I originally wondered this after spending some time in NYC and seeing some pretty tall brick buildings. Here’s an extreme example for illustration of point:

60 storey building with bricks on the outside. I get that the bricks don’t bear the structural load, but then how do you account for sway during wind or seismic (I know that’s not a factor in NYC, but elsewhere) loads? If I had all my memory erased and didn’t know tall brick buildings already existed, and someone suggested building one, I’d say “hell no, dude. During high wind loads the top is going to sway 8+ feet, and each time that happens a bunch of bricks on either side will break out of their cement and rain down on everyone below”.

So how do they prevent this from happening? (I’m sure at least one brick has fallen out of at least once building in Manhattan, I’m just asking about why it’s not an ongoing problem). And even though the exterior brick doesn’t load-bear for the building, it still has to hold most/all the weight of the bricks above it, right? how do civil engineers transfer this load to the internal columns while allowing for some movement during windy conditions? In Carnegie Tower, there appears to be 17 storeys of brick in a continuous wall about 1 segment below the top. That must be an extraordinary load on the lowest-row of bricks?

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