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CMU crawl space

Alan Afsari | Posted in General Questions on

This isn’t a ‘green’ building question, just a building question.

We are building a ranch home in climate zone 5 over a conditioned crawl space.  The footings are 7′ below the sill plate.  The crawlspace walls are CMUs.  The planned poured concrete floor will be about 4-5′ below the sill plate.  Does a CMU wall like this need a bond beam?

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  1. Expert Member
    Peter Yost | | #1

    Hi Alan -

    Must admit I have never seen a bond beam in this application. I am not a structural engineer, so I simply looked up some definitions of bond beam (did not really find anything on GBA....).

    This seemed like the best explanation of just when a bond beam is needed ( It seems to confirm that you don't need one, BUT maybe in your reading of this resource and your deeper understanding of your project, you see the need.


  2. Joel Cheely | | #2

    No, you don't typically see a bond beam in this scenario, unless the structure above or seismic or soils or tie-in to other parts of the construction dictates including one, or if structural designer wants one!

  3. Alan Afsari | | #3

    I apppreciate the expedient responses.

    Our plans actually call for concrete (10”) walls, but the foundation contractor is using CMUs (16”). The designer asked for a the bond beam. The contractor said we don’t need one, but we can have one if we want one.... and he quoted a price.

    I’m happy to pay for something that is needed. My research said we didn’t. I figured someone here on GBA would know.

    Thanks again!

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