178 mm) Sound travels most effectively in straight lines. Every time
wide along the top of a 12.5 ft (3.8 m) wall would let through as it changes direction, some of it is asorbed and some diffused.
much sound as a 1 in.2 (645 mm2) hole.
A good acoustical design takes the following into consid- PLACE WINDOWS AS FAR
eration. The details below show six ways noise transmission FROM COMMON WALL AS POSSIBLE
can be reduced.

PLAN INLINE RATHER THAN
CUBICLE BUILDINGS

The closer windows are to each other, the more sound will
pass from one window to the other. Simply separating windows
will stop much of this sound.
In a cubicle plan, each apartment may have up to 3 common
walls. In an in-line plan with halls between every other apart-
ment, each apartment will have only one common wall to OFFSET MEDICINE CABINETS IN
transmit sound. DOUBLE BATHROOM PARTITIONS

USE MIRROR FLOOR PLANS

Medicine cabinets should be offset from one another and
Generally this arrangement will place adjacent apartments either backed up with solid material or surface mounted on the
so that quieter areas (bedrooms) abut, and noisy areas (kitch- wall. Cabinets placed back-to-back will transmit almost as
ens) are next to similar noisy areas. much noise as an opening.
DUCTS CARRY NOISE REFERENCES
FROM ONE ROOM TO ANOTHER
1. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Ma-
sonry Units, ASTM C 90-96a. American Society for Test-
ing and Materials, 1996.
2. Sound Transmission Class Ratings for Concrete Ma-
sonry Walls, TEK 13-1. National Concrete Masonry As-
sociation, 1990.
3. BOCA National Building Code. Country Club Hills, IL:
Building Officials and Code Administrators International,
Inc. (BOCA), 1996.
4. Standard Building Code. Birmingham, AL: Southern
Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI), 1994.
5. Uniform Building Code. Whittier, CA: International Con-
ference of Building Officials (ICBO), 1997.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
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14-1A: SECTION PROPERTIES OF CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS

Keywords: allowable stress design, area (net vs. gross), moment of inertia, radius of
gyration, reinforced concrete masonry, reinforced properties, section
modulus, section properties, strength design, structural properties

INTRODUCTION

Engineered design of concrete masonry walls uses section properties to determine strength, stiffness and deflection characteristics.
These design philosophies are summarized in Allowable Stress Design of Concrete Masonry and Strength Design of Concrete
Masonry (refs. 3, 4).

SECTION PROPERTIES

Tables 1 through 10 (click to view all Tables) summarize section properties of grouted and ungrouted 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 in.
(102, 152, 203, 254, 305, 356 and 406 mm) wide concrete masonry walls, based on the following assumptions:

standard unit dimensions are based on the minimum face shell and web thickness requirements of Standard Specification for
Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90 (ref. 2) as shown in Figure 1 (except as noted in Tables 8, 9 and 10 (click
to view all Tables)),
each unit has square ends and two square cores,
the nominal face dimensions of all units are 16 in. long by 8 in. high (406 by 203 mm),
all units have a symmetrical cross-section,
all mortar joints are 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) thick, and
all mortar joints are the same depth as the thickness of the face shell or web on which they are placed.

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The tables include both net and average section properties. The net section properties (An, In and Sn) are calculated based on the
minimum net cross-sectional area of an assemblage. These values are related to the critical section when determining stresses due to
an applied load (ref. 1). Average section properties (Aavg, Iavg, Savg and ravg) correspond to an average cross-sectional area of an
assemblage. Average section properties are used to determine stiffness or deflection due to applied loading (ref. 1). The net and
average horizontal section properties are listed in Tables 1a, 2a (click to view all Tables), etc. while vertical section properties are
listed in Tables 1b, 2b (click to view all Tables), etc. For vertically spanning walls, horizontal section properties are calculated along
a horizontal axis parallel to the plane of the masonry (axis X-X in Figure 2). For horizontally spanning walls, vertical section
properties are calculated along a vertical axis parallel to the plane of the masonry (axis Y-Y in Figure 2).

In addition to section properties based on the standard unit dimensions shown in Figure 1, Tables 8 and 9 (click to view all Tables)
list section properties of walls constructed using 8-inch (203-mm) units with thickened face shells. These units are often specified to
achieve higher fire ratings. Table 10 (click to view all Tables) lists section properties of walls constructed using 12-in. (305-mm)
units with 11/4 in. (32 mm) face shells. These units are permitted by ASTM C 90 (ref. 2) when allowable design loads are reduced in
proportion to the reduction in face shell thickness.

REFERENCES

1. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530-02/ASCE 5-02/TMS 402-02. Reported by the Masonry
Standards Joint Committee, 2002.

2. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90-02. ASTM International, 2002.

3. Allowable Stress Design of Concrete Masonry, TEK 14-7A. National Concrete Masonry Association, 2002.

4. Strength Design of Concrete Masonry, TEK 14-4A. National Concrete Masonry Association, 2002.

5. Concrete Masonry Design Tables, TR 121. National Concrete Masonry Association, 2000.

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NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF DRY-STACK TEK 14-22
MASONRY WALLS Structural (2003)

Keywords: allowable stress design, architectural details, TEK do not apply to such systems due to a difference in design
bond beams, composite wall, construction details, construc- section properties (ref 8).
tion techniques, dry-stack, lintels, mortarless masonry, pre- Specially designed units for dry-stack construction are
stressed masonry, reinforced masonry, surface bonding available in many different configurations as shown in Figure
1. The latest and most sophisticated designs incorporate face
INTRODUCTION
shell alignment features that make units easier and faster to
stack plumb and level. Other units are fabricated with a com-
Construction of masonry wall systems is possible bination of keys, tabs or slots along both horizontal and ver-
without the use of mortar. The use of standard CMU tical faces as shown in Figure 1 so that they may interlock
units laid dry and subsequently surface bonded with fiber easily when placed. Physical tolerances of dry-stack concrete
reinforced surfaced bonding cement has been well documented units are limited to ±1/16 in. (1.58 mm.) which precludes the
in the past. (ref. 16) With the use of specially fabricated concrete need for mortaring, grinding of face shell surfaces or shim-
masonry units known as “dry-stack units,” construction of these ming to even out courses during construction. Interlocking
mortarless systems is simple, easy and cost effective. This TEK units placed in running bond resist flexural and shear stresses
describes the construction and engineering design of such mor- resulting from out-of-plane loads as a result of the keying
tarless wall systems. action: (a) at the top of a web with the recess in the web of the
The provisions of this TEK apply to both specialty units unit above, (b) at two levels of bearing surface along each face
manufactured specifically for dry-stack construction and con- shell at the bed joint, and (c) between adjacent blocks along
ventional concrete masonry units with the following system the head joint. The first of these two interlocking mechanisms
types: also ensures vertical alignment of blocks.
• Grouted, partially grouted or surface bonded The interlocking features of dry-stack units improve
• Unreinforced, reinforced, or prestressed alignment and leveling, reduce the need for skilled labor and
Note that dry-stacked prestressed systems are available that do reduce construction time. Floor and roof systems can be sup-
not contain grout or surface bonding. The provisions of this ported by mortarless walls with a bond beam at the top of the

Specialty Units for Dry-Stack Masonry Standard CMU
Face shell aligning Face shell aligning Non-face shell aligning Non-face shell aligning
slotted system slotted / tabbed system systems standard CMU

Figure 1–– Dry-Stack Masonry Units

TEK 14-22 © 2003 National Concrete Masonry Association
wall which expedites the construction process.
Wall strength and stability are greatly enhanced with
grouting which provides the necessary integrity to resist
forces applied parallel, and transverse to, the wall plane. Ver-
tical alignment of webs ensures a continuous grout column
even when the adjacent cell is left ungrouted. Grouting is
necessary to develop flexural tensile stress normal to the bed
joints, which is resisted through unit-mortar bond for tradi-
tional masonry construction. Strength of grouted dry-stack
Dry-stack concrete
walls may also be enhanced by traditional reinforcement,
masonry units
prestressing, post-tensioning or with external fiber-reinforced
surface coatings (surface bonding) as described in the next
section.
Typical applications for mortarless concrete masonry
include basement walls, foundation walls, retaining walls, Grout in all cores
exterior above-grade walls, internal bearing walls and par-
titions. Dry-stack masonry construction can prove to be a
cost-effective solution for residential and low-rise commer-
cial applications because of it’s speed and ease of construc-
tion, strength and stability even in zones of moderate and
a. Unreinforced, fully grouted wall
high seismicity. More information on design and construc-
tion of dry-stack masonry can be found in Reference 5.

CONSTRUCTION

Dry-stack concrete masonry units can be used to con-
struct walls that are grouted or partially grouted; unrein-
dry-stack concrete
forced, reinforced or prestressed; or surface bonded. With masonry units
each construction type, walls are built by first stacking con-
crete masonry units.
For unreinforced construction as shown in Figure
2a, grouting provides flexural and shear strength to a wall
system. Flexural tensile stresses due to out-of-plane bending Grouted cores with vertical
are resisted by the grout cores. Grout cores also interlace reinforcing bars
units placed in running bond and thus provide resistance to
in-plane shear forces beyond that provided by friction devel-
oped along horizontal joints. Grout cores can also be rein- b. Reinforced, fully or partially grouted wall
forced to increase flexural strength.
Reinforcement can be placed vertically, in which case
only those cells containing reinforcement may be grouted
as shown in Figure 2b, as well as horizontally, in which
case the masonry must be fully grouted. Another version is
to place vertical prestressing tendons in place of reinforce-
ment. Vertical axial compressive stress, applied via the ten- Fiber-reinforced sur-
dons, increases flexural and shear capacity. Tendons may be face bonding cement
bonded to grout, or unbonded, based upon the design. Place- parged onto both sides
ment of grout may be optional. Horizontally reinforced bond
beam lintels can be created using a grout stop beneath the
unit to contain grout.
As an alternative to reinforcing or prestressing, wall
Dry-stack concrete
surfaces may be parged (coated) with a fiber-reinforced sur- masonry units
face bonding cement/stucco per ASTM C887(ref. 14) as
illustrated in Figure 2c. This surface treatment, applied to
both faces of a wall, bonds concrete units together without c. Surface bonded wall
the need for grout or internal reinforcement. The parging
material bridges the units and fills the joints between units Figure 2–– Basic Dry-Stack Masonry Wall Types
to provide additional bonding of the coating to the units
through keying action. The compressive strength of the
Table 1 –– Summary of Wall Heights for 8” (203 mm) wall or in a bottom bond beam and are tensioned from the
Dry-stacked Units (ref. 5) top of a wall.
Construction Type
Grouted Grouted Surface Surface Bonded Walls
unreinforced reinforced bonded For walls strengthened with a surface bonding, a thin
layer of portland cement surface bonding material should
Basement
8’ - 0” 10’ - 8” 8’ - 0” be troweled or sprayed on to a wall surface. The thickness
walls
(2.44m) (3.25m) (2.62m) of the surface coating should be at least 1/8 in. (3.2 mm.)
Cantilevered or as required by the material supplier.
retaining walls 5’ -0” 8’ -8” 5’ 4”
(1.52m) (2.64m) (4.88m) ENGINEERING PROPERTIES
Single-story 15’ -0” 20’ -0” 16’ -0”
buildings (4.57m) (6.10m) (4.88m) Walls constructed with mortarless masonry can
be engineered using conventional engineering principles.
Multi-story 3 stories 4 stories 2 stories Existing building code recommendations such as that pro-
buildings* less than 32’-8” less than 40’ -8” less than 20’ -0”
(9.96m) in height (12.4m) in height (6.10m) in height duced by the building code (ref. 1) can serve as reference
documents, but at the time of this printing it does not
* Laterally supported at each floor
address mortarless masonry directly. It is thus considered
parging material should be equal to or greater than that of an alternate engineered construction type. The Interna-
the masonry units. tional Building Code (ref. 7) does list allowable stresses
based on gross-cross-sectional area for dry-stacked, sur-
face-bonded concrete masonry walls. These values are the
Laying of Units
The first course of dry-stack block should be placed same as presented in TEK 3-5A (ref. 16). Suggested limits
on a smooth, level bearing surface of proper size and on wall or building height are given in Table 1.
strength to ensure a plumb and stable wall. Minor rough- Test data (refs. 2, 3 and 4) have shown that the
ness and variations in level can be corrected by setting the strength of dry-stack walls exceeds the strength require-
first course in mortar. Blocks should be laid in running ments of conventional masonry, and thus the recommended
bond such that cells will be aligned vertically. allowable stress design practices of the code can be used
in most cases. When designing unreinforced, grouted
masonry wall sections, it is important to deduct the thick-
Grout and Reinforcement
Grout and grouting procedures should be the same ness of the tension side face shell when determining the
as used in conventional masonry construction (ref. 1, 10) section properties for flexural resistance.
except that the grout must have a compressive strength
of at least 2600 psi (190 MPa) at 28 days when tested Unit and Masonry Compressive Strength
in accordance with ASTM C 1019 (ref.12). Placement Units used for mortarless masonry construction are
of grout can be accomplished in one lift for single-story made of the same concrete mixes as used for conventional
height walls less than 8 ft (2.43 m). Grout lifts must be masonry units. Thus, compressive strength of typical units
consolidated with an internal vibrator with a head size less could vary between 2000 psi (13.79MPa) and 4000 psi.
than 1 in. (25 mm). (27.58 MPa) Standard Methods of Sampling and Testing
Concrete Masonry Units (ref. 11) can be referred to for
determining strength of dry-stack units.
Vertical Reinforcing
As for conventional reinforced masonry construc- Masonry compressive strength f’m can conserva-
tion, good construction practice should include placement tively be based on the unit-strength method of the build-
of reinforcing bars around door and window openings, at ing code (ref . 15), or be determined by testing prisms in
the ends, top and bottom of a wall, and between intersect- accordance with ASTM C1314 (ref. 4). Test prisms can be
ing walls. Well detailed reinforcement such as this can either grouted or ungrouted depending on the type of wall
help enhance nonlinear deformation capacity, or ductility, construction specified.
of masonry walls in building systems subjected to earth-
quake loadings - even for walls designed as unreinforced
elements. Additional information on conventional grout-
ing and reinforced masonry wall can be found in TEK 9-4
and TEK 3-3A (refs. 9 & 6).

