You are on page 1of 1007

Technical Notes on Brick Construction

is a series of bulletins that contain design,


detailing and construction information based
on the latest technical developments in brick
masonry. Drawings, photographs, tables and
charts illustrate appropriate topics. They are
available individually or as a set. Registered
purchasers of a complete set will receive noti-
fication of new or revised editions via email.
Individual copies are available to view and
download free of charge from BIAs website
at www.gobrick.com.
To view, download or order Technical
Notes, go to the BIA website at www.
gobrick.com and select Technical Notes.
SUBJECT NUMBER
A
ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402 Building Code 3
Admixtures in Mortar 1,8
Anchor Bolts 44
Arches 31-31C
Construction 31
Flashing 31
Semi-circular 31C
Structural Design 31A
ASTM International Standards
Anchors and Ties 7A, 28B, 44B
Brick 9A
Mortar 8
Pavers 9A, 14
Testing 39 Series
B
Barrier Walls 7
Beams 17B
Bearing Walls
(see Engineered Brick Masonry)
Bonds and Patterns in Brickwork 30
Paving Patterns 14, 29
Bond Breaks 18A, 21B
Bond - Mortar 8 Series
Reinforced Brick Masonry 17, 17A
Brick Sizes 9B, 10
C
Calculated Fire Resistance 16
Caps 36A
Cavity Walls 21-21C
Construction 21C
Detailing 21B
Glazed Brick 13
Materials 21A
Passive Solar Heating 43
Properties 21
Chimneys 19-19C
Classification of Brick 9A
Cleaning 20
Efflorescence 20
Coatings for Brick 6, 6A
Cold Weather Construction 1
Guide Specifications 11A
Color - Brick 9
Mortar 8
Columns and Pilasters 3B
Compressive Strength
Brick Masonry 3A, 39A, 42
Brick Units 9A, 39
Mortar 8 Series
Walls 39A, 42
Condensation 28B, 47
Control Joints (see Expansion Joints)
Copings 36
Corbels and Racking 36A
Corrosion
Metal Ties 7A, 44B
Shelf Angles 7A
Steel Lintels 7A, 31B
Coursing Tables for Brick 10
Cracking 18
Curtain and Panel Walls 17L
D
Dampproofing 46
Differential Movement 18, 18A
Bond Breaks 18A
Expansion Joints in Paving 14 Series
Expansion Joints in Walls 18A
Flexible Anchorage 18A
Material Properties 18
Structures without Shelf Angles 18A
Volume Changes and Effects 18
Dimensioning 10
Direct Gain, Passive Solar Heating 43
Drainage Walls 7
E
Efflorescence
Identification and Prevention 23
Causes and Prevention 23A
Removal 20
Empirical Design of Brick Masonry 42
Energy
Codes 4B
Embodied 48
Heat Transmission Coefficients 4
Engineered Brick Masonry
Allowable Design Stresses 3A, 39A
Bearing Wall 24
Building Code Requirements 3, 16
Construction 24F
Detailing 24G
Guide Specifications 11 Series
Material Properties 3A
Quality Control 39B
Section Properties 3B
Shear Wall Design 24C
Testing 39 Series
Wall Types and Properties 3B
Equivalent Thickness 16
Estimating Material Quantities 10
Expansion Joints 18A
Paving 14 Series
F
Fasteners for Brick Masonry 44A
Fences 29A
Field Panels 9B
Fireplaces, Residential 19-19E
Contemporary, Projected Corner,
Rumford, Multi-faced 19C
Details and Construction 19B
Finnish Style Masonry Heater 19E
Russian Style Masonry Heater 19D
Fire Resistance 16
Flashing, Types and Selection 7A
Arches 31
Details 7
Replacement 46
Flexible Paving Systems 14
Floor-Wall Connections, Bearing Wall 26
Freeze Thaw Durability 7A, 9A, 9B
Freezing, Protection from 1
G
Garden Walls 29A
Girders, Reinforced Brick Masonry 17M
Glazed Brick
Specifications 9A
Walls 13
Glossary 2
Green Building 48
Grout 17, 17A
Properties 3A
Testing 39
Guide Specifications 11 Series
H
Heat Transmission Coefficients 4
High-Lift Grouting 17A
Hollow Brick Masonry 41
Reinforced 17 Series
Hot Weather Construction 1
TECHNICAL NOTESon Brick Construction Index
June
2009
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
SUBJECT NUMBER
2009 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 4
Subject Index
SUBJECT NUMBER
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN INDEX | Subject Index | Page 2 of 4
I
Inspection 46
Reinforced Brick Masonry 17A
Initial Rate of Absorption 7A, 8B, 9A
9B, 39
L
Landscape Architecture 29-29B
Garden Walls 29A
Miscellaneous Applications 29B
Paving 14 Series
Pedestrian Applications 29
Lateral Forces, Shear Wall Design 24C
LEED 48
Lintels
Reinforced Brick 17B
Structural Steel 31B
Loadbearing Brick Homes 26
M
Maintenance 46
Cleaning 20
Manufacturing Brick 9
Material Properties 3A
Masonry Heaters 19D, 19E
Modular Brick Masonry 10
Moisture Control
Barrier Walls 7
Caps and Copings 7, 36A
Condensation 47
Corrosion 7A, 31B, 44B
Drainage Walls 7
Flashing 7A
Glazed Brick Walls 13
Maintenance 46
Mortar 8
Rain Screen Wall 27
Repointing 46
Water Repellent Coatings 6A
Weeps 7
Moisture Expansion 18
Mortars for Brickwork 8 Series
Cold Weather Construction 1
Efflorescence 8, 23 Series
Estimating Quantities 10
Guide Specifications 11E
Joints 7B, 21C
Materials 8
Mixing 8B
Paving Systems 14
Quality Assurance 8B
Reinforced Masonry 17A
Repointing 46
Selection 8B
Movement (see Differential Movement)
N
Noise Barrier Walls 45
Structural Design 45A
P
Painting Brick Masonry 6
Parapets 7, 18 Series, 36A
Passive Solar
Cooling 43C
Details 43G
Heating 43
Materials 43D
Patterns 30
Paving Systems 14 Series
Accessibility 14
Bases 14
Clay Pavers 9A, 14
Cleaning 20
Coatings 6A
Details 14 Series
Drainage 14 Series
Edge Restraint 14 Series
Expansion Joints 14 Series
Ice and Snow Removal 14
Installation 14 Series
Interlock 14A
Maintenance 14 Series
Patterns 14, 29
Permeable Pavements 14
Sand Setting Bed 14A
Traffic 14
Piers and Pilasters 3B
Portland Cement/Lime Mortar 8 Series
Prefabricated Brick Masonry
Introduction 40
Thin Brick 28C
Pressure-Equalized Rain Screen Wall 27
R
Rain Penetration (see Moisture Control)
Rain Screen Wall 27
Recycled Content 48
Reinforced Brick Masonry
Beams 17B
Curtain and Panel Walls 17L
Flexural Design 17B
Girders 17M
High-Lift Grouted 17A
History 17
Hollow Brick Masonry 26, 41
Inspection 17A
Lintel Design 17B
Materials 17A
Mortar and Grout 17A
Specifications 11 Series
Workmanship 17A
Repointing 46
Retrofit 28A
Rigid Paving Systems 14
Rumford Fireplaces 19C
R-Values 4, 4B
S
Salvaged Brick 15
Sealers (see Water Repellents)
Sealants 18A, 28
Section Properties 3B
Selection of Brick 9B
Serpentine Walls 29A
Shelf Angles
Typical Details 7, 28B
Corrosion Resistance 7A
Single-Wythe Bearing Walls 26
Sills 36
Sizes of Brick 9B, 10
Slip/Skid Resistance 14
Soffits 36
Solar Energy (see Passive Solar Systems)
Sound Barriers (see Noise Barrier Walls)
Sound Insulation 5A
Spalling 46
Specifications, General 11 Series
ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602 3
Brick 9A
Cold and Hot Weather Construction 1
Mortars 8, 11E
Pavers 9A
Stains
Identification and Prevention 23
Removal 20
Steel Studs 28B
Steps and Ramps 29
Sustainability 48
Sustainable Development 29
T
Terminology 2
Terraces 29
Testing of Brick and Mortar 39 Series
Allowable Design Stresses 3A, 39A
Quality Control 39B
Thermal Expansion of Walls 18 Series
Thermal Storage Walls, Passive Solar
Heating 43
Thermal Transmission Coefficients 4
Thin Brick 28C
Ties and Reinforcement
Adjustable 44B
Corrosion Resistance 7A, 44B
Joint Reinforcement 44B
Specifications 11A
Tolerances 9A, 11C
Tooling 7B
Tuckpointing (see Repointing)
U
Used Brick 15
U-Values 4, 4B
V
Veneer Construction 28 Series
Existing Construction 28A
Hollow Brick 41
Steel Studs 28B
Thin Brick Veneer 28C
Wood Studs 28
W
Wall Ties 44B
Water Penetration (see Moisture Control)
Water Repellent Coatings 6A
Weeps 7, 46
Winter Construction
(See Cold Weather Construction)
Workmanship 7B, 21C
Reinforced Brick Masonry 17A
Specifications 11 Series
SUBJECT NUMBER SUBJECT NUMBER SUBJECT NUMBER
Numerical Index
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN INDEX | Numerical Index | Page 3 of 4
Technical Notes are rewritten to include new
technical information. The issue date of a current
Technical Note is shown between brackets [ ].
Current editions supersede earlier editions.
The designation Reissued indicates that the
edition of the Technical Note shown in brackets [ ]
has been thoroughly reviewed and found to be
technically accurate. Other editions dated on or
after the bracketed [ ] date are still valid; only
minor editorial changes have been made. The
reissued date appears in parentheses ( ).
Missing numbers have been discontinued.
1 [June 2006] Cold and Hot Weather
Construction
2 Rev [Jan./Feb. 1975] (Reissued March 1999)
Glossary of Terms Relating to Brick Masonry
3 Rev [July 2002] Overview of Building Code
Requirements for Masonry Structures
ACI 530-02/ASCE 5-02/TMS 402-02 and
Specifications for Masonry Structures ACI
530.1-02/ASCE 6-02/TMS 602-02
3A [Dec. 1992] Brick Masonry Material
Properties
3B [May 1993] Brick Masonry Section
Properties
4 Rev [Jan. 1982] (Reissued Sept. 1997) Heat
Transmission Coefficients of Brick Masonry
Walls
4B Rev [Feb. 2002] Energy Code Compliance
of Brick Masonry Walls
5A [June 1970] (Reissued Aug. 2000) Sound
Insulation Clay Masonry Walls
6 Rev [May 1972] (Reissued Dec. 1985)
Painting Brick Masonry
6A [Aug. 2008] Colorless Coatings for Brick
Masonry
7 [Dec. 2005] Water Penetration Resistance
Design and Detailing
7A [Dec. 2005] Water Penetration Resistance
Materials
7B [Dec. 2005] Water Penetration Resistance
Construction and Workmanship
8 [Jan. 2008] Mortars for Brickwork
8B [Oct. 2006] Mortars for Brickwork
Selection and Quality Assurance
9 [Dec. 2006] Manufacturing of Brick
9A [Oct. 2007] Specifications for and
Classification of Brick
9B Rev [Dec. 2003] Manufacturing,
Classification and Selection of Brick
Selection, Part III
10 [Feb. 2009] Dimensioning and Estimating
Brick Masonry
11 Rev [Dec. 1971] (Reissued Aug. 2001)
Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry,
Part I
11A Rev [June 1978] (Reissued Sept. 1988)
Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry,
Part II
11B Rev [Feb. 1972] (Reissued Sept. 1988)
Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry,
Part III
11C Rev [July 1972] (Reissued May 1998)
Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry,
Part IV
11D [Aug. 1972] (Reissued Sept. 1988) Guide
Specifications for Brick Masonry, Part IV
Continued
11E Rev [Sept. 1991] Guide Specifications for
Brick Masonry, Part V, Mortar and Grout
13 [Dec. 2005] Ceramic Glazed Brick Exterior
Walls
14 [Mar. 2007] Paving Systems Using Clay
Pavers
14A [Oct. 2007] Paving Systems Using Clay
Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed
15 Rev [May 1988] Salvaged Brick
16 [Mar. 2008] Fire Resistance of Brick
Masonry
17 Rev [Oct. 1996] Reinforced Brick Masonry,
Introduction
17A Rev [Aug. 1997] Reinforced Brick Masonry
Materials and Construction
17B Rev [Mar. 1999] Reinforced Brick Masonry
Beams
17L Rev [Feb./Mar. 1973] (Reissued Sept.
1988) Four-inch RBM Curtain and Panel
Walls
17M [July 1968] (Reissued Sept. 1988)
Reinforced Brick Masonry Girders
Examples
18 [Oct. 2006] Volume Changes Analysis and
Effects of Movement
18A [Nov. 2006] Accommodating Expansion of
Brickwork
19 Rev [Jan. 1993] Residential Fireplace
Design
19A Rev [May 1980] (Reissued Aug. 2000)
Residential Fireplaces, Details and
Construction
19B Rev [June 1980] (Reissued Apr. 1998)
Residential Chimneys Design and
Construction
19C Rev [Oct. 2001] Contemporary Brick
Masonry Fireplaces
19D [Jan. 1983] (Reissued June 1987) Brick
Masonry Fireplaces, Part I, Russian-Style
Heaters
19E [1983] (Reissued Feb. 1998) Brick
Masonry Fireplaces, Part II Fountain and
Contemporary Style Heaters
20 [June 2006] Cleaning Brickwork
21 Rev [Aug. 1998] Brick Masonry Cavity Walls
Introduction
21A Rev [Feb. 1999] Brick Masonry Cavity
Walls Selection of Materials
21B [Apr. 2002] Brick Masonry Cavity Walls
Detailing
21C Rev [Oct. 1989] Brick Masonry Cavity
Walls Construction
23 [June 2006] Stains Identification and
Prevention
23A [June 2006] Efflorescence Causes and
Prevention
24 Rev [June 2002] Brick Masonry Bearing
Walls Introduction
24C Rev [Sept./Oct. 1970] (Reissued May
1988) The Contemporary Bearing Wall
Introduction to Shear Wall Design
24F Rev [Nov./Dec. 1974] (Reissued Sept.
1988) The Contemporary Bearing Wall
Construction
24G [Dec. 1968] (Reissued Feb. 1987) The
Contemporary Bearing Wall Detailing
26 Rev [Sept. 1994] Single Wythe Bearing
Walls
27 Rev [Aug. 1994] Brick Masonry Rain Screen
Walls
28 Rev [Aug. 2002] Anchored Brick Veneer,
Wood Frame Construction
28A [Apr. 2008] Adding Brick Veneer to
Existing Construction
28B [Dec. 2005] Brick Veneer / Steel Stud
Walls
28C [Jan. 1986] (Reissued Jan. 2001) Thin
Brick Veneer Introduction
29 Rev [July 1994] Brick in Landscape
Architecture Pedestrian Applications
29A Rev [Nov. 1968] (Reissued Jan. 1999)
Brick in Landscape Architecture Garden
Walls
29B [Apr. 1967] (Reissued May 1988) Brick
in Landscape Architecture Miscellaneous
Applications
30 Rev [Mar. 1999] Bonds and Patterns in
Brickwork
31 Rev [Jan. 1995] Brick Masonry Arches
31A [Oct. 1967] (Reissued July 1986)
Structural Design of Brick Masonry Arches
31B Rev [Nov./Dec. 1981] (Reissued May
1987) Structural Steel Lintels
31C Rev [Feb. 1971] (Reissued Aug. 1986)
Structural Design of Semicircular Brick
Masonry Arches
36 Rev [July/Aug. 1981] (Reissued Jan. 1998)
Brick Masonry Details, Sills and Soffit
36A Rev [Sept./Oct. 1981] (Reissued Feb.
2001) Brick Masonry Details, Caps and
Copings, Corbels and Racking
39 Rev [Nov. 2001] Testing for Engineered
Brick Masonry Brick and Mortar
39A [July/Aug. 1975] (Reissued Dec. 1987)
Testing for Engineered Brick Masonry
Determination of Allowable Design Stresses
39B Rev [Mar. 1988] Testing for Engineered
Brick Masonry Quality Control
40 Rev [Aug. 2001] Prefabricated Brick
Masonry Introduction
41 [Jan. 2008] Hollow Brick Masonry
42 Rev [Nov. 1991] Empirical Design of Brick
Masonry
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN INDEX | Numerical Index | Page 4 of 4
43 Rev [May/June 1981] Passive Solar Heating
with Brick Masonry Part I Introduction
43C [Mar. 1980] (Reissued Feb. 2001) Passive
Solar Cooling with Brick Masonry, Part I
Introduction
43D [Sept./Oct. 1980] (Reissued Sept. 1988)
Brick Passive Solar Heating Systems, Part IV
Material Properties
43G [Mar./Apr. 1981] (Reissued Sept. 1986)
Brick Passive Solar Heating Systems, Part
VII Details and Construction
44 [Apr. 1986] Anchor Bolts for Brick Masonry
44A [May 1986] (Reissued Aug. 1997)
Fasteners for Brick Masonry
44B Rev [May 2003] Wall Ties for Brick
Masonry
45 [Feb. 1991] (Reissued July 2001) Brick
Masonry Noise Barrier Walls Introduction
45A [Apr. 1992] Brick Masonry Noise Barrier
Walls Structural Design
46 [Dec. 2005] Maintenance of Brick Masonry
47 [June 2006] Condensation Prevention and
Control
48 [June 2009] Sustainability and Brick
Changes to Technical Notes
(since December 2005)
New and Revised
1 June 2006
6A August 2008
7 December 2005
7A December 2005
7B December 2005
8 January 2008
8B October 2006
9 December 2006
9A October 2007
10 (replaces 10, 10A & 10B) February 2009
13 December 2005
14 March 2007
14A October 2007
16 (replaces 16 & 16B) March 2008
18 October 2006
18A November 2006
20 June 2006
23 June 2006
23A June 2006
28A April 2008
28B December 2005
41 January 2008
46 (replaces 7F) December 2005
47 (replaces 7C & 7D) June 2006
48 June 2009
Retired
7C (replaced by 47) June 2006
7D (replaced by 47) June 2006
7F (replaced by 46) December 2005
8A January 2008
10A (replaced by 10) February 2009
10B (replaced by 10) February 2009
16B (replaced by 16) March 2008
Cold and Hot Weather Construction
Abstract: This Technical Note defines cold and hot weather conditions related to brick masonry construction and describes
the unfavorable effects of these conditions on masonry materials and their performance. It provides information on weather
prediction necessary for construction planning and recommends practices to achieve optimum performance of masonry con-
structed during periods of extreme temperatures.
Key Words: absorption, ambient temperature, climatology, cold weather, evaporation, freezing, grout, hot weather, meteorology.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
1
June
2006
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
Comply with cold and hot weather requirements of appli-
cable building codes
Follow requirements given in Table 1
Page 1 of 9
INTRODUCTION
Adequate planning and preparation can make brick construction possible in virtually all weather conditions. Cold
and hot weather can negatively affect masonry materials and the quality of constructed masonry. However, imple-
menting recommended changes to construction practices can usually ensure quality construction. Although nor-
mal, cold, and hot are relative terms, normal, used in this Technical Note, is any temperature between 40 F
and 100 F (4.4 C and 37.8 C). Cold is defined as temperature below 40 F (4.4 C); and hot, any temperature
above 100 F (37.8 C).
BUILDING CODE REQUIREMENTS
In many instances, building codes include mandatory measures intended to ensure the quality of masonry con-
structed during cold or hot weather. The International Building Code (IBC) [Ref. 1] includes a list of required cold
and hot weather construction provisions for masonry that are essentially identical to those found in Specification
for Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602) [Ref. 11] and required by Building Code Requirements
for Masonry Structures (ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402) [Ref. 6], both of which are referenced by the IBC. The
Specification for Masonry Structures provisions differ from those of the IBC in that they also require the submittal
and acceptance of a description of the hot and cold weather construction program prior to its use. The mandatory
cold and hot weather construction practices required by the IBC and Building Code Requirements for Masonry
Structures are summarized in Table 1.
Specific cold and hot weather provisions are not included within the International Residential Code (IRC) [Ref.
2]. However, the IRC states that mortar for use in masonry construction shall comply with ASTM C 270, which
requires mortar for other than masonry veneer to be prepared in accordance with the Masonry Industry Council's
"Hot and Cold Weather Masonry Construction Manual" [Ref. 8]. Hot and cold weather provisions apply to brick
veneer when the provisions of Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures are used in lieu of the IRC
masonry provisions.
PLANNING FOR EXTREME WEATHER
To successfully build during periods of extreme weather conditions, designers and contractors utilize knowledge of
local meteorological conditions, as well as historic climatological information for a given area. During project plan-
ning, designers are concerned with climatological data such as the average and extreme daytime and nighttime
temperatures or average wind velocity for use in designing mechanical or structural systems. Contractors, how-
ever, are more concerned with meteorological conditions during construction, such as hourly temperatures and
mean daily temperature, as well as the predicted temperatures and wind velocities for the next few days. Mean
daily temperature is determined by adding together the maximum temperature for each day (24 hours, midnight
to midnight) and the minimum temperature for the same day and dividing by two. Ambient temperature as used in
this Technical Note is the outdoor temperature at the time considered.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 1 | Cold and Hot Weather Construction | Page 2 of 9
Temperature
1
Preparation Requirements Construction Requirements Protection Requirements
(Prior to Work) (Work in Progress) (After Masonry Is Placed)
Shade materials and mixing
equipment from direct sunlight.
Comply with hot weather
requirements below.
Comply with hot weather requirements
below.
Maintain mortar and grout at a
temperature below 120 F (48.9 C).
Provide necessary conditions and
equipment to produce mortar having
a temperature below 120 F (48.9 C).
Flush mixer, mortar transport container,
and mortar boards with cool water
before they come into contact with
mortar ingredients or mortar.
Maintain sand piles in a damp,
loose condition.
Maintain mortar consistency by
retempering with cool water.
Use mortar within 2 hr of initial mixing.
N
o
r
m
a
l

