I’m building a garage in Virginia and have hit a snag. The plans I have were engineered by someone outside the state, but licensed in VA. The county I live in uses the 2006 IBC. The plans call for a steel reinforced masonry wall, with vertical rebar tying into the footer as well as horizontal rebar. The foundation contractors I’ve talked to think this is unnecessary and costly- they always just do unreinforced block walls on concrete footers. The building department is beyond unhelpful, their only input is: it must be built exactly as specified by the engineer.
I’m calling the engineer again tomorrow, but I’m curious if theres a ‘right’ answer here. Always reinforce block walls? Only when in a specific seismic zone?
For what its worth, the building has 12’ walls and a 90mph wind load, but as far as I can tell how the foundation is reinforced is all about seismic activity- not wind load.
Thanks for any insight- so far this has been a fairly frustrating project…