Engineered Masonry Design Course

Ottawa – 2024

The Engineered Masonry Design Course (EMDC) is a professional course offered to practicing engineers in the local design community. It equips you with the tools and knowledge to design masonry confidently, effectively and efficiently, using current codes and standards.

Presented by:

The course page is now live

Enrolled participants can access lecture recordings and all other information by visiting the course page.

Note that you must be logged in and enrolled to see some content.

What is the EMDC?

A professional course offered to practicing engineers

The Engineered Masonry Design Course (EMDC) is tailored to equip you with the tools and knowledge to design masonry confidently, effectively, and efficiently. This course has been offered to more than 500 practicing engineers in Canada and is roughly equivalent to a 4th year engineering undergraduate university course in both scope and workload (there is a significant amount of homework required so please consider this before registering). The materials covered reflect Canadian design practice and are taught to the 2014 editions of masonry CSA Standards as well as the 2015 edition of the National Building Code of Canada.

More than just getting your PEAK hours

The intention of the course is beyond simple professional development hours; you gain the skills necessary to properly analyze and design with masonry in new construction in Canada. This is the equivalent to the level of knowledge gained from a 4th year design course in a university undergraduate program and involves approximately 40 hours of in person and virtual guided learning time as well as graded assignments, a take home design project, and a take home final exam. Participants will be provided detailed feedback as well as a final grade.

Condensed In-person & Online Format

Breakfast and Lunch included for all in-person sessions

Each in-person session will provide participants with a light breakfast, lunch, snacks, and coffee/refreshment breaks. Registrants must indicate any dietary restrictions during registration.

In-Person Teaching

Four Monday In-Person Lecture Sessions

The course is being run using a hybrid of both in-person and virtual platforms. There will be four full in-person days of lecture content with virtual lectures and tutorials in weeks between. As part of the course, one half-day will be dedicated to a hands-on demonstration of bricklaying during which time you will have a chance to learn how to build with masonry and lay bricks and blocks on mortar. The course will be spread over approximately 2 months. The full timeline is shown in the expandable section further below.

Ottawa Dates:

These are specific to the Ottawa course. There is a different schedule for those interested in the Mississauga area. Click here for the EMDC Mississauga page.

May 6th, 2024

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

May 27th, 2024

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

June 3rd, 2024

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

June 17th, 2024

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Full days are scheduled to cover material through in-person lectures (8:30 am – 4:30 pm). This will give you an opportunity to receive your copy of the textbook as well as other course materials and meaningful engagement with our staff and other students face-to-face.

It is critical that registrants can attend these in-person sessions

For convenience, we will be recording these in-person virtual lectures for students to access and review after. Attendance at the in-person lectures is worth a portion of the final grade.

Topics covered by the Engineered Masonry Design Course:

The course content will follow the textbook Masonry Structures Behaviour and Design – 2nd Canadian edition (each registrant will receive a copy of the textbook with registration). The following topics are covered reflecting the Chapters within the textbook:

  • Masonry Materials and Assemblages (Chapters 3 and 4)
  • Design of Masonry Beams (Chapter 5)
  • Design of Masonry Out-of-Plane Walls (Chapter 6)
  • Design of Masonry Shear Walls (Chapter 7)
  • Seismic Design of Masonry (Chapter 8)
  • Design of Masonry Columns and Pilasters (Chapter 9)
  • Design of Veneers and Partition Walls (Chapters 10 & 11)
  • Construction, Workmanship, and Specifications (Chapter 12)
  • Design Project: Single Storey Loadbearing Post-Disaster Structure (Chapter 13)

Session 1

EMDC Introduction and Outline

Syllabus Overview

Online Learning Tutorial

Overview of Masonry Construction, Design and Standards

Introduction to Masonry Materials and Assemblages

Masonry Beams:

Ultimate Limit States Shear and Flexure

Serviceability Limit States

Detailing of Reinforcement

Design Examples

Continuing Online

Beam Design Tutorial Exercise

Out-of-Plane Masonry Walls:

Ultimate Limit States Shear and Flexure

Interaction Diagram

Deflection, Second Order Effects, and Slenderness

Serviceability Limit States


Design Examples

Session 2

Unreinforced Out-of-Plane walls

Walls subject to concentrated loads

Masonry Shear Walls:

Ultimate Limit States Shear and Flexure

Serviceability Limit States


Design Examples

Single Storey Buildings:

Load Calculation

Load Distribution around Openings and Movement Joints

Design Examples:

Individual Structural Elements

Continuing Online

Design Methods of NBCC

Seismic Modelling and Analysis Methods

Session 3

Seismic Design of Masonry Shear Walls:

Conventional Construction

Moderately Ductile Design & Post-Disaster

Boundary Elements

Design Example:

Multi-Storey Structure Example

Design of Reinforced Masonry Columns

Design of Masonry Pilasters

Design of Partition Walls

Continuing Online

Other Specialized Analysis Approaches

Includes Horizontal bending, flexural wall panels, internal arching action, and more

Session 4

Design of Masonry Veneers:

Analysis and Design of Ties

Shelf Angles and Support of Masonry

Specifications and Documents



Hands On Wall Building Session

Design Project and Exam Overview

Continuing Online

Design of a single storey Post-Disaster Strucutre

Supplemental eLearning

In addition to the in-class component a number of lessons will be made available through our online learning platform. These additional topics are included and can be taken at anytime during the course. These added lessons will provide designers with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of masonry design through the use of the MASS design software, toughing on other topics.

MASS Design Software:

Design of Masonry Beams

Design of Out-of-Plane Walls

Design of Masonry Shear Walls

Shear Wall Load Distribution with Openings and Movement Joints

What else is involved?

Course Workload and Expectations

The EMDC is not just a Seminar Series...

