CCFSS Library (1939 - present)


The design, construction and physical testing of five full scale (2.75 m x 5.2 m) brick veneer rain screen wall specimens are reported. Also, the documentation of the design and fabrication of a new test apparatus and of the development of test procedures are major components of the report. The test program included sequences of air pressure loading stages both with and without simulated rain to establish both the structural and rain penetration performances of the test walls. The test walls included four brick veneer/steel stud specimens and one brick veneer/concrete block specimen. Additional tests were performed on bricks, mortar and masonry assemblages to define relevant characteristics.

The design and construction of the wall specimens were consistent with current practices in order to assess the appropriateness of these practices. The major points addressed in the report relate to the vulnerabilities of the wall system to excessive rain penetration and resulting moisture damage. In line with these concerns, the likelihood of veneer cracking, the impact of cracking on structural behaviour and on rain penetration and the importance of cavity compartmentalization were addressed.

The conclusions indicated that brick veneer rain screen walls are vulnerable to rain penetration if adequate air tightness in the backup and clean comparted cavities are not provided. Also, it was concluded that veneer cracking is likely under full design loads. It is recommended that the design should address the properties of the brick veneer/backup wall system and that the veneer deflections should be limited to control the size of cracks.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Wei-Wen Yu Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Publication Date


Document Version

Final Version


This research was funded by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Figures in the pdf for download have been rotated and blank pages omitted for optimal viewing. A pdf in the report's original format is included as a supplemental file.

Document Type

Technical Report

File Type




Ca1_MH65 90R27_w.pdf (43149 kB)
Research Report with original formatting