Pre-stressed Walls
Mortarless walls can also be prestressed by placing
vertical tendons through the cores. Tendons can be
anchored within the concrete foundation at the base of a
Solid Grouted, Unreinforced Construction bed joints being mortared provided that the units subjected
Out-of-Plane & In-Plane Allowable Flexural Strength to compressive stress are in good contact. Thus, allow-
Because no mortar is used to resist flexural tension able stress design values can be determined using the same
as for conventional masonry construction, flexural strength assumptions and requirements of the MSJC code. (ref.1)
of mortarless masonry is developed through the grout, rein-
forcement or surface coating. For out-of-plane bending of Out-of-Plane & In-Plane Allowable Flexural Strength
solid grouted walls allowable flexural strength can be esti- Axial and flexural tensile stresses are assumed to be
mated based on flexural tensile strength of the grout per resisted entirely by the reinforcement. Strains in reinforce-
Equation 1. ment and masonry compressive strains are assumed to vary
linearly with their distance from the neutral axis. Stresses
M=(fa+Ft)Sg Equation 1 in reinforcement and masonry compressive stresses are
assumed to vary linearly with strains. For purposes of
Consideration should be given to the reduction in estimating allowable flexural strengths, full bonding of
wall thickness at the bed joints when estimating geometri- reinforcement to grout are assumed such that strains in
cal properties of the net effective section. reinforcement are identical to those in the adjacent grout.
Correspondingly, flexural strength based on masonry For out-of-plane loading where a single layer of ver-
compressive stress should be checked, particularly for tical reinforcement is placed, allowable flexural strength
walls resisting significant gravity loads, using the unity can be estimated using the equations for conventional rein-
equation as given below. forcement with the lower value given by Equations 5 or 6.
fa fb
+ ≤1 Equation 2 Ms = AsFs jd Equation 5
F a Fb

Buckling should also be checked. (Ref. 8) Mm = 0.5Fb jkbd2 Equation 6

In-Plane Shear Strength In-Plane Shear Strength
Shear strength for out-of-plane bending is usually Though the MSJC code recognizes reinforced
not a concern since flexural strength governs design for masonry shear walls with no shear, or horizontal reinforce-
this case. For resistance to horizontal forces applied paral- ment, it is recommended that mortarless walls be rein-
lel to the plane of a wall, Equation 3 may be used to esti- forced with both vertical and horizontal bars. In such case,
mate allowable shear strength. allowable shear strength can be determined based on shear
reinforcement provisions (ref. 1) with Equations 7, 8 and
Ib 9.
V= F
Q v Equation 3
V = bdFv Equation 7
Fv is the allowable shear strength by the lesser of the
three values given in Equation 4. Where Fv is the masonry allowable shear stress per
Equations 8 or 9.

Fv = 1.5 f ‘m 1 M M
M
Fv = 120 psi for ≤ 1 Fv = 2 (4- ) f ’m <(120-45 ) psi
N Vd Vd Vd
Fv = 60 psi + 0.45 Av
n Equation 4 Equation 8
M
for Vd ≥ 1 Fv = 1.5 f ’m < 75 psi
Grouted, Reinforced Construction
Mortarless masonry that is grouted and reinforced Equation 9
behaves much the same as for conventional reinforced and
mortared construction. Because masonry tensile strength
is neglected for mortared, reinforced construction, flexural
mechanisms are essentially the same with or without the
Solid Grouted, Prestressed Construction sidered conservative to apply the desired values of the code
Mortarless masonry walls that are grouted and pre- (ref. 1) for allowable flexural capacity for portland cement
stressed can be designed as unreinforced walls with the / lime type M for the full thickness of the face shell.
prestressing force acting to increase the vertical compres-
sive stress. Grout can be used to increase the effective area Out-of-Plane and In-Plane Flexural Strength
of the wall. Flexural strength will be increased because of Surface-bonded walls can be considered as unrein-
the increase in the fa term in Equation 1. Shear strength forced and ungrouted walls with a net allowable flexural
will be increased by the Nv term in Equation 4. tensile strength based on the strength of the fiber-reinforce-
Because the prestressing force is a sustained force, ment. Flexural strength is developed by the face shells
creep effects must be considered in the masonry. Research bonded by the mesh. Allowable flexural strength can be
on the long-term behavior of dry-stacked masonry by Mar- determined using Equation 1 with an Ft value deter-
zahn and Konig (ref. 8) has shown that creep effects may mined on the basis of tests provided by the surface bonding
be accentuated for mortarless masonry as a result of stress cement supplier. Axial and flexural compressive stresses
concentrations at the contact points of adjacent courses. must also be checked per Equation 2 considering again
Due to the roughness of the unit surfaces, high stress con- only the face shells to resist stress.
centrations can result which can lead to higher non-propor-
tional creep deformations. Thus, the creep coefficient was
found to be dependent on the degree of roughness along Surface Bonded In-Plane Shear Strength
bed-joint surfaces and the level of applied stress. As a In-plane shear strength of surface-bonded walls is
result, larger losses in prestressing force is probable for attributable to friction developed along the bed joints
dry-stack masonry. resulting from vertical compressive stress in addition to
the diagonal tension strength of the fiber coating. If the
Surface-Bonded Construction enhancement in shear strength given by the fiber reinforced
Dry-stack walls with surface bonding develop their surface parging is equal to or greater than that provided
strength through the tensile strength of small fiberglass by the mortar-unit bond in conventional masonry construc-
fibers in the 1/8” (3.8mm) thick troweled or surface bonded tion, then allowable shear strength values per the MSJC
cement-plaster coating ASTM C-887(Ref. 14). Because no code (ref. 1)may be used. In such case, section properties
grouting is necessary, flexural tension and shear strength used in Equation 3 should be based on the cross-section of
are developed through tensile resistance of fiberglass fibers the face shells.
applied to both surfaces of a wall. Test data has shown that
surface bonding can result in a net flexural tension strength
on the order of 300 psi.(2.07 MPa) Flexural capacity,
based on this value, exceeds that for conventional, unrein-
forced mortared masonry construction, therefore it is con-

Figure 3 - A Mortarless Garden Wall Application Figure 4 - A Residential, Mortarless, Single-Family
Basement - Part of a 520 Home Development
REFERENCES
NOTATION
1. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures), ACI 530-02/
ASCE 5-02/TMS 402-02. Reported by the Masonry Standards Joint An net cross-sectional area of masonry, in2 (mm2)
Committee (MSJC), 2002.
2. Drysdale, R.G., Properties of Dry-Stack Block, Windsor, Ontario, As effective cross-sectional area of reinforcement, in2 (mm2)
July 1999. b width of section, in. (mm)
3. Drysdale, R.G., Properties of Surface-Bonded Dry-Stack Block d distance from extreme compression fiber centroid of tension rein
Construction, Windsor,Ontario, January 2000.
4. Drysdale, R.G., Racking Tests of Dry-Stack Block, Windsor, forcement, in. (mm)
Ontario, October 2000. Fa allowable compressive stress due to axial load only, psi (MPa)
5. Drysdale, R.G., Design and Construction Guide for Azar Dry-Stack Fb allowable compressive stress due to flexure only, psi (MPa)
Block Construction,JNE Consulting, Ltd., February 2001.
6. Grout for Concrete Masonry, TEK 9-4. National Concrete Masonry Fs allowable tensile or compressive stress in reinforcement, psi (MPa)
Association, 2002. Ft flexural tensile strength of the grout, psi(MPa)
7. 2000 International Building Code, Falls Church, VA. International Fv allowable shear stress in masonry psi (MPa)
Code Council, 2000.
8. Marzahn, G. and G. Konig, Experimental Investigation of Long- fa calculated vertical compressive stress due to axial load, psi (MPa)
Term Behavior of Dry-Stacked Masonry, Journal of The Masonry fb calculated compressive stress in masonry due to flexure only, psi
Society, December 2002, pp. 9-21. (MPa)
9. Reinforced Concrete Masonry Construction, TEK 3-3A. National
Concrete Masonry Association, 2001. f’ specified compressive strength of masonry, psi (MPa)
10. Specification for Masonry Structures, ACI 530.1-02/ASCE 6-02/ I moment of inertia in.4 (mm4)
TMS 602-02. Reported by the Masonry Standards Joint Committee j ratio of distance between centroid of flexural compressive forces and
(MSJC), 2002.
11. Standard Methods of Sampling and Testing Concrete Masonry centroid of tensile forces to depth, d
Units, ASTM C140-02a, ASTM International, Inc. , Philadelphia, k ratio of the distance between compression face of the wall and neu
2002. tral axis to the effective depth d
12. Standard Method of Sampling and Testing Grout, ASTM C1019-02,
ASTM International, Inc., Philadelphia, 2002. M maximum moment at the section under consideration, in.-lb
13. Standard Specification for Grout for Masonry, ASTM C 476-02. (N-mm)
ASTM International, Inc., 2002 Nv compressive force acting normal to the shear surface, lb (N)
14. Standard Specification for Packaged, Dry, Combined Materials for
Surface Bonding Mortar, ASTM C 887-79a (2001). ASTM Interna Q first moment about the neutral axis of a section of that portion of the
tional, Inc., 2001. cross section lying between the neutral axis and extreme fiber in.3
15. Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Masonry Assem (mm3)
blages, ASTM C1314-02a, ASTM International, Inc., Philadelphia,
2002. Sg section modulus of uncracked net section in.3 (mm3)
16. Surface Bonded Concrete Masonry Construction, TEK 3-5A. V shear force, lb (N)
National Concrete Masonry Association, 1998.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
14-2: Reinforced Concrete Masonry Page 1 of 8

Provided by:
Grace Construction Products

14-2: REINFORCED CONCRETE MASONRY

Keywords: allowable stress, allowable stress design, ASTM specifications,
construction techniques, flexural strength, grout, grouting, inspection,
load-bearing walls, mortar, reinforced concrete masonry, shear walls,
sizes and shapes of concrete masonry, strength design, structural
properties

Introduction

Structural elements constructed of reinforced concrete masonry effectively resist applied loads through the combined tensile strength
of reinforcement and the compressive strength of masonry. The benefits of incorporating reinforcement are improved ductility,
structural integrity, and greater resistance to flexural and shear stresses. Walls, columns, pilasters, and beams can be designed to resist
dead, live, wind, seismic, and lateral earth pressure loads using the combined capabilities of masonry and reinforcement.

Reinforced concrete masonry walls are used extensively in most structural applications—warehouses, institutional buildings,
retaining walls, shear walls and load-bearing walls in multistory hotel and apartments. They provide an economical system of
construction, particularly in localities or in building configurations requiring high lateral load resistance.

Materials

Materials used for reinforced masonry—units, mortar, grout, and steel reinforcement, are governed by specifications that are
referenced in building codes. Applicable specifications for these materials are listed in Table 1.

Units—Reinforced concrete masonry is constructed of hollow units, solid units, or a combination of both. Single wythe walls are
constructed of hollow units with vertical reinforcement and grout placed in designated cores of the block. Horizontal reinforcement,
such as reinforcing bars grouted into bond beams, or joint reinforcement placed in mortar joints, is also often use d. Multi-wythe
walls are built with either hollow or solid units with grout and reinforcement in the space between wythes.

Units must be laid up so that the vertical spaces to be grouted provide a continuous, unobstructed opening to accommodate grout and
reinforcement. Some projects require reinforcement to be in place before masonry work is begun. These requirements have resulted
in the development of open-end block shapes which are designed to be placed around the reinforcement. Some of these shapes are
illustrated in Figure 1.

Table 1—Standard Material Specifications
Concrete Masonry Units
ASTM C 90 Load-bearing Concrete Masonry Units
UBC 21-4 Hollow and Solid Load-bearing Concrete
Masonry Units
Mortar
ASTM C 270 Mortar for Unit Masonry
UBC 21-15 Mortar for Unit Masonry
Grout
ASTM C 476 Grout for Masonry
UBC 21-14 Grout for Masonry
Aggregates
ASTM C 144 Aggregate for Masonry Mortar
ASTM C 404 Aggregates for Masonry Grout
Reinforcement
ASTM A 82 Steel Wire, Plain
ASTM A 615 Deformed and Plain Billet-Steel Bars
ASTM A 616 Rail-Steel Deformed and Plain Bars
ASTM A 617 Axle-Steel Deformed and Plain Bars

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ASTM A 706 Low-Alloy Steel Deformed Bars
ASTM A 767 Galvanized Steel Bars
ASTM A 775 Epoxy-Coated Reinforcing Steel Bars
UBC 21-10 Joint Reinforcement for Masonry

Mortar—Ingredients for masonry mortar are governed by applicable product specifications. Mortar types are generally specified to
comply with ASTM C 270 (ref. 5). Mortar is governed by either of two alternative specifications:

1. the proportion specification prescribes the parts by volume of each ingredient required to provide a specific mortar type
2. the property specification allows approved materials to be mixed in controlled percentages as long as the resultant laboratory
prepared mortar meets prescribed compressive strength, water retention, and air content requirements.

Mortar types M, S, and N are permitted for construction of reinforced concrete masonry. Building codes (refs. 2, 7) require the use of
Type S or M mortar in seismic zones 3 and 4.

Grout—Ingredients for grout used in masonry construction include cementitious materials, aggregates, and hydrated lime. ASTM
specifications contain requirements for proportions for each of these ingredients. However, it is typical practice to specify
compressive strength based on design requirements rather than specifying proportions of each ingredient.

When grout is placed in a masonry wall, water is absorbed into the masonry units, reducing the volume of grout. The effects of grout
volume loss may be minimized by reconsolidation before the grout starts to set. Expansive grout admixtures are sometimes
recommended in addition to consolidation and reconsolidation to reduce voids in the grout. These materials are added at the job site,
and cause the grout to expand slightly after placement, which compensates for volume reduction due to loss of water.

Steel Reinforcement—The two principal types of reinforcement used in reinforced masonry are deformed steel bars and horizontal
wire joint reinforcement. Standards for the most commonly used types of reinforcement are listed in Table 1.

Construction

Placement of hollow units for reinforced concrete masonry construction requires the following considerations:

• Vertical cores to be grouted are constructed so that a continuous, unobstructed opening of approved dimensions is maintained for
proper placement of reinforcement and grout.
• Care should be taken to minimize mortar protrusions into the spaces to be grouted.
• When hollow unit walls are not fully grouted, mortar is placed on those cross webs adjacent to the cores to be grouted, to confine
grout to specified locations.
• Vertical reinforcement is secured in its proper location by the use of bar positioners or by tying vertical and horizontal bars together.
• Metal lath, or other suitable material, is used in partially grouted masonry below bond beam courses to confine grout to specified
locations.

Placement of steel reinforcement in its specified location is critical to the performance of reinforced masonry. The flexural resistance
of reinforced masonry is based on the element's effective depth, d, which is the distance from the compressive face of the masonry to
the centerline location of the tensile reinforcement.

Building codes contain allowable tolerances for placement of reinforcement in walls and flexural elements, and tolerances for the
distance between vertical bars along the length of a wall. A summary of tolerance requirements is contained in Table 2.

Table 2—Tolerances For Placement of Reinforcement

Placement of reinforcement
Flexural members 1/2 in. (13 mm) for d 8 in. (203 mm)
1 in. (25 mm) for d > 8 in. (203 mm) but 24 in. (610mm)
........................... 1 1/4 in. (32 mm) for d > 24 in. (610 mm)
Walls (vertical bars).................. 2 in. (51 mm) along the
length of the wall

Clear spacing between bars and face of unit
Fine grout........................... 1/4 in. (6.4 mm)
Coarse grout ........................ 1/2 in. (13 mm)
Minimum cover joint reinforcement

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Exposed to weather or earth.............. 5/8 in. (16 mm)
Not exposed to weather or earth....... 1/2 in. (13 mm)

In addition to allowable tolerances, codes prescribe requirements for lap splicing and minimum permissible space between
reinforcement and adjacent masonry units for fine and coarse grouts to ensure that grout completely surrounds and bonds to the
reinforcement.

