Structural Engineering Curriculum Educational Experience - Practical Construction Detailing for 8" CMU Special Shear Walls
Presenting author: Rachel G. Chandler and Advisor: Craig Baltimore, PhD, S.E.
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Within the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) curriculum, there are numerous ways in which students have the opportunity to learn-by-doing, and further their education past the classroom. Through a special project course students can further their classroom curriculum and gain hands on experience with masonry design. The special project this year was to build and explore the topic of reinforcement steel (rebar) detailing in concrete masonry unit (CMU) special shear walls. Segments of CMU special shear walls (the end segments) were constructed by students, and proper detailing was documented in three common shear wall configurations: a no end pilaster wall, a flush face pilaster wall, and a pilaster centered wall. This project was different than most because of its unique benefits for the engineering students to grasp 3-D concepts in masonry detailing. In addition, with the construction of these walls, the students were able to think about and experience common construction issues in the construction of masonry walls. It was an opportunity that developed common classroom topics through the learn-by-doing process. This special project enhanced the classroom learning of the masonry theory course (ARCE 305) and design course (ARCE 451). In furthering the masonry education, students were able to make themselves aware (learn-by-doing) of types of questions that should be thought about during masonry design (paper engineering). This paper includes the students’ perspective of lessons learned during construction, and in design beyond the classroom (e.g. dowel vs. wall rebar alignment, cleanouts, knockouts and rebar locations). This valuable experience would benefit others who have the ability to create similar opportunities for engineering students or engineers in training out in the field.