How should intersecting masonry walls be fastened together in Broward and Dade County?
The project engineer has requested that ALL intersecting walls be laid up with 50% of the units overlapping at the corner. There are MANY intersecting walls and this prevents any wall from being run in an economical way as you have to continually stop and build your lead for the intersecting wall. What does the code require?
An engineered masonry structure built in Dade or Broward is covered under the High Velocity Hurricane Zone section of the code, specifically section 2122. Section 2122.10 requires that "intersecting walls shall comply with TMS 402 section 5.1.1."
The referenced section gives three equivalent ways that intersections can be tied together. The first is that 50% of the units are overlapped at the corner. The second is that the wall shall be tied with a 28" long heavy steel "Z" anchor spaced at 48" vertically up the wall. The third method is to place a bond beam with .4 square inches of steel spaced at 48" vertically up the wall (you could use (2) #4 bars or (1) #6 bar).
Since the plans and specs did not call out specifically for the 50% overlapping, any of the three methods would meet the requirements of the job and the code.
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Jerry Painter, FASTM
Don Beers, PE, GC
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