Low Lift Grouting—Methods of placing grout in concrete masonry elements are high lift and low lift grouting. The construction
sequence of low lift grouting is as follows:

• Build the masonry to scaffold height, placing horizontal reinforcement as the wall is laid up. Low lift grouting procedures limit the
maximum height of masonry to 5 ft (1.5 m) prior to grouting. When a grout pour coincides with a bond beam course, an additional
course of masonry should be placed above the bond beam to permit grouting the bond beam in one operation. The grout pour should
then extend a minimum of 1/2 in. (13 mm) above the bond beam course.

• Place vertical reinforcement where required, ensuring that cavities containing reinforcement have a continuous unobstructed cross
section complying with Table 3.

• Place grout of fluid consistency in those cavities which contain properly positioned reinforcing bars and all other cavities required to
be grouted.
• Consolidate the grout with a vibrator (grout pours 12 in. (305 mm) or less may be consolidated using a puddling stick).
• Repeat the operation at the next higher level. Low lift grouting requires no special concrete block shapes or special equipment.

Methods of delivering grout to the wall include hand bucketing, pumping, or the use of a concrete bucket with a spout to direct the
grout into the cores, whichever is most advantageous to the contractor. Complete consolidation of grout is accomplished by vibrating
or puddling each lift, while penetrating into the previous lift.

A grout lift should not terminate at a mortar bed joint nor where horizontal reinforcing bars are placed. A grout key between lifts,
located at least 1/2 in. (13 mm) below the mortar joint, ensures adequate shear transfer. One course may be laid above the lift height
to obtain proper grout coverage of horizontal reinforcing, and the grout poured to a height approximately 1/2 in. (13 mm) above the
bed joint. The final lift is poured to the top of the wall.

High Lift Grouting—On larger projects, grouting is often delayed until walls are built to story height or to the full height of the wall.
Grout is then placed into the wall in several succeeding 5 ft (1.5 m) maximum lifts. This procedure is referred to as high lift grouting.

There are several advantages of high lift grouting on larger projects. Vertical steel can be placed after the wall is erected; its location
can be checked by the inspector; and the grout can be transit-mixed and placed by a grout pump or concrete bucket within a relatively
short time. Cleanout openings of sufficient size for removal of mortar droppings and other debris must be provided at the bottom of
all vertical cavities containing reinforcement.

Horizontal reinforcing bars are positioned as the wall is erected. Vertical bars may be installed prior to laying masonry or may be
inserted from the top of the wall after the masonry is placed to story height. Vertical bars should be held in position at intervals not
exceeding 200 bar diameters.

Table 3—Grout Space Requirements
Minimum grout a
Maximum space dimensions
Specified
grout pour for grouting cells of
grout
height,
type hollow units
ft (m)
in. x in. (mm x mm)

Fine 1 (0.3) 1 1/2 x 2 (38 x 51)
Fine 5 (1.5) 2 x 3 (51 x 76) b
Fine 12 (3.7) 21/2 x 3 (64 x 76) c
Fine 24 (7.3) 3 x 3 (76 x 76)

Coarse 1 (0.3) 11/2 x 3 (38 x 76)
Coarse 5 (1.5) 21/2 x 3 (64 x 76)
Coarse 12 (3.7) 3 x 3 (76 x 76)
Coarse 24 (7.3) 3 x 4 (76 x 102)

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a Grout space dimension is the clear dimension between any masonry
protrusion and shall be increased by the diameters of the horizontal bars within
the cross section of the grout space.
b UBC (ref. 7) requires 1 1/2 x 2 (38 x 51)
c UBC (ref. 7) requires 1 3/4 x 3 (38 x 76)

When design requirements result in a large amount of closely spaced vertical steel reinforcement, or when reinforcement is required
to be in place prior to installation of the masonry units, a variation of the vertical steel placement may be employed. The vertical bars
can be secured in their proper position at the foundation or base of the wall before units are laid up. Instead of threading hollow units
down over the vertical rods, open-ended units are typically used, enabling the mason to lay the block around the steel reinforcement
as the wall is being erected. These units are manufactured with one or both end webs removed, resulting in an "A" or "H" shape, as
illustrated in Figure 1.

Grout spaces must be clean prior to grouting. All reinforcing, bolts, other embedded items, and cleanout closures must be securely in
place before grouting is started. The grouting operation should be continuously inspected.

Structural Design

Engineered reinforced concrete masonry is designed either by the allowable stress design method or by the strength design method.
Engineered masonry, in which design loads are determined and masonry members are proportioned to resist those loads in
accordance with engineering principles of mechanics, is most frequently analyzed by the allowable stress method. This method is
considered a conservative approach to design; however, it does not predict material performance and behavior if masonry is stressed
beyond allowable limits. The limit states design method evaluates member capacity (strength limit state) as well as member
deformation under service loads (deformation limit state). Limit states design has particular advantages in providing for loads which
are unpredictable, such as seismic loads or hurricane wind loads. Strength design of masonry is recognized by the Uniform Building
Code (ref. 7).

Reinforced masonry design relies on reinforcement to resist tension, hence the tensile strength of masonry units, mortar and grout are
neglected. By contrast, unreinforced masonry design considers the tensile strength of masonry in resisting design loads. The
advantages of reinforced masonry include significantly higher flexural strength and ductility as well as greater reliability. Improved
ductility of reinforced masonry is also a function of reinforcement, which continues to elongate well beyond the design level,
allowing deformation beyond design levels without loss of strength. These deformations allow overloads to be redistributed to other
members, thus improving structural performance when actual loads exceed design load levels.

Reliability of reinforced masonry is due to the predictable tensile strength of steel reinforcement and compressive strength of
masonry, which results in a predictable strength of reinforced masonry elements.

Design Loads

Allowable stress design is based on service level loads, which are typical load levels occurring when the structure is in use, and
members are proportioned using conservative allowable stresses (see Table 4). Strength design of masonry is based on a realistic
evaluation of member strength subjected to factored loads which have a low probability of being exceeded during the life of the
structure. Minimum design loads for allowable stress design (service loads) and for strength design (factored loads) are included in
Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures (ref. 3).

Allowable Stress Design

Allowable stress design principles and assumptions for reinforced concrete masonry are:

• Members are proportioned to satisfy applicable conditions of equilibrium and compatibility of strains within the range of allowable
stresses when subjected to design service loads.
• Strain in the reinforcement, masonry units, mortar, and grout is directly proportional to the distance from the neutral axis. Therefore,
plane sections before bending remain plane after bending.
• The tensile strength of masonry units, mortar and grout, is neglected.
• Reinforced concrete masonry is a homogeneous, isotropic material. Reinforcement is perfectly bonded to masonry.
• Stress is linearly proportional to strain within the working stress range.

Flexure

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Flexural compression and tension stresses are determined in accordance with accepted allowable stress design principles. This results
in a triangular distribution of compressive stress from zero at the neutral axis to a maximum at the extreme compression fiber. Tensile
stress in reinforcement is based on the strain in the steel multiplied by its modulus of elasticity. Strain in reinforcement increases
linearly in proportion to the distance from the neutral axis to the centroid of reinforcement. Flexural members are proportioned such
that the maximum calculated tensile and compressive stresses are within allowable stress limits. Increased flexural strength due to
compression in reinforcement located on the compression side of the neutral axis is typically neglected unless it is confined by lateral
ties to prevent buckling of the reinforcement.

Axial Compression

Axial loads acting though the neutral axis of a member are distributed over the net cross-sectional area of masonry. The compressive
resistance of reinforcement is neglected unless the reinforcement is confined by lateral ties in accordance with the provisions for
columns to prevent buckling of the reinforcement. Masonry members are proportioned such that the maximum axial compressive
stress does not exceed the allowable axial compressive stress. The allowable axial compressive stress is based on the compressive
strength of masonry, a slenderness coefficient, and an allowable stress coefficient.

Combined Axial Compression and Flexure

Most loading conditions result in a combination of axial load and flexure acting on the reinforced masonry member. Superimposing
the stresses resulting from axial compression and flexural compression equals the combined stress. Members are proportioned such
that the maximum combined stress does not exceed the allowable stress.

Shear

Shear acting on flexural members, shear walls, or reinforced masonry columns is resisted by the masonry or by reinforcement.

Where the masonry is designed to resist shear, the shear force is distributed over an area equal to the effective width of the member
multiplied by the length of wall between the centroid of tension reinforcement and the location of the resultant compressive force.

The member is proportioned such that the maximum shear stress is limited to the allowable stress value or, alternatively, shear
reinforcement is provided to resist the entire shear force. The required shear reinforcement is provided parallel to the direction of the
shear force and distributed over a distance equal to the effective depth of the member. This reinforcement orientation provides shear
resistance across a potential 45o diagonal tension crack in the masonry.

Strength Design

Strength design principles and assumptions for reinforced concrete masonry are:

• The strength of members is based on satisfying the applicable conditions of equilibrium and compatibility of strains when subjected
to factored design loads.
• Strain in the reinforcement, masonry units, mortar, and grout is directly proportional to the distance from the neutral axis. Therefore,
plane sections before bending remain plane after bending.
• The tensile strength of masonry units, mortar, and grout is neglected.
• Reinforced concrete masonry is a homogeneous, isotropic material. Reinforcement is perfectly bonded to the masonry.
• Masonry compressive stress distribution and masonry strain is assumed to be rectangular and uniformly distributed over an
equivalent compression zone, bounded by the compression face of the masonry, with a depth of 0.85c (see Figure 3).
• The maximum usable strain at the extreme compression fiber of the masonry is limited to 0.003.

Flexure

Research (ref. 6) has confirmed the accuracy of using the rectangular stress block model for calculating flexural strength of masonry.
The required moment strength, Mu, is limited to the nominal moment strength, Mn = Asfy(d-a/2), multiplied by the strength reduction
factor for flexure, = 0.8 (refs. 7, 8).

To ensure ductile behavior, the maximum reinforcement is limited to 50% of the reinforcement which produces balanced strain
conditions, rbal (ref. 7). Balanced conditions occur when reinforcement reaches its specified yield strength at the same time that
masonry reaches its maximum usable compressive strain of 0.003. This limit on reinforcement ensures the steel yields at strength
level loads.

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Table 4—Allowable Stressesa for Reinforced Concrete Masonry
Compression Axial
Fa = 1/4 f 'm[1-(h/140r)2], where h/r 99
Fa = 1/4 f ' m (70r/h)2, where h/r > 99
Flexural............................... Fb = 1/3 f ' m b

Shear
Where reinforcement is not provided to resist the
entire shear:
Flexural members....................... Fv = (f ' m)0.5,
50 psi max. (0.3 MPa)
Shear walls
M/Vd < 1.................. Fv = 1/3 [4-(M/Vd)](f ' m)0.5
[80-45(M/Vd)] psi max.
M/Vd 1.................. Fv = (f ' m)0.5 35 psi max. (0.2 MPa)
Where reinforcement is provided to resist all the
calculated shear:
Flexural members Fv = 3.0(f ' m)0.5,
150 psi max. (1.0 MPa)
Shear walls
M/Vd < 1.................... Fv = 1/2[4-(M/Vd)](f ' m)0.5
[120-45(M/Vd)] psi max.
M/Vd 1........ Fv = 1.5(f ' m)0.5, 75 psi max. (0.5 MPa)

Steel Reinforcement
Tension
Grade 40...................... Fs = 20,000 psi (138 MPa)
Grade 60...................... Fs = 24,000 psi (165 MPa)
Joint reinforcement..... Fs = 30,000 psi (207 MPa)
Compression...... Fs = 0.4 fy, 24,000 psi max (165 MPa)

a refs. 1, 2, 4, 7
b UBC (ref. 7) limits Fb to 2,000 psi (13.8 MPa) max.

Click below to
open diagrams.
Figures 1, 2 & 3

In addition to complying with flexural strength requirements, members should also be designed to have adequate stiffness to limit
deflections or any deformations that may adversely affect strength or serviceability of a structure.

Axial Compression

Factored axial load is limited to the nominal strength of masonry multiplied by the strength reduction factor, = 0.65 (refs. 7,8).

Shear

The factored shear force is limited to the nominal shear strength multiplied by a strength reduction factor, = 0.80. This strength
reduction factor is permitted to increase linearly to 0.85 as the required axial load strength, Pu, decreases from Pn to zero (ref. 8). The
nominal shear strength is based on the shear strength of the masonry plus the strength of the shear reinforcement.

Table 5—Strength Design Criteria for Reinforced
Concrete Masonry
Axial compression
Pu A nf ' m [1-(h/140r)2] for h/r < 99
Pu A nf ' m [1-(70r/h)2] for h/r > 99

Shear
Vu 6.0 (f ' m)0.5An + A fy for M/Vd 0.25

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Vu 4.0 (f ' m)0.5An + A fy for M/Vd 1.0
Interpolate values between M/Vd = 0.25 and 1.0

Flexure
Mu As fy (d-a/2)
p 0.5 rbal

Notations

An net cross-sectional area of masonry, in.2 (mm2)
Av cross-sectional area of shear reinforcement, in.2 (mm2)
a depth of equivalent rectangular stress block, in. (mm)
c distance from extreme compression fiber to neutral axis, in. (mm), a/0.85
d distance from extreme compression fiber to centroid of tension reinforcement, in. (mm)
db nominal diameter of reinforcement, in. (mm)
Es modulus of elasticity of steel, psi (MPa)
Fa allowable compressive stress due to axial load only, psi (MPa)
Fb allowable compressive stress due to flexure only, psi (MPa)
Fs allowable tensile or compressive stress in reinforcement, psi (MPa)
Fv allowable shear stress in masonry, psi (MPa)
f 'm specified compressive strength of masonry, psi (MPa)
fy specified yield stress of steel reinforcement, psi (MPa)
h effective height of column, wall, or pilaster, in. (mm)
M maximum moment occurring simultaneously with design shear force, V, at section under consideration, in.-lb (N.m)
Mn nominal moment strength of a cross section before application of strength reduction factors, in.-lb (N.m)
Mu required moment strength at a cross section to resist factored loads, in.-lb (N.m)

Pn nominal axial load strength, lb (N)
Pu factored axial load, lb (N)
r radius of gyration, in. (mm)
V design shear force, lb (N)
Vu factored shear, lb (N)
e strain
strength reduction factor
p ratio of reinforcement area to gross masonry area, As/bd
pbal reinforcement ratio producing balanced strain conditions

References

1. BOCA National Building Code. Country Club Hills, IL: Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA),
1993.

2. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI 530-92/ASCE 5-92/TMS 402-92. Reported by the Masonry Standards
Joint Committee, 1992.

3. Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, ASCE 7-93. American Society of Civil Engineers, 1993.

4. Standard Building Code. Birmingham, AL: Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI), 1994.

5. Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry, ASTM C 270-92a. American Society for Testing and Materials, 1992.

6. TCCMAR Research Program (Technical Coordinating Committee for Masonry Research).

7. Uniform Building Code. Whittier, CA: International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), 1994.

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14-2: Reinforced Concrete Masonry Page 8 of 8

8. 1994 NEHRP Recommended Provisions For the Development of Seismic Regulations For New Buildings. Building Seismic Safety
Council, 1994.

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NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

ALLOWABLE STRESS DESIGN OF TEK 15-1B
CONCRETE MASONRY FOUNDATION WALLS Structural (2001)

Keywords: allowable stress design, basements, basement to proportion and size masonry elements. Empirical design is
walls, empirical design, flexural strength, lateral loads, often used to design concrete masonry foundation walls due
reinforced concrete masonry, structural properties to its simplicity and history of successful performance.
Table 1 lists the allowable backfill heights for 8, 10 and
INTRODUCTION 12-inch (203, 254 and 305 mm) concrete masonry foundation
walls. Table 1 may be used for foundation walls up to 8 feet
Basements provide: economical living, working and (2.4 m) high under the following conditions (ref. 1):
storage areas; convenient spaces for mechanical equipment; (1) terrain surrounding the foundation wall is graded to
safe havens during tornadoes and other violent storms; and drain surface water away from foundation walls,
easy access to plumbing and ductwork. Concrete masonry is (2) backfill is drained to remove ground water away from
well suited to basement and foundation wall construction due foundation walls,
to its inherent durability, compressive strength, economy, (3) tops of foundation walls are laterally supported prior to
and resistance to fire, termites, and noise. backfilling,
Traditionally, residential basement walls have been con- (4) the length of foundation walls between perpendicular
structed of plain (unreinforced) concrete masonry, often masonry walls or pilasters is a maximum of 3 times the
designed empirically. Walls over 8 ft (2.4 m) high or with foundation wall height,
larger soil loads are typically designed using reinforced (5) the backfill is granular and soil conditions in the area
concrete masonry or using design tables included in building are non-expansive,
codes such as the International Building Code (ref. 4). (6) masonry is laid in running bond using Type M or S
mortar, and
DESIGN LOADS (7) units meet the requirements of ASTM C 90 (ref. 6).
Where these conditions cannot be met, the wall must be
Soil imparts a lateral load on foundation walls. For engineered using either an allowable stress design (see fol-
design, the load is traditionally assumed to increase linearly lowing section) or strength design procedure (see ref. 5).
with depth resulting in a triangular load distribution. This
lateral soil load is expressed as an equivalent fluid pressure, Table 1—Empirical Foundation Wall Design (ref. 1)a
with units of pounds per square foot per foot of depth (kPa/m).
The maximum force on the wall depends on the total wall Wall Nominal wall Maximum depth of
height, soil backfill height, wall support conditions, soil type, construction thickness, in. (mm) unbalanced backfill b, ft (m)
and the existence of any soil surcharges. For design, founda-
tion walls are typically assumed to act as simple vertical Hollow unit 8 (203) 5(1.52)
beams laterally supported at the top and bottom. masonry 10 (254) 6(1.83)
Foundation walls also provide support for the structure 12 (305) 7(2.13)
above, transferring vertical loads to the footing. When foun-
dations span vertically, this vertical compression counteracts Solid unit 8 (203) 5(1.52)
flexural tension, increasing the wall's resistance to flexure. In masonry 10 (254) 7(2.13)
low-rise construction, these vertical loads are typically small 12 (305) 7(2.13)
in relation to the compressive strength of concrete masonry.
Further, if the wall spans horizontally, vertical compression Fully grouted 8 (203) 7(2.13)
does not offset the flexural tension. Vertical load effects are masonry 10 (254) 8(2.44)
not included in the tables and design example presented in 12 (305) 8 (2.4)
this TEK (references 2 and 3 include vertical load effects).
a
see notes above for conditions
b
EMPIRICAL DESIGN unbalanced backfill is the distance from the top of the
basement floor slab to the top of the backfill
The empirical design method uses historical experience
TEK 15-1B © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 15-1A)
WALL DESIGN Table 2—Vertical Reinforcement for 8 in. (203 mm)
Concrete Masonry Foundation Walls a, b
Tables 2 through 4 of this TEK have been rationally
designed in accordance with the allowable stress design provi- Wall Backfill Reinforcement size (No.) and spacing (in. o.c.) required
sions of Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures height, height, for equivalent fluid pressure of soil, psf/ft depth (kPa/m):
(ref. 1) and therefore meet the requirements of the International ft (m) ft (m) 30 (4.71) c 45 (7.07) d 60 (9.43) e
Building Code even though the latter limits reinforcment
spacing to 72 in. (1829 mm) when using their tables. Additional 7.3 (2.2) 4 (1.2) 5 @ 120 in. 6 @ 120 in. 5 @ 72 in.
5 (1.5) 5 @ 72 in. 4 @ 40 in. 5 @ 40 in.
reinforcement alternatives may be appropriate and can be
6 (1.8) 4 @ 40 in. 5 @ 40 in. 6 @ 40 in.
verified with an engineering analysis.
7 (2.1) 5 @ 40 in. 6 @ 40 in. 8 @ 48 in.
Tables 2, 3 and 4 list reinforcement options for 8, 10 and
12-in. (203, 254 and 305-mm) thick walls, respectively. The
8 (2.4) 4 (1.2) 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 96 in. 7 @ 120 in. h
effective depths of reinforcement, d, (see Table notes) used are
5 (1.5) 5 @ 72 in. or 4 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or
practical values, taking into account variations in face shell 6 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 72 in. h
thickness, a range of bar sizes, minimum required grout cover, 6 (1.8) 4 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or
and construction tolerances for placing the reinforcing bars. 6 @ 72 in. h or 6 @ 48 in. or 6 @ 40 in. or
Tables 2 through 4 are based on the following: 7 @ 96 in. h 7 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 56 in. h
(1) no surcharges on the soil adjacent to the wall and no 7 (2.1) 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or
hydrostatic pressure, 6 @ 56 in. h or 6 @ 32 in. or 7 @ 32 in. or
(2) negligible axial loads on the wall, 7 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 56 in. h 8 @ 48 in.
(3) wall is simply supported at top and bottom, 8 (2.4) 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @24 in. or 5 @ 8 in.
(4) wall is grouted only at reinforced cells, 7 @ 64 in. h 8 @ 48 in.
(5) section properties are based on minimum face shell
and web thicknesses in ASTM C 90 (ref. 6), 9.3(2.8) 4 (1.2) 4 @ 96 in. or 5 @ 96 in. or 5 @ 72 in. or
(6) specified compressive strength of masonry, f 'm , is 5 @ 120 in. 6 @ 120 in. 7 @ 120 in. h
1,500 psi (10.3 MPa), 5 (1.5) 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or
(7) reinforcement yield strength, fy, is 60,000 psi (414 7 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 72 in. h
MPa), 6 (1.8) 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or
(8) modulus of elasticity of masonry, Em , is 1,350,000 psi 7 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 56 in. h
(9,308 MPa), 7 (2.1) 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or
(9) modulus of elasticity of steel, Es , is 29,000,000 psi 8 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 56 in. h 7 @ 24 in.
8 (2.4) 6 @ 32 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or 7 @ 8 in.
(200,000 MPa),
8 @ 56 in. h 7 @ 24 in.
(10) maximum width of compression zone is six times the
9 (2.7) 6 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 8 in. 8 @ 8 in.
wall thickness (where reinforcement spacing exceeds
8 @ 48 in.
this distance, the ability of the plain masonry outside
the compression zone to distribute loads horizontally
10 (3.1) 4 (1.2) 4 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 64 in. or
to the reinforced section was verified assuming two- 5 @ 120 in. 6 @ 120 in. 7 @ 120 in. h
way plate action), 5 (1.5) 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or
(11) allowable tensile stress in reinforcement, Fs, is 24,000 7 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 72 in. h
psi (165 MPa), 6 (1.8) 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 6 @ 32 in. or
(12) allowable compressive stress in masonry, Fb , is 1/3 f 'm 7 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 56 in. h
(500 psi, 3.4 MPa), 7 (2.1) 5 @ 32 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or 5 @ 8 in. or
(13) grout complies with ASTM C 476 (2,000 psi (14 8 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 48 in. 8 @ 24 in.
MPa) if property spec is used) (ref. 7), and 8 (2.4) 5 @ 24 in. or 5 @ 8 in. or 8 @ 8 in.
(14) masonry is laid in running bond using Type M or S 8 @ 56 in. h 8 @ 24 in.
mortar and face shell mortar bedding. 9 (2.7) 6 @ 24 in. or 7 @ 8 in. ______
8 @ 40 in.
DESIGN EXAMPLE
Wall: 12-inch (305 mm) thick, Notes to Tables 2, 3, and 4:
a
12 feet (3.7 m) high. effective depth of reinforcement (distance from extreme compres-
sion fiber to centroid of tension reinforcement), d, is 4 5/8 in. (117
mm) minimum
12 ft (3.7 m)

Loads: equivalent fluid pres- b
metric equivalents: 1 in. (25.4 mm); No. 4 bar (M 13); No. 5 (M
45 psf/ft
10 ft (3.1 m)

(7.07 kPa/m ) sure of soil is 45 pcf (7.07 kPa/ 16); No. 6 (M 19); No. 7 (M 22); No. 8 (M 25)
c
m), 10 foot (3.1 m) backfill granular soil backfill
d
height. No axial, seismic, or drained silty sand or clayey silt backfill
e
other loads. clay soil (non-expansive) backfill
f
effective depth of reinforcement d, is 6 5/8 in. (168 mm) minimum
g
Using Table 4, #8 bars at 40 effective depth of reinforcement d, is 8 5/8 in. (219 mm) minimum
h
in. (M 25 at 1016 mm) o.c. are use Portland cement/lime or mortar cement mortar (Type M or S)
sufficient.
Table 3—Vertical Reinforcement for 10 in. (254 mm) Table 4—Vertical Reinforcement for 12 in. (305 mm)
Concrete Masonry Foundation Walls b, f Concrete Masonry Foundation Walls b, g

Wall Backfill Reinforcement size (No.) and spacing (in. o.c.) required Wall Backfill Reinforcement size (No.) and spacing (in. o.c.) required
height, height, for equivalent fluid pressure of soil, psf/ft depth (kPa/m): height, height, for equivalent fluid pressure of soil, psf/ft depth (kPa/m):
ft (m) ft (m) 30 (4.71) c 45 (7.07) d 60 (9.43) e ft (m) ft (m) 30 (4.71) c 45 (7.07) d 60 (9.43) e

7.3 (2.2) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 96 in. 7.3 (2.2) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in.
5 (1.5) 4 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 64 in. or 5 (1.5) 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 72 in.
5 @ 120 in. 6 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 120 in. h 6 (1.8) 4 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 56 in. or
6 (1.8) 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 56 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 120 in. 7 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 96 in. h
6 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 96 in. h 7 @ 72 in. h 7 (2.1) 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 56 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or
7 (2.1) 4 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 6 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 96 in. h 7 @ 72 in.
7 @ 96 in. h 6 @ 72 in. h 7 @ 56 in. h
8 (2.4) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in.
8 (2.4) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 96 in. 5 (1.5) 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 96 in. 5 @ 72 in.
5 (1.5) 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 72 in. 5 @ 64 in. 6 (1.8) 5 @ 96 in. or 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 56 in. or
6 (1.8) 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 56 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or 6 @ 120 in. 7 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 96 in. h
6 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 96 in. h 7 @ 72 in. h 7 (2.1) 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or
7 (2.1) 5 @ 56 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 7 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 96 in. h 7 @ 72 in.
6 @ 72 in. h or 6 @ 56 in. or 6 @ 40 in. or 8 (2.4) 5 @ 56 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or
7 @ 96 in. h 7 @ 72 in. h 7 @ 56 in. 7 @ 96 in. h 7 @ 72 in. 8 @ 72 in.
8 (2.4) 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 32 in. or
7 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 64 in. h 8 @ 56 in. 9.3(2.8) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in.
5 (1.5) 4 @ 96 in. or 5 @ 96 in. or 5 @ 72 in. or
9.3(2.8) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 96 in. 5 @ 120 in. 6 @ 120 in. 7 @ 120 in. h
5 (1.5) 4 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 56 in. or 6 (1.8) 5 @ 96 in. or 5 @ 64 in. or 5 @ 48 in. or
5 @ 120 in. 7 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 120 in. h 6 @ 120 in. 7 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 96 in. h
6 (1.8) 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 7 (2.1) 5 @ 64 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or
7 @ 120 in. h 7 @ 96 in. h 7 @ 72 in. h 7 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in.
7 (2.1) 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 8 (2.4) 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or
7 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 56 in. 7 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in. 8 @ 64 in.
8 (2.4) 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or 9 (2.7) 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or
7 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 64 in. h 8 @ 48 in. 7 @ 72 in. 8 @ 64 in. 8 @ 48 in.
9 (2.7) 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or
7 @ 56 in. h 8 @ 48 in. 8 @ 32 in. 10 (3.1) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 120 in.
5 (1.5) 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 96 in. 5 @ 72 in.
10(3.1) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 96 in. 6 (1.8) 5 @ 96 in. or 5 @ 64 in. or 5 @ 48 in. or
5 (1.5) 5 @ 96 in. 5 @ 72 in. 5 @ 56 in. 6 @ 120 in. 7 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 96 in. h
6 (1.8) 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 7 (2.1) 5 @ 64 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or
7 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in. h 7 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in.
7 (2.1) 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 8 (2.4) 5 @ 48 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or
7 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 56 in. 8 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in. 8 @ 56 in.
8 (2.4) 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or 9 (2.7) 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or
7 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 56 in. 8 @ 40 in. 7 @ 72 in. 8 @ 64 in. 8 @ 48 in.
9 (2.7) 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. 10 (3.1) 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or
7 @ 56 in. 8 @ 48 in. 8 @ 72 in. 8 @ 48 in. 8 @ 32 in.
10(3.1) 6 @ 32 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or 6 @ 8 in.
8 @ 56 in. 8 @ 32 in. 12 (3.7) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 120 in.
5 (1.5) 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 72 in. 5 @ 72 in.
12(3.7) 4 (1.2) No reinforcement 5 @ 120 in. 5 @ 96 in. 6 (1.8) 5 @ 72 in. or 5 @ 56 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or
5 (1.5) 5 @ 96 in. 5 @ 72 in. 5 @ 48 in. 6 @ 120 in. 8 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 96 in. h
6 (1.8) 5 @ 64 in. or 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 7 (2.1) 5 @ 56 in. or 5 @ 32 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or
7 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 96 in. 8 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 120 in. h 8 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in.
7 (2.1) 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or 8 (2.4) 5 @ 40 in. or 5 @ 24 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or
8 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 56 in. 8 @ 96 in. h 8 @ 72 in. 8 @ 48 in.
8 (2.4) 5 @ 32 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or 9 (2.7) 5 @ 32 in. or 6 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or
8 @ 72 in. h 8 @ 48 in. 8 @ 40 in. 8 @ 72 in. 8 @ 48 in. 8 @ 40 in.
9 (2.7) 5 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or 5 @ 8 in. 10 (3.1) 5 @ 24 in. or 4 @ 8 in. or 4 @ 8 in.
8 @ 56 in. 8 @ 40 in. 8 @ 64 in. 8 @ 40 in.
10(3.1) 8 @ 48 in. 5 @ 8 in. 8 @ 8 in. 11 (3.4) 8 @ 48 in. 8 @ 32 in. 5 @ 8 in.
11(3.4) 8 @ 40 in. 7 @ 8 in. 12 (3.7) 8 @ 40 in. 5 @ 8 in. 7 @ 8 in.
CONSTRUCTION ISSUES
Recommended protective coatings for
This section is not a complete construction guide, but waterproofing exterior face of walls
1) two 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) thick coats of portland cement, or,
rather discusses those issues directly related to structural
2) one 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) thick coat of portland cement
design assumptions. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate typical wall plaster plus two brush coats of bituminous
support conditions, drainage, and water protection. waterproofing,or,
Before backfilling, the floor diaphragm must be in place 3) one heavy troweled-on coat of cold,
or the wall must be properly braced to resist the soil load. In fiber-reinforced asphaltic mastic.
addition to the absence of additional dead or live loads
following construction, the assumption that there are no Filter paper or
geosynthetic Expansion joint
surcharges on the soil also means that heavy equipment material or bituminous
should not be operated close to basement wall systems that are Gravel or joint
not designed to carry the additional load. In addition, the stone fill
backfill materials should be placed and compacted in several Full mortar
Drain joint
lifts, taking care to prevent wall damage. Care should also be
taken to prevent damaging the drainage, waterproofing, or
exterior insulation systems, if present. Note: wet and impermeable soils may require additional
waterproofing
REFERENCES
1. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, Figure 1—Typical Base of Foundation Wall
ACI 530-99/ASCE 5-99/TMS 402-99. Reported by the
Masonry Standards Joint Committee, 1999.
2. Concrete Masonry Design Tables, TR 121. National
Concrete Masonry Association, 2000.
3. Concrete Masonry Wall Design Software, CMS-12111. Floor
National Concrete Masonry Association, 1999. diaphragm
4. International Building Code. International Code Council,
2000. Waterproof or
damproof
5. Strength Design of Reinforced Concrete Masonry Foun- membrane Anchor
dation Walls, TEK 15-2A. National Concrete Masonry Grade bolt
Association, 1997. (sloped)
6. Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Ma-
sonry Units, ASTM C 90-01. American Society for Test-
ing and Materials, 2001. Figure 2—Typical Top of Foundation Wall
7. Standard Specification for Grout Masonry, ASTM C476-
01. American Society for Testing and Materials, 2001.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

