W. MARK MCGINLEY1, RICHARD M. BENNETT2, and ERIC N. JOHNSON31Professor, Department of Architectural Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA 2Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA 3Director of Technical Services, Brick Association of the Carolinas, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

In the United States, the Masonry Standards Joint Committee Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures prescriptively requires that a, continuous, single-wire joint reinforcement at a maximum spacing of 457mm (18 inches) on centre vertically be provided in masonry veneers in Seismic Design Category D. This requirement has significant cost implications in both the commercial and residential sectors as well as other potential implications. This study examines this requirement and the justification for it. Research relevant to this requirement is reviewed, the historical performance of masonry veneers in natural disasters is examined, and analyses of veneers under seismic loads are conducted. These analyses include both in plane and out of plane loading. This paper summarizes the results of this study and recommends that this requirement be eliminated.