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The Evolution of Stone Masonry Veneer Requirements: Past, Present, and Future
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Stone masonry has been one of the most durable and reliable building materials for thousands of years. Numerous stone structures still stand after centuries of dependable service and resistance to the elements. It has not been until recent history (the last 50 years) that the design and construction of masonry structures has been codified by building officials to impose minimum requirements for the performance of such construction. However, the evolution of modern building codes has resulted in a narrowing of options for constructing stone masonry veneer walls, and the current codes impose significant limitations in the prescriptive requirements for stone masonry veneer, which are often in conflict with industry recommendations and common construction practices. This forces many designers to rely solely upon engineering judgment for the design and construction of many commonly accepted stone masonry veneer wall systems. This paper explores the progression of code requirements for stone masonry from different, and sometimes conflicting, code bodies in the United States through the consolidation of the codes in the current International Building Code. It will also explore the suggested current direction of the masonry industry for expanding the code to include new allowable types, materials, and configurations of stone masonry veneer systems to provide codified requirements for designers to utilize stone masonry more frequently in the design of buildings and other structures.
stone, veneer, cavity
Civitillo, John M.
WDP Consulting Engineers, New York, NY
Peterson, J. Eric
WDP & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc., Manassas, VA