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Single Wythe Brick Fence

Single Wythe Brick Fence

Single Wythe Brick Fence

Has anyone designed a single wythe brick fence. I've been asked to design an 8 feet tall single wythe brick fence with pilasters at 13' oc? I don't think the brick and it's reinforcing is capable of withstanding the wind load (110 mph) as a cantilever wall, and to transfer the load into the pilasters doesn't seem feasible. Any input on this design would be appreciated.

RE: Single Wythe Brick Fence

I see a story about once a year about one of these which falls over and kills a child, and without any wind.

RE: Single Wythe Brick Fence

The system gets botched but can be done properly:


You might want to tighten up the pilaster spacing a wee bit but it's hard to imagine anyhow objecting to that.

I like to debate structural engineering theory -- a lot. If I challenge you on something, know that I'm doing so because I respect your opinion enough to either change it or adopt it.

RE: Single Wythe Brick Fence

How do you analyze the joint reinforcing for lateral loads on the wall?
I like KootK's link that recommends not using a shelf angle so any poorly placed bricks will fall out - sort of a virtual quality control?

RE: Single Wythe Brick Fence

Yes, the "When Things Go Wrong" part is interesting, and they do acknowledge some degree of failure, reportedly due to poor site practice.

I would ask myself this question...if this single skin wall, spanning 13' between cantilevered brick beams which are reinforced with a single bar, was rotated to the horizontal, would I walk on it?

RE: Single Wythe Brick Fence

A serpentine shape in plan leads to a much more stable wall. Your 4" single wythe and pilasters at 13' o/c sounds like a pretty thin and ill supported wall. Some locales in the south and southwest of the USA have their own prescriptive method of permitting and building these types of screen walls. But, as I recall the ones I’ve seen were made of a thicker, light weight conc. block which is keyed together course to course, in running bond, and then keyed into a vert. key in the pilasters which where only about 10-12' o/c. The pilasters were filled with conc. and vert. reinforcing bars. The ftgs. under the pilasters were deeper square ftgs. or piers, while the ftgs. under the wall portions were often just shovel dug trenches just below grade, for a flat, level wall building surface. Then, almost immediately, many of the builders start stretching every detail to save a few bucks per 100 ft. of wall.

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