W
e
a
t
h
e
r
100 F to 40 F
(37.8 C to 4.4 C)
Normal Procedures. Normal Procedures. Normal Procedures.
40 F to 32 F
(4.4 C to 0 C)
Do not lay masonry units having
either a temperature below 20F
(-6.7C) or containing frozen
moisture, visible ice, or snow on their
surface.
Remove visible ice and snow
from the top surface of existing
foundations and masonry to
receive new construction. Heat these
surfaces above freezing, using
methods that do not result in
damage.
Heat mixing water or sand to produce
mortar between 40 F (4.4 C) and 120
F (48.9 C).
Do not heat water or aggregates used in
mortar or grout above 140 F (60 C).
Heat grout materials when their
temperature is below 32 F (0 C).
Completely cover newly
constructed masonry with a
weather-resistive membrane for
24 hr after construction.
Comply with cold weather requirements
above.
Maintain mortar temperature above
freezing until used in masonry.
Heat grout materials so grout is at a
temperature between 70 F (21.1 C)
and 120 F (48.9 C) during mixing and
placed at a temperature above
70 F (21.1 C).
Comply with cold weather requirements
above.
Heat masonry surfaces under
construction to 40F (4.4C) and use
wind breaks or enclosures when the
wind velocity exceeds 15 mph
(24 km/h).
Heat masonry to a minimum of 40F
(4.4C) prior to grouting.
Comply with cold weather requirements
above.
32 F to 25 F
(0 C to -3.9 C)
Comply with cold weather
requirements above.
Comply with cold weather requirements
above.
Provide enclosure and heat to maintain
air temperatures above
32 F (0 C) within the enclosure.
20 F and Below
(-6.7 C and Below)
Comply with cold weather
requirements above.
Comply with cold weather
requirements above.
25 F to 20 F
(-3.9 C to -6.7 C)
1. Preparation and Construction requirements are based on ambient temperatures. Protection requirements, after masonry is placed, are based on mean daily temperatures .
Use cool mixing water for mortar and
grout. Ice must be melted or removed
before water is added to other mortar or
grout materials.
Above 115 F or
105 F with a wind
velocity over 8 mph
(46.1 C or 40.6 C
with a 12.9 km/hr wind)
H
o
t

W
e
a
t
h
e
r

Maintain newly constructed masonry
temperature above 32F (0C) for at
least 24 hr after being completed by
using heated enclosures, electric
heating blankets, infrared lamps, or
other acceptable methods. Extend time
period to 48 hr for grouted masonry,
unless the only cement in the grout is
Type III portland cement.
C
o
l
d

W
e
a
t
h
e
r

Completely cover newly
constructed masonry with weather-
resistive insulating blankets or equal
protection for 24 hr after completion of
work. Extend time period to 48 hr for
grouted masonry, unless the
only cement in the grout is Type III
portland cement.
Comply with hot weather requirements
below.
Fog spray newly constructed masonry
until damp, at least three times a day
until the masonry is
three days old.
Above 100 F or
90 F with 8 mph wind
(above 37.8 C or
32.2 C with a
12.9 km/hr
wind)
TABLE 1
Requirements for Masonry Construction in Hot and Cold Weather
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 1 | Cold and Hot Weather Construction | Page 3 of 9
Meteorological information can be obtained from the National Weather Service, a branch of the National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The National Weather Service has information centers
located at major airports in cities throughout the country. These centers provide current weather information and
regularly scheduled weather forecasts for the surrounding region.
Climatological information can be obtained from the National Climatic Data Center, also a branch of NOAA. The
National Climatic Data Center usually provides climatic information in the form of maps as shown in Figure 1.
These maps contain daily, monthly and annual data for a region and may be obtained free online or by contacting
the Center [Ref. 7].
NEGATING THE EFFECTS OF COLD WEATHER
Successful construction considers the effects of cold weather on masonry materials in the planning, scheduling
and set up of the masonry work and protection of the completed work. This section describes the properties of
masonry and masonry materials that are changed by low temperatures and code prescribed construction pro-
cedures that overcome these effects. In addition to anticipating specific weather conditions, these provisions,
presented in Table 1, assist the contractor in determining how to protect building materials, unfinished and newly
constructed masonry.
In regard to the quality of masonry constructed during cold weather, perhaps the most critical factor is ensuring
that mortar and grout maintain adequate heat for normal cement hydration. Without sufficient heat, cement hydra-
tion slows and may stop completely, arresting the development of the masonrys compressive and bond strengths.
Heating Materials
Masonry Units. Masonry units are the components of a masonry assembly least affected by below-normal tem-
peratures. The physical properties of masonry units are essentially unchanged by cold weather, however, the tem-
perature of brick and their absorption characteristics influence the rate of freezing of masonry. A cold masonry unit
will have a slightly smaller volume than one at normal temperatures.
Cold units draw heat from mortar and more rapidly reduce the temperature of mortar to points at which normal
cement hydration is retarded and freezing occurs. Preheating masonry units prior to laying helps to maintain heat
within the mortar and minimize the effect of cold temperatures on mortar hydration. When ambient temperatures
are below 20 F (-6.7 C), masonry units must be heated to a temperature of at least 40 F (4.4 C) prior to laying.
Masonry units having either a temperature below 20 F (-6.7 C) or containing frozen moisture, visible ice or snow
on their surface must not be laid. Frozen masonry units must be thawed and should by dried before use. Unit tem-
perature can be measured using a metallic surface contact thermometer or flat, instant-read thermometer.
It may be advantageous to heat brick even when ambient temperatures are above 20 F (-6.7 C). Preheated
brick will exhibit the same absorption characteristics as those laid at normal temperatures. Brick with higher Initial
Rates of Absorption (IRAs) more rapidly absorb water from mortar or grout, thereby reducing the risk of damage
from the expansive forces of freezing water in the mortar.
Mortar. Mortar mixed using cold materials has different properties from mortar mixed with materials at normal tem-
peratures. Low temperatures retard the hydration of the cement in mortar. Mortar mixed during cold weather often
Figure 1
Examples of Climatic Data Available
J anuary Mean Daily Maximum Temperature J anuary Mean Daily Minimum Temperature
LEGEND
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 1 | Cold and Hot Weather Construction | Page 4 of 9
has lower water content, increased air content, and reduced early strength compared with mortar mixed at normal
temperatures.
In freezing weather, ice may be present in mixing water and moisture in the sand may turn to ice. Ice in the mixing
water must be melted or removed before the water can be added to the mixer. Do not use sand containing frozen
particles or frost. At a minimum, any ice must be melted and additional heating may further improve mortar perfor-
mance.
Avoid freezing of mortar during construction in all cases. In cold weather, mix mortar in smaller amounts so it can
be used before it cools. In any case, use mortar within 2
1
/2 hours from the time of initial mixing. Mortar that freezes
may experience significant reductions in compressive strength. Further, bond strength, extent of bond and water
penetration resistance of masonry may be reduced. Mortar having a water content exceeding six percent of the
total volume may be damaged due to the increase in volume as freezing water is converted to ice.
Mortar mixed with heated materials can approximate the performance characteristics of mortar mixed at normal
temperatures. For these reasons, the codes include requirements for heating mortar materials.
When ambient temperatures fall below 40 F (4.4 C) sand or mixing water must be heated to produce mortar that
is between 40 F (4.4 C) and 120 F (48.9 C) at the time of mixing. Ideal temperatures for mortar are between
60 F (15.6 C) and 80 F (26.7 C). Mortar temperatures over 120

F (48.9 C) may lead to flash set, resulting in
lower compressive strength and reduced bond strength. Thus, do not heat sand or water above 140 F (60.0 C).
Water is the easiest and best material to heat because it does not lose heat readily. Heating prepackaged materi-
als such as portland, mortar and masonry cements and hydrated lime can be difficult. If the air temperature is
below 32 F (0 C), maintain the temperature of mortar above freezing until used.
Consider altering mortar constituents or proportions within permissible ranges to reduce the impacts of cold
weather. Increasing sand content provides a stiffer mortar that better supports the weight of subsequently laid
masonry. Using masonry or mortar cements, or reducing lime content allows mortars to lose water more rap-
idly, thus reducing the potential for freezing. High-early-strength (Type III) portland cement may also be used to
increase the rate of early strength gain. If a brick with a low IRA is used, the water content of the mortar should be
the minimum necessary for workability. Set accelerating admixtures, as discussed later in Other Cold Weather
Considerations may also be used, however heating and protection measures are still required.
Avoid freezing of mortar during construction in all cases, and protect mortar in newly completed masonry from
freezing. Specific requirements for protection of mortar are found in Table 1.
Grout. High water content is necessary in grout for ease of flow, but it greatly increases the amount of volumet-
ric expansion which can occur upon freezing. Thus grout, like mortar, must be mixed with heated materials if the
temperature of the materials is below 32 F (0 C), to prevent the damaging effects of freezing. If the ambient tem-
perature is below 32 F (0 C), grout aggregates and mixing water must be heated to produce a grout temperature
between 70 F (21.1 C) and 120 F (48.9 C) at the time of mixing. Do not heat grout aggregates and mixing
water above 140 F (60.0 C) and keep the grout temperature above 70 F (21.1 C) when it is placed. High-early-
strength (Type III) portland cement may be used to increase the rate of early strength gain of grout. Admixtures
may also be used, but heating and protection of the grouted masonry is still required. All grout must be placed
within 1
1
/2 hours of mixing.
Newly Constructed and Completed Masonry. Because the hydration of cement is a process that continues for
an extended period, it is necessary to ensure that masonry surfaces under construction do not extract excessive
heat from mortar and grout. Code provisions address this by requiring masonry under construction, or that is to
receive grout, to be heated to a minimum temperature of 40 F (4.4 C) when the ambient temperature reaches 25
F (-3.9 C) or below. If wind velocities exceed 15 mph, wind breaks or enclosures must be used during construc-
tion. In addition to these measures, if the ambient temperature falls to 20 F (-6.7 C) or below, the masonry under
construction must be enclosed and the air within the enclosure maintained at a temperature above 32 F (0 C).
Newly constructed masonry that is frozen may be moistened after thawing to reactivate the hydration process and
continue to develop strength.
If snow or ice is visible on existing foundations or masonry, the codes prohibit building new masonry on them.
There is danger of movement when the base thaws, and bond cannot be developed between the mortar bed and
frozen supporting surfaces. Ice and snow must be removed and the top surface must be heated to above freez-
ing, in a manner that does not damage the masonry.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 1 | Cold and Hot Weather Construction | Page 5 of 9
Protecting Materials and Masonry
In addition to heating materials to adjust for cold weather, the
IBC and Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures
require protection of masonry constructed in cold weather.
Protection is one of the most effective adjustments that can
be made to construction practices.
Material Storage. Careless material storage can increase
the cost of laying masonry if removal of ice and snow from
materials and thawing of masonry units is necessary before
construction begins. Measures to consider include covering
masonry materials with tarpaulins or polyethylene sheets to
keep them dry and free of ice and snow, locating sand so
that water does not drain into it and storing masonry units on
raised platforms to avoid contact with the ground.
Newly Constructed Masonry. As mentioned, the develop-
ment of strength and bond in masonry continues for some
time after the masonry is completed, and may be com-
promised if freezing occurs. Therefore, newly constructed
masonry must be protected so that it maintains enough heat
for cement hydration. When the mean daily temperature falls
to 40 F (4.4 C) or below, a series of protective measures
are required, beginning with covering newly constructed
masonry with a weather-resistive membrane for 24 hr after
completion. As temperatures decrease, more stringent pro-
tection is required. Specific provisions for the progressively
colder temperatures are presented in Table 1.
Materials used to cover brickwork should be weighted or oth-
erwise fixed in place and extend a minimum of 2 ft (0.6 m)
down each side of the wall, as shown in Photo 1, to prevent
contamination by water, ice or snow.
HEATING METHODS AND
EQUIPMENT
Individual Materials
There are many types of equipment are available as sources
of heat for cold weather construction. The type selected will
depend upon availability of equipment, fuel source, econom-
ics, size of project and severity of exposure. A few common
methods for heating individual materials are described below.
Materials may also be heated by placing them within heated
enclosures prior to use.
Both water and sand used in mortar and grout may be heat-
ed to provide proper temperatures for construction. Sand
may be heated by placing an electric heating pad on top of
the sand pile and covering with a weather-resistant tarpaulin,
as shown in Photo 2. The electric pad can safely heat the
sand overnight without exceeding a temperature of 100 F
(37.8 C). A more labor intensive method of heating the sand
is to place over a heated pipe or to pile the sand around a
horizontal metal culvert or smoke stack section in which a
slow fire is built, as shown in Photo 3.
Photo 1
Cover Protecting Newly Constructed
Masonry
Photo 2
Heating of a Sand Pile
with an Electric Blanket
Photo 3
Sand Pile Warmed by Heated Pipe
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 1 | Cold and Hot Weather Construction | Page 6 of 9
Other methods for heating sand involve the use of a steam lance or other steam heaters. Pay careful attention to
the fire or other heat source and the sand as it should be heated slowly to avoid scorching.
Alternatively, an electric rod can be used to heat mixing water and sand simultaneously. The electric heating rod
is placed in a drum of water in the center of a sand pile. The rod heats the water over several hours. The sand
surrounding the drum slowly absorbs heat from the drum and insulates the drum from further heat losses.
Mortar may also be placed on electrically heated mortar boards to help maintain proper temperature. Be careful
to avoid excessive drying of the mortar.
Newly Constructed Masonry (Enclosures)
Contractors have used several different methods to provide heat and protection for newly constructed masonry,
including complete and partial enclosures. Large tents, temporary wood structures covered with clear plastic,
and shelters built of prefabricated panels covered with clear plastic sheets are examples of complete enclosures.
Partial enclosures often consist of enclosed scaffolds which may be moved from floor to floor when necessary, as
shown in Photo 4. Commercial electric blankets may also be used to cover walls and provide heat during the cur-
ing period.
Forced air heaters (sometimes called torpedo heaters or salamanders) are widely used as a source of heat within
enclosures. When complete enclosure of the work area is provided, space heaters are recommended, as shown
in Photo 5. Cold weather provisions require circulation of warm air on both sides of the masonry wall within the
enclosure.
OTHER COLD WEATHER CONSIDERATIONS
Admixtures
Accelerators. Accelerators are admixtures used to speed the setting time of mortar and grout. By increasing the
rate of cement hydration, accelerators increase the rate of early strength gain. The most common accelerators
are inorganic salts such as calcium chloride, calcium nitrate, soluble carbonates and some organic compounds.
Evaluate any accelerator for deleterious effects on masonry strength and materials. Admixtures that contribute to
staining or efflorescence or cause corrosion of metal accessories are not desirable for use in masonry construc-
tion. Indiscriminate use of accelerators can adversely affect the performance of the completed masonry. Using
accelerators alone does not address all concerns related to cold weather construction and is not recommended.
Masonry constructed using accelerators in mortar or grout must still be protected from freezing as cement hydra-
tion essentially stops at temperatures below 40 F (4.4 C).
Calcium chloride, while highly effective as an accelerator and widely used in the past, is not recommended as it
causes corrosion of metals used in masonry such as ties, anchors and reinforcement. For this reason, admixtures
with more than 0.2 percent chloride ions are prohibited for use in mortar when masonry is constructed under
the provisions of Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures. The incidence of efflorescence may also
increase if the accelerator contains excessive salts.
Photo 5
Space Heater in Enclosure
Photo 4
Scaffold Enclosures
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 1 | Cold and Hot Weather Construction | Page 7 of 9
Calcium nitrite and calcium nitrate are inorganic non-chloride compounds also used as accelerators. These com-
pounds require higher dosages by weight and are more costly than calcium chloride, but will not corrode metals or
contribute to efflorescence.
Antifreeze. Do not use antifreeze compounds. These admixtures are alcohols or combinations of salts. If used
in the quantities required to be effective, significant reductions in mortar compressive and bond strengths usually
result. Most commercial mortar antifreeze admixtures do not lower the freezing point of mortar or grout, but are
actually accelerators. However, some true antifreeze admixtures are available.
NON-MANDATORY COLD WEATHER RECOMMENDATIONS
In addition to the mandatory requirements for cold weather masonry construction found in Table 1, the following
items can be incorporated in the specifications of the project manual where applicable:
- Protect masonry units, cementitious materials and sand so that they are not contaminated by rain, snow
or ground water.
- Units with higher initial rates of absorption (up to 40 g/min/30 in.
2

