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NEHRP Seismic Design Technical Brief No. 9: Seismic Design of Special Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls



Gregory Kingsley, P. Benson Shing, Thomas Gangel


The primary seismic force-resisting elements in buildings are horizontal diaphragms, vertical framing elements, and foundations. Together, these elements, comprise the seismic force-resisting system (SFRS). In reinforced masonry structures, the vertical framing elements are generally structural walls. They resist out-of-plane loads from wind or earthquake and transfer those loads to diaphragms and foundations. They also resist in-plane loads received from diaphragms and convey them to foundations. Given the wide variety of masonry materials, forms, and local construction practices, many kinds of reinforced masonry structural walls are possible. This Guide focuses on the design of one classification of walls for one loading case: special reinforced masonry shear walls subjected to in-plane seismic and gravity loads.
Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR) - 14-917-31
Report Number


NEHRP Consultants Joint Ventures, ATC, Seismic, Shear Walls, Reinforced Masonry, Technical brief


Kingsley, G. , , P. and Gangel, T. (2014), NEHRP Seismic Design Technical Brief No. 9: Seismic Design of Special Reinforced Masonry Shear Walls, Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created August 29, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017