- Energy Code Allowances and Requirements - Masonry Institute of Washington
Masonry Institute of Washington
Masonry Institute of Washington
11900 NE 1st St, Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 214-7476


A “mass wall” includes walls weighing not less than 35 psf of wall surface area; or 25 psf if the material weight is not more than 120 pcf. The majority of masonry wall systems qualify as mass walls.

The WS IECC contains three options for prescriptive path compliance with mass walls for non-residential buildings. They include:

  • Meeting a wall assembly u-factor requirement of 0.104 (0.078 for Ferry, Okanogan, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties), or
  • Using continuous insulation, or
  • Using the concrete masonry exception for certain building uses.  This exception allows an integral insulated, partial-grouted concrete masonry wall to comply.

Masonry walls can also comply with the energy code via the component performance (trade-off) option or the total building performance path where the benefits of mass walls are fully accounted for.

Note:  U-factors for mass walls can be found in table a in the WS IECC.

Beneficial mass wall provisions will remain in northwest energy codes

For further information on this subject contact the Northwest Concrete Masonry Association at www.nwcma.org or 425-697-5298; or the Masonry Institute of Washington at (425) 214-7476.

Pocket Guide
Click here to download the MIW Energy Code Presentation.

Recent Code Changes

Section 1405.6.2
Deletes the requirement for wire joint reinforcement in anchored masonry veneer located in SDC D.

Sections 2104.5 and 2104.6
Increase the grout lift height and grout pour height requiring cleanouts to a full masonry modular dimension from 5’-0” to 5’-4”. Exceptions to these requirements can be approved through the use of a grout demonstration panel (Section 1.6E of Specification TMS 602-08).

Section 2107.2
Clarifies the permissible one-third stress increase for allowable stress design when using the alternative basic load combinations.

Sections 2107.6 and 2108.5
Provide detailed anchor bolt installation requirements. Delete the ½ inch grout surround requirement for bolts installed in unit face shells.