(40 g/min/194 cm
2
)) may be used to
resist mortar freezing. However, units with suctions in excess of 30 g/min/30 in.
2
(30 g/min/194 cm
2
)
should be wetted, but not saturated, with heated water just prior to laying. Water used for wetting should
be above 70 F (21.1 C) when units are above 32 F (0 C). If units are 32 F (0 C) or below, water tem-
perature should be above 120 F (48.9 C).
If walls are properly covered when work is halted, ice or snow removal from walls should not be necessary.
However, in the event that the covering is displaced, the top course may be thawed with steam or a carefully
applied portable blowtorch. The heat should be sustained long enough to thoroughly dry the masonry. If portions
of the masonry are frozen or damaged, replace defective parts before progressing with new work.
NEGATING THE EFFECTS OF HOT WEATHER
This section describes the properties of masonry and masonry materials that are changed by high temperatures
and the code prescribed procedures that overcome these effects.
Periods of hot weather may also adversely affect the construction of masonry. The contractor must ensure that the
quality of masonry construction does not suffer from the effect of high temperatures. The IBC and Building Code
Requirements for Masonry Structures define hot weather as temperatures above 100 F (37.8 C); however, wind
speed, relative humidity and solar radiation also influence the absorption of masonry units, the rate of set, and the
drying rate of mortar.
High temperatures and high humidity are not as damaging to the performance of the masonry as are low tem-
peratures and low humidity. The increased rate of cement hydration and favorable curing conditions in hot, humid
weather will help develop masonry strength if sufficient water is present at the time of construction.
The primary concern during hot weather is rapid evaporation and absorption of water from the mortar. Without suf-
ficient water, cement hydration slows or stops and the bond strength and extent of bond between brick and mortar
is reduced. The integrity of the masonry may also be compromised if mortar that is too hot flash sets before it
completes hydration.
The adjustments to construction practices required by the IBC and Building Code Requirements for Masonry
Structures further improve the quality of masonry constructed in hot weather. These mandatory provisions, trig-
gered when the ambient air temperature reaches 100 F (37.8 C), or 90 F (32.3 C) with a wind velocity greater
than 8 mph (12.9 km/hr), are presented in Table 1 and are discussed below along with additional non-mandatory
recommendations for successful hot weather construction. Keeping materials cool during periods of hot weather
provides the best results.
Cooling Materials
Lowering the temperature of materials may be the easiest approach to achieving performance characteristics
associated with masonry constructed at normal temperatures.
Masonry Units. Masonry units are not significantly affected by hot weather. However, the interaction between the
masonry units and the mortar or grout is critical. Masonry units that are hot absorb more water from mortar and
increase the temperature of the masonry. Lower bond strength and extent of bond result if not enough water is
present in the mortar when the units are laid.
Keep masonry units cool by storing them in a shaded area. Shading of masonry units from direct sunlight is
required when ambient temperatures exceed 115 F (46.1 C) or 105 F (40.6 C) with a wind velocity over 8
mph (12.9 km/hr).
Brick with field IRAs over 30 g/min/30 in.
2
(30 g/min/194 cm
2
) may be required to be wetted prior to laying to
reduce their rate of absorption. Otherwise, they can draw too much water from the mortar too quickly. Brick may
be required to be surface dry at the time of laying and have an IRA less than 30 g/min/30 in.
2

(30 g/min/194 cm
2
).
Brick may be wetted immediately before laying, but the preferred method is to wet them 3 to 24 hours before use.
Mortar. Mortar mixed at high temperatures often has a higher water content, lower air content, and a shorter
board life than mortar mixed at normal temperatures. It also tends to lose plasticity rapidly due to evaporation of
water and the increased rate of cement hydration. Consider using mortar with a high lime content and high water
retention. Rapid stiffening of hot mortar, or flash set, occurs if mortar plasticity is lost before the cement hydrates
sufficiently. To avoid this, be sure mortar used during hot weather maintains a temperature less than 120 F (48.9 C).
Retempering of mortar with cool water should always be permitted, and is required for maintaining consistency
during hot weather. Use mortar within 2 hr of initial mixing. Hot weather provisions require that all mortar materials
be shaded from direct sunlight when the ambient temperature exceeds 115 F (46.1 C) or 105 F (40.6 C) with a
wind velocity over 8 mph (12.9 km/hr).
Sand. When ambient temperatures exceed 100 F (37.8 C) or 90 F (32.2 C) with winds exceeding 8 mph
(12.9 km/hr), keep sand in a damp, loose condition. This can be achieved by sprinkling sand piles with water, and
leaving them uncovered, which also reduces the temperature of the sand through evaporative cooling. Damp sand
takes longer to heat up.
Water. Cool water may be used to help control the temperature of mortar and grout. Cool mixing water for mortar
and grout are required by hot weather provisions when the ambient temperature exceeds 115 F (46.1 C) or 105 F
(40.6 C) with a wind velocity of 8 mph (12.9 km/hr). Ice is highly effective in reducing the temperature of the mix
water. Ice must be completely melted or removed before combining the water with any other ingredients.
Grout. Grout reacts to hot weather in a manner similar to mortar. Water evaporates more rapidly and thereby
reduces the water-cement ratio. Because grout requires a slump of at least 8 in. (203 mm) for use in masonry,
maintain a high water-cement ratio by initially mixing grout with adequate water to offset evaporation. Building
Code Requirements for Masonry Structures requires grout to be used within 1
1
/2 hours of mixing. As with mortar,
ice may be used to lower the mix water temperature.
Admixtures. The use of admixtures to increase plasticity is not recommended unless their full effect on the mor-
tar is known. Admixtures for grout that increase the flow rate or reduce the water content are not recommended.
Shrinkage compensating admixtures are recommended.
Equipment. A significant amount of heat can be absorbed by equipment that is exposed to sunlight for extended
periods during hot weather. Mixers, wheelbarrows and mortar pans can impart this heat to mortar, raising its tem-
perature. Mortar boards made of wood may also absorb more water from mortar. To prevent this from compro-
mising the quality of masonry, the IBC and Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures require mixers,
containers and mortar boards to be flushed with cool water before they come in contact with mortar or mortar
materials. As with mortar materials, equipment is also required to be shaded from direct sunlight when the ambi-
ent temperature exceeds 115 F (46.1 C) or 105 F (40.6 C) with an 8 mph (12.9 km/hr) wind velocity.
Protecting Materials and Masonry
Wet curing or fog spraying may further improve masonry strength development during periods of high tempera-
tures and low relative humidity. Hot weather provisions require fog spraying of newly constructed masonry until
damp, at least three times a day for three days when the mean daily temperature exceeds 100 F (37.8 C) or
90 F (32.2 C) with a wind velocity over 8 mph (12.9 km/hr.)
Use wind breaks to prevent rapid drying of mortar during and after placement, and cover walls with a weather-
resistant membrane at the end of the work day to prevent rapid loss of moisture from the masonry assemblage.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 1 | Cold and Hot Weather Construction | Page 8 of 9
SUMMARY
Construction and protection requirements in both cold and hot weather help ensure uninterrupted, quality masonry
construction. Performance characteristics associated with materials mixed and constructed during normal tem-
peratures can be achieved by following recommendations in this Technical Note. Table 1 summarizes practices
required by building codes for cold and hot weather construction.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of
the information contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. 2003 International Building Code, International Code Council, Inc., Falls Church, VA, 2003.
2. 2003 International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, International Code Council, Inc.,
Falls Church, VA, 2003.
3. ASTM C 270, Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol.
04.05, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
4. Brown, M.L., Speeding Mortar Setting in Cold Weather, The Magazine of Masonry Construction, Vol. 2,
No. 10, Addison, IL, October 1989.
5. Bigelow, O., Cold Weather Masonry Construction, Masonry Magazine, Schaumburg, IL, October 2005.
6. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402), The Masonry Society,
Boulder, CO, 2005.
7. Color Climate Atlas Maps, National Climatic Data Center, retrieved March 20, 2006 from
http://gis.ncdc.noaa.gov/website/ims-climatls/index.html.
8. "Hot and Cold Weather Masonry Construction Manual," Masonry Industry Council, Schaumburg, IL, 1999.
9. Randall, J r., F.A., and W.C. Panarese, Concrete Masonry Handbook, Portland Cement Association,
Skokie, IL, 1991.
10. Schierhorn, C., Preventing Hot-Weather Construction Problems, The Magazine of Masonry
Construction, Vol. 7, Addison, IL, J une 1994.
11. Specification for Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602), The Masonry Society, Boulder, CO,
2005.
12. Suprenant, B.A., Laying Masonry in Cold Weather, The Magazine of Masonry Construction, Vol. 1, No.
9, Addison, IL, December 1988.
13. Van der Klugt, L.J .A.R., Frost Damage to the Pointing and Laying Mortar of Clay Brick Masonry, TNO
Building Construction and Research, 9th International Brick/Block Masonry Conference, Rijswijk, The
Netherlands, October 1991.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 1 | Cold and Hot Weather Construction | Page 9 of 9

