Out-of-plane seismic performance and detailing of brick veneer walls

Dziugas Reneckis, James Michael LaFave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The out-of-plane seismic performance of residential brick veneer walls built over wood-frame backup was evaluated as a function of construction detailing. Shake table tests were conducted on a full-scale brick veneer wall panel, with a window opening, representing the gable-end wall of a typical home structure; the structural performance of corrugated sheet metal veneer-to-wood tie connections was also characterized by separate laboratory testing. The wall panel test specimen was prepared following typical construction practice for brick veneer wall systems, in general conformance with current specified prescriptive design and construction requirements. The shake table tests captured the performance of the brick veneer wall system, including interaction and load-sharing between the brick veneer, corrugated sheet metal ties, and wood-frame backup. Detailed three-dimensional finite-element (FE) models were also developed representing the full-scale brick veneer wall panel specimen, including nonlinear inelastic properties for the tie connections. After calibration based on test results, the FE wall panel model effectively captured static and dynamic experimental brick veneer wall behavior at different response levels, up to and including tie damage and even instability/collapse of the wall panel. Parametric studies were then carried out using FE wall panel models to evaluate the effects of certain types and layouts of tie connections, as well as geometric variations in brick veneer wall construction. Overall seismic performance of brick veneer walls was closely related to the individual tie connection deformation limits, especially for damage in tension. The grid spacing of tie connections, as well as tie installation along the edges and in upper regions of the walls, controlled the ultimate behavior of the brick veneer wall panels. Design guides, codes, and current construction practices have been evaluated in light of the overall findings from these experimental and analytical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-794
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Brick masonry veneer
  • Dynamic tests
  • Metal tie connections
  • Nonlinear dynamic analysis
  • Wood framing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Out-of-plane seismic performance and detailing of brick veneer walls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this