ALLOWABLE STRESS DESIGN OF TEK 17-1B
Structural (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY LINTELS
Keywords: allowable stress design, design examples, lintels,
openings in walls
Uniform Load
INTRODUCTION

Lintels and beams are horizontal structural members de-
signed to carry loads above openings. Although lintels may be Triangular Load
constructed of concrete masonry units, precast or cast-in-place
concrete, or structural steel, this TEK addresses reinforced
Concentrated Loads
concrete masonry lintels only. Concrete masonry lintels have the
advantages of easily maintaining the bond pattern, color, and
surface texture of the surrounding masonry and being placed Uniform load over portion
without need for special lifting equipment. of span
Concrete masonry lintels are sometimes constructed as a
portion of a continuous bond beam. This construction pro-
Lintel
vides several benefits: it is considered to be more advanta-
geous in high seismic areas or areas where high winds may be Clear span
expected to occur; control of wall movement due to shrinkage
or temperature differentials is more easily accomplished; and Effective span
Effective span = clear span + effective depth of lintel, d, but
lintel deflection may be substantially reduced.
need not exceed distance between centers of support (for
simply supported)
DESIGN LOADS
Figure 1—Typical Lintel Load Components
Vertical loads carried by lintels typically include: (1) dis-
tributed loads from the dead weight of the lintel, the dead weight • masonry wall laid in running bond,
of the masonry above, and any floor and roof loads, dead and • sufficient wall height above the lintel to form a 45o triangle,
live loads supported by the masonry; and (2) concentrated • at least 8 in. (203 mm) of wall height above the apex of the
loads from floor beams, roof joists, or other beams framing into 45o triangle,
the wall. Axial load carried by lintels is negligible. • minimum end bearing (4 in. (102 mm) typ) is maintained,
Most of these loads can be separated into the four types • control joints are not located adjacent to the lintel, and
illustrated in Figure 1: uniform load acting over the effective • sufficient masonry on each side of the opening to resist
span; triangular load with apex at mid-span acting over the lateral thrust from the arching action. The designer should
effective span; concentrated load; and uniform load acting consider two cases. First, there should be a sufficient
over a portion of the effective span. The designer calculates the shear area of the masonry to resist the horizontal thrust,
effects of each individual load and then combines them using and second, there must be enough masonry to resist the
superposition to determine the overall effect, typically by in-plane overturning moment on the masonry adjacent to
assuming the lintel is a simply supported beam. the opening. In unreinforced masonry, this means using
vertical loads to offset overturning. In reinforced ma-
Arching Action sonry, vertical steel can be used to resist overturning. As
For some configurations, the masonry will distribute ap- an alternative, the lintel could be a discrete length of a
plied loads in such a manner that they do not act on the lintel. larger continuous bond beam to provide adequate re-
This is called arching action of masonry. Arching action can be straint. For a series of wall openings, the designer should
assumed when the following conditions are met (see also consider the offsetting effect of thrust from adjacent
Figure 2): openings.

TEK 17-1B © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 17-1A)
Lintel Loading
The loads supported by a lintel depend on whether arch- 4 x wall thickness + width of bearing area of beam
ing action can occur or not. If arching occurs, only the self Beam
weight of the lintel, the weight of the wall below the arched
portion, and concentrated loads are considered. Otherwise, the
self weight, the weight of the wall above the lintel, roof and floor
loads, and concentrated loads are considered. Self weight is
a uniform load based on lintel weight (see Table 2).
When arching occurs, the wall weight supported by the 30° 30°

lintel is taken as the wall weight within the triangular area below
the apex (see Table 3). This triangular load has a base equal to the
effective span length of the lintel and a height of half the effective
span. Any superimposed roof and floor live and dead loads are Lintel
neglected, since they are assumed to be distributed to the Clear span
masonry on either side of the lintel. When arching is not present, Effective span
the full weight of the wall section above the lintel is considered, (see Figure 1)
as are superimposed loads. Figure 3—Distribution of Concentrated Load
Concentrated loads are assumed to be distributed as For Running Bond Construction
illustrated in Figure 3. The load is then resolved onto the lintel as
a uniform load, with a magnitude determined by dividing the
concentrated load by this length. In most cases, this results in a DESIGN EXAMPLE
uniform load acting over a portion of the lintel span.
When a lintel or other beam supports unreinforced masonry, Design a lintel for a 12 in. (305 mm) normal weight concrete
Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ref. 1) masonry wall laid in running bond with vertical reinforcement
limits lintel deflection to the clear lintel span divided by 600 or to at 48 in. (1.2 m) o.c. The wall configuration is shown in Figure 4.
0.3 in. (7.6 mm) to limit damage to the supported masonry. Check for Arching Action. Determine the height of ma-
sonry required for arching action. Assuming the lintel has at
Table 2—Lintel Weights, lb/ft (kN/m)a least 4 in. (102 mm) bearing on each end, the effective span is:
L = 5.33 + 0.33 = 5.67 ft (1.7 m).
Nominal lintel Nominal wall thickness, in. (mm) The height of masonry above the lintel necessary for
height, in. 8 (203) 10 (254) 12 (305) arching to occur in the wall (from Figure 2) is h + 8 in. (203 mm)
(mm) LIGHTWEIGHT CMU = L/2 + 8 in. = 3.5 ft (1.1 m).
8 (203) 51(0.75) 65 (0.95) 79 (1.2) Because there is 18.0 - 7.33 = 10.67 ft (3.3 m) of masonry
16 (406) 103 (1.5) 130 (1.9) 158 (2.3) above the lintel, arching is assumed and the superimposed
24 (610) 154 (2.3) 195 (2.9) 237 (3.5) uniform load is neglected.
Design Loads. Because arching occurs, only the lintel and
NORMAL WEIGHT CMU wall dead weights are considered. Lintel weight, from Table 2, for
8 (203) 58(0.84) 73 (1.1) 88 (1.3) 12 in. (305 mm) normal weight concrete masonry units assuming
16 (406) 116 (1.7) 146 (2.1) 176 (2.6) an 8 in. (203 mm) height is,
24 (610) 174 (2.5) 219 (3.2) 264 (3.9) Dlintel = 88 lb/ft (1.3 kN/m)
a
Face shell mortar bedding. Unit weights: grout = 140 pcf For wall weight, only the triangular portion with a height
3
(2,242 kg/m ); lightweight masonry units = 100 pcf (1602 of 3.5 ft (1.1 m) is considered. From Table 3 wall dead load is,
3
kg/m ); normal weight units = 135 pcf (2,162 kg/m ). 3 D wall
= 68 lb/ft2 (3.5 ft ) = 238 lb/ft (3.5 kN/m) at the apex.
Maximum moment and shear are deter-
mined using simply supported beam relation-
Superimposed wall load
ships. The lintel dead weight is considered a
8 in. (203 mm) minimum
uniform load, so the moment and shear are,
Mlintel = wL2/8 = (88)(5.7)2/8 = 357 ft-lb
h = Effective span (0.48 kN-m)
45° 2 Vlintel = wL/2 = (88)(5.7)/2 = 251 lb (1.1 kN)
Wall For triangular wall load, moment and
Lintel height shear are,
End bearing
Mwall = wL2/12 = (238)(5.7)2/12 = 644 ft-lb
4 in. (102 mm) (0.87 kN-m)
minimum (typ) Vwall = wL/4 = (238)(5.7)/4 = 339 lb (1.5 kN)
Since the maximum moments and shears
for the two loading conditions occur in the
Clear opening
same locations on the lintel, the moments
Effective span (see Figure 1)
and shears are superimposed by simple
Figure 2—Arching Action addition:
1,000 lb/ft (14.6 kN/m) superimposed uniform load Case 2, No Arching Action. Using the same example,
recalculate assuming a 2 ft (0.6 m) height from the bottom of the
12 in. (305 mm) CMU lintel to the top of the wall. For ease of construction, the entire
fm = 1500 psi (10.3 MPa) 2 ft (0.6 m) would be grouted solid, producing a 24 in. (610 mm)
deep lintel.
Since the height of masonry above the lintel is less than
5 ft 4 in. (1.6 m) 18 ft 3.5 ft (1.1 m), arching cannot be assumed, and the superimposed
(5.5 m)
load must be accounted for.
Window 4 ft (1.2 m) Dlintel = 264 lb/ft (3.9 kN/m), from Table 2. Because the lintel is
24 in. (610 mm) deep, there is no additional dead load due to
3 ft 4 in. (1.0 m) masonry above the lintel.
Dtotal = 264 lb/ft + 1,000 lb/ft = 1,264 lb/ft (18.4 kN/m)
Figure 4—Wall Configuration for Design Example Mmax = wL2/8 = (1,264)(5.7)2/8 x 12 in./ft = 61,601 in.-lb (7.0 kN-m)
Vmax = wL/2 = (1,264)(5.7)/2 = 3,602 lb (16.0 kN)
Mmax = 357 + 644 = 1,001 ft-lb = 12,012 in-lb (1.4 kN-m) From Table 4, a 12 x 24 lintel with one No. 4 (M 13)
Vmax = 251 + 339 = 590 lb (2.6 kN) reinforcing bar and 3 in. (76 mm) or less bottom cover is
Lintel Design. From Table 4, a 12 x 8 lintel with one No. 4 adequate.
(M 13) bar and 3 in. (76 mm) or less bottom cover has adequate
strength. In this example, shear was conservatively computed REFERENCES
at the end of the lintel. However, Building Code Requirements 1. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI
for Masonry Structures (ref. 1) allows maximum shear to be 530-99/ASCE 5-99/TMS 402-99. Reported by the Masonry
calculated using a distance d/2 from the face of the support. Standards Joint Committee, 1999.

