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10006918
Structural Engineering Forensic Evaluation of Misdiagnosed Concrete Masonry Wall Cracking
Authors:
Abstract:
Given that concrete masonry walls are expected to experience shrinkage combined with thermal expansion and contraction, and in some cases even carbonation, throughout their service life, cracking is to be expected. However, after concrete masonry walls have been placed into service, originally anticipated and accounted for cracking is often misdiagnosed as a structural defect. Such misdiagnoses often result in or are used to support litigation. This paper begins by discussing the causes and types of anticipated cracking within concrete masonry walls followed by a discussion on the processes and analyses that exists for properly evaluating them and their significance. From here, the paper then presents a case of misdiagnosed concrete masonry cracking and the flawed logic employed to support litigation.

References:

[1] ACI 530-13 & 530.1-13 / TMS 402-13 & TMS 602-13 / ASCE 5-13 & ASCE 6-13: Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures. ACI/ASCE/TMS 2013, pp. C-36 – C-41, C-50, C-98, C-108 & C-114 – C-117.
[2] National Concrete Masonry Association, “TEK 10-1A: Crack Control in Concrete Masonry Walls.” NCMA, TEK 10-1A, 2005.
[3] W. Bracken & J. Busquets, “White Paper: Hairline Cracking within Concrete Block Walls” unpublished.
[4] National Concrete Masonry Association, “TEK 10-2C: Control Joints for Concrete Masonry Walls – Empirical Method.” NCMA, TEK 10-2C, 2010.
[5] ACI 530-08 & 530.1-08 / TMS 402-08 & TMS 602-08 / ASCE 5-08 & ASCE 6-08: Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures. ACI/ASCE/TMS 2011, pg. SC-15.
[6] SEI/ASCE 11-99: Guideline for Structural Condition Assessment of Existing Buildings. SEI/ASCE 1999, pp 3 – 11.
[7] L. Chen & J. Evett, Soils and Foundations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1987, pg. 192.
[8] R. Drysdale & A. Hamid, Masonry Structures Behavior and Design – 3rd Edition. Boulder, CO: The Masonry Society, 2008, pp. 272 – 275 & 286 – 287.
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