This is the equivalent of a condensed, final year undergraduate university course with the workload and technical difficulty to match.

In order to pass the course and earn a certificate, participants must meet the minimum requirements which include submitting two assignments, a minor design project, and a final exam. CMDC is available to offer guidance and extra support to ensure that everyone who puts in the time and effort will have the tools to be successful.

Full Course Timeline

All dates subject to change and will be confirmed in the final course outline

Monday, May 6th

In-person session Week #1
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Monday, May 27th

In-person session Week #2
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Monday, June 3rd

In-person session Week #3
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Monday, June 17th

In-person session Week #4
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Hands-On Workshop Session Date TBD

Click to expand the full schedule

Monday, May 6th

In-person session #1
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Tuesday, May 7th

Virtual Lecture
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Thursday, May 9th

Virtual Example Problem Tutorial
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Thursday, May 16th

Virtual Lecture
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Tuesday, May 21st

Virtual Lecture
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Thursday, May 23rd

Virtual Example Problem Tutorial
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Thursday, May 23rd

Assignment 1 submission deadline

Monday, May 27th

In-person session #2
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Tuesday, May 28th

Virtual Lecture
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Thursday, May 30th

Virtual Lecture
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Monday, June 3rd

In-person session #3
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Thursday, June 6th

Assignment 2 submission deadline

Tuesday, June 11th

Virtual Lecture
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Thursday, June 13th

Virtual Example Problem Tutorial
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Monday, June 17th

Weekend in-person session #4
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

(Hands on session date TBD)

Thursday, June 20th

Assignment 3 submission deadline

Tuesday, June 25th

Virtual Lecture
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Thursday, June 27th

Virtual Example Problem Tutorial
7:30 pm  – 8:30 pm

Thursday, June 29th

Exam submission deadline

Thursday, July 6th

Design project submission deadline

Course Instructors

Bennett Banting, Ph.D., P.Eng

Director of Technical Services, Canada Masonry Design Centre

Bennett R. Banting is the current Director of Technical Services for the Canada Masonry Design Centre in the Ottawa, ON office.

He began as a graduate student with a NSERC industrial postgraduate scholarship visiting the CMDC office back in 2007 and started to work full-time for CMDC in 2012 as a NSERC industrial research and development post-doctoral fellow. His Ph.D. dissertation from McMaster University was instrumental in the introduction of masonry boundary elements and the ductile shear walls SFRS category to the 2014 edition of the CSA S304 design standard. For his work he was the recipient of the TMS Ph.D. Thesis award in 2015.

Over the years he has overseen 40+ grant-leveraged masonry research programs at 15 Universities across Canada, taught numerous full masonry design courses for professional engineers, undergraduate and graduate students at various venues, presented and spoken at numerous conferences and seminars, and has published dozens of peer-reviewed journal papers, conference papers, and other industry literature and research reports on behalf of the masonry industry. He is the current Vice Chair of CSA S304 and serves as a voting or non-voting member of several other CSA, ACI and ULC committees as well as various committees and working groups at the National Buildings Code of Canada. He has served as the technical committee chair for the 13th and 14th Canadian Masonry Symposium and is a regular reviewer of masonry publications for 7 different journals, receiving the ASCE award for outstanding reviewer twice. He is the current lead author of the Masonry Structures: Behaviour and Design, 2nd Canadian Edition masonry design textbook.


With Teaching Assistance and Support provided by:

Adrien Sparling, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Masonry Design Engineer

Adrien is part of the technical design team at the Canada Masonry Design Centre and works in close collaboration with the Association des entrepreneurs en maçonnerie du Québec (AEMQ) from the Québec regional office. Although Adrien’s technical education has been in English, his francophone background is an asset as he brings the resources of the Canada Masonry Design Centre to La Belle Province with the establishment of an office in Montreal.

Gurparam Kang, M.A.Sc., P.Eng.

Masonry Design Engineer

Gurparam studied Civil Engineering and completed his B.Eng. from Carleton University and his M.A.Sc. from the University of Waterloo. He has experience working in the consulting field as a Structural Designer at Morrison Hershfield. Since joining the team at CMDC, his duties now include providing engineering technical support to designers, as well as working to help develop the MASS design software.

Included with every EMDC Registration:

A physical copy of the CMDC Textbook ($285 value):

Masonry Structures: Behaviour and Design

which includes a complimentary copy of CSA S304-14: Design of Masonry Structures. Additionally, the 2014 CSA Standards (enforced in the Ontario Building Code starting January 2020) will be provided as part of the course.

Also included is a complimentary software trial and discount offer for the Design Software Package:

Masonry Analysis Structural Systems

Course Cost:




plus applicable taxes

OMCA Sponsorship

This course is sponsored by:

Ontario Masonry

Contractors' Association

Additional discount for OMCA Professional Members

If you are part of an office who is registered as an OMCA professional member in good standing, please contact us directly prior to registration.

Note that a copy of the CMDC Masonry Design Textbook is included ($285 value) as well as additional construction material and standards ($480 value). This also includes breakfast and lunch for all Saturday sessions.

Cancellation Policy:

A full refund minus a $100 administration fee is available provided that Canada Masonry Design Centre receives written notice of cancellation prior to May 1st, 2024

Ottawa Construction Association

9 Antares Dr,
Ottawa, ON

How to Register

This course is now available for purchase online!

In order to reserve your spot for the upcoming edition of the EMDC, you can sign up by purchasing your seat online. Click the link below to visit the product page, add the course to your cart, and then proceed to checkout.

Be sure that you sign up for the course in your area (Mississauga vs Ottawa) as spaces are limited.

Click here to get startedRegistration Instructions

Any Questions?

Contact us with the form below:

Spaces are limited!

Reserve yours today

Important: Please note that registration cannot be confirmed until payment is received.