Table 3—Wall Weights a

Wall weights (lb/ft2) for wall thicknesses, in. (mm), of:
Grouted Lightweight units Normal weight units
cells 4 (102) 6 (152) 8 (203) 10 (254) 12 (305) 4 (102) 6 (152) 8 (203) 10 (254) 12 (305)
None 16 23 30 36 41 21 31 40 48 55
48 in. o.c. 19 29 38 46 54 24 36 48 58 68
40 in. o.c. 20 30 39 48 57 25 38 49 60 70
32 in. o.c. 21 32 42 52 61 26 39 52 63 74
24 in. o.c. 23 35 46 57 67 28 42 55 69 81
16 in. o.c. 26 40 54 67 80 31 48 63 79 94
Full grout 37 57 78 98 119 42 64 87 110 133
a
Assumes face shell mortar bedding. Unit weights: grout = 140 pcf (2,242 kg/m3); lightweight masonry units = 100 pcf (1602 kg/
m3); normal weight units = 135 pcf (2,162 kg/m3). kN/m2 = lb/ft2 x 0.04788
Table 4—Allowable Shear and Moment Capacities for Concrete Masonry Lintels (width x height) a
Bottom cover, in. (mm):
No. 1.5 (38) 2 (51) 2.5 (64) 3 (76)
Steel of Vall Mall Vall Mall Vall Mall Vall Mall
size bars lb in.-lb lb in.-lb lb in.-lb lb in.-lb
8 x 8 lintels
No. 4 1 1,730 20,460 1,580 17,650 1,440 14,990 1,290 12,510
No. 5 1 1,710 23,170 1,560 19,890 1,420 16,810 1,270 13,930
No. 6 1 1,690 25,220 1,550 21,550 1,400 18,120 1,250 14,930
No. 4 2b 1,730 25,460 1,580 21,860 1,440 18,480 1,290 15,320
No. 5 2b 1,710 28,140 1,560 24,030 1,420 20,190 1,270 16,620
10 x 8 lintels
No. 4 1 2,190 23,810 2,000 20,570 1,810 17,500 1,630 14,620
No. 5 1 2,160 27,170 1,980 23,360 1,790 19,780 1,600 16,430
No. 6 1 2,140 29,760 1,950 25,480 1,770 21,470 1,580 17,720
No. 4 2 2,190 29,990 2,000 25,790 1,810 21,840 1,630 18,140
No. 5 2 2,160 33,430 1,980 28,600 1,790 24,080 1,600 19,870
12 x 8 lintels
No. 4 1 2,640 25,400 2,420 23,140 2,190 19,790 1,970 16,560
No. 5 1 2,610 30,820 2,390 26,530 2,160 22,490 1,940 18,710
No. 6 1 2,580 33,930 2,360 29,090 2,130 24,540 1,910 20,300
No. 4 2 2,640 34,130 2,420 29,390 2,190 24,920 1,970 20,740
No. 5 2 2,610 38,300 2,390 32,820 2,160 27,670 1,940 22,880
Table 4—Allowable Shear and Moment Capacities for Concrete Masonry Lintels (width x height) (continued)a
Bottom cover, in. (mm), of:
No. 1.5 (38) 2 (51) 2.5 (64) 3 (76)
Steel of Vall Mall Vall Mall Vall Mall Vall Mall
size bars lb in.-lb lb in.-lb lb in.-lb lb in.-lb
8 x 16 lintels
No. 4 1 4,090 61,110 3,950 58,820 3,800 56,540 3,650 54,250
No. 5 1 4,070 92,550 3,930 89,050 3,780 85,560 3,630 80,860
No. 6 1 4,060 109,740 3,910 103,210 3,760 96,830 3,610 90,600
No. 4 2b 4,090 107,750 3,950 101,420 3,800 95,240 3,650 89,200
No. 5 2b 4,070 123,960 3,930 116,510 3,780 109,240 3,630 102,150
10 x 16 lintels
No. 4 1 5,170 61,630 4,980 59,330 4,790 57,040 4,610 54,740
No. 5 1 5,140 93,500 4,960 89,970 4,770 86,450 4,590 82,940
No. 6 1 5,120 127,610 4,930 120,080 4,750 112,720 4,560 105,540
No. 4 2 5,170 119,870 4,980 115,360 4,790 110,700 4,610 103,740
No. 5 2 5,140 144,910 4,960 136,290 4,770 127,870 4,590 119,650
12 x 16 lintels
No. 4 1 6,240 62,030 6,020 59,720 5,790 57,420 5,570 55,110
No. 5 1 6,210 94,210 5,990 90,670 5,760 87,130 5,540 83,600
No. 6 1 6,190 131,170 5,960 126,190 5,740 121,220 5,510 116,250
No. 4 2 6,240 120,880 6,020 116,340 5,790 111,800 5,570 107,270
No. 5 2 6,210 164,010 5,990 154,330 5,760 144,860 5,540 135,620
8 x 24 lintels
No. 4 1 6,460 97,900 6,310 95,590 6,160 93,280 6,010 90,980
No. 5 1 6,440 148,990 6,290 145,440 6,140 141,900 5,990 138,360
No. 6 1 6,420 207,830 6,270 202,840 6,120 197,860 5,980 192,880
No. 4 2b 6,460 190,850 6,310 186,300 6,160 181,760 6,010 177,220
No. 5 2b 6,440 264,990 6,290 255,050 6,140 245,260 5,990 235,600
10 x 24 lintels
No. 4 1 8,150 98,600 7,960 96,280 7,780 93,970 7,590 91,650
No. 5 1 8,130 150,260 7,940 146,700 7,750 143,140 7,570 139,580
No. 6 1 8,100 209,870 7,920 204,850 7,730 199,840 7,540 194,830
No. 4 2 8,150 192,650 7,960 188,080 7,780 183,510 7,590 178,940
No. 5 2 8,130 292,290 7,940 285,280 7,750 278,290 7,570 271,290
12 x 24 lintels
No. 4 1 9,840 99,130 9,620 96,800 9,390 94,470 9,170 92,150
No. 5 1 9,820 151,220 9,590 147,640 9,370 144,070 9,140 140,490
No. 6 1 9,790 211,410 9,560 206,370 9,340 201,330 9,110 196,300
No. 4 2 9,840 194,010 9,620 189,420 9,390 184,830 9,170 180,240
No. 5 2 9,820 294,730 9,590 287,680 9,370 280,650 9,140 273,620
a
Grade 60 reinforcement. Metric equivalents: f'm = 1,500 psi (10.3 MPa); N = lb x 4.44822; N.m = in.-lb x 0.112985; No. 4 bar (M 13); No. 5
(M 16); No. 6 (M 19). Table values differ from TEK 17-1A due to change in Em (ref. 1).
b
For 8 in. (204 mm) lintels with two bars, low lift grouting is recommended for adjacent jambs to ensure proper grout flow and consolidation.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

DESIGN FOR DRY SINGLE-WYTHE TEK 19-2A
Water Penetration Resistance (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS
Keywords: architectural, capillary suction, coatings, construction
details, flashing, moisture, single-wythe, tooling mortar joints, wall
drainage, water resistance, water repellents, weep holes

INTRODUCTION capillary suction characteristics of the masonry and mortar.
Integral water repellents greatly reduce the absorption charac-
Single-wythe concrete masonry construction has become teristics of the units and mortar, but may not be able to prevent
a predominant method of construction with the increased use all moisture migration if there is a significant head pressure –
of integrally colored architectural concrete masonry units. 2 in. (51 mm) or more. Post-applied surface treatments reduce
Single-wythe walls are cost competitive with other systems the capillary suction of masonry at the treated surface as well
because they provide structural form as well as an attractive but have little effect on the interior of the units. This is
architectural facade. However, single-wythe concrete ma- discussed in more detail later.
sonry walls, as opposed to cavity and veneered walls, require
special attention regarding moisture penetration issues. Water Vapor
The major objective in designing dry concrete masonry Water as vapor diffuses toward a lower vapor pressure.
walls is to keep water from entering or penetrating the wall. In This means it will move from the higher toward the lower relative
addition to precipitation, moisture can find its way into ma- humidity regions assuming no pressure or temperature differ-
sonry walls from a number of different sources. Dry concrete ential. Vapor in air of the same humidity and pressure, but of
masonry walls are obtained when the design and construction
addresses the movement of water into, through, and out of the Flashing
wall. This includes detailing and protecting roofs, windows, Absorption
Rain
joints, and other features to ensure water does not penetrate penetration
the wall.
Moist high R.H.* air
SOURCE OF WATER IN WALLS (condenses on cooling)
Solar
heat
The following moisture sources need to be considered in Vapor rises as
temperature
the design for dry concrete masonry walls. increases
Vapor flow
Driving Rain 73°F (23°C) 10% R.H.* 73°F (23°C) 50% R.H.*
Moisture in liquid form can pass through concrete ma- 73°F (23°C) 75% R.H.* 73°F (23°C) 50% R.H.*
sonry units and mortar when driven by a significant force. 73°F (23°C) 50% R.H.* 85°F (29°C) 50% R.H.*
However, these materials generally are too dense for water to
pass through quickly. If water enters the wall, it often can be
traced to the masonry unit-mortar interface due to improperly Grade
filled joints or lack of bond between the unit and the mortar.
Cracks caused by building movements, or gaps between ad-
joining building segments (roofs, floors, windows, doors, etc.) Ground water
penetration
and masonry walls are other common points of water entry.

Capillary Suction * Relative humidity
Untreated masonry materials typically take on water
through capillary forces. The amount of water depends on the Figure 1— Moisture Sources

TEK 19-2A © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 19-2)
different temperatures, will move from the higher temperature Wall Drainage
to the lower. As air is cooled, it becomes more saturated and Proper detailing of masonry wall systems, to ensure good
when it reaches a temperature called the dew point, the water performance, can not be over emphasized. Traditionally,
vapor will condense into liquid form. See Figure 1. through-wall flashing has been used to direct water away from
the inside face of the wall and toward weep holes for drainage.
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS Modern techniques usually do not extend the flashing through
the inside faceshell of the wall, as shown in Figure 2, in order
Physical Characteristics of the Units to retain some shear and flexural resistance capabilities. In
Open textured concrete masonry units possessing large reinforced walls, some shear is provided through doweling
voids (a function of density, compaction, and gradation) tend action of the reinforcement and by design the reinforcement
to be more permeable than closed textured units. The type of takes all the tension per the Building Code Requirements for
aggregate and water content used in the production of the Masonry Structures (ref. 1). Proper grouting effectively seals
masonry unit also affect capillary suction and vapor diffusion the vertical reinforcement penetrations of the flashing. The
characteristics. Units that lend to mortar joint tooling such as absence of reinforcement to provide doweling in plain masonry
standard units and scored block will form a more watertight wall may be more of a concern, but loads tend to be relatively low
than split-face units which are a little more difficult to tool. in these applications. If structural adequacy is in doubt, a short
Fluted units are the most difficult to tool and therefore, the most reinforcing bar through the flashing with cells grouted directly
susceptible to leakage. Horizontal effects such as corbels and above and below the flashing can be provided as shown in
ledges that hold water are also prone to be less water resistant. Figure 2C.
Units should be aged at least 21 days if possible before A critical aspect of flashing is to insure that a buildup of
installation to reduce the chance of shrinkage cracks at the mortar droppings does not clog the cells or weep holes. A
mortar-unit interface. cavity filter consisting of washed pea stone or filter paper,
immediately above the flashing, can be provided to facilitate
Integral Water Repellents drainage as shown in Figure 2. This should be accompanied
The use of integral water repellents in the manufacture of by a means of intercepting or dispersing mortar droppings as
concrete masonry units can greatly reduce the absorption an accumulation can be sufficient to completely fill and block
characteristics of the wall. When using integral water repel- a cell at the bottom. Mortar nets at regular intervals or filling
lents in the units, the same manufacturer's water repellent for the cells with loose fill insulation, a few courses at a time as the
mortar must be incorporated in the field for compatibility and wall is laid up, are effective in dispersing the droppings enough
similar reduced water capillary suction characteristics. to prevent clogging. An alternative is to leave out facing block
Integral water repellents make masonry materials hydro- at regular intervals just above the flashing until the wall is built
phobic, thereby significantly decreasing their water absorp- to serve as cleanouts. The units left out can be mortared in later.
tion and wicking characteristics. While these admixtures can See TEK 19-4A and TEK 19-5A (refs. 4 and 6) for an in-depth
limit the amount of water that can pass through units and discussion and additional details regarding flashing.
mortar, they have little impact on moisture entering through In addition to conventional flashing systems, proprietary
relatively large cracks and voids in the wall. Therefore, even flashing systems are available that direct the water away from
with the incorporation of integral water repellents, proper the inside face of the wall to weep holes without compromising
detailing of control joints and quality workmanship to preclude the bond at mortar joints in the faceshells. Specialty units that
beeholes and unfilled or inadequate mortar joints is still essen- facilitate drainage are also available from some manufacturers.
tial. Another advantage of integral water repellents is that they Solid grouted single-wythe walls, as are sometimes required,
not only help to keep water out but also inhibit the migration are not as susceptible to moisture penetration since voids and
of water to the interior face of the wall by capillary suction. See cavities where moisture can collect are absent. However, fully
TEK 19-1 (ref. 7) for more complete information on integral water cured units and adequate crack control measures are especially
repellents for concrete masonry walls. important to minimize cracks. Some regions of the country
recess the bottom of the wall about an inch below the floor level
Surface Treatments to ensure drainage to the exterior. Veneer and cavity walls
For colored architectural masonry it is recommended that (sometimes referred to as drainage walls) of course provide the
a clear surface treatment be post-applied whether or not inte- most moisture resistance.
gral water repellent admixtures are used. Most post-applied
coatings and surface treatments are compatible with integral Control Joints and Horizontal Reinforcement
water repellents although this should be verified with the To alleviate cracking due to thermal and shrinkage move-
product manufacturers before applying. When using standard ments of the building, control joints and/or horizontal rein-
units for single-wythe walls, an application of portland cement forcement should be located and detailed on the plans. Wall
plaster (stucco), paint, or opaque elastomeric coatings works cracking provides an entry point for rainwater and moist air that
well. Coatings containing elastomerics have the advantage of may condense on the inside of the wall. Specification of a
being able to bridge small gaps and cracks. More detailed quality sealant for the control joints and proper installation is
information on surface treatments and water repellents is a must. TEK 10-1A and TEK 10-2B (refs. 2 and 3) provide
available in TEK 19-1 (ref. 7). additional information on crack control strategies.
Edge of flashing Stop flashing at
sealed by mortar inside of faceshell
from joint

Cavity filter*
Solid unit or
filled hollow unit
to support flashing Flashing

Typical detail at inside of faceshell

1 in.
(25 mm)
Mortar net* d) Two-piece flashing
Architectural unit Cavity filter*
with inside faceshell (typ. b & c)
and part of webs cut #5 (#16) min. @
off to fit (typ. a & c) 48 in. (1219 mm) o.c.
Weep holes @
2 ft. 8 in. (813 mm)
3 in. (76 mm) unit for o.c. partially open
8 in. (203 mm) wall, "L-shaped" head 4 in. (102 mm) unit e) One-piece flashing
4 in. (102 mm) unit for joints
> 8 in. (203 mm) wall
Drip edge (typ.)
1 in. (25 mm)
Bond beam, lintel or
foundation (typ.)

a) Reinforced cell b) Unreinforced cell c) Optional unreinforced masonry

* Cavity filter is any material used in conjunction with mortar nets to prevent mortar droppings from cloggin the weeps, i.e. filter paper or 2 in. (51 mm)
of washed pea stone. Alt. — leave out every other reduced size facing unit on top of flahing to serve as cleanouts unitl the wall is completed.