Technical Notes 2 - Glossary of Terms Relating to Brick Masonry
Jan/Feb 1975 (Reissued Mar. 1999)
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed in either cold or boiling water for a stated
length of time. Expressed as a percentage of the weight of the dry unit. See ASTM Specification C 67.
ADMIXTURES: Materials added to mortar to impart special properties to the mortar.
ANCHOR: A piece or assemblage, usually metal, used to attach building parts (e.g., plates, joists, trusses, etc.) to
masonry or masonry materials.
ANSI: American National Standards Institute.
ARCH: A curved compressive structural member, spanning openings or recesses; also built flat.
Back Arch: A concealed arch carrying the backing of a wall where the exterior facing is carried by a lintel.
Jack Arch: One having horizontal or nearly horizontal upper and lower surfaces. Also called flat or straight arch.
Major Arch: Arch with spans greater than 6 ft and equivalent to uniform loads greater than 1000 lb. per ft. Typically
known as Tudor arch, semicircular arch, Gothic arch or parabolic arch. Has rise to span ratio greater than 0.15.
Minor Arch: Arch with maximum span of 6 ft and loads not exceeding 1000 lb. per ft. Typically known as jack arch,
segmental arch or multicentered arch. Has rise to span ratio less than or equal to 0.15.
Relieving Arch: One built over a lintel, flat arch, or smaller arch to divert loads, thus relieving the lower member
from excessive loading. Also known as discharging or safety arch.
Trimmer Arch: An arch, usually a low rise arch of brick, used for supporting a fireplace hearth.
ASHLAR MASONRY: Masonry composed of rectangular units of burned clay or shale, or stone, generally larger in
size than brick and properly bonded, having sawed, dressed or squared beds, and joints laid in mortar. Often the
unit size varies to provide a random pattern, random ashlar.
ASHRAE: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.
ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials.
BACK FILLING: 1. Rough masonry built behind a facing or between two faces. 2. Filling over the extrados of an
arch. 3. Brickwork in spaces between structural timbers, sometimes called brick nogging.
BACKUP: That part of a masonry wall behind the exterior facing.
BAT: A piece of brick.
BATTER: Recessing or sloping masonry back in successive courses; the opposite of corbel.
BED JOINT: The horizontal layer of mortar on which a masonry unit is laid.
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
1 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM
BELT COURSE: A narrow horizontal course of masonry, sometimes slightly projected such as window sills which
are made continuous. Sometimes called string course or sill course.
BLOCKING: A method of bonding two adjoining or intersecting walls, not built at the same time, by means of offsets
whose vertical dimensions are not less than 8 in.
BOND: 1. Tying various parts of a masonry wall by lapping units one over another or by connecting with metal ties.
2. Patterns formed by exposed faces of units. 3. Adhesion between mortar or grout and masonry units or
reinforcement.
BOND BEAM: Course or courses of a masonry wall grouted and usually reinforced in the horizontal direction.
Serves as horizontal tie of wall, bearing course for structural members or as a flexural member itself.
BOND COURSE: The course consisting of units which overlap more than one wythe of masonry.
BONDER: A bonding unit. See Header.
BREAKING JOINTS: Any arrangement of masonry units which prevents continuous vertical joints from occurring in
adjacent courses.
BRICK: A solid masonry unit of clay or shale, formed into a rectangular prism while plastic and burned or fired in a
kiln.
Acid-Resistant Brick: Brick suitable for use in contact with chemicals, usually in conjunction with acid-resistant
mortars.
Adobe Brick: Large roughly-molded, sun-dried clay brick of varying size.
Angle Brick: Any brick shaped to an oblique angle to fit a salient corner.
Arch Brick: 1. Wedge-shaped brick for special use in an arch. 2. Extremely hard-burned brick from an arch of a
scove kiln.
Building Brick: Brick for building purposes not especially treated for texture or color. Formerly called common
brick. See ASTM Specification C 62.
Clinker Brick: A very hard-burned brick whose shape is distorted or bloated due to nearly complete vitrification.
Common Brick: See Building Brick.
Dry-Press Brick: Brick formed in molds under high pressures from relatively dry clay (5 to 7 percent moisture
content).
Economy Brick: Brick whose nominal dimensions are 4 by 4 by 8 in.
Engineered Brick: Brick whose nominal dimensions are 4 by 3.2 by 8 in.
Facing Brick: Brick made especially for facing purposes, often treated to produce surface texture. They are made
of selected clays, or treated, to produce desired color. See ASTM Specification C 216.
Fire Brick: Brick made of refractory ceramic material which will resist high temperatures.
Floor Brick: Smooth dense brick, highly resistant to abrasion, used as finished floor surfaces. See ASTM
Specification C 410.
Gauged Brick: 1. Brick which have been ground or otherwise produced to accurate dimensions. 2. A tapered arch
brick.
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
2 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM
Hollow Brick: A masonry unit of clay or shale whose net cross-sectional area in any plane parallel to the bearing
surface is not less than 60 percent of its gross cross-sectional area measured in the same plane. See ASTM
Specification C 652.
Jumbo Brick: A generic term indicating a brick larger in size than the standard. Some producers use this term to
describe oversize brick of specific dimensions manufactured by them.
Norman Brick: A brick whose nominal dimensions are 4 by 2 2/3 by 12 in.
Paving Brick: Vitrified brick especially suitable for use in pavements where resistance to abrasion is important. See
ASTM Specification C 7.
Roman Brick: Brick whose nominal dimensions are 4 by 2 by 12 in.
Salmon Brick: Generic term for under-burned brick which are more porous, slightly larger, and lighter colored than
hard-burned brick. Usually pinkish-orange color.
"SCR Brick" (Reg U.S. Pat Off., SCPI (BIA)): See SCR (Reg U.S. Pat. Off., SCPI (BIA)).
Sewer Brick: Low absorption, abrasive-resistant brick intended for use in drainage structures. See ASTM
Specification C 32.
Soft-Mud Brick: Brick produced by molding relatively wet clay (20 to 30 percent moisture). Often a hand process.
When insides of molds are sanded to prevent sticking of clay, the product is sand-struck brick. When molds are
wetted to prevent sticking, the product is water-struck brick.
Stiff-Mud Brick: Brick produced by extruding a stiff but plastic clay (12 to 15 percent moisture) through a die.
BRICK AND BRICK: A method of laying brick so that units touch each other with only enough mortar to fill surface
irregularities.
BRICK GRADE: Designation for durability of the unit expressed as SW for severe weathering, MW for moderate
weathering, or NW for negligible weathering. See ASTM Specifications C 216, C 62 and C 652.
BRICK TYPE: Designation for facing brick which controls tolerance, chippage and distortion. Expressed as FBS,
FBX and FBA for solid brick, and HBS, HBX, HBA and HBB for hollow brick. See ASTM Specifications C 216 and C
652.
BUTTERING: Placing mortar on a masonry unit with a trowel.
CAPACITY INSULATION: The ability of masonry to store heat as a result of its mass, density and specific heat.
C/B RATIO: The ratio of the weight of water absorbed by a masonry unit during immersion in cold water to weight
absorbed during immersion in boiling water. An indication of the probable resistance of brick to freezing and thawing.
Also called saturation coefficient. See ASTM Specification C 67.
CENTERING: Temporary formwork for the support of masonry arches or lintels during construction. Also called
center(s).
CERAMIC COLOR GLAZE: An opaque colored glaze of satin or gloss finish obtained by spraying the clay body with
a compound of metallic oxides, chemicals and clays. It is burned at high temperatures, fusing glaze to body making
them inseparable. See ASTM Specification C 126.
CHASE: A continuous recess built into a wall to receive pipes, ducts, etc.
CLAY: A natural, mineral aggregate consisting essentially of hydrous aluminum silicate; it is plastic when sufficiently
wetted, rigid when dried and vitrified when fired to a sufficiently high temperature.
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
3 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM
CLAY MORTAR-MIX: Finely ground clay used as a plasticizer for masonry mortars.
CLEAR CERAMIC GLAZE: Same as Ceramic Color Glaze except that it is translucent or slightly tinted, with a gloss
finish.
CLIP: A portion of a brick cut to length.
CLOSER: The last masonry unit laid in a course. It may be whole or a portion of a unit.
CLOSURE: Supplementary or short length units used at corners or jambs to maintain bond patterns.
COLLAR JOINT: The vertical, longitudinal joint between wythes of masonry.
COLUMN: A vertical member whose horizontal dimension measured at right angles to the thickness does not exceed
three times its thickness.
COPING: The material or masonry units forming a cap or finish on top of a wall, pier, pilaster, chimney, etc. It
protects masonry below from penetration of water from above.
CORBEL: A shelf or ledge formed by projecting successive courses of masonry out from the face of the wall.
COURSE: One of the continuous horizontal layers of units, bonded with mortar in masonry.
CULLS: Masonry units which do not meet the standards or specifications and have been rejected.
DAMP COURSE: A course or layer of impervious material which prevents capillary entrance of moisture from the
ground or a lower course. Often called damp check.
DAMPPROOFING: Prevention of moisture penetration by capillary action.
DOG'S TOOTH: Brick laid with their corners projecting from the wall face.
DRIP: A projecting piece of material, shaped to throw off water and prevent its running down the face of wall or
other surface.
EBM: See Engineered Brick Masonry.
ECCENTRICITY: The normal distance between the centroidal axis of a member and the parallel resultant load.
e1/e2: Ratio of virtual eccentricities occurring at the ends of a column or wall under design. The absolute value is
always less than or equal to 1.0.
EFFECTIVE HEIGHT: The height of a member to be assumed for calculating the slenderness ratio.
EFFECTIVE THICKNESS: The thickness of a member to be assumed for calculating the slenderness ratio.
EFFLORESCENCE: A powder or stain sometimes found on the surface of masonry, resulting from deposition of
water-soluble salts.
ENGINEERED BRICK MASONRY: Masonry in which design is based on a rational structural analysis.
FACE: 1. The exposed surface of a wall or masonry unit. 2. The surface of a unit designed to be exposed in the
finished masonry.
FACING: Any material, forming a part of a wall, used as a finished surface.
FIELD: The expanse of wall between openings, corners, etc., principally composed of stretchers.
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
4 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM
FILTER BLOCK: A hollow, vitrified clay masonry unit, sometimes salt-glazed, designed for trickling filter floors in
sewage disposal plants. See ASTM Specification C 159.
FIRE CLAY: A clay which is highly resistant to heat without deforming and used for making brick.
FIRE RESISTIVE MATERIAL: See Non-combustible Material.
FIREPROOFING: Any material or combination protecting structural members to increase their fire resistance.
FLASHING: 1. A thin impervious material placed in mortar joints and through air spaces in masonry to prevent water
penetration and/or provide water drainage. 2. Manufacturing method to produce specific color tones.
FROG: A depression in the bed surface of a brick. Sometimes called a panel.
FURRING: A method of finishing the interior face of a masonry wall to provide space for insulation, prevent moisture
transmittance, or to provide a level surface for finishing.
GROUNDS: Nailing strips placed in masonry walls as a means of attaching trim or furring.
GROUT: Mixture of cementitious material and aggregate to which sufficient water is added to produce pouring
consistency without segregation of the constituents.
High-Lift Grouting: The technique of grouting masonry in lifts up to 12 ft.
Low-Lift Grouting: The technique of grouting as the wall is constructed.
HACKING: 1. The procedure of stacking brick in a kiln or on a kiln car. 2. Laying brick with the bottom edge set in
from the plane surface of the wall.
HARD-BURNED: Nearly vitrified clay products which have been fired at high temperatures. They have relatively low
absorptions and high compressive strengths.
HEAD JOINT: The vertical mortar joint between ends of masonry units. Often called cross joint.
HEADER: A masonry unit which overlaps two or more adjacent wythes of masonry to tie them together. Often called
bonder.
Blind Header: A concealed brick header in the interior of a wall, not showing on the faces.
Clipped Header: A bat placed to look like a header for purposes of establishing a pattern. Also called a false
header.
Flare Header: A header of darker color than the field of the wall.
HEADING COURSE: A continuous bonding course of header brick. Also called header course.
INITIAL RATE OF ABSORPTlON: The weight of water absorbed expressed in grams per 30 sq. in. of contact
surface when a brick is partially immersed for one minute. Also called suction. See ASTM Specification C 67.
IRA: See Initial Rate of Absorption.
KILN: A furnace oven or heated enclosure used for burning or firing brick or other clay material.
Kiln Run: Brick from one kiln which have not been sorted or graded for size or color variation.
KING CLOSER: A brick cut diagonally to have one 2 in. end and one full width end.
LATERAL SUPPORT: Means whereby walls are braced either vertically or horizontally by columns, pilasters, cross
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
5 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM
walls, beams, floors, roofs, etc.
LEAD: The section of a wall built up and racked back on successive courses. A line is attached to leads as a guide
for constructing a wall between them.
LIME, HYDRATED: Quicklime to which sufficient water has been added to convert the oxides to hydroxides.
LIME PUTTY: Hydrated lime in plastic form ready for addition to mortar.
LINTEL: A beam placed over an opening in a wall.
MASONRY: Brick, stone, concrete, etc., or masonry combinations thereof, bonded with mortar.
MASONRY CEMENT: A mill-mixed cementitious material to which sand and water must be added. See ASTM C 91.
MASONRY UNIT: Natural or manufactured building units of burned clay, concrete, stone, glass, gypsum, etc.
Hollow Masonry Unit: One whose net cross-sectional area in any plane parallel to the bearing surface is less than
75 percent of the gross.
Modular Masonry Unit: One whose nominal dimensions are based on the 4 in. module.
Solid Masonry Unit: One whose net cross-sectional area in every plane parallel to the bearing surface is 75
percent or more of the gross.
MORTAR: A plastic mixture of cementitious materials, fine aggregate and water. See ASTM Specifications C 270, C
476 or BIA M1-72.
Fat Mortar: Mortar containing a high percentage of cementitious components. It is a sticky mortar which adheres to
a trowel.
High-Bond Mortar: Mortar which develops higher bond strengths with masonry units than normally developed with
conventional mortar.
Lean Mortar: Mortar which is deficient in cementitious components, it is usually harsh and difficult to spread.
NOMINAL DIMENSION: A dimension greater than a specified masonry dimension by the thickness of a mortar joint,
but not more than 1/2 in.
NON-COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL: Any material which will neither ignite nor actively support combustion in air at a
temperature of 1200 F when exposed to fire.
OVERHAND WORK: Laying brick from inside a wall by men standing on a floor or on a scaffold.
PARGETING: The process of applying a coat of cement mortar to masonry. Often spelled and/or pronounced
parging.
PARTITION: An interior wall, one story or less in height.
PICK AND DIP: A method of laying brick whereby the bricklayer simultaneously picks up a brick with one hand and,
with the other hand, enough mortar on a trowel to lay the brick. Sometimes called the Eastern or New England
method.
PIER: An isolated column of masonry.
PILASTER: A wall portion projecting from either or both wall faces and serving as a vertical column and/or beam.
PLUMB RULE: This is a combination plumb rule and level. It is used in a horizontal position as a level and in a
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
6 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM
vertical position as a plumb rule. They are made in lengths of 42 and 48 in., and short lengths from 12 to 24 in.
POINTING: Troweling mortar into a joint after masonry units are laid.
PREFABRICATED BRICK MASONRY: Masonry construction fabricated in a location other than its final inservice
location in the structure. Also known as preassembled, panelized and sectionalized brick masonry.
PRISM: A small masonry assemblage made with masonry units and mortar. Primarily used to predict the strength of
full scale masonry members.
QUEEN CLOSER: A cut brick having a nominal 2 in. horizontal face dimension.
QUOIN: A projecting right angle masonry corner.
RACKING: A method entailing stepping back successive courses of masonry.
RAGGLE: A groove in a joint or special unit to receive roofing or flashing.
RBM: Reinforced brick masonry
REINFORCED MASONRY: Masonry units, reinforcing steel, grout and/or mortar combined to act together in
resisting forces.
RETURN: Any surface turned back from the face of a principal surface.
REVEAL: That portion of a jamb or recess which is visible from the face of a wall.
ROWLOCK: A brick laid on its face edge so that the normal bedding area is visible in the wall face. Frequently
spelled rolok.
SALT GLAZE: A gloss finish obtained by thermochemical reaction between silicates of clay and vapors of salt or
chemicals.
SATURATION COEFFICIENT: See C/B Ratio.
SCR (Reg U.S. Pat Off., SCPI (BIA)): Structural Clay Research (trademark Of the Structural Clay Products
Institute, BIA).
"SCR acoustile" (Reg U.S. Pat Off., SCPI (BIA) Pat. No 3,001,6O2): A side-construction two-celled facing tile,
having a perforated face backed with glass wool for acoustical purposes.
"SCR brick" (Reg U.S. Pat Off., SCPI (BIA)): Brick whose nominal dimensions are 6 by 2 2/3 by 12 in. (Reg U.S.
Pat Off., SCPI (BIA)):
"SCR building panel" (Reg U S. Pat Off., SCPI (BIA) Pat. No. 3,248,836): Prefabricated, structural ceramic
panels, approximately 2 1/2 in. thick.
"SCR insulated cavity wall" (Reg U.S. Pat Off., SCPI (BIA)): Any cavity wall containing insulation which meets rigid
criteria established by the Structural Clay Products Institute (BIA).
"SCR masonry process" (Reg. U.S. Pat Off., SCPI (BIA)): A construction aid providing greater efficiency, better
workmanship and increased production in masonry construction. It utilizes story poles, marked lines and adjustable
scaffolding.
SHALE: Clay which has been subjected to high pressures until it has hardened.
SHOVED JOINTS: Vertical joints filled by shoving a brick against the next brick when it is being laid in a bed of
mortar.
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
7 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM
SLENDERNESS RATIO: Ratio of the effective height of a member to its effective thickness.
SLUSHED JOINTS: Vertical joints filled, after units are laid, by "throwing" mortar in with the edge of a trowel.
(Generally, not recommended.)
SOAP: A masonry unit of normal face dimensions, having a nominal 2 in. thickness.
SOFFIT: The underside of a beam, lintel or arch.
SOFT-BURNED: Clay products which have been fired at low temperature ranges, producing relatively high
absorptions and low compressive strengths.
SOLAR SCREEN: A perforated wall used as a sunshade.
SOLDIER: A stretcher set on end with face showing on the wall surface.
SPALL: A small fragment removed from the face of a masonry unit by a blow or by action of the elements.
STACK: Any structure or part thereof which contains a flue or flues for the discharge of gases.
STORY POLE: A marked pole for measuring masonry coursing during construction.
STRETCHER: A masonry unit laid with its greatest dimension horizontal and its face parallel to the wall face.
STRINGING MORTAR: The procedure of spreading enough mortar on a bed to lay several masonry units.
STRUCK JOINT: Any mortar joint which has been finished with a trowel.
SUCTION: See Initial Rate of Absorption.
TEMPER: To moisten and mix clay, plaster or mortar to a proper consistency.
TIE: Any unit of material which connects masonry to masonry or other materials. See Wall Tie.
TOOLING: Compressing and shaping the face of a mortar joint with a special tool other than a trowel.
TOOTHING: Constructing the temporary end of a wall with the end stretcher of every alternate course projecting.
Projecting units are toothers.
TRADITIONAL MASONRY: Masonry in which design is based on empirical rules which control minimum thickness,
lateral support requirements and height without a structural analysis.
TUCK POINTING: The filling in with fresh mortar of cut-out or defective mortar joints in masonry.
VENEER: A single wythe of masonry for facing purposes, not structurally bonded.
VIRTUAL ECCENTRICITY: The eccentricity of a resultant axial load required to produce axial and bending stresses
equivalent to those produced by applied axial loads and moments. It is normally found by dividing the moment at a
section by the summation of axial loads occurring at that section.
VITRIFICATION: The condition resulting when kiln temperatures are sufficient to fuse grains and close pores of a
clay product, making the mass impervious.
WALL: A vertical member of a structure whose horizontal dimension measured at right angles to the thickness
exceeds three times its thickness.
Apron Wall: That part of a panel wall between window sill and wall support.
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
8 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM
Area Wall: 1. The masonry surrounding or partly surrounding an area. 2. The retaining wall around basement
windows below grade.
Bearing Wall: One which supports a vertical load in addition to its own weight.
Cavity Wall: A wall built of masonry units so arranged as to provide a continuous air space within the wall (with or
without insulating material), and in which the inner and outer wythes of the wall are tied together with metal ties.
Composite Wall: A multiple-wythe wall in which at least one of the wythes is dissimilar to the other wythe or wythes
with respect to type or grade of masonry unit or mortar
Curtain Wall: An exterior non-loadbearing wall not wholly supported at each story. Such walls may be anchored to
columns, spandrel beams, floors or bearing walls, but not necessarily built between structural elements.
Dwarf Wall: A wall or partition which does not extend to the ceiling.
Enclosure Wall: An exterior non-bearing wall in skeleton frame construction. It is anchored to columns, piers or
floors, but not necessarily built between columns or piers nor wholly supported at each story.
Exterior Wall: Any outside wall or vertical enclosure of a building other than a party wall.
Faced Wall: A composite wall in which the masonry facing and backings are so bonded as to exert a common
reaction under load.
Fire Division Wall: Any wall which subdivides a building so as to resist the spread of fire. It is not necessarily
continuous through all stories to and above the roof.
Fire Wall: Any wall which subdivides a building to resist the spread of fire and which extends continuously from the
foundation through the roof.
Foundation Wall: That portion of a loadbearing wall below the level of the adjacent grade, or below first floor
beams or joists.
Hollow Wall: A wall built of masonry units arranged to provide an air space within the wall. The separated facing
and backing are bonded together with masonry units.
Insulated Cavity Wall: See "SCR insulated cavity wall".
Loadbearing Wall: A wall which supports any vertical load in addition to its own weight.
Non-Loadbearing Wall: A wall which supports no vertical load other than its own weight.
Panel Wall: An exterior, non-loadbearing wall wholly supported at each story.
Parapet Wall: That part of any wall entirely above the roof line.
Party Wall: A wall used for joint service by adjoining buildings.
Perforated Wall: One which contains a considerable number of relatively small openings. Often called pierced wall
or screen wall.
Shear Wall: A wall which resists horizontal forces applied in the plane of the wall.
Single Wythe Wall: A wall containing only one masonry unit in wall thickness.
Solid Masonry Wall: A wall built of solid masonry units, laid contiguously, with joints between units completely filled
with mortar or grout.
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
9 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM
Spandrel Wall: That part of a curtain wall above the top of a window in one story and below the sill of the window in
the story above.
Veneered Wall: A wall having a facing of masonry units or other weather-resisting non-combustible materials
securely attached to the backing, but not so bonded as to intentionally exert common action under load.
WALL PLATE: A horizontal member anchored to a masonry wall to which other structural elements may be
attached. Also called head plate.
WALL TIE: A bonder or metal piece which connects wythes of masonry to each other or in other materials.
WALL TIE, CAVITY: A rigid, corrosion-resistant metal tie which bonds two wythes of a cavity wall. It is usually steel,
3/16 in. in diameter and formed in a "Z" shape or a rectangle.
WALL TIE, VENEER: A strip or piece of metal used to tie a facing veneer to the backing.
WATER RETENTIVITY: That property of a mortar which prevents the rapid loss of water to masonry units of high
suction. It prevents bleeding or water gain when mortar is in contact with relatively impervious units.
WATER TABLE: A projection of lower masonry on the outside of the wall slightly above the ground. Often a damp
course is placed at the level of the water table to prevent upward penetration of ground water
WATERPROOFING: Prevention of moisture flow through masonry due to water pressure.
WEEP HOLES: Openings placed in mortar joints of facing material at the level of flashing, to permit the escape of
moisture.
WITH INSPECTION: Masonry designed with the higher stresses allowed under EBM. Requires the establishing of
procedures on the job to control mortar mix, workmanship and protection of masonry materials.
WITHOUT INSPECTION: Masonry designed with the reduced stresses allowed under EBM.
WYTHE: 1. Each continuous vertical section of masonry one unit in thickness. 2. The thickness of masonry
separating flues in a chimney. Also called withe or tier.
ABSORPTION: The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed ... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t2.htm
10 of 10 9/13/2009 12:29 PM

Technical Notes 3 - Overview of Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI
530-02/ASCE 5-02/TMS 402-02) and Specification for Masonry Structures (ACI
530.1-02/ASCE 6-02/TMS 602-02)
July 2002
Abstract: This Technical Notes provides a review of the national masonry design standard, ACI
530/ASCE 5/TMS 402, and its accompanying masonry specification, ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS
602. New provisions and revisions of existing standards for masonry design are emphasized.
Subjects discussed pertaining to the design standard are: allowable stress and strength design of
unreinforced and reinforced masonry, prestressed masonry, empirical design, glass block
masonry, masonry veneer, quality assurance, and seismic provisions. Items addressed for the
masonry specification are: requirements checklist and submittals, masonry quality assurance and
inspection requirements, reinforcement and metal accessories, erection tolerances, construction
procedures and grouting requirements.
Key Words: adhered veneer, allowable stress design, anchored veneer, building code, design
standard, empirical design, inspection, prestressed masonry, specification, strength design.

INTRODUCTION
The American Concrete Institute (ACI), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and The
Masonry Society (TMS) promulgate a national consensus standard for the structural design of
masonry elements and a standard specification for masonry construction. These standards are
titled the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402) and
the Specification for Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602). They were developed to
consolidate and advance existing standards for the design and construction of masonry.
This Technical Notes, the first in a series, discusses various sections of the Building Code
Requirements for Masonry Structures and the Specification for Masonry Structures in brief
detail. Emphasis is placed on the new requirements in the 2002 edition of the standards.
Changes from prior masonry standards dealing with the design of brick masonry structures are
also presented. Other Technical Notes in this series provide material and section properties of
brick masonry members and more extensive discussion of the requirements of these standards.
For more information about the requirements of these standards and examples of their application,
the reader is referred to the Masonry Designer's Guide (MDG). The MDG is published by The
Masonry Society and contains an extensive number of design examples that illustrate the proper
application of the MSJC Code and Specification requirements.
In this Technical Notes, the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures and the
Specification for Masonry Structures are referred to as the Masonry Standards Joint Committee
(MSJC) Code and Specification, respectively. The pertinent section and article numbers from the
MSJC Code and Specification, are stated in parentheses following the discussion of particular
topics for quick reference.

HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
1 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
The development of this single masonry standard for the design and construction industry began in
1977. At that time, there were several design standards for masonry. These standards did not
have consistent requirements. It was difficult for engineers and architects to select the
appropriate design criteria for masonry elements. Concerned individuals representing masonry
materials and the design profession saw the need for a single, national consensus standard for the
design and construction of all types of masonry.
In 1977, ACI and ASCE agreed to jointly develop a consensus standard for masonry design with
the support of the masonry industry. The MSJC was formed with a balanced membership of
building officials, contractors, university professors, consultants, material producers and designers
who are members of ACI or ASCE. The Masonry Society joined as a sponsoring organization in
1991. Currently, the MSJC is comprised of over eighty regular (voting) and forty associate
members. The MSJC Code and Specification are available from each of the sponsoring
organizations or from the Brick Industry Association.
Changes to the MSJC Code and Specification are written, balloted and approved within the
MSJC. A review by the sponsoring organizations' technical activity committees follows. In order
to obtain a national consensus, the approved draft undergoes a public review. Approval by the
MSJC of the first edition of the MSJC Code and Specification occurred in June 1986. Public
review began in 1988 with the final approval of the 1988 MSJC Code and Specification in August
1989.
Commentaries for the MSJC Code and Specification were also developed. These documents
provide background information on the design and specification provisions. Considerations of the
MSJC members in determining requirements and references to research papers and articles are
included in the commentaries for further information.
The MSJC Code, Specification and Commentaries are revised on a three- or four-year cycle. The
first revision was issued in 1992. Most of the changes were editorial in nature or clarified intent or
omissions. In 1995 new chapters on glass unit masonry and anchored masonry veneers were
added, and the MSJC Specification was reformatted. Metric conversions were added throughout
the standards in accordance with the metrication policy of ASCE in addition to an index of key
words. The 1999 edition includes a number of significant changes. The MSJC Code and its
Commentary were reformatted. A chapter on prestressed masonry, a section on adhered veneer
and a quality assurance program were added. Other changes in the MSJC Code and
Specification include new design values for elastic moduli and masonry compressive strength and
the inclusion of mortar cement. In the 2002 edition there were significant changes to the seismic
design provisions, with prescriptive requirements for specific shear wall types. A chapter on
strength design was added. Other minor changes are documented in this Technical Notes.

Building Code Acceptance
The MSJC Code is to be adopted by a model building code and, subsequently, by a local
jurisdiction. State and local building code committees are encouraged to adopt the model building
codes which include the MSJC Code for the design of masonry. With adoption of the MSJC Code,
the Specification is automatically adopted because the MSJC Code requires that materials and
construction comply with the MSJC Specification. The local jurisdiction has the responsibility for
enforcement and compliance of masonry construction to the MSJC Specification once it is
adopted.
Two of the previous model building code organizations, the Standard Building Code Congress
International (SBCCI) and the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA), chose to include
the MSJC Code in their documents. This adoption by reference began in 1988 and1989,
respectively. The International Council of Building Officials (ICBO) chose to maintain masonry
design criteria within the Uniform Building Code itself, rather than adopting the MSJC standards
by reference. However, many of the masonry design and construction requirements of the
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
2 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
Uniform Building Code have been changed over the last several years to be consistent with the
requirements of the MSJC Code and Specification.
The International Code Council (ICC) was formed by the three existing code organizations
(SBCCI), (BOCA) and (ICBO) with the charge to produce a single set of codes, referred to as the
I-codes. Two I-codes that are important to the brick industry are the International Building Code
(IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC). The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
is also developing another building code called NFPA 5000. The I-codes and NFPA 5000
reference the 2002 MSJC Code.

