Download PDF version (555.5k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.
Steel-stud walls with brick veneer became popular for light-commercial construction in the 1960s because the system offered a less expensive alternative to all-masonry cavity walls. However, over the years we have seen this system experience a number of problems. While some of these may be blamed on poor design or improper installation, there is increasing evidence that the errors lie with the system itself. Our company, a structural engineering firm with offices in Canada, has investigated and documented failures of brick-veneer/steel-stud walls since 1976. In the process, we've done extensive testing of the system in both the laboratory and the field. Although failures are often attributed to shoddy workmanship, we've found that no matter how carefully brick-veneer/steel-stud walls are built, they're exceedingly fragile. Even minor