Masonry Requirements of Northwest Energy Codes

If you are designing a gymnasium, big-box retail, or one of several other building types, you can still utilize integral-insulated exposed single-wythe concrete masonry (CMU) walls for code compliance. This cost-effective wall system remains a prescriptive path design option in the latest Washington and Oregon energy codes.

The links below give more information about these energy codes.

NWCMA Tek Note


Article by Tom Young

Design of Concrete Masonry Veneer

This technical bulletin discusses the application of concrete masonry units in anchored veneer construction. Concrete masonry can provide a durable, aesthetically-pleasing exterior facade over various backing surfaces for a variety of building types. This bulletin focuses on the control of non-structural cracking of concrete masonry veneer to maintain the appearance and water resistance desired.

Please click here to view the entire TEK note (opens as PDF in a new window).

Specifying Ground-Face Concrete Masonry Units

Ground-face concrete masonry units (CMU) provide architects and designers with an attractive architectural block texture. Ground-face CMU are produced by grinding the top 1/16 inch off the face of standard block with an abrasive cutting head to reveal the natural colors of the aggregates. This process provides a smooth textured unit available in a wide range of integral colors.

Specifying Ground-Face Concrete Masonry Unites (PDF)

Control Joints for Concrete Masonry Crack Control

Cracking in buildings normally results from restrained movement. This movement may originate within a building material due to temperature change or shrinkage; or may result from movement of adjacent building elements. In most cases, movement is inevitable and must be accounted for during design if cracking is to be controlled. Control joints placed in concrete masonry walls are one method of crack control. Control joints are vertical separations built into a concrete masonry wall to reduce restraint and permit longitudinal movement. They are located where cracking is likely to occur due to excessive tensile stress.

Download Tek Note: Control Joints for Concrete Masonry Crack Control (opens as PDF)