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October 7, 1997 8:00 AM CDT

Masonry Designers' Guide Second Edition Nears Completion


The Masonry Society, with the support of the Council for Masonry Research, is putting the final touches on the Second Edition of its very popular Masonry Designers' Guide (MDG). The new edition will be available in January 1998. Based on the 1995 version of the Masonry Standards Joint Committee Code (ACI 530/TMS 402/ASCE 5) and Specification (ACI 530.1/TMS 602/ASCE 6), the second edition of the MDG has been updated to reflect new seismic design methods. In addition, the example problems (one of the MDG's most popular features) have been reorganized and improved.

The MDG has 5 major parts:

Introduction: Includes a listing of notations used throughout the guide, definitions for masonry terms, and a complete reference index that helps the user find information and examples on every paragraph of the Code or Specification.

Materials and Testing: Presents information on each of the primary materials used in masonry construction.

Construction: Covers quality control, quality assurance, and hot and cold weather construction techniques. Includes sections on sample panels, inspection, tolerances, cleaning, hot weather methods, and precautions to take during cold weather.

Design: Each aspect of design of a masonry building is explored in detail in this portion of the book. Chapters include load distribution, accommodation of movement, flexure, shear, combined flexure and axial load, reinforcement, empirical design, and seismic requirements.

Example Problems: Used to illustrate the application of the design methods and philosophies covered in the Design chapters.

The example problems are unique and a critical part of the MDG. In the second edition, the examples have been rearranged into a single chapter, rather than being divided up among the design chapters by topic. Three different buildings are examined in detail: a singlestory strip mall with a one-way steel joist roof; a singlestory gymnasium with 25-ft. walls and gabled roof trusses; and a four-story hotel with both unreinforced and reinforced wall systems. Various options are examined for each of these buildings, including brick/block cavity walls, composite walls, reinforced and unreinforced walls, single-wythe hollow clay walls, and glass blocks. Various load combinations are used for each building to help the designer understand different seismic levels, wind loads, and various combinations of live and dead loads.

The example problems go through the complete design of each building from calculation of loads to designing for flexure, shear, axial, and out-of-plane loading. Other problems describe design of shear walls, ties and reinforcement, roof and floor diaphragm connections, beams, lintels, columns, and pilasters. Designing with empirical methods is also reviewed for all three buildings.

The Masonry Designers' Guide is a joint publication of The Masonry Society and the American Concrete Institute, with financial support from the Council for Masonry Research. The Masonry Society, with John Matthys (University of Texas at Arlington) as editorial director, has coordinated the updating and production of the second edition. Participants in the process include most of the prominent designers in the U. S. The example problems were created by the following design teams:

Shopping Center
David Biggs (Ryan and Biggs, Troy, NY) and James Colville (University of Maryland)

Rochelle Jaffe (Construction Technology Laboratories, Skokie, IL) and Russell Brown (Clemson University)

John Tawresey (KPFF Consulting Engineers, Seattle, WA), Ed Huston (Smith & Huston, Seattle, WA) and Richard Klingner (University of Texas at Austin)

The MSDG will be available in early 1998 from The Masonry Society. Orders may be placed either by mail: 3970 Broadway, Suite 201-D, Boulder CO 80304-1135; phone (303-939-9700); fax (303-541-9215); or e-mail ( The price has yet to be established.

About the Author

Mr. Palmer was the Executive Director of The Masonry Society.


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