The Challenge

The main focus of the 2016 Masonry Systems Guide: Northwest Edition is to provide comprehensive design and construction detailing information for 8 primary above‑grade wall assembly options successfully used in the Northwest climate that are composed of clay or concrete masonry as an adhered or anchored veneer or single-wythe CMU wall application. Each assembly within this guide needed to be addressed specifically to the Northwest region— Washington, Oregon, and Idaho — and to consider local climate, codes, and building preferences and practices.

The Project

Created with the oversight of professional building envelope consultants, engineers, architects, experienced commercial masonry contractors, and other masonry specialists, the guide is the product of decades of combined in-the-field masonry experience.

RDH played a critical role in the guide’s creation, drawing upon its long history of publishing guideline, policy, and best practice documents, with three of our engineers working extensively on the content development and production of the guide: Michael Aoki-Kramer, Bailey Brown, and Graham Finch. Substantial input also came from RDH’s experienced team of researchers, including John Straube, who work with these assemblies and principles daily in the field and in the lab.

The Results

The final guide is broken down into three primary sections: an introduction, assembly chapters, and references/resources. The introductory chapter showcases the 8 primary above-grade wall assemblies and contains technical references and supporting information for general topics that apply to the featured above-grade wall assemblies. The introduction also serves as a reference for topics consistent among many of the chapter assemblies.

Each subsequent chapter is dedicated to one of the primary above-grade wall assemblies and provides assembly-specific discussion, guidance, photos, and/or diagrammatic illustrations. Two- and three-dimensional details and cutaway wall sections are provided at the end of each chapter, summarizing the chapter content and illustrating its use in real-world applications. The 8 primary above-grade wall assemblies featured are:

  • Chapter 1: CMU (or Concrete Alternate) Wall with Anchored
  • Masonry Veneer
  • Chapter 2: Steel-Framed Wall with Anchored Masonry Veneer
  • Chapter 3: Wood-Framed Wall with Anchored Masonry Veneer
  • Chapter 4: Integrally Insulated CMU Wall
  • Chapter 5: Interior-Insulated CMU Wall
  • Chapter 6: CMU Wall with Adhered Masonry Veneer
  • Chapter 7: Steel-Framed Wall with Adhered Masonry Veneer
  • Chapter 8: Wood-Framed Wall with Adhered Masonry Veneer (Thick or Thin Bed Method)

A pricing analysis is provided in the chapters for each assembly and demonstrates the relative price per square foot. Pricing is for components outboard of the wall sheathing for framed or CMU backup wall assemblies. For exterior-exposed CMU wall systems, pricing includes all components except interior finishes and interior framing (where it occurs). Pricing is based on a 10,000- square-foot wall area and is valued for the 2015–2016 calendar year.

READ: Masonry Systems Guide: Northwest Edition

The sections following the 8 assembly chapters contain additional information regarding thermal modeling parameters, published industry references, and product resources. Additional features of the guide include design and construction/installation checklists and other design considerations as well as an assembly comparison matrix provided to assist designers with assembly selection, with comparison categories for both commercial and/or residential applications.