Contemporary masonry veneer construction consists of a single wythe of masonry such as brick or stone mechanically anchored to a backup structure, typically either wood or steel framing or concrete masonry units (CMUs).
A masonry cavity wall system must successfully perform multiple functions throughout the life of the building. A proper wall is expected to manage moisture, air, and heat, contain fire, and hold up the structure itself.
Loadbearing walls with brick veneer and concrete masonry units (CMUs) were built as solid walls in the first half of the 20th century. Brick veneer and the CMU backup wall were bonded to a solid wall to carry the dead and live loads.
Masonry veneer is a common cladding type due to its aesthetics and perceived durability. However, the design documents provided to contractors frequently lack the necessary building code and industry standard requirements for constructing anchored masonry veneer, jeopardizing the long-term performance.
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