What is the recommended or code-required maximum lateral deflection due to wind of a metal stud wall system with brick veneer? Where I am located in northeast Florida, it's common to see 2x4 stud wall systems with brick veneer in residential construction. What criteria should be used to design the backup system in low-rise residential brick veneer construction with either wood studs or metal studs?
Brick veneer for low-rise residential construction is discussed in Brick Institute of America (BIA) Technical Note 28, "Brick Veneer New Construction." This technical note applies only to buildings less than three stories in height, 30 feet maximum height at typical walls, and 38 feet at the tip of a gable. BIA Technical Note 28 offers no deflection criteria but merely states that the backup should be "sufficiently strong, rigid and well braced." It's my understanding that BIA assumes that such low-rise residential construction would have vertical stud spans no taller than 8 feet and would have frequent cross walls to brace the exterior walls. A more conservative approach toward designing brick veneer wall systems even in medium- or low-rise construction would be to follow the recommendations in BIA Technical Note 28B, "Brick Veneer Steel Stud Panel Walls." This technical note recommends that the lateral deflection of the metal stud backup wall under full wind load not exceed the height of the wall divided by 600. I would recommend using this criteria whenever the potential for a high wind load exists, such as in coastal regions, or if any of the above listed assumptions aren't true.