Brick Veneer Walls - Height

Residential - The maximum height for a brick veneer wall on a wood frame building being supported by a preservative-treated wood foundation is?

a. 30-feet Height above the support, or 38-feet Height above the support on gable ends.
b. 30-feet above the support.
c. 18-feet above the support.
d. 38-feet above the support.

Just food for thought as presented by the Masonry Advisory Council.

Supporting Exterior Brick Veneer on Wood Construction

There has been some question as to whether supporting brick veneer on wood is a good idea or even permitted by the applicable building codes. However, all of the model codes have some provisions to support veneer with a wood backing. Supporting brick veneer on wood is acceptable if the necessary precautions are taken to insure structural stability and integrity of the veneer and its supports.Important Considerations

  1. The veneer panel that is to be supported by the wood must be stable. When the brick veneer is to be supported on a sloping surface and has little or no masonry serving as an abutment, that section may become unstable and have a tendency to slide.

  2. An engineer must design wood members and call out anchors, bolts, nails, and connectors of the support system .

  3. Wood members supporting the veneer must be sized so that their deflection (sag) under the weight of the veneer combined with the other loads is small so as to prevent the veneer from cracking. The BIA recommends that the structure be designed so that the deflection does not exceed their span divided by 600 (1/600) or 0.3 inches whichever is smaller, under loaded conditions.

  4. Any unreinforced 4" brick veneer will allow some water to penetrate. The brick veneer is designed as a water management system, providing a drainage space, flashing and weep holes to channel entrant water outside of the structure. To facilitate this water management scheme, proper detailing and construction of flashing and weep holes is essential.

  5. Remember, that wood is susceptible to decay and termite infestation. For this reason, the emphasis should be on limiting water penetration and protecting the wood structure with good flashing details.

In conclusion, there are several options to facilitate those conditions which require brick veneer to be supported by the wood frame backup. In these situations, steps must be taken to assure that good water management practices are observed and executed.



Very nice, but the question deals with foundation not backing. Unless there is some sort of correlation that I’m not getting.

Although it is permissable to have brick veneer’s bearing on pressure treated wood foundation’s, I just wanted to stress the importance of flashing requirements and anchorage to the back-up wood frame wall.

The anchorage of brick with wood back-up is critical and also carries and distributes a lot of the weight. They work hand in hand when bearing on a wood foundation.

This type of bearing needs to be Engineered due the dead load of the masonry.

Marcel :slight_smile:

Good points Marcel.

Were you aware that in some areas of the country (For example, Chicagoland) anchored wood frame brick veneer is not allowable on commercial buildings. (New Construction of course. I can’t imagine that there isn’t some existence of old construction constructed in this manner).

That is very possible John, and the reason might be due to the height or engineering requirements for the facade.

Around here, most brick veneers all have a metal stud backup engineered for that purpose.

There are also code requirements on the heights where relieving angles have to be installed.

Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley:

Nice. C was the answer. 18-feet above the support.