Benefits
The MSJC Code and Specification have had positive results; the design and construction
community has become more confident with their use. Designers have one national standard that
covers nearly all types of masonry construction. Architects are able to prepare and submit
complete, concise specifications more easily. Contractors have more consistent and better quality
specifications for projects. Owners obtain more uniform quality of masonry. Other benefits
presented by the MSJC Code and Specification are:
Nearly all forms of masonry are covered, including unreinforced, reinforced and prestressed
masonry, glass unit masonry, and adhered and anchored veneer masonry.
1.
Requirements for all masonry materials are covered, including clay and shale brick,
concrete block, stone, glass unit, mortar, grout and metal accessories.
2.
Differences in material properties are recognized and quantified. 3.
The same rational design procedures are utilized for clay and concrete masonry. 4.
Responsibilities and duties of the owner, designer, testing agency, and contractor are
clearly established.
5.
Quality assurance and inspection requirements are included. 6.
Design, materials and testing are the decision of the architect or engineer. 7.
Contract administration is easier. 8.
Since the introduction of the MSJC standards in 1988, there has been a shift in the masonry
design and construction communities. Designers and contractors use the MSJC Code and
Specification with more frequency. Indicative of this growth, the MSJC Code is now a required
reference for the Professional Engineer's Principles and Practice examination. The MSJC
Specification has placed greater demands on the masonry contractor with the use of masonry as a
structural material. Many requirements are performance related, which may require more site
inspection for verification of compliance. These demands are advantageous and vital to the
development of confidence that the masonry strengths assumed by the designer are met by the
constructed masonry.

THE MSJC CODE (ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402)
The MSJC Code is the basis for masonry design by the architect or engineer. The provisions of
the MSJC Code will dictate the size and shape of masonry walls, beams, pilasters and columns.
Further, it influences the masonry materials the designer will require in the project specification. It
consists of seven chapters, which are listed below.
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
3 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
Chapter 1 - General Design Requirements for Masonry
Chapter 2 - Allowable Stress Design
Chapter 3 - Strength Design of Masonry (New Chapter)
Chapter 4 - Prestressed Masonry
Chapter 5 - Empirical Design of Masonry
Chapter 6 - Veneer
Chapter 7 - Glass Unit Masonry
Some relevant sections of the codes are discussed in this Technical Notes and are indicated in
parentheses for each of the chapters.

Chapter 1 - General Design Requirements for Masonry
Chapter 1 contains the scope of the minimum requirements for the design of any masonry
element. In this chapter, it states that the MSJC Code supplements the model building code
enforced in a jurisdiction. When the MSJC Code conflicts with the local building code, the local
building code governs. (1.1)
Project drawings and specifications must identify the individual responsible for their preparation.
Items required by the MSJC Code must be clearly marked such as: loads used in design, specified
compressive strength of masonry, reinforcement, anchors and ties with size and spacing, size and
location of all structural elements, provisions for differential movement, and size and location of
conduit, pipes and sleeves. Contract documents must include a quality assurance program. (1.2)
The MSJC Code permits alternative design methods from those stated in the MSJC Code. This is
to recognize new applications of masonry and different structural analysis techniques. (1.3)
Chapter 1 also includes the notation and definitions contained within the MSJC Code. Capital
letters are used for permitted stresses and lower case letters are used for calculated or applied
stresses. (1.5) For example, Fa is the notation for the allowable compressive stress due to axial
load, while fa denotes the calculated compressive stress due to axial load. The definitions are
specifically related to their meaning as used in the MSJC Code. Definitions in the MSJC Code are
coordinated with those in the MSJC Specification. Definitions of terms relating to strength design
of masonry and for prestressed masonry have been added. (1.6)
The following are brief summaries, highlights, of several sections within Chapter 1.
Section 1.7 - Loading. Service loads are used as the basis of design and are governed by the
building code that adopts the MSJC Code. If a building code is not enforced in the area under
consideration, then the MSJC Code requires that the load provisions of the 1993 edition of ASCE 7
Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures apply to masonry structures. Allowable stresses
given in the MSJC Code are based on failure stresses with a factor of safety in the range of 2 to
5. The structural system must resist wind and earthquake loads and accommodate the resulting
deformations. (1.7.3) The effects of restraint of movement due to prestressing, vibrations, impact,
shrinkage, expansion, temperature changes, creep, unequal settlement of supports and differential
movement must also be considered in design. (1.7.4)
Section 1.8 - Material Properties. Material properties are included for both clay and concrete
masonry. The MSJC Code and Specification was the first national masonry standard to state
design coefficients for thermal expansion, moisture expansion, shrinkage and creep. For design
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
4 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
computations, the amount of shrinkage of brick masonry is taken as zero. The moduli of elasticity,
Em, of clay and concrete masonry is no longer based on the net area compressive strength of the
brick and the type of mortar used in construction. Em is now directly related to the specified
compressive strength of masonry, f'
m
. For clay masonry, E
m
is equal to 700 times f'
m
.
Alternately, Em may be determined by the chord modulus of elasticity taken between 0.05 and
0.33 of the maximum compressive strength of each prism determined by test in accordance with
Article 1.4 B.3 of the MSJC Specification. Refer to Technical Notes 18 Series for an extensive
discussion of differential movement of brick masonry elements. (1.8.2.2)
Section 1.9 - Section Properties. Section properties are used to determine stress computations.
Computations for stiffness, radius of gyration and flange design for intersecting walls are based on
the minimum net area of the section. This is normally the mortar-bedded area. When different
materials are combined in a single element, the transformed area must be used to account for
differences in elastic moduli of the dissimilar materials. Radius of gyration of the section, rather
than the minimum thickness, is used to determine the slenderness reduction for members in
compression. (1.9)
Section 1.10 - Deflection. Deflection limits are imposed for beams and lintels that support
unreinforced masonry. The deflection should not exceed the span length divided by 600 or 0.3 in.
(7.6 mm). Deflection of the masonry member should be calculated based upon uncracked section
properties. (1.10, 1.9.2)
Section 1.11 - Stack Bond Masonry. The MSJC Code requires that stack bond masonry be
reinforced with a prescriptive amount of horizontal reinforcement. This may be placed as joint
reinforcement or in bond beams spaced not more than 48 in. (1.2 m) on center vertically. (1.11)
Section 1.12 - Details of Reinforcement. The reinforcement detailing requirements given in this
chapter are similar to those for reinforced concrete under ACI 318, Building Code Requirements
for Reinforced Concrete. The maximum size of reinforcing bar permitted in masonry members,
designed by the allowable stress or empirical design methods, is a No. 11 (M #36) bar. Horizontal
joint reinforcement is permitted as structural reinforcement for the same design methods.
Placement limits for reinforcement include minimum grout spaces between the bars and masonry
units of 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) and 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) for fine and coarse grout, respectively. (1.12.2 -
1.12.3)
This section contains protection requirements for reinforcing steel. A minimum amount of masonry
cover is required, depending upon the exposure conditions. Corrosion protection is required for
joint reinforcement, wall ties, anchors and inserts in exterior walls. (1.12.4)
Minimum development lengths are stated for reinforcement. A 50 percent increase is
recommended for epoxy coated bars. (2.1.10.2) Standard hooks, minimum bend diameters, and
splice requirements are consistent with those for reinforced concrete members. (1.12.5, 1.12.6)
Chapter 3 contains variations in some of these requirements when strength design is used.
Section 1.13 - Seismic Design Requirements. These requirements apply to the design and
construction of all masonry, except glass unit masonry and masonry veneers, for all Seismic
Design Categories (SDC) as defined in ASCE 7-98. Early editions of the MSJC included seismic
design information as optional information in the Appendix and based the requirements on Seismic
Zones. Since 1995, the seismic requirements are mandatory parts of the Code. Seismic
provisions for masonry veneers are found in Chapter 6, Veneers.
Special seismic requirements in Section 1.13 are invoked by SDC. The requirements are additive
for each higher SDC. For example, buildings in category D must meet all the requirements for
buildings in categories A, B and C, plus the additional requirements stated in Section 1.13 for
buildings in category D.
Five types of shear walls that serve as the lateral force-resisting system are described. Each has
a required design method and prescriptive reinforcement requirements, see Table 1. Their use is
permitted by the seismic design category applicable to the structure under design.
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
5 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM


TABLE 1
Requirement for Masonry Shear Walls Based on Shear Wall Designation
Shear Wall Designation Reinforcement Requirements Permitted SDC
Empirically Designed None SDC A
Ordinary Plain
(unreinforced)
None SDC A and B
Detailed Plain (unreinforced) Section 1.13.2.2.2.1 and
1.13.2.2.2.2
SDC A and B
Ordinary Reinforced Section 1.13.2.2.2.1 and
1.13.2.2.2.2
SDC A, B, and C
Intermediate Reinforced Section 1.13.2.2.4 SDC A. B, and C
Special Reinforced Section 1.13.2.2.5 SDC A, B, C, D, E and
F

In category A, the provisions of Chapters 2, 3, 4, or 5 of the MSJC Code apply. There is a
calculated story drift limit of 0.007 times the story height. Anchorage of masonry walls must meet
a minimum design force of 1000 times the effective peak velocity-related acceleration. (1.13.3)
For buildings in category B, the lateral force-resisting system must comply with the requirements
of Chapter 2, 3, or 4 of the MSJC Code. It cannot be designed in accordance with the empirical
requirements of Chapter 5. The lateral force-resisting system includes structural masonry
members such as columns, beams and shear walls. It does not include non-loadbearing elements,
such as partition walls. (1.13.4)
Masonry buildings in category C must meet more stringent requirements. Members that are not
part of the main lateral force-resisting system must be isolated so that they do not adversely affect
the response of the lateral force-resisting system. Connections are strengthened and minimum
amounts of reinforcement are required for shear walls and non-loadbearing masonry members in
order to provide more ductility to the structure. (1.13.5) Partition walls, screen walls and other
elements that are not designed to resist vertical or lateral loads other than their own weight must
be isolated from receiving these loads and designed to accommodate drift.
The special seismic provisions for categories D and E are still more restrictive. Minimum
reinforcement requirements are increased for all members. Type N mortar and masonry cement
mortars are not permitted for the lateral force-resisting system. (1.13.6, 1.13.7)
Section 1.14 - Quality Assurance. This section defines a quality assurance program with
different requirements based on the type of facility and method of design. Minimum tests,
submittals and inspection requirements are defined for three levels of quality assurance. (1.14.1)
The quality assurance program must include procedures for reporting, review and resolution of
noncompliances. (1.14.5) Qualifications for testing laboratories and for inspection agencies must
also be defined. (1.14.6)
The quality assurance program requires that each wythe of masonry and the grout, if present,
must meet or exceed the specified compressive strength of masonry, f'm. Compressive strength
of masonry must be verified in accordance with the provisions of the MSJC Specification. (1.14.2)
Section 1.15 - Construction. Construction of masonry must comply with the MSJC
Specification. Requirements for grouting are introduced in Section 1.15. The type of grout, either
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
6 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
fine or coarse, determines the minimum grout space dimensions and maximum grout pour height
permitted. New in the 2002 edition is the inclusion of a grout demonstration panel. The limits can
be exceeded if the panel indicates that the spaces are filled and adequately consolidated. Grout
must attain a minimum compressive strength of 2000 psi (13.8 MPa) at 28 days. (Table 1.15.1)
In addition, Section 1.15 contains provisions for pipes and conduits embedded in masonry
elements. The effect on structural performance of the opening caused by the embedded item
must be considered. Limitations on location, size, relative area and materials contained within
pipes and conduit are included. (1.15.2)
Chapter 2 - Allowable Stress Design
Allowable stress design (ASD) methodology has been used in masonry design for many years.
The ASD provisions of the MSJC Code are the most advanced to date for masonry members and
are reflective of the extensive amount of research and experience gained over the last century.
Chapter 2 of the MSJC Code states general provisions and establishes the scope of the rational
design requirements. The rational design provisions are based upon a few assumptions inherent in
the ASD approach, which are as follows:
Masonry materials are linearly elastic under service loads (materials rebound to original
position when unloaded, rather than deforming permanently).
1.
Stress is directly proportional to strain (applied load is directly proportional to
displacement).
2.
Masonry materials behave homogeneously (brick, mortar and grout behave as one element
rather than separately).
3.
Sections plane before bending remain plane after bending (flexural members do not warp). 4.
Service loads are used as the basis of allowable stress design. Allowable stresses given in the
MSJC Code are based on failure stresses with a factor of safety in the range of 2 to 5. Section
2.1.2 contains the loading combinations to be used for allowable stress design. For moment
strength design under Section 4.5.3.3.2, factored loads shall be combined as required by the
general building code. When the general building code does not provide load combinations,
structures or members shall use the most restrictive combinations of loads. (2.1.2)
The specified compressive strength of masonry, f'm, must be determined by the designer and
clearly stated in the contract documents. The specified compressive strength must be verified by
the contractor as required by the methods stipulated in the MSJC Specification. (2.1.3)
Anchor bolts consist of plate, headed and bent bar assemblies. Allowable loads for tension, shear
and combined tension and shear are given. Provisions for minimum embedment length are
provided to ensure proper transfer of load between the masonry and the anchor bolt. (2.1.4)
Refer to Technical Notes 44 for further discussion of the design of anchor bolts.
The MSJC Code requirements differentiate between multiwythe walls with respect to composite or
non-composite action. Composite action requires a rigid transfer of stress between wythes so
that the wythes act as a single element in resisting loads. The wythes must be bonded with a filled
collar joint and metal ties or with masonry headers. Prescriptive size and spacing limitations for
metal wall ties are taken from previous masonry standards. For multiwythe, composite walls,
criteria for allowable shear stresses at the interface between a wythe and a collar joint have been
introduced that were not included in previous masonry standards. These allowable shear stresses
are: a) 5 psi (34.5 kPa) for mortared collar joints, b) 10 psi (69.0 kPa) for grouted collar joints,
and c) the square root of the unit compressive strength of the header. (2.1.5.2.2)
When non-composite action occurs, each wythe is designed to individually resist the effects of
imposed loads. Loads are apportioned to wythes based upon their relative stiffnesses. As with
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
7 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
composite walls, prescriptive requirements for metal wall ties are based on past experience.
(2.1.5.3 ) Wall ties with drips are now prohibited.
Columns are isolated vertical members whose horizontal dimension at right angles to the thickness
does not exceed 3 times its thickness. Also, the member's height must be at least 3 times its
thickness. The minimum dimension of a column is 8 in. (203 mm) and the maximum ratio of
effective height to least nominal dimension (slenderness ratio) of a column is 25. Columns must
contain a minimum of four vertical reinforcing bars and a minimum amount of lateral ties. (2.1.6)
Pilasters are thickened elements of a wall which provide resistance to lateral loads or a
combination of axial and lateral loads. Design procedures consider the pilaster and wall to act
integrally, provided the two are properly bonded. Vertical reinforcement that is intended to resist
axial loads must be laterally tied in the same manner that is required for columns. (2.1.7)
Concentrated loads must be distributed over a prescribed length of wall. Requirements depend on
bond pattern, presence of bond beams and the width of the wall. The allowable bearing stress is
one-fourth of the specified compressive strength of masonry, but may be increased for smaller
bearing areas. (2.1.9)
Provisions for development of reinforcement are included. (2.1.10) Bars, hooks, welded wire
fabric, and splices are covered.
Section 2.2 - Unreinforced Masonry. Section 2.2 covers requirements for the design of masonry
structures in which tensile stresses in masonry are taken into consideration. This is known as
unreinforced (plain) masonry. Such members may, in fact, contain reinforcement for shrinkage or
other reasons, but this reinforcement is neglected in the structural design process.
The allowable axial compressive stress equation uses a different slenderness reduction factor from
that used in earlier masonry standards. The factor is a function of the radius of gyration of the
member's cross section, rather than its thickness. Additionally, the factor of safety changed from
5 in previous masonry standards to 4 in the MSJC Code. Unlike previous masonry design
standards, the MSJC Code does not place an arbitrary limit on the slenderness ratio of walls.
Rather, the slenderness reduction factor becomes very small for more slender walls. An equation
limiting the applied axial load to one-quarter of a modified Euler buckling load is included. The
classic Euler buckling load has been modified to reflect a member with negligible tensile strength.
The unity equation has been used to limit the combination of bending and axial load in masonry
design for many years. (2.2.3, 2.3.3)
Variables affecting flexural tension of masonry include the plane on which the stress acts, mortar
materials, unit cross-section, and presence of grout. The allowable flexural tension stresses for
grouted masonry normal to bed joints were modified in the 2002 edition. (2.2.3.2)
Allowable shear stresses are based upon a parabolic shear stress distribution rather than an
average shear stress distribution, as used in previous masonry standards. Consequently,
allowable shear stresses are approximately 1.5 times those in previous masonry standards. Four
allowable shear stresses for in-plane shear must be evaluated. No allowable shear stress values
are given for out-of-plane shear, but typically these same values for in-place shear are applied.
(2.2.5)
Section 2.3 - Reinforced Masonry. Section 2.3 contains requirements for the allowable stress
design of masonry elements neglecting the tensile strength of masonry. This is commonly termed
reinforced masonry. In this procedure, steel reinforcement is used to resist all tensile forces.
Reinforcement may also be required to resist shear forces. The MSJC Code does not prescribe a
minimum amount of reinforcement, except for masonry columns and for buildings in Seismic Design
Categories as given in Chapter 1. The size and placement of compressive, flexural and shear
reinforcement is determined by design requirements. (2.3.1) Allowable steel stresses are taken
from previous masonry standards. Reinforcement used to resist compressive stresses must be
laterally tied. (2.3.2.2)
When the applied shear stress exceeds the given allowable shear stress for reinforced masonry
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
8 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
without shear reinforcement, shear reinforcement is required. For reinforced masonry containing
shear reinforcement, allowable shear stresses are increased by a factor of 3.0 for flexural
members and 1.5 for shear walls. To use the increased allowable shear stresses, shear
reinforcement must be provided to resist 100 percent of the shear force. (2.3.5)
Chapter 3 - Strength Design of Masonry
This chapter is new in the 2002 edition of the MSJC Code. This chapter was developed from
research funded by the National Science Foundation and the masonry industry.
Strength design identifies the possible failure modes that the masonry element can exhibit. By
performing this type of analysis the engineer can preclude an undesirable failure. Strength design
provides for design of inelastic performance of masonry. The loads and stresses considered are
similar to those used in allowable stress design, but service level loads are replaced with strength
design loads and allowable stresses are replaced with nominal values based on research. The
required strength of the masonry must be greater than its nominal strength multiplied by a strength
reduction factor, . The strength reduction factors selected are similar to those used in concrete.
Strength design of masonry shall comply with the minimum requirements of this chapter. In
addition, the requirements of Chapter 1, Section 3.1, and either Section 3.2 or 3.3 also apply.
(3.1.1) The strength requirements are in accordance with the legally adopted building code.
When this information is not defined in the building code then the requirements of ASCE 7-98
govern. (3.1.2) Notations and definitions used in strength design are found in Sections 1.5 and
1.6, respectively.
The remainder of Chapter 3 covers design strength (3.1.3), strength reduction factors (3.1.4),
deformation requirements (3.1.5), headed and bent-bar anchor bolts (3.1.6), material properties
(3.1.7), reinforced masonry (3.2), and unreinforced (plain) masonry (3.3). Design equations are
similar to those for allowable stress design when possible. Perhaps the most significant difference
is in the development length. The strength design formula includes cover, bar size, and masonry
specified compressive strength as variables. This formula also applies to splices.
This chapter includes maximum reinforcement ratios chosen to prevent brittle failure of shear
walls. These are applied with specific limits on strain in the masonry and steel. There are also
dimensional limits for beams, piers, and columns.
It must be pointed out that Strength Design of Masonry may not be practical in many situations and
may in fact not provide the results a designer may seek.
Chapter 4 - Prestressed Masonry
Prestressed masonry is used to eliminate tensile stresses in masonry due to externally applied
loads. A controlled amount of precompression is applied to the masonry to offset the tensile
forces created under service loads. The use of prestressing is well documented in concrete
design and construction; however its use in masonry construction in the United States is limited.
The United Kingdom has a history of successful prestressed masonry construction for over two
decades.
The equipment for prestressed masonry is similar to that used in concrete construction. Some
proprietary systems have been developed specifically for use in prestressed masonry. Types of
structures that have utilized prestressed masonry in the United States include freestanding walls,
such as fences, bearing walls and masonry veneers designed to span between columns, rather
than span floor-to-floor.
Prestressing tendons placed in openings in the masonry may be grouted or ungrouted. The
tendons may be pre-tensioned or post-tensioned. Pre-tensioned tendons are stressed against
external abutments prior to placing the masonry. Post-tensioned tendons are stressed against the
masonry after it has been placed. Most construction applications to date have been
post-tensioned, ungrouted masonry because of the ease of construction and overall economy. As
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
9 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
a result, the MSJC Code focuses primarily on post-tensioned masonry.
Chapter 4 provides minimum requirements for the design of structures that are prestressed with
bonded or unbonded prestressing tendons. The general design requirements found in Chapter 1,
including seismic provisions, apply to prestressed masonry with a few modifications. (4.1)
Prestressed members are designed using elastic analysis and allowable stress design. A new
term, f'
mi
, is defined as the specified compressive strength of masonry at the time of transfer of
the prestress force. (4.2)
The remainder of Chapter 4 covers permissible stresses in the prestressing tendons, effective
prestress, axial compression and flexure, axial tension, shear, deflection, prestressing tendon
anchorages, couplers, end blocks, protection of prestressing tendons and accessories, and
development of bonded tendons.
Chapter 5 - Empirical Design of Masonry
Chapter 5 presents empirical requirements for masonry structures. These requirements are based
on past proven performance. Configuration of masonry structures for compliance with empirical
limits is a technique that predates rational design methods. The empirical provisions of previous
masonry standards have been modified and advanced in Chapter 5 to reflect contemporary
construction materials and methods. The requirements are essentially unchanged from the 1999
edition.
The empirical requirements in Chapter 5 may be applied to the following masonry elements:
The lateral force-resisting system for buildings in Seismic Design Categories (SDC) A, and
for other building elements in SDC A through C, as defined in ASCE 7-98. (5.1.2)
1.
Buildings subject to basic wind speed of 110 mph (145 km/hr) or less as defined by the
ASCE 7-98 standard. (5.1.2.2)
2.
Buildings not exceeding 35 ft (10.67 m) when the masonry walls are part of the main lateral
force-resisting system. (5.2)
3.
The empirical requirements may not be applied to structures resisting horizontal loads other than
those due to wind or seismic events, except that foundation walls may be as permitted in Section
5.6.3. The empirical requirements for foundation walls include limits on the height of backfill. There
are a number of restrictions on the backfill soil and the configuration of cross walls. (5.6.3.1) The
2002 Code also requires foundation piers to be a minimum of 8 in. (203 mm) in thickness. (5.6.4)
The empirical requirements of the MSJC Code are discussed in Technical Notes 42 Revised.
Chapter 6 - Veneers.
The requirements of Chapter 6 apply to masonry veneers. In the 2002 MSJC Code, provisions
address anchored masonry veneer and adhered masonry veneer. The requirements of this
chapter are especially important to the brick industry as the majority of brick produced in the
United States is used as veneer.
Section 6.2 - Anchored veneer. The majority of this chapter contains prescriptive requirements for
masonry veneer, but alternative design methods are permitted. (6.2.1) The prescriptive
requirements cannot be used in areas where the wind speed exceeds 110 mph (145 km/hr) as
given in ASCE 7-98. (6.2.2.1) Many of the requirements are based upon those found in Technical
Notes 28 Series on brick veneer walls and Technical Notes 44B on wall ties. (6.2.2.3-6.2.2.9)
Seismic requirements are included for buildings in SDC C, D, and E. (6.2.2.10)
Section 6.3 - Adhered veneer. Adhered veneer can be designed by the prescriptive requirements
contained in this section or by alternative design methods. (6.3.1) Prescriptive requirements found
in the 2002 MSJC Code are based on similar requirements that have been used in the Uniform
Building Code for over 30 years. These requirements limit unit size to no more than 2 5/8 in. (66.7
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
10 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
mm) in specified thickness, 36 in. (914 mm) in any face dimension and 5 ft
2
(0.46 m
2
) in total face
area. The weight of adhered veneer units is limited to15 lbs/ft
2
(718 Pa). (6.3.2)
Adhesion between the veneer units and the backing must have a shear strength of 50 psi (345
kPa) or greater based on gross unit surface area when tested in accordance with ASTM C 482.
Alternatively, adhered units may be applied using the procedure found in MSJC Specification
Article 3.3C. (6.3.2.4)
Chapter 7 - Glass Unit Masonry
Chapter 7 applies to glass unit masonry. The 2002 edition contains few changes from the 1999
version. The provisions are largely based upon those in the three previous model building codes.
Requirements are primarily prescriptive and empirical.
Maximum wall areas are imposed by a design wind pressure graph for standard units, 3 7/8 in.
(98.4 mm) thick. When 3 in. (76.2 mm) thick units are used, a maximum wind pressure of 20 psf
(958 Pa) is imposed and the maximum wall area is reduced. The size of interior wall panels is
limited to 250 ft2 (23.22 m2) and 150 ft2 (13.94 m2) for standard and thin units, respectively. (7.1,
7.2) Provisions regarding lateral support for panels limited to one unit wide or one unit high are
included. (7.3)
The MSJC Code also imposes requirements for expansion joints. (7.4)
Base surface treatment requires the surface on which glass unit masonry panels are placed to be
coated with an elastic waterproofing material. (7.5)
Glass unit masonry shall be built with Type S or N mortar. (7.6)
Glass unit masonry panels must contain a minimum amount of horizontal joint reinforcement. The
MSJC Code requires a minimum of two parallel W1.7 (MW11) wires spaced at 16 in. (406 mm)
o.c. vertically. Joint reinforcement is very important because the limitations on wall panel size are
based upon the failure of the reinforced section, rather than the first cracking strength of panels.
(7.7)

