In remodeling my restaurant, I want to put an interior brick wall on the second floor. However, the local building officials say this cannot be done because it's against code to have a brick wall supported by wood framing. Is this true?
It's not against all codes. Section 2515(a) of the 1988 Uniform Building Code (UBC) says "wood members shall not be used to permanently support the dead load of any masonry or concrete." But exceptions are allowed. The same section of the code says that "brick veneer used as an interior wall finish may be supported on wood floors which are designed to support the additional load, and be designed to limit the deflection and shrinkage to 1/500 of the span of the supporting member." The building code in your area may be different--or perhaps the building officials overlooked this exception. If your local building code does allow brick veneer walls to be supported by wood floors, check with a structural engineer to make sure your wood floor can support the wall you want. If it doesn't, he may be able to recommend modifications to the floor or wall that would satisfy code requirements.