Figure 2—Flashing Details to Maintain Structural Continuity

Mortar and Mortar Joints as they do not compact the mortar and/or create ledges that
The type of mortar and mortar joint also have a great impact intercept water running down the face of the wall. Head and bed
on the watertightness of a wall. A good rule of thumb is to select joints need to be the full thickness of the faceshells for optimum
the lowest strength mortar required for structural and durability watertightness. Head joints particularly are vulnerable to
considerations. Lower strength mortars exhibit better work- inadequate thickness (see Figure 4).
ability and can yield a better weather resistant seal at the mortar/
unit interface. Concave or V-shaped tooling of joints, when the Vapor Barriers
mortar is thumbprint hard, improves rain resistance by direct- Continuous vapor barriers to reduce the passage of water
ing water away from the surface of the wall and by compacting vapor into the wall generally are used only when insulation is
the mortar against the masonry unit to seal the joint. This is placed on the inside face of the wall. The relatively small
especially important when using integral water repellent admix-
tures to avoid reduced bond strength and cracking at the head Thickness no less
joints due to the decreased affinity of the units for water. Raked, than t f
flush, struck, beaded, or extruded joints are not recommended

tf

Inadequate
head joint

Properly mortared
Concave joint head joint
"V" joint
(preferred)
Figure 4—Head and Bed Joints the Full Thickness of the
Figure 3—Weather Resistant Types of Mortar Joints Faceshells are Crucial for Dry Walls
amount of moisture that does get through passes through the a standard of reference until the project is completed.
wall by diffusion, provided that a “breathable” surface treat- 4) Proper storage of all masonry materials (including sand)
ment is placed on the exterior. Wall thickness and dew points at the job site to protect from contaminants such as dirt,
are also determining factors regarding vapor barriers. Mate- rain, and snow.
rials most commonly used for vapor barriers are plastic film, 5) The tops of unfinished walls shall be covered at the end
asphalt-treated paper, and aluminum foil. of each working day. The cover should extend two feet
down both sides of the masonry and should be held
Cleaning securely in place.
Walls incorporating integral water repellents should not
be cleaned with a high-pressure wash as it drives water into REFERENCES
the masonry. Acidic washes should not be used since they 1. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures,
may reduce the water repelling properties of treated masonry. ACI 530-99/ASCE 5-99/TMS 402-99, reported by the
Keeping the masonry wall clean, as the construction progresses, Masonry Standards Joint Committee, 1999.
using a brush and water minimizes cleaning efforts after the 2. Concrete Masonry Handbook, Fifth Edition, Portland
mortar has hardened. Consult the integral water repellent Cement Association, 1991.
manufacturer for detailed cleaning recommendations. 3. Control Joints for Concrete Masonry Walls - Empiri-
cal Method, TEK 10-2B, National Concrete Masonry
SPECIFICATIONS Association, 2001.
4. Crack Control in Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK 10-1A,
Well-worded specifications are essential to ensure proper National Concrete Masonry Association, 2001.
construction of the design details. Items to address in addition 5. Flashing Strategies for Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK
to those previously mentioned in the contract documents are: 19-4A, National Concrete Masonry Association, 2001..
1) Specify in the contract documents that all work be in 6. Specification for Masonry Structures, ACI 530.1-99/
accordance with the Specification for Masonry Struc- ASCE 6-99/TMS 602-99, reported by the Masonry Stan-
tures (ref. 5). dards Joint Committee, 1999.
2) Require a qualified mason by documentation of experi- 7. Flashing Details for Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK
ence with similar type projects. 19-5A, National Concrete Masonry Association, 2000..
3) Require mock-up panels to assure an understanding of 8. Water Repellents for Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK 19-1,
the level of workmanship expected and to be referred to as National Concrete Masonry Association, 1995.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

FLASHING DETAILS FOR TEK 19-5A
Water Penetration Resistance (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS
Keywords: cavity walls, construction details, flashing, mois-
ture, single wythe walls, vents, weep holes

INTRODUCTION is performed on the wall ties per the Building Code Require-
ments of Masonry Structures (ref. 1) The 1 in. clear airspace
At critical locations throughout a building, moisture works only if the mason takes precautions to insure that mortar
which manages to penetrate a wall is collected and diverted to will not be bridging the airspace. Such precautions would be
the outside by means of flashing. The type and installation of beveling the mortar bed away from the cavity or drawing a
details may vary depending upon exposure conditions, open- piece of wood up the cavity to collect mortar droppings. If
ing types and locations
and wall types. This TEK
is a collection of typical
flashing details that have
proven effective over the
long term and a wide geo- 2 in. (51 mm) min. to Vapor retarder
graphical range. The 4 1/2 in. (114 mm) (per local practice)
max. cavity
reader is also encouraged
to review the companion 1 in. (25 mm) min.
clear airspace Closed cell rigid
TEK 19-4A Flashing
insulation 16 x 96 in.
Strategies for Concrete (406 x 2,438 mm)
Masonry Walls (ref. 3) between wall ties
which addresses the ef- Wall ties
Sealant at top of
fect of moisture on ma- Flashing flashing unless
sonry, design consider- self adhering
flashing, or tuck
ations, flashing materials, Cavity filter flashing into
construction practices, or other mortar mortar joint
collection device
and maintenance of flash-
ing. Weep holes @
2 ft. 8 in. (813 mm)
CAVITY WALLS o.c. partially open
head joints
For cavity walls, as
illustrated in Figure 1, the Drip edge
cavity ranges from a mini-
mum of 2 in. to a maximum Brick ledge or
of 4 ½ in. wide with a mini- foundation
mum of a 1" clear airspace
for a drainage way if insu-
lation board is placed in
the cavity. Cavities wider
than 4 ½ in. are permitted Figure 1—Flashing Cavity Walls at Foundations
only if a detailed analysis

TEK 19-5A © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 19-5)
precautions are not taken, it is sug-
gested that a wider airspace be uti-
lized, i.e. 1½ to 2 in. Also when using
2 in. (51 mm) min. to Vapor retarder glazed masonry veneer, a 2 in. mini-
4 1/2 in. (114 mm) (per local practice) mum airspace is recommended with
max. cavity
air vents provided at the top and
1 in. (25 mm) min. bottom of the wall because of the
clear airspace Closed cell rigid
insulation 16 x 96 in. impermeable nature of the unit. Pro-
(406 x 2,438 mm) prietary insulated drainage boards
between wall ties
or mats are available that provide an
Wall ties
Sealant at top of unobstructed drainage path that
Flashing flashing unless eliminate the need for a clear air-
self adhering space (ref. 4).
flashing, or tuck
Cavity filter flashing into As shown in Figure 1, the flashing
or other mortar
collection device mortar joint in a cavity wall at the intersection of
the foundation should be sealed to
Weep holes @ the exterior faceshell of the struc-
2 ft. 8 in. (813 mm) Reinforced CMU
lintel tural wythe, project downward to
o.c. partially open
the foundation surface, outward to
head joints
the exterior face of the wall, and
terminate with a sloped drip. Weep
Drip edge holes should be located a maximum
Steel shelf angle of 32 in. (813 mm) apart. Flashing at
lintels and sills (shown in Figures 2
and 3, respectively) is very similar.
Although not shown, vents can be
Figure 2—Flashing Cavity Walls at Bond Beam Locations
installed in the vertical head joints
at the top of masonry walls to pro-
vide natural convective air flow
within the cavity to facilitate drying.
Prefabricated flashing boots are
Window frame shown in Figure 7.

Sealant SINGLE WYTHE WALLS
Min. slope 15 ° One piece flashing
membrane
Concrete masonry
Flashings in single wythe walls,
sill units or precast like cavity walls should be posi-
concrete sill
tioned to direct water to the exterior.
Weep holes 24 in. This is normally accomplished us-
(610 mm) o.c. Solid CMU or inverted
lintel unit ing two narrower units to make up
Drip edge
the thickness of the wall and placing
11/2 in. (38 mm) flashing between them as shown in
min.
1 in. (25 mm) min. Unit 2 in. (51 mm) Figure 4. Care should be exercised
clear airspace thicker than units to insure that surfaces supporting
above and below
Closed cell rigid to support sill flashings are flat or are sloping to
insulation 16 x 96 in.
(406 x 2,438 mm) the exterior. This can be accom-
between wall ties plished by using solid units, lintel or
Wall ties closed bottom bond beam units
Vapor retarder turned upside down similar to Fig-
(per local practice) ure 3 or by filling cells of hollow
1 in. (25 mm) min. units with gravel or grout.
clear airspace NOTE: Rake out Flashing of single wythe walls at
2 in. (51 mm) min. to vertical joints where lintels, foundations, and bond beams
4 1/2 in. (114 mm) max. cavity
masonry units butt is accomplished in the same manner
up to window jambs as shown in Figure 4 and sills are
and fill with sealant shown in Figure 6. Through-wall
Figure 3—Flashing Cavity Walls at Sills flashing is used in many areas of the
country as shown in Figure 5. How-
NOTE TO PRINTER:
THIS IS A FILLER PAGE
THAT IS NOT TO APPEAR IN
THE FINAL DOCUMENT.
DO NOT USE THIS PAGE
Stop flashing at inside of
faceshell (see TEK 19-2A)
Cavity filter or
Cavity filter or other mortar
other mortar collection device
collection device 4 in. (102 mm) (solid or
filled) to support flashing

Topping if required
1 in. (25 mm) weep
holes @ 2 ft 8 in. 1 in. (25 mm) min.
(813 mm) o.c.
partially open "L" Interior flashing
shaped head joints termination angle

Drip edge Bond beam, lintel
or foundation
Hooked bar grouted in
slab keyway
Bond beam Precast hollow core slab
Bearing strip Figure 5—Single Wythe Through-Wall
Hooked bar in wall

Figure 4—Flashing Single Wythe Walls

Inside End
corner dam
Outside
corner Sealant

Cavity filter or other
motar collection device

One piece flashing
membrane

Weep holes @ 2 ft. 8 in.
(813 mm) o.c. partially
open head joints

Hollow unit (cut)
(refer to isometric
detail this sheet)

Architectural CMU

Figure 7—Prefabricated Flashing Boots Figure 8—Flashing Single Wythe
Window frame
Plastic flashing
Min. slope 15 °
Sealant
Weep holes @ Concrete masonry
2 ft 8 in. (813 mm) Flashing
sill units or precast
o.c. partially open concrete sill
head joints 4 in. (102 mm) CMU
Weep holes 24 in. (solid or filled) to
(610 mm) o.c. support flashing
Drip edge
Drip edge
Sealant
11/2 in. (38 mm)
min.
NOTE: The structural effect of through- Solid or filled CMU
or inverted lintel unit
wall flashing must be carefully evaluated. to support flashing

l Flashing Walls without Interior Finishes NOTE: Rake out vertical
joints where masonry units
butt up to window jambs
and fill with sealant

Figure 6—Flashing Single Wythe Walls at Sills

Sloping sheet metal coping
cap with cont. cleat each side
Wood nailer with anchor bolts

Attachment strip
Counter flashing
Grout cores solid at 8 in. (203 mm)
anchor bolts CMU (cut)
Stop flashing at inside of
faceshell (see TEK 19-2A)
Cant
Parapet flashing Roofing membrane One piece
Sealant flashing
Joist

Figure 8a—Isometric of Flashing Around End of Joist (ref. 5)

e Walls at Roof/Parapet Intersection (ref. 5)
ever, the bond-breaking effects of this type of
detail need to be evaluated in regard to the
structural performance of the wall. Additional
Furring information for flashing single-wythe walls, par-
ticularly architectural concrete masonry walls,
and means for providing a higher level of struc-
tural continuity at flashings is contained in TEK
19-2A (ref. 2). Flashing single wythe walls at the
Interior Drywall ends of bar joists which utilize wall pockets for
bearing is shown in Figure 8 and 8a.

FLASHINGS AT COPINGS AND CAPS
Vapor retarder
Cavity filter The type of flashing detail to use on low-
Weep holes @ sloped roofs will in part depend on the type of
Flashing*
2 ft 8 in. (813 mm) roofing membrane being used. As with any
o.c. partially open flashing detail, the materials used should result in
head joints a uniform and compatible design. For example,
2 in. (51 mm) min.
Drip edge
joining two materials with significantly different
coefficients of thermal expansion (such as metal
Grade flashing and bitumen roofing membrane) can
Concrete slab cause tearing and failure of the joint. Many
Isolation joint roofing membranes also shrink as they age and if
this movement is not provided for, fracturing of
NOTE: The structural effect of through- the upper course of the masonry parapet can
wall flashing must be carefully evaluated. occur. Counter flashing provides the solution to
these problems as shown in Figure 8. Counter
Figure 9—Flashing Walls with Interior Finishes Alternate flashing also facilitates the reroofing process by
allowing easy removal and access to the flashing
membrane fasteners.
During placement of the final courses of
masonry in parapets, and commencing with the
second course below the coping/cap location, a
grout stop should be placed over cores so that
grout can be placed for the positioning of anchor
bolts (Figure 8).
4 in. (102 mm) In coping installations it is imperative that
Metal Flashing
lap min. penetrations of through-wall flashing be tightly
sealed to prevent water infiltration. A full mortar
bed is required to be placed on the through-wall
flashing to allow proper positioning of coping
units. Full head joints are placed between the
1
coping units as well as properly spaced control
/4 in. (64 mm) Fully adhere joints. The joints between the coping units
gap in flashing membrane
should then be raked and a joint sealant applied.
Step 1 Step 2 Coping units should be sized such that
overhangs and a drip reveal occur on both sides
Membrane of the wall. Metal caps require wood plates for
anchorage which are usually attached to the wall
with anchor bolts. The cap should be sloped to
prevent water from draining onto the exposed
Metal Flashing surface of the masonry and should extend at least
4 in. over the face of the masonry and sealed on
Splice Cross Section both sides. Smooth face or uniform split face
CMU should be considered for use under the cap
to ensure a relatively tight fit between the ma-
Figure 10—Splicing Metal Flashing sonry and cap which might be hindered by un-
even CMU units such as split-face or fluted units.
INTERIOR WALL TREATMENTS 4 in. (102 mm) minimum, and bonded together with adhesive
if they're not self-adhering to prevent water movement through
Concrete masonry walls with an interior treatment may the lap area.
also utilize a through-wall flashing installation of flashings as Lap splicing of metal flashing is not recommended as it
shown in Figure 9. However, as also noted in the figure, has a different coefficient of thermal expansion than that of
through-wall flashings generally serve as a bond-breaker concrete masonry. As the temperature fluctuates, the flashing
which reduces the structural capacity of a masonry wall. This material will expand and contract differently that the masonry
effect should be carefully evaluated before implementing this material which can result in sealant failure and a potential point
type of detail particularly in high-wind and seismic areas. of entry for moisture. A typical flashing splice is detailed in
As shown in Figure 9, the flashing should project through Figure 10. Here, the two sections of sheet metal type flashing
the wall and be carried up on the interior concrete masonry that are to be spliced are first installed with a ¼-in. gap between
surface. Furring strips installed to receive the plastic vapor them to allow for expansion of the flashing. Next, a section of
retarder and the interior gypsum board will hold the flashing pliable self-adhering membrane (such as rubberized-asphalt)
in position. This procedure permits any water that may pen- or other pliable membrane set in mastic is fully bonded to the
etrate to the interior surface of the concrete masonry wall to flashing at the location of the gap.
drain out at the base of the wall. Weep holes should project
completely through the wall thickness. Vents if used should REFERENCES
project into the core areas only.
1. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, ACI
SPLICING FLASHING 530-02/ASCE 5-02/TMS 402-02, reported by the Masonry
Standards Joint Committee, 2002.
When splicing of the flashing is necessary, extra pre- 2. Design for Dry Single-Wythe Concrete Masonry Walls,
cautions are required to ensure that these discreet loca- TEK 19-2A, National Concrete Masonry Association, 2001.
tions do not become sources of water penetration. Flashing 3. Flashing Strategies for Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK
should be longitudinally continuous or terminated with an 19-4A, National Concrete Masonry Association, 2001.
end dam as shown in Figure 7. The achievement of longi- 4. Flashing...Tying the Loose Ends, Masonry Advisory
tudinally continuous for plastic and rubber compound Council, Chicago, IL, 1998
flashing requires that the joints be overlapped sufficiently, 5. Generic Wall Design, Masonry Institute of Michigan, 1998.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org
NCMA TEK
National Concrete Masonry Association
an information series from the national authority on concrete masonry technology

