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Masonry - Construction

Block and brick construction should comply with the relevant clauses of BS 5628-3 Code of practice for the use of masonry - materials and components, design and workmanship and BS 8000 : Workmanship on building sites, Part 3, Code of practice for masonry. The standard of workmanship will have a considerable affect on the performance (structurally and visually) on the finished masonry construction.

Masonry units should be laid in running bond with at least one quarter of the length overlapped. Other bonding patterns are possible but should be agreed with the designer to ensure the structural performance of the masonry wall is not compromised.

Lintels, joist hangers and other loadbeaing elements should be adequately supported on the masonry (preferably full size units) and may require the inclusion of padstones in heavily loaded situations.

The effect of changing or introducing dissimilar materials in the wall should be assessed, e.g. the effect of thermal bridging at openings on the wall’s overall thermal performance.

Concrete masonry units can be cut and chased. Vertical or horizontal chases should not exceed 1/3 or 1/6 the thickness of the wall/leaf respectively. Chasing should not be performed where the effect of a reduced section would affect the structural performance of the wall. Concrete masonry units will readily accept fixings (nail, bolt or plug and screw). The type of fixing should be chosen carefully to reflect the type of background and the anticipated applied load.

Acknowledgement: Concrete Society