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Masonry

DEFINITION

Brick and stone material used in construction and the development of structures.

EXPLANATION

Masonry is a commonly used type of exterior wall that makes use of brick, stone, and concrete blocks. Masonry can either be weight bearing or veneer. Masonry built structures have a longer working life than other standard building material such as wood or metal which is why they are a commonly used material. Furthermore, masonry structures are usually tied to the structure of the building to add strength and prevent movement in the case of an earthquake.

Common Masonry Material:

Brick

Stone

Concrete

Granite

Marble

Glass

Building a structure with masonry is more expensive, however more durable than other building methods. The material and method in which the masonry is installed drastically affects the quality and durability of the structure. Party’s that install the masonry are called bricklayers or masons.

Masonry Use

Masonry is typically utilized for large residential properties and walls for various building structures. Of all the material described above, concrete and brick are the most widely used.

There are a few major advantages of choosing masonry over other building methods, even when considering the substantially higher price for the material and installation. One major advantage is the fact that masonry increases the mass and strength of a building increases and give it more integrity in the long run. Another advantage of masonry is its ability to protect a property from fire damage by preventing its spread.

While building a property with masonry drastically strengthens the building, masonry also has a few disadvantages, particularly for certain types of structures. Masonry requires the building in which the property is located to have an above average strength foundation. This costs a significant amount of money, something not all builders have. Furthermore, masonry presents a few challenges such as thawing in extreme weather resulting in degradation of the property’s integrity. Because masonry is not as malleable as other building methods, finding skilled labor to alter the property’s shape can be challenging.

Masonry’s Ability’s and Limitations

Masonry’s low tensile strength- that is the strength against sudden twitches or twists during natural earth movements-is limited compared to other building types. Wooden structures for example, while they cannot hold the same weight loads or pressure, have significantly better control during rapid movements or during contact. The tensile strength of a building can be increased with added columns or thickening of the building’s walls.

Masonry does however have immense compressive strength. Compressive strength is the load and weight that a building can handle. This added strength is in many cases required for commercial and industrial buildings that have heavy weight loads and pressure.

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