THE MSJC SPECIFICATION (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602)
The MSJC Specification is a reference standard that an architect or engineer may cite in the
contract documents for any project. The MSJC Specification contains requirements for the
contractor regarding materials, construction and quality assurance. The MSJC Code requires
compliance of construction of the masonry with the MSJC Specification, so it is an integral part of
the MSJC Code. The language is in imperative voice for ease of interpretation and enforcement.
The MSJC Specification should be referenced in the contract documents and may be modified as
required for the particular project.
The 2002 edition of the MSJC Specification consists of three components: a) Part 1 - General, b)
Part 2 - Products and c) Part 3 - Execution. The format was changed to the present one in 1995
to be more consistent with the Construction Specifications Institute's MASTERFORMAT.
Major changes in the 2002 edition relate to quality assurance and ease of use. Quality assurance
is established in conjunction with the MSJC Code and the MSJC Specification contains specific
instructions for the parties involved. The phrase When required was eliminated. Inclusion of this
phrase in earlier editions made it necessary for the user to extensively edit the MSJC Specification
for application to a particular project.
Requirements Checklists and Submittals
The requirements checklists help the designer to choose and specify the necessary products and
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
11 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
procedures found in the contract documents. Building codes set minimum requirements to protect
property and life safety. However, written contract documents may have more restrictive
requirements than provided in the building code. Adjustments for the particular project should be
made by the designer by reviewing the requirements checklists.
There are two checklists, mandatory and optional, that alert the designer to issues that must be
addressed. The mandatory list requires a choice on inspection, testing, material selection and
items not provided on the drawings or details of the project. The most significant change from the
1999 MSJC Specification in the mandatory checklist is exclusion of determining specified
compressive strength compliance. In addition, the 1999 MSJC Specification required that the level
of quality assurance be specified.
Part 1 - General
In Part 1 it is stated that the MSJC Specification covers requirements for materials and
construction of masonry elements. The provisions govern any project unless other requirements
are specifically stated in the contract documents. (1.1)
Definitions are provided and are coordinated with those found in the MSJC Code. (1.2) All
standards referenced in the MSJC Specification are listed. These standards include material
specifications, sampling procedures, test methods, detailing requirements, construction procedures
and classifications. The references are updated to the most current edition at the time of the
MSJC Code and Specification approval. (1.3)
The compressive strength of each wythe of masonry must equal or exceed that specified by the
engineer or architect. The compressive strength must be verified by the contractor by one of two
methods: unit strength or prism test. The unit strength method is a means to evaluate the strength
of masonry based upon the tested compressive strength of individual units and the mortar type
specified. The prism test method requires the sampling and testing of masonry prisms built with
the same types of materials that are used in the masonry construction. The MSJC Specification
specifies prism testing to be done in accordance with ASTM C 1314, Standard Test Method for
Compressive Strength of Masonry Prisms. (1.4B) Adhesion of adhered veneer units to their
backing is to be determined in accordance with ASTM C 482, Test Method for Bond Strength of
Ceramic Tile to Portland Cement. (1.4C)
Part 1 provides a list of items to be included in project submittals. Submittals should include
mortar and grout mix designs and test results, masonry unit samples and certificates, samples of
metal items such as reinforcement and wall ties. This also includes construction procedures for
cold- and hot-weather construction. (1.5)
Quality assurance is required by the MSJC Specification. The duties and services of the testing
agency, inspection agency and contractor are specified and are dependent upon the level of
quality assurance required. Article 1.6A outlines the responsibilities of the testing agencies.
Article 1.6B specifies the responsibilities of the inspection agency. Article 1.6C contains the
contractor's services and duties. The contractor must employ an independent testing laboratory to
perform required tests, to document submittals, certify product compliance, establish mortar and
grout mix designs, provide supporting data for changes requested by the contractor, or appeal
rejection of material found to be defective. The contractor must include in the submittals the
results of all testing performed to qualify the materials and to establish mix designs. Quality
assurances are actions taken by the owner or the owner's representative. They provide
assurance that actions of the contractor and supplier are in accordance with applicable standards
of good practice. Quality assurances are administrative policies and responsibilities related to
quality control measures that meet the owner's quality objectives. Quality control is the action
taken by the producer or contractor. This is simply systematic performance of construction,
testing and inspection to verify that proper materials and methods are used.
Quality assurance involves inspection and testing, preparation and erection of the masonry
structure. Inspection is assumed for every masonry project under the MSJC Code, a change from
previous masonry standards. The level of inspection and the amount of testing depend upon the
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
12 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
level of quality assurance specified. The level of quality assurance is determined according to
facility function, as defined by the general building code, and the method of design. The MSJC
Specification contains the same Quality Assurance tables that are found in the MSJC Code. (1.6)
Sample panels for masonry walls are required for Level 2 or 3 quality assurance. The construction
of a grout demonstration panel, used to depart from the requirements of Articles 3.5 C-E is also a
part of quality assurance. (1.6D)
Requirements for delivery, storage and handling of masonry materials are stated in order to avoid
contamination that might reduce the quality of the constructed masonry. (1.7) Project-specific
conditions such as support of construction loads by the masonry and shoring and weather
exposure during construction must be addressed. Cold- and hot-weather construction
requirements are included and are mandatory when they apply. The provisions for cold-weather
construction have been revised in the 2002 MSJC Specification. Provisions for both cold-and
hot-weather construction are separated into preparation, and construction protection. In most
cases the methods to achieve the requirements are left to the discretion of the contractor. (1.8)
Part 2 - Products
This section lists the available American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for
masonry materials, including masonry units, mortar, grout, reinforcement and metal accessories.
Specific requirements are given if an appropriate ASTM standard does not exist. Referenced
ASTM standards for brick and tile are C 34, C 56, C 62, C 126, C 212, C 216, C 652, and C
1088. There are provisions for spacing of cross wires in joint reinforcement that are not included
in standard for this material. Minimum corrosion protection requirements for metal items are
stated including galvanized and epoxy coatings. Requirements for corrosion protection of bonded
and unbonded prestressing tendons are also included. Criteria are specified for prestressing
anchorages, couplers and end blocks. An accessories section provides requirements on
contraction joint material, expansion joint material, asphalt emulsions, masonry cleaners and joint
fillers. (2.1-2.5)
The MSJC Specification contains requirements for the mixing of mortar and grout. Time of mixing
and additives to mortar are limited. The grout must meet ASTM C 476 and be furnished and
placed with a slump between 8 in. (200 mm) and 11 in. (275 mm). (2.6)
Standard fabrication limits are stated for reinforcement and for prefabricated masonry panels.
These include bend and hook requirements for reinforcing bars. Prefabricated masonry panels
must conform to the provisions of ASTM C 901. (2.7)
Part 3 - Execution
The execution of the work includes initial inspection; preparation; masonry erection; reinforcement,
tie and anchor installation; grout placement; prestressing tendon installation and stressing
procedure; field quality control; and cleaning. Dimensional tolerances for foundations on which
masonry is placed are provided and should be measured prior to the start of masonry work. (3.1)
As part of the preparation requirements, clay or shale masonry units having initial absorption rates
in excess of one gram per minute per in
2
, as measured with ASTM C 67 must be pre-wetted, so
the initial rate of absorption will not exceed one gram per minute per in
2
when the units are used.
Cleanouts are required at the base of masonry to be grouted whenever pour heights exceed 5 ft
(1.5 m). (3.2)
Standard requirements for good workmanship are required by the MSJC Specification. These
include the requirement for completely filled mortar joints and grouted spaces. Proper support of
masonry and bracing during construction is required but is not prescribed. Dimensional tolerances
for the masonry are listed to ensure structural performance. The tolerances should not be used to
establish appearance criteria, unless specifically noted as such by the project specifications. (3.3)
Inspection of reinforcement and metal accessories is required to ensure that they have been
properly placed and are free of materials that hinder bond. Tolerances for locating and placing
t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
13 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM
reinforcing steel, wall ties, and veneer anchors are prescribed. Criteria for adjustable wall ties,
which are repeated from the MSJC Code, are included. Placement requirements for veneer
anchors have been added (3.4)
Prior to grout placement, debris must be removed from grout spaces. The grouting requirements
found in the MSJC Code are repeated in the MSJC Specification. Maximum grout pour heights are
determined by the type of grout used and the dimensions of the grout space. Consolidation of
grout is required to fill voids created by the loss of water from grout by absorption into the
masonry. Alternate grout placement requirements, established through the use of a grout
demonstration panel, are permitted. (3.5)
Prestressing tendon installation and stressing requirements include: tolerances; application and
measurement of the prestressing force; grouting bonded tendons; and burning and welding
operations. (3.6)
As part of field quality control, the specified compressive of masonry f'
m
is verified in accordance
with Article 1.6, Quality Assurance; grout is sampled and tested in accordance with Articles 1.4B
and 1.6. Provisions for cleaning exposed masonry surfaces complete the MSJC Specification.
(3.8)

SUMMARY
This Technical Notes provides an overview to the criteria contained in the MSJC Code and
Specification. The discussion centers on the design requirements to be followed by architects and
engineers and the masonry specifications to be implemented by the contractor during
construction. Changes to the Code and Specification in the 2002 editions are emphasized. The
MSJC Code and Specification provide the designer with coordination between the design and
construction phases of all masonry buildings.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Notes are based on the available data
and the experience of the engineering staff of the Brick Industry Association. The information
contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment and a basic
understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of the information
contained in this Technical Notes are not within the purview of the Brick Industry Association and
must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.

t45 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3.htm
14 of 14 9/13/2009 12:30 PM