FLASHING STRATEGIES FOR TEK 19-4A
Water Penetration Resistance (2001)
CONCRETE MASONRY WALLS
Keywords: flashing, flashing materials, maintenance, mois-
ture, vents, wall drainage, water resistance, weep holes

INTRODUCTION of masonry if the dew point temperature is reached. During
cold weather, below 28 oF (-2 oC), water vapor can accumu-
The primary role of flashing is to intercept the flow of late on a cold surface and from frost or increase the
moisture through masonry and direct it to the exterior of the quantity of ice within the masonry.
structure. Due to the abundant sources of moisture and the Although it is commonly thought that moisture prob-
potentially detrimental effects it can have, the choice of flash- lems stem only from the external environment, this is not
ing material, and the design and construction of flashing always the case. For example, in some instances it is
details, can often be as key to the performance of a masonry possible for the humidity of interior air to cause water
structure as that of the structural system. damage to the exterior of a structure. This damage may
The type of flashing material to be used is governed by appear in the form of water stains, ravelled mortar joints,
both environmental and design/build considerations. Envi- spalled surfaces, or efflorescence.
ronmental considerations include such factors as the physical
state of moisture present (liquid, solid, or vapor), air movement, DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
and temperature extremes as well as temperature differentials.
Design/build considerations include the selection of the proper Water Movement
type of flashing material, location of the flashing, structural, In the design of any structure, the presence and movement
and installation details. Drawings for flashing details, often the of water in any of its three forms needs to be considered.
only method of communicating the necessary information Significant forces that influence water movement include wind
between the designer and contractor, should be comprehen- pressure, gravity, and moisture absorption by the material.
sive and show sufficient detail for the proper interpretation and Dynamic wind pressure on the surface of an exposed wall can
installation of flashing systems. A subsequent TEK 19-5A drive exterior moisture (in the form of rain or irrigation water)
Flashing Details for Concrete Masonry Walls (ref. 3) will into the masonry. Gravity, which is always present, draws the
address drawing details. free water vertically downward, while the absorptive character-
Although flashings are the primary focus of this TEK, it istics of the masonry can cause moisture migration in any
should be understood that the role of vapor retarders, air direction by capillary action.
barriers, and insulation are also important elements to consider It should also be recognized that these forces do not act
for any wall design as the performance of the entire system can independently of one another. For example, wind-driven rain
be dependent on the design of its individual components. may enter masonry through cracks at the interface between
mortar and units and migrate downward through the wall due
EFFECT OF MOISTURE ON MASONRY to the force of gravity, or it may be transferred horizontally
through the wall either by pressure or by flowing across the
The damage caused to a masonry structure (or its con- webs of the units or mortar bridges. Wind-driven rain can also
tents) due to the infiltration of moisture can take many forms, be absorbed by masonry units and carried from the exterior
depending on the source and the physical state of the water. surface to the interior surface by capillary action. Additionally,
For example, in the liquid state, water penetrating to the ground water may be drawn upward by the wicking action of units
interior of a building may cause considerable damage to its placed on porous foundations or by contact with moist soil.
contents. In some extreme cases, water trapped within the Designers should never assume that any material is ca-
masonry may freeze, inducing spalling and cracking of the pable of rendering a wall totally impervious to water penetra-
masonry units or mortar. Alternatively, water vapor can tion. Surface treatments, designed to reduce the quantity of
lead to condensation inside the cores and on the surfaces water entering a masonry structure, are helpful in this regard

TEK 19-4A © 2001 National Concrete Masonry Association (replaces TEK 19-4)
but should not be considered as a sole means of protection. and past performance characteristics of the flashing materials
Available as clear and opaque compounds, the effectiveness should be reviewed. Flashing should be designed to perform
of surface treatments depends on their composition and com- satisfactorily for the life of the building since repair or replace-
patibility with the masonry. They also do not reduce the ment can be very labor intensive and expensive.
movement by capillary action (wicking) of any water that does
penetrate the masonry face through cracks or defects in the FLASHING MATERIALS
mortar/masonry.
The use of integral water repellent admixtures in concrete A wide variety of flashing materials are available. The
masonry units and mortars can also reduce the amount of water selection of the type of flashing material to use can be influ-
entering the masonry. In addition, they inhibit water penetrating enced by several factors including cost, durability, compatibil-
the masonry face from wicking to the back face of the wall. ity with other materials, ease of installation, aesthetic value,
Proper selection and application of surface treatments and and performance. Table 1 summarizes some of the attributes for
integral water repellents can greatly enhance the water resistant various flashing materials. The advantages and disadvan-
properties of masonry, but they should not be considered as tages of each must be weighed for each individual project to
subsitutes for flashing. See TEKs 19-1 and 19-2A (refs. 8 and 2) provide the most cost-effective and desirable choice.
for more information on water repellents for concrete masonry. Prefabricated flashing boots may be available for inside
and outside corners and end dams. These boots eliminate the
Flashing Location need for cutting, folding, or tucking the flashing materials at
The proper design of masonry for resistance to water these locations. However, due to construction tolerances,
penetration includes consideration of the various types of wall some of these prefabricated items, particularly those of rigid
construction such as single wythe, cavity, veneer, etc. During materials, may be difficult to fit into their intended location.
the design phase it should be understood that all exterior
masonry walls may be subjected to some degree of water Sheet Metals
penetration and/or water vapor movement during its design Stainless steel is technically any of a large and complex
life. Flashing is recommended for any location where the group of corrosion resistant iron chromium alloys possessing
potential exists for water penetration. Some of these critical excellent weather and chemical resisting properties. Preformed
locations include at the top of walls and parapets, at all sections must be properly sized so that modification on the site
horizontal obstructions such as over openings, beneath sills, is minimal. Stainless steel flashing with a conventional an-
above shelf angles, at the base of walls, and in walls at ground nealed finish should comply with Standard Specification for
level to serve as a moisture retarder to reduce the amount of Stainless and Heat-Resisting Chromium-Nickel Steel Plate,
water wicked up into the masonry above grade. Sheet, and Strip, ASTM A 167 (ref. 6). Generally, Type 304
When selecting the flashing material for a particular appli- stainless steel with a minimum thickness of 0.010 in. (0.25 mm)
cation, the service conditions, projected life of the structure, is satisfactory. Lap sections require solder conforming to

Table 1—Flashing Material Properties (refs. 1 and 7)

Material Advantages Disadvantages

Stainless steel Very durable, non-staining Difficult to solder and form

Damaged by excessive flexing, can stain
Cold-rolled copper Flexible, durable, easily formed and joined
surfaces

Difficult to solder, corrodes early in acidic and
Galvanized steel Easy to paint and durable
salty air

Difficult to solder, damaged by excessive
Lead-coated copper Flexible, durable, non-staining
flexing, metal drip edge suggested

Degrades in UV light, more easily torn than
Copper laminates Easy to form and join
metal

Aesthetics if not used with a metal drip edge,
EPDM Flexible, easy to form and join, non-staining
full support recommended

Fully adhered, separate lap adhesive not
Full support required, degrades in UV light,
Rubberized asphalt needed, self-healing, flexible, easy to form and
metal drip edge required
join

PVC Easy to form and join, non-staining, low cost Easily damaged, full support required, metal
drip edge required, questionable durability
Standard Specification for Solder Metal, ASTM B 32 (60% tin with an end dam. Longitudinally continuous requires that
and 40% lead) (ref. 5). Stainless steel drip edges used in joints be overlapped sufficiently, 4 in. (102 mm) minimum, to
combination with other flashing materials offers economy and prevent moisture from entering between the joints and they
a drip edge that is maintainable. must be bonded (joined) together with adhesive if they're not
Copper is a nonferrous metal possessing good ductility self adhering to prevent water movement through the lap area.
and malleability characteristics. Like stainless steel, it also With metal flashings a ¼ in. (6.4 mm) gap joined and sealed with
possesses excellent weather and chemical resistant properties. a pliable membrane helps in accommodating expansion (ref.3).
Preformed sections or sheet materials are easily modified to Flashings should be secured at the top by embedment into
conform to site requirements. However, it should be cautioned the masonry, a reglet, or should be adhesively attached so that
that once weathered, copper flashings produce a green patina water cannot infiltrate or move behind the attachment. The
that may impart a green stain to adjacent masonry surfaces flashing should then project downward along the outer surface
which some designers find objectionable. of the inner wythe and then project outward at the masonry joint,
Galvanized steel is less expensive than stainless steel but shelf angle, or lintel where it is to discharge the water. Every effort
is subject to corrosive attack from salts and acids. The should be made to slope the flashing towards the exterior.
galvanized coating also may crack at bends, lowering the Effectively placed mortar bed or sealant material can help promote
corrosion resistance. As with stainless steel, it is also difficult this drainage. The flashing should continue beyond the exterior
to form and to solder laps effectively. face of the masonry a minimum of ¼ in. (6.4 mm) and terminate with
a sloped drip edge.
Composite Flashings An additional design consideration for flashings includes
Combinations of metals and plastics are supplied by some ensuring that all materials are compatible. For example, contact
dealers. The composition and application of these combined between dissimilar metals can result in the corrosion potential for
materials should be determined before use. Composites utiliz- one or both of the metals. Additionally, the coefficients of thermal
ing copper are the most popular since they combine the expansion for the flashing and masonry materials differ. All
durability and malleability of copper with the nonstaining flashing details should be designed to accommodate the result-
characteristics of a protective coating. Composites containing ing differential movement.
aluminum should be avoided. Other recommended practices involve the use of tooled
concave mortar joints to reduce water penetration through the
Plastics and Rubber Compounds mortar joints. Masons should be careful to ensure that mortar
Plastics are categorized as polymeric materials of large dropped onto the flashing is minimized. This can be accom-
molecular weight, usually polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyeth- plished by beveling the mortar in the faceshells adjacent to the
ylene. Manufacturers of plastic flashings should be consulted cavities in cavity wall construction. In addition, cavity drain-
for documentation establishing the longevity of the plastic in age mats, gravel beds, screens, or trapezoidal drainage material
a caustic environment (pH = 12.5 to 13.5), the composition of (filter paper) are often used to prevent mortar droppings from
the plastic, ease of working at temperatures ranging from 20 to collecting on the flashing which can form dams and block weep
100 oF (-7 to 38 oC), and ability to withstand exposure to holes. Mortar collection devices at regular intervals or filling
ultraviolet light. the cells with loose fill insulation a few courses at a time as the
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a syn- wall is laid-up, can be effective in dispersing minor mortar
thetic rubber that is used as a single ply roofing membrane as droppings enough to prevent clogging.
well as flashing. It has better low temperature performance than Weep holes, the inseparable companion to flashings,
PVC and will not embrittle. It offers ultraviolet light and ozone should provide free movement of water out of the concrete
resistance and can be left exposed. masonry cores, collar joints, or cavities. Any construction
Self-adhering, rubberized asphalt membranes consist of a practice which allows forming the weep holes without inhibit-
composite of flexible plastic film for puncture and tear resis- ing water flow may be used. Cotton sash cords and partially
tance combined with a rubberized asphalt adhesive layer. This open head joints are the most common types of weep holes.
material adheres to itself, requiring less effort to seal laps or Cotton sash cords should be removed prior to putting the wall
corners which speeds installation. It also self-adheres to the into service to provide maximum unobstructed drainage. If
substrate which prevents water from migrating under the necessary, insects can be thwarted by inserting stainless steel
flashing and is self-healing in the event of punctures. However, wool into the openings or using plastic or metal vents.
it should not be applied to damp, dirty, or dusty surfaces and
has a typical lower limit installation temperature of 25 oF (-4 oC). Vents
Because itdegrades in the presence of extended UV exposure, Weep holes often serve a dual function, first for water
it should not be left exposed and requires a metal drip edge. drainage and second as vents. Vents are desirable in some
masonry wall systems to help reduce the moisture content of
CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES the masonry during drying periods. Air circulation through the
cores and cavities within the masonry promotes equalization of
To perform, flashing must be designed and installed moisture content throughout the masonry. Vents are consid-
properly or it may aggravate rather than reduce water problems. ered desirable where air is confined within masonry, such as in
Flashing should be longitudinally continuous or terminated parapets or areas of high humidity such as natatoriums.
MAINTENANCE SUMMARY

Maintenance programs should involve preserving the Flashings are essential at foundations, bond beams, above
“as-built” design documents, records pertaining to inspec- and below openings, at shelf angles and at copings. Weep
tions during the life of the structure, and continuing appraisal holes and vents reduce the moisture content of masonry walls.
of the performance of the structure in addition to conventional Proper selection of flashing materials, proper detailing, and
repair and upkeep. Documentation of inspections, if efflores- proper installation will help ensure satisfactory performance.
cence and water stains are observed, and logs of reported water
penetration and their identified location, assist in determining REFERENCES
proper corrective actions. Pictures with imprinted dates are 1. The Building Envelope: Solutions to Problems, Proceedings
suggested. from a national seminar series sponsored by Simpson
Knowledge of the wall design and construction can influ- Gumpertz & Heger Inc., 1993.
ence repair decisions. If flashing and weep holes were omitted 2. Design for Dry Single-Wythe Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK
during construction, it may prove effective to simply drill weep 19-2A, National Concrete Masonry Association, 2001.
holes and vents to promote drainage and drying. Weep holes 3. Flashing Details for Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK 19-5A,
so drilled should be either at the intersection of the bed and National Concrete Masonry Association, 2001.
head joints or into the cores at the bottom of the wall. Vents 4. Maintenance of Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK 8-1A,
should be drilled at the top of the wall or directly below bond National Concrete Masonry Association, 1998.
beams. See TEK 8-1A Maintenance of Concrete Masonry 5. Standard Specification for Solder Metal, ASTM B 32-00,
Walls (ref. 4) for more detailed information on maintenance of American Society for Testing and Materials, 2000.
concrete masonry walls. 6. Standard Specification for Stainless and Heat-Resisting
When considering maintenance options, it is important to Chromium-Nickel Steel Plate, Sheet, and Strip, ASTM A
ensure that a masonry wall's moisture control measures are kept 167-99, American Society for Testing and Materials,1999.
intact. Thus, applying sealant beads, pargings, or coatings to 7. Through-Wall Flashing, Engineering and Research
a wall should be carefully weighed. Weep holes and vents Digest No.654, Brick Industry Association.
should be maintained in an open condition to allow evacuation 8. Water Repellents for Concrete Masonry Walls, TEK 19-1,
of moisture. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1995.

NATIONAL CONCRETE MASONRY ASSOCIATION To order a complete TEK Manual or TEK Index,
2302 Horse Pen Road, Herndon, Virginia 22071-3499 contact NCMA Publications (703) 713-1900
www.ncma.org