Technical Notes 3A - Brick Masonry Material Properties
December 1992
Abstract: Brick masonry has a long history of reliable structural performance. Standards for the structural design of
masonry which are periodically updated such as the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI
530/ASCE 5/TMS 402) and the Specifications for Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602) advance the
efficiency of masonry elements with rational design criteria. However, design of masonry structural members begins
with a thorough understanding of material properties. This Technical Notes is an aid for the design of brick and
structural clay tile masonry structural members. Clay and shale units, mortar, grout, steel reinforcement and
assemblage material properties are presented to simplify the design process.
Key Words: brick, grout, material properties, mortar, reinforcement, structural clay tile.
INTRODUCTION
The Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC) has developed the Building Code Requirements for Masonry
Structures (ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402) and the Specifications for Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS
602). In this Technical Notes, these documents will be referred to as the MSJC Code and the MSJC Specifications,
respectively. Their contents are reviewed in Technical Notes 3. The MSJC Code and Specifications are periodically
revised by the MSJC and together provide design and construction requirements for masonry. The MSJC Code and
Specifications apply to structural masonry assemblages of clay, concrete or stone units.
This Technical Notes is a design aid for the MSJC Code and Specifications. It contains information on clay and shale
units, mortar, grout, steel reinforcement and assemblage material properties. These are used in the initial stages of
a structural design or analysis to determine applied stresses and allowable stresses. Material properties are
explained to aid the designer in selection of materials and to provide a better understanding of the structural
properties of the masonry assemblage based on the materials selected.
CONSTITUENT MATERIAL PROPERTIES
Because brick masonry is bonded into an integral mass by mortar and grout, it is considered to be a homogeneous
construction. It is the behavior of the combination of materials that determines the performance of the masonry as a
structural element. However, the performance of a structural masonry element is dependent upon the properties of
the constituent materials and the interaction of the materials as an assemblage. Therefore, it is important to first
consider the properties of the constituent materials: clay and shale units, mortar, grout and steel reinforcement. This
will be followed by a discussion of the behavior of their combination as an assemblage.
Clay and Shale Masonry Units
There are many variables in the manufacturing of clay and shale masonry units. Primary raw materials include
surface clays, fire clays, shales or combinations of these. Units are formed by extrusion, molding or dry-pressing
and are fired in a kiln at temperatures between 1800
o
F and 2100
o
(980
o
C and 1150
o
C). These variables in
manufacturing produce units with a wide range of colors, textures, sizes and physical properties. Clay and shale
masonry units are most frequently selected as a construction material for their aesthetics and long-term
performance. Consequently, material standards for clay and shale masonry units contain requirements to ensure that
units meet a level of durability and visual and dimensional consistency. Clay and shale masonry units used in
structural elements of building constructions are brick and structural clay tile. Material standards for brick and
structural clay tile include: ASTM C 216 (facing brick), ASTM C 62 (building brick), ASTM C 652 (hollow brick),
ASTM C 212 (structural clay facing tile) and ASTM C 34 (structural clay load-bearing tile).
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
1 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
While brick and structural clay tile are both visually appealing and durable, they are also well-suited for many
structural applications. This is primarily due to their variety of sizes and very high compressive strength. The material
properties of brick and structural clay tile which have the most significant effect upon structural performance of the
masonry are compressive strength and those properties affecting bond between the unit and mortar, such as rate of
water absorption and surface texture.
Unit Compressive Strength. The compressive strength of brick or structural clay tile is an important material
property for structural applications. In general, increasing the compressive strength of the unit will increase the
masonry assemblage compressive strength and elastic modulus. However, brick and structural clay tile are
frequently specified by material standard rather than by a particular minimum unit compressive strength. ASTM
material standards for brick and structural clay tile require minimum compressive strengths to ensure durability,
which may be as little as one-fifth the actual unit compressive strength. A recent Brick Institute of America survey of
United States brick manufacturers resulted in a data base of unit properties [6]. A subsequent survey of structural
clay tile manufacturers was conducted. The compressive strengths of brick and structural clay tile evaluated in these
surveys are presented in Table 1. As is apparent, all types of brick and structural clay tile typically exhibit
compressive strengths considerably greater than the ASTM minimum requirements. Compressive strength of brick
and structural clay tile is determined in accordance with ASTM C 67 Method of Sampling and Testing Brick and
Structural Clay Tile.
1
Extruded only.
2
Made from other materials or a combination of materials.
3
Based on gross area.
Unit Texture and Absorption. Unit texture and absorption are properties which affect the bond strength of the
masonry assemblage. In general, mortar bonds better to roughened surfaces, such as wire cut surfaces, than to
smooth surfaces, such as die skin surfaces. Cores or frogs provide a means of mechanical interlock. The bond
strength of sanded surfaces is dependent upon the amount of sand on the surface, the sand's adherence to the unit
and the absorption rate of the unit at the time of laying.
In practically all cases, mortar bonds best to a unit whose suction at the time of laying is less than 30 g/min/30 in
2
(1.55 kg/min/m
2
). Generally, molded units will exhibit a higher initial rate of absorption than extruded or dry-pressed
units. Unit absorption at the time of laying is an alterable property of brick and structural clay tile. In accordance with
the MSJC Specifications, units with initial rate of absorption in excess of 30 g/min/30 in.
2
(1.55 kg/min/m
2
) should be
wetted to reduce the rate of water absorption of the unit prior to laying. In addition, suction of very absorptive units
may be accommodated by using highly water-retentive mortars.
Mortar
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
2 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
The material properties of mortar which influence the structural performance of masonry are compressive strength,
bond strength and elasticity. Because the compressive strength of masonry mortar is less important than bond
strength, workability and water retentivity, the latter properties should be given principal consideration in mortar
selection. Mortar materials, properties and selection of masonry mortars are discussed in Technical Notes 8 Series.
Mortar should be selected based on the design requirements and with due consideration of the MSJC Code and
Specifications provisions affected by the mortar selected.
Laboratory testing indicates that masonry constructed with portland cement-lime mortar exhibit greater flexural bond
strength than masonry constructed with masonry cement mortar or air-entrained portland cement-lime mortar of the
same Type. This behavior is reflected in the MSJC Code allowable flexural tensile stresses for unreinforced
masonry, which are based on the mortar Type and mortar materials selected. In addition, masonry cement mortars
may not be used in Seismic Zones 3 and 4.
Other MSJC Code and Specifications provisions are the same for portland cement-lime mortars, masonry cement
mortars and air-entrained portland cement-lime mortars of the same Type. These include the modulus of elasticity of
the masonry, allowable compressive stresses for empirical design and the unit strength method of verifying that the
specified compressive strength of masonry is supplied. Following is a general description of the structural properties
of each Type of mortar permitted by the MSJC Code and Specifications.
Type N Mortar. Type N mortar is specifically recommended for chimneys, parapet walls and exterior walls subject
to severe exposure. It is a medium bond and compressive strength mortar suitable for general use in exposed
masonry above grade. Type N mortar may not be used in Seismic Zones 3 and 4.
Type S Mortar. Type S mortar is recommended for use in reinforced masonry and unreinforced masonry where
maximum flexural strength is required. It has a high compressive strength and has a high tensile bond strength with
most brick units.
Type M Mortar. Type M mortar is specifically recommended for masonry below grade and in contact with earth,
such as foundation walls, retaining walls, sewers and manholes. It has high compressive strength and better
durability in these environments than Type N or S mortars.
For compliance with the MSJC Specifications, mortars should conform to the requirements of ASTM C 270
Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry. Field sampling of mortar for quality control should follow the procedures
given in ASTM C 780 Test Method for Preconstruction and Construction Evaluation of Mortars for Plain and
Reinforced Unit Masonry. Test procedures for masonry mortars are covered in Technical Notes 39 Series.
Grout
Grout is used in brick masonry to fill cells of hollow units or spaces between wythes of solid unit masonry. Grout
increases the compressive, shear and flexural strength of the masonry element and bonds steel reinforcement and
masonry together. For compliance with the MSJC Specifications, grout which is used in brick or structural clay tile
masonry should conform to the requirements of ASTM C 476 Specification for Grout for Masonry. Grout proportions
of portland cement or blended cement, hydrated lime or lime putty, and coarse or fine aggregate are given in Table
2.
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
3 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
1
Aggregate measured by volume in a damp, loose condition.
The amount of mixing water and its migration from the grout to the brick or structural clay tile will determine the
compressive strength of the grout and the amount of grout shrinkage. Tests indicate that the total amount of water
absorbed from grout by hollow clay units appears to be more dependent on the initial water content of the grout than
the absorption properties of the unit [3]. Grouts with high initial water content exhibit more shrinkage than grouts with
low initial water contents. Consequently, use of a non-shrink grout admixture is recommended to minimize the
number of flaws and shrinkage cracks in the grout while still producing a grout slump of 8 to 11 in. (200 to 280 mm),
unless otherwise specified.
The MSJC Specifications require grout compressive strength to be at least equal to the specified compressive
strength of masonry, f'm, but not less than 2,000 psi (13.8 MPa) as determined by ASTM C 1019 Method of
Sampling and Testing Grout. Test procedures for grout are explained in more detail in Technical Notes 39 Series. In
general, the compressive strength of ASTM C 476 grout by proportions will be greater than 2,000 psi (13.8 MPa).
Prediction of the compressive strength of grout which is proportioned in accordance with ASTM C 476 is difficult
because of the many possible combinations of materials, types of materials and construction conditions. However,
ASTM C 476 grout proportions produce a rich mix which is recommended to complement the high compressive
strength of brick and structural clay tile.
Steel Reinforcement
Steel reinforcement for masonry construction consists of bars and wires. Reinforcing bars are used in masonry
elements such as walls, columns, pilasters and beams. Wires are used in masonry bed joints to reinforce individual
masonry wythes or to tie multiple wythes together. Bars and wires have approximately the same modulus of
elasticity, which is stated in the MSJC Code as 29,000 ksi (200,000 MPa). In general, wires tend to achieve greater
ultimate strength and behave in a more brittle manner than reinforcing bars. Common bar and wire sizes and their
material properties are given in Table 3. As stated in the MSJC Specifications, steel reinforcement for masonry
structural members should comply with one of the material standards given in Table 4.
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
4 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
1
From reference [5].
ASSEMBLAGE MATERIAL PROPERTIES
The properties of the constituent materials discussed previously combine to produce the brick or structural clay tile
masonry assemblage properties. Following is a discussion of the material properties of the masonry assemblage.
Compressive Strength
Perhaps the single most important material property in the structural design of masonry is the compressive strength
of the masonry assemblage. The specified compressive strength of the masonry assemblage, f'm, is used to
determine the allowable axial and flexural compressive stresses, shear stresses and anchor bolt loads given in the
MSJC Code.
The compressive strength of the masonry assemblage can be evaluated by the properties of each constituent
material, termed in the MSJC Specifications the "Unit Strength Method," or by testing the properties of the entire
masonry assemblage, termed the "Prism Testing Method." These methods are not to be used to establish design
values; rather, they are used by the contractor to verify that the masonry achieves the specified compressive
strength, f'm.
Unit Strength Method. A benefit of verifying compliance of the compressive strength of masonry by unit, mortar
and grout properties is the elimination of prism testing. Each of the materials in the masonry assemblage must
conform to ASTM material standards mentioned in previous sections of this Technical Notes. For compliance with
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
5 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
these material standards, the compressive strength of the unit and the proportions or properties of the mortar and
grout must be evaluated. Not surprisingly, there have been attempts by numerous researchers to accurately
correlate the assemblage compressive strength with unit, mortar and grout compressive strengths. Testing an
assemblage of three materials produces a large scatter of compressive strengths covering all possible combinations
of materials. Therefore, estimates of the masonry assemblage compressive strength based on unit, mortar and
grout properties are necessarily conservative. The correlations provided in the MSJC Specifications, shown in Table
5, between unit compressive strength, mortar type and the masonry assemblage compressive strength represent a
lower-bound to experimental data. In addition, the MSJC Specifications unit strength method does not directly
address variable grout strength, multi-wythe construction or the influence of joint reinforcement on the compressive
strength of the masonry assemblage. Consequently, compliance with the specified compressive strength of masonry
by prism testing will always produce a more accurate and optimum use of brick or structural clay tile masonry's
compressive strength than the unit strength method.
The conservative nature of Table 5 should not be overlooked by the designer. A comparison of the predicted
assemblage compressive strength by the unit strength method in the MSJC Specifications and a data base of actual
brick masonry prism test results [1] reveals this conservatism. The average compressive strength of prisms of solid
brick units was found to be about 1.7 times the masonry compressive strength predicted by Table 5. The average
compressive strength of prisms of hollow units ungrouted and grouted was found to be 1.9 and 1.4 times the
compressive strengths predicted by Table 5, respectively.
1
Linear Interpolation is permitted.
Prism Test Method. Prism testing of brick or structural clay tile masonry provides a number of advantages over
constituent material testing alone. The primary benefit of prism testing is a more accurate estimation of the
compressive strength of the masonry assemblage. Another benefit of prism testing is that it provides a method of
measuring the quality of workmanship throughout the course of a project. Low prism strengths may indicate mortar
mixing error or poor quality grout.
The MSJC Specifications permit testing of masonry prisms to show conformance with the specified compressive
strength of masonry, f'm. In addition, the material components must meet the appropriate standards of quality.
Masonry prisms are tested in accordance with ASTM E 447 Test Methods for Compressive Strength of Masonry
Prisms, Method B as modified by the MSJC Specifications. At least three prisms are required by the MSJC
Specifications for each combination of materials. The average of the three tests must exceed f'm. Further
explanation of prism testing procedures is provided in Technical Notes 39B.
Shear Strength
The shear strength of a masonry assemblage may be separated into four parts: 1) the shear strength of the unit,
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
6 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
mortar and grout assemblage, 2) the effect of the shear span-to-depth ratio, M/Vd, 3) the enhancement of shear
strength due to compressive stress, and 4) the contribution of shear reinforcement in the masonry assemblage. All
four phenomenon are represented in the allowable shear stresses provided in the MSJC Code. However, only the
first and fourth items are controlled by material properties. Items two and three vary with member size and applied
loads.
The shear strength of the masonry assemblage is directly related to the properties of the unit, mortar and grout.
Shear failure of a unit-mortar assemblage is by splitting of units, step-cracking in mortar joints, or a combination of
the two. Unit splitting strength is increased by increasing the compressive strength of the unit. In general, unit
splitting is not a common shear failure mode of brick or structural clay tile masonry. Unit splitting occurs in masonry
assemblages of weak units and strong mortar and may also occur in shear walls which are heavily axially loaded.
Cracking in mortar joints is the more common shear failure mode for brick and structural clay tile masonry
assemblages. Mortar joint failure occurs by sliding along bed joints and separation of head joints. Mortar joint shear
failure is affected by bond strength and the frictional characteristics between the mortar and the unit. In general, a
unit-mortar combination which provides greater bond strength will also provide greater shear strength. Grouting the
masonry assemblage will also increase shear strength by providing a shear key between courses. The shear
strength of a masonry assemblage may be evaluated in accordance with ASTM E 519 Test Method for Diagonal
Tension (Shear) in Masonry Assemblages. The contribution of unit, mortar and grout to the allowable shear stresses
stated in the MSJC Code are based on ASTM E 519 tests of masonry assemblages.
Steel reinforcement may be added to the masonry assemblage to increase shear strength. Shear reinforcement
should be provided parallel to the direction of applied shear force. The MSJC Code also requires a minimum amount
of reinforcement perpendicular to the shear reinforcement of one-third the area of shear reinforcement. When shear
reinforcement is provided in accordance with the MSJC Code, allowable shear stresses given in the MSJC Code for
reinforced masonry are increased three times for flexural members and one and one-half times for shear walls.
Flexural Tensile Strength
Reinforced brick and structural clay tile masonry is considered cracked under service loads and the flexural tensile
strength of the masonry is neglected in design. However, cracking of an unreinforced brick or structural clay tile
masonry member constitutes failure and must be avoided. Thus, flexural tensile strength is an important design
consideration for unreinforced masonry. Flexural tensile strength is the bond strength of masonry in flexure. It is a
function of the type of unit, type of mortar, mortar materials, percentage of grouting of hollow units and the direction
of loading. Workmanship is also very important for flexural tensile strength, as unfilled mortar joints or dislodged units
have no mortar-to-unit bond strength.
Allowable flexural tensile stresses stipulated in the MSJC Code for unreinforced masonry are given in Table 6. The
allowable flexural tensile stresses for portland cement-lime mortars are based on full-size wall tests in accordance
with ASTM E 72 Method of Conducting Strength Tests of Panels for Building Construction. Values for masonry
cement and air-entrained portland cement-lime mortars are based on reductions obtained with comparative testing.
Flexural tensile strength may be evaluated by testing small-scale prisms in accordance with ASTM E 518 Test
Method for Flexural Bond Strength of Masonry or ASTM C 1072 Test Method for Measurement of Masonry Flexural
Bond Strength, but these results may not directly correlate to the allowable flexural tensile stresses in the MSJC
Code.
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
7 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
1
For partially grouted masonry allowable stresses shall be determined on the basis of linear interpolation between hollow units which are fully grouted or
ungrouted and hollow units based on amount of grouting.
Elastic Modulus
The elastic modulus of the masonry assemblage, in combination with the moment of inertia of the section,
determines the stiffness of a brick or structural clay tile masonry structural element. Elastic modulus is the ratio of
applied load (stress) to corresponding deformation (strain). The elastic modulus is roughly proportional to the
compressive strength of the masonry assemblage. Testing of brick masonry prisms indicates that the elastic
modulus of brick masonry falls between 700 and 1200 times the masonry prism compressive strength [4]. If the Unit
Strength Method is used to show compliance with the specified compressive strength of masonry, f'm, an accurate
estimation of the actual compressive strength of the masonry assemblage may not be known. Consequently, the
elastic modulus of the masonry assemblage is determined by the mortar type and the unit compressive strength.
See Table 7. The data in Table 1 can be used to estimate the modulus of elasticity of the masonry assemblage for
the type of unit selected.
The elastic modulus of grout is computed as 500 times the compressive strength of the grout in accordance with the
MSJC Code. In general, the elastic modulus of grout and the elastic moduli of brick or structural clay tile and mortar
masonry assemblages are comparable and are often considered equal for design calculations. However, the MSJC
Code recommends that the method of transformation of areas based on relative elastic moduli be used for
computation of stresses in grouted masonry elements.
1
MSJC Code Table 5.5.1.2.
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
8 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM

Dimensional Stability
Dimensional stability is also an important property of the masonry assemblage. Expansion and contraction of the
brick or structural clay tile masonry may exert restraining stresses on the masonry and surrounding elements.
Material properties which affect dimensional stability of clay and shale unit masonry are moisture expansion, creep
and thermal movements. Effects of these phenomenon may be evaluated by the coefficients provided in the MSJC
Code, which are listed in Table 8. The coefficients in Table 8 represent average quantities for moisture expansion
and thermal movements and an upper-bound value for creep. Moisture expansion and thermal expansion and
contraction are independent and may be added directly. The magnitude of creep of clay or shale unit masonry will
depend upon the amount of load applied to the masonry element.
1
Conversion based on equivalent deformation at 100
o
F (38
o
C).
SUMMARY
This Technical Notes contains information about the material properties of brick and structural clay tile masonry.
This information may be used in conjunction with the MSJC Code and Specifications to design and analyze structural
masonry elements. Typical material properties of clay and shale masonry units, mortar, grout, reinforcing steel and
combinations of these are presented.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Notes are based on the available data and the
experience of the engineering staff of the Brick Institute of America. The information contained herein must be used
in conjunction with good technical judgment and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final
decisions on the use of the information contained in this Technical Notes are not within the purview of the Brick
Institute of America and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. Atkinson, R.H., "Evaluation of Strength and Modulus Tables for Grouted and Ungrouted Hollow Unit
Masonry," Atkinson-Noland and Associates, Inc., Boulder, CO, November 1990, 47 pp.
2. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures and Commentary (ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402-92)
and Specifications for Masonry Structures and Commentary (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602-92), American
Concrete Institute, Detroit, MI, 1992.
3. Kingsley, G.R., et al., "The Influence of Water Content and Unit Absorption Properties on Grout
Compressive Strength and Bond Strength in Hollow Clay Unit Masonry," Proceedings 3rd North American
Masonry Conference, The Masonry Society, Boulder, CO, June 1985, pp. 7:1-12.
4. Plummer, H.C., Brick and Tile Engineering, Brick Institute of America, Reston, VA, 1977, 466 pp.
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
9 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
5. "Steel Reinforcement Properties and Availability," Report of ACI Committee 439, Journal of the American
Concrete Institute, Vol. 74, Detroit, MI, 1977, p. 481.
6. Subasic, C.A., Borchelt, J.G., "Clay and Shale Brick Material Properties - A Statistical Report," submitted
for inclusion, Proceedings 6th North American Masonry Conference, The Masonry Society, Boulder, CO,
June 1993, 12 pp.
t3a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3a.htm
10 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM

Technical Notes 3B - Brick Masonry Section Properties
May 1993
Abstract: This Technical Notes is a design aid for the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI
530/ASCE 5/TMS 402-92) and Specifications for Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602-92). Section
properties of brick masonry units, steel reinforcement and brick masonry assemblages are given to simplify the
design process. Section properties are used to calculate stresses and to determine the allowable stresses given in
the ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402-92 Code.
Key Words: brick, dimensions, section properties, steel reinforcement.
INTRODUCTION
An assemblage's geometry determines its ability to resist loads. Section properties are properties of a masonry
assemblage which are based solely on its geometry. Section properties are used in design and analysis of brick
masonry structural elements. Section properties are used to determine allowable stresses which may be applied to
brick masonry elements, as well as to calculate an element's stress under applied loads. Because brick is a small
building unit, it may be used to construct assemblages of nearly any configuration. While this is a benefit of
construction with brick masonry, it can make design tedious because each masonry assemblage will have unique
section properties. To simplify the design process, this Technical Notes presents the section properties of brick
units, steel reinforcement and typical brick masonry assemblages. The section properties are based on specified
dimensions of the units and assemblages.
This Technical Notes is a design aid for the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530/ASCE
5/TMS 402-92) and the Specifications for Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602-92). These documents,
which are promulgated by the Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC), will be referred to as the MSJC Code
and the MSJC Specifications, respectively. References are made to the MSJC Code and Specifications to indicate
where each section property applies. Other Technical Notes in this series provide an overview of the MSJC Code
and Specifications and material properties of brick masonry.
NOTATION
Following are notations used in the text, figure and tables in this Technical Notes. Where applicable, notations are
the same as used in the MSJC Code and Specifications.
An Net cross-sectional area of masonry, in.
2
(mm

2
)
As Area of steel, in.
2
(mm
2
)
b Width of section, in. (mm)
bflange Width of flange, in. (mm)
bweb Width of web, in. (mm)
d Distance from extreme compression fiber ot the centroid of tension reinforcement, in. (mm)
Em Elastic modulus of masonry, psi (MPa)
Es Elastic modulus of steel, psi (MPa)
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
1 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
I Moment of inertia, in.
4
(m
4
)
j Ratio of distance between centroid of flexural compressive forces and centroid of tensile forces to
depth
k Ratio of distance between compression face and neutral axis to distance between compression
face and centroid of tensile forces
n Elastic moduli ratio, E
s
/E
m
Q First moment about the neutral axis of a section of that portion of the cross section lying between
the neutral axis and extreme fiber, in.
3
(m
3
)
r Radius of gyration, in. (mm)
S Section modulus, in.
3
(m
3
)
SECTION PROPERTIES OF CONSTITUENT MATERIALS
The constituent materials of units, mortar, grout and reinforcement combine to form brick masonry assemblages.
The section properties of each constituent material may be required in the design process. The section properties of
clay and shale masonry units are the basis for the section properties of the total brick masonry assemblage. The
section properties of steel reinforcement are used to determine the size and spacing of reinforcement within a brick
masonry assemblage.
Clay and Shale Masonry Units
Clay and shale masonry units are manufactured in a number of sizes and shapes. Clay and shale masonry units are
classified as either solid units or hollow units. Solid units may contain up to 25 percent void area as a percentage of
the gross cross-sectional area of the unit. Hollow units are classified as H40V for units with a total void area greater
than 25 percent and less than 40 percent of the gross cross-sectional area, or H60V for units with a total void area
greater than 40 percent and less than 60 percent of the gross cross-sectional area. The number and size of voids
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
2 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
vary with unit size and manufacturing equipment.
The range of sizes of clay and shale masonry units is given in Table 1. The names given for unit sizes in Table 1
were established by consensus of United States brick manufacturers and are standard terminology for the brick
industry. Further information on masonry unit sizes and coursing of brickwork can be found in the Technical Notes 10
series on estimating brickwork.


One criteria for unit selection may be accommodation of reinforcement within the unit itself. Placement of steel
reinforcement within the cores or cells of hollow units or solid cored units is permitted by the MSJC Code and
Specifications. A core is a void area less than or equal to 1 1/2 in.
2
(970 mm
2
). A cell is a void area which is larger
than 1 1/2 in.
2
(970 mm
2
). When placing reinforcement within a unit, adequate space for grouting must be provided.
Specifically, MSJC Code Section 8.3.5 requires that the minimum distance between the steel reinforcement and the
surrounding masonry unit be 1/4 in. (6 mm) when fine grout is used and 1/2 in. (13 mm) when coarse grout is used.
In certain instances, the cross-sectional area of masonry units may need to be determined. For example, the
compressive strength of a masonry prism is determined based on the unit's gross cross-sectional area when the
prism is constructed of solid units or fully grouted hollow units, and on the unit's net cross-sectional area when the
prism is constructed of hollow units. For solid units which contain cores, the gross cross-sectional area is used as
the net cross-sectional area. Unit cross-sectional area may be determined in accordance with ASTM C 67 Methods
of Sampling and Testing Brick and Structural Clay Tile.
The shell and web thickness of hollow units may need to be determined because hollow unit brick masonry walls are
typically face-shell bedded, while columns, pilasters and the first course of walls must be fully bedded. Minimum
thickness requirements for shells and webs of hollow units are established by ASTM C 652 Specification for Hollow
Brick (Hollow Masonry Units Made From Clay or Shale). These limits are given in Table 2. Many manufacturers
exceed the minimum thickness requirements given in Table 2, so it is advisable to request actual unit dimensions for
design purposes.
TABLE 2
Hollow Unit Section Properties
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
3 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
1
Cores greater than 1 in.2 (650 mm2) in cored shells shall be not less than 1/2 in. (13 mm) from any edge. Cores not greater than 1 in.2
(650 mm2) in shells cored not more than 35% shall be not less than 3/8 in. (10 mm) from any edge.
2
The thickness of webs shall not be less than 1/2 in. (13 mm) between cells, 3/8 in. (10 mm) between cells and cores or 1/4 in. (6 mm)
between cores.
Steel Reinforcement
Steel reinforcement for brick masonry assemblages consists of bars and wires. Reinforcing bars are placed in
grouted cavities, pockets, cores, cells or bond beams of brick masonry walls, columns, pilasters and beams. Steel
wire reinforcement is placed in brick masonry mortar joints to reinforce individual assemblages or to tie structural
elements together, such as the wythes of a multi-wythe wall. Common bar and wire section properties are given in
Table 3. The sizes of reinforcement listed in Table 3 are those permitted by the MSJC Code. The cross-sectional
area of reinforcement is used in MSJC Code Eq. 7-10 to determine the spacing of shear reinforcement. The
diameter of reinforcement is used to establish placement limits and minimum reinforcement development length
requirements given in Chapter 8 of the MSJC Code.
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
4 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
SECTION PROPERTIES OF BRICK MASONRY ASSEMBLAGES
The section properties of the assemblage of the constituent materials, along with the strength of the materials, will
determine the magnitude of loads the assemblage can resist. Consider the section properties required in the design
of brick masonry assemblages following the MSJC Code. The width of the brick masonry assemblage, b, is used in
MSJC Code Eqs. 6-7 and 7-3 and the effective depth of reinforcement, d, is used in MSJC Code Eqs. 7-3, 7-5, 7-8
and 7-10. Moment of inertia, I, is used in MSJC Code Eqs. 6-6 and 6-7. Radius of gyration, r, is used in MSJC Code
Eqs. 6-3, 6-4, 6-6, 7-1 and 7-2 to determine allowable compressive stresses and axial load. The first moment of
area, Q, is used in MSJC Code Eq. 6-7 to determine the shear stress in an unreinforced masonry element. The
dimensionless quantities k and j are used to determine a cracked, reinforced masonry element's compressive stress
and the allowable shear stress given in MSJC Code Eq. 7-3. The quantities k and j are functions of the area of
reinforcement, As, and the moduli ratio, n. The moduli ratio, n, is the ratio of the modulus of elasticity of steel, Es, to
the modulus of elasticity of masonry, Em.
Following is a discussion of the section properties of typical brick masonry assemblages. Tables 4 through 7 provide
section properties of these assemblages based on the dimensions indicated, which are based on the least specified
brick unit dimensions given in Tables 1 and 2. The MSJC Code requires that the computation of stresses be based
on the minimum net cross-sectional area of the element under consideration, An. For ungrouted, hollow brick units
laid with face-shell bedding, the minimum net cross-sectional area is the mortar bedded area. The computation of
stiffness of a brick masonry element may be based on the average net cross-sectional area of the element. The
average cross-sectional area is permitted for stiffness computations, because the distribution of material within an
element may be non-uniform. Examples of structural elements which have a non-uniform distribution of materials
include partially grouted or ungrouted hollow unit masonry walls.
Walls
Brick masonry walls may be constructed of a single wythe (one unit in thickness) or multiple wythes and can be
reinforced or unreinforced. Brick masonry walls may be loaded perpendicular to the plane of the wall or in the plane
of the wall. Out-of-plane loads may be caused by wind or earth pressures or by earthquake induced ground motions.
In-plane loads may be the dead weight of the structure, live loads or the result of the transfer of out-of-plane loads
through wall connections.
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
5 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
Section properties used in the MSJC Code's design equations for unreinforced masonry walls are I, r and Q. Section
properties used in the MSJC Code's design equations for reinforced masonry walls are j, b and d. Additional section
properties used to compute applied stresses are An, S and k. Effective areas for partially grouted, hollow unit
masonry walls are illustrated in Figure 1. Shading indicates net uncracked area, net cracked area and shear area for
a cracked cross section. For all illustrations in this Technical Notes, cross-hatching indicates mortar bedded areas.
In Figure 1(b), the effective width, b, is taken as the least of s, 6t and 72 in. (1.8 m). In Figure 1(c), the effective
width, b, is taken as the width of the grout space plus the thicknesses of the adjacent web and end web.
Effective Areas for Partially Grouted, Hollow Unit Masonry Walls
FIG. 1
Section properties for typical ungrouted and grouted brick masonry walls are given in Tables 4 and 5, respectively.
The quantities k and j are not provided in this Technical Notes because they are dependent upon the quantity of
reinforcement provided, the elastic moduli of the masonry and the steel and the loading conditions. The elastic
moduli of the masonry and the steel will determine the moduli ratio, n. The moduli ratio is used to determine the state
of stress in the steel and the masonry under loads. The loading conditions may be a combination of out-of-plane and
in-plane loads. Walls which are subject to flexural and axial loads must be designed considering the interaction of
axial load and bending moment, which may be accomplished by the use of a moment-load interaction diagram. The
method of development of a moment-load interaction diagram is beyond the scope of this Technical Notes.
TABLE 4
Ungrouted Wall Section Properties1
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
6 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
1
Per foot (305 mm) of wall.
2
Section properties are based on minimum solid face shell thickness (see Table 2) and face shell bedding.


TABLE 5
Grouted Wall Section Properties1
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
7 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
1
Per foot (305 mm) of wall. Section properties are based on minimum solid face shell thickness (see Table2) and face shell
bedding of hollow unit masonry.
Columns
Columns, as defined by the MSJC Code, are isolated elements whose horizontal dimension measured at a right
angle from the thickness dimension does not exceed three times the thickness dimension and whose height is at
least three times its thickness. Brick masonry columns are used to support large axial loads. Axial loads are typically
due to the permanent weight of the structure and the transient floor or roof load which is tributary to the column.
According to the MSJC Code, columns must be reinforced with a minimum of four reinforcing bars, and the area of
reinforcement, As, must be at least 0.0025 but not more than 0.04 times the column's net cross-sectional area, An.
The minimum nominal dimension of a column is 8 in. (200 mm) and the ratio of height to least lateral dimension must
not exceed 25. These requirements will influence the brick masonry column cross section selected. Typical brick
masonry column configurations and section properties are given in Table 6. Section properties are based on
uncracked cross sections. Typically, a brick masonry column will be in compression and will not crack under loads.
However, columns which are loaded by a eccentric axial load or a large lateral load may crack in flexure. A
moment-load interaction diagram should be used to design and analyze such columns, considering the section
properties of the cracked cross section. The method of development of a moment-load interaction diagram is
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
8 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
beyond the scope of this Technical Notes.
TABLE 6
Column Section Properties
Pilasters
A pilaster is simply an increase in the effective thickness of a wall at a specific location. To work together, the wall
and the thickened section must be integrally constructed. MSJC Code Section 5.10 permits three methods of
bonding a pilaster to create integral construction: 1) interlocking fifty percent of the masonry units, 2) toothing at 8 in.
(200 mm) maximum offset and attachment with metal ties and 3) providing reinforced bond beams at a maximum
spacing of 4 ft (1.2 m) on centers vertically. The length of the wall or flange that is considered to act integrally with
the pilaster from each edge of the pilaster or web is the lesser of six times the thickness of the wall or the actual
length of the wall. Typical brick masonry pilaster configurations and uncracked section properties are given in Table
7. As noted previously, cracked section properties such as k and j must be determined based on the amount of
reinforcement, the moduli ratio and the loading conditions. Pilasters which are loaded both out-of-plane and in-plane
must be designed considering the interaction of axial load and bending moment, which may be accomplished by the
use of a moment-load interaction diagram. The method of development of a moment-load interaction diagram is
beyond the scope of this Technical Notes.
TABLE 7
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
9 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM
Pilaster Section Properties
1
Section properties are based on minimum solid face shell thickness (see Table 2) face shell bedding of the flange and full bedding of the
web.
Beams
Reinforced brick masonry beams may be used to span over wall openings such as windows and doors. Brick
masonry beams provide a number of advantages over precast concrete or steel lintels. For example, brick masonry
beams are a more efficient use of materials and produce a visually appealing brick masonry soffit. Some typical
brick masonry beam configurations and their section properties are given in Technical Notes 17H and 17J.
SUMMARY
Section properties of brick masonry materials and assemblages are required whenever a rational design of brick
masonry structural elements is developed following the criteria of the MSJC Code and Specifications. This Technical
Notes provides a summary of section properties of brick masonry. Section properties of clay and shale masonry
units, steel reinforcement and typical brick masonry assemblages are given.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Notes are based on the available data and the
experience of the engineering staff of the Brick Institute of America. The information contained herein must be used
in conjunction with good technical judgment and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final
decisions on the use of the information contained in this Technical Notes are not within the purview of the Brick
Institute of America and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures and Commentary (ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402-92)
and Specifications for Masonry Structures and Commentary (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602-92), American
Concrete Institute, Detroit, MI, 1992.
t3b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t3b.htm
10 of 10 9/13/2009 12:31 PM

Technical Notes 4 - Heat Transmission Coefficients of Brick Masonry Walls
Rev [Jan. 1982] (Reissued Sept. 1997)
Abstract: A procedure to analyze the heat flow through the opaque walls of a building envelope is provided. The
design coefficients of heat transmission are provided for commonly used construction materials. Methods of
calculating heat transmission coefficients and examples of heat loss calculations under steady-state conditions are
provided for opaque wall assemblies.
Key Words: brick, conductance, conductivity, energy, heat loss, rate of heat flow, resistance, resistivity,
steady-state conditions, series and parallel path, thermal transmission.
INTRODUCTION
Because of the finite supply of fossil fuels and the high cost of energy, the need to design energy-efficient buildings
that are also economical becomes important. Various industry groups are continually updating and refining energy
conservation standards and guidelines for use in the design of new buildings. These standards and guidelines may
be used to assist the building designers. The designer is confronted with the fact that no two buildings are exactly
identical, nor are the methods or modes of operation similar. Thus, the energy performance of each building, as a
whole, must be evaluated relative to the real performance of its materials, systems and equipment.
This Technical Notes provides information and methods of calculating transmission coefficients and heat transfer
values of brick masonry walls under static conditions. These may be used in energy conservation studies and
comparisons for predicting thermal performance of building components. However, ASHRAE (American Society of
Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) cautions the designer that heat flow through a building
envelope is actually not static, and although steady-state calculations provide an estimate of energy consumption,
they do not take into account dynamic conditions such as the thermal storage capacity of materials, direct solar
radiation, wind and other variables. The term "steady-state" means that all ambient conditions are assumed to be
constant, which in the real world is virtually never the case.
BUILDING THERMAL DESIGN
The ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals states the following concerning heat transfer calculations:
"Current methods for estimating the heat transferred through floors, walls and roofs of buildings are largely based on
a steady-state or steady-periodic heat flow concept (Equivalent Temperature Difference Concept). The engineering
application of these concepts is not complicated and has served well for many years in the process of design and
selection of heating and cooling equipment for buildings. However, competitive practices of the building industry
sometimes require more than the selection or design of a single heating or cooling system. Consultants are
requested to present a detailed comparison of alternative heating and cooling systems for a given building, including
initial costs as well as short- and long-term operating and maintenance costs. The degree of sophistication required
for costs may make it necessary to calculate the heating and cooling load for estimating energy requirements in
hourly increments for a year's time for given buildings at known geographic locations. Because of the number of
calculations involved, computer processing becomes necessary. The hour-by-hour heating and cooling load
calculations, when based upon a steady heat flow or steady-periodic heat flow concept, do not account for the heat
storage effects of the building structure, especially with regard to net heat gain to the air-conditioned spaces."
The Handbook of Fundamentals also suggests that the designer consider the following factors when performing
heating load calculations: 1) building construction-heavy, medium or light; 2) presence of insulation; 3) infiltration and
ventilation loads; 4) glass area-normal or greater than normal; 5) occupancy nature and schedule; 6) presence of
auxiliary heating devices; and 7) expected cost of energy.
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
1 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
Actual heat flow through a wall under normal weather conditions will involve daily cycles of solar radiation and air
temperature, changing wind speeds and directions, and radiation to the night sky. In studies ("Effective U-Values",
New Mexico Energy Institute, 1978) of dynamic heat transmission through a building envelope, it was found that
consideration of solar heat gain and material thermal storage effects provided results significantly different from
steady-state heat flow calculations. These studies also showed that the optimum economic insulation level varies
with wall orientations, and that changing the color of East, West and South walls was more cost-effective in some
instances than insulating. For a detailed description of the thermal storage effects of brick masonry walls, see
Technical Notes 43 and 43D.
The actual rate of heat flow through typical masonry building walls may be up to 20% less than the calculated rate
based on published U-values. This is indicated by past research (Structural Clay Products Research Foundation,
Studies of Heat Transfer.), which points out that the rate of heat transfer can be 20% to 60% greater than the
calculated rate for wood frame walls and metal panel walls, respectively.
Masonry walls have a more favorable rate of heat transfer because of their greater heat storage capacity, which is
sometimes referred to as thermal mass, or capacity insulation. The heat flows calculated by steady-state methods
are 29% to 60% greater than those measured under dynamic conditions for masonry walls. (Dynamic Thermal
Performance of an Experimental Masonry Building, Building Science Series 45, National Bureau of Standards.) This
means that massive masonry walls may be up to 60% better at retarding heat flow than steady-state U-values
indicate. A method to modify the steady-state calculations, in order to account for the effect of mass, is provided in
Technical Notes 4B.
The overall coefficient of heat transmission (U-value) of various walls discussed in this Technical Notes is used in
steady-state heat transfer and steady-periodic heat gain calculations.
Computer programs, such as those used by the National Bureau of Standards, (National Bureau of Standards Loads
Determination (NBSLD) Computer Program, T. Kasuda, "NBSLD-National Bureau of Standards Heating and Cooling
Load Determination Program", Journal, Automated Procedures for Engineering Consultants (APEC), Winter
1973-1974.) give values much closer to the actual performance of walls than is possible under the steady-state
concept of heat transfer. Government agencies and industry groups are continuing to examine simplified methods to
calculate dynamic heat flow without the use of computers.
TERMINOLOGY
Commonly used terms relative to heat transmission are defined below in accordance with ASHRAE Standard 12-75,
Refrigeration Terms and Definitions. All of these terms describe the same phenomenon, however, some are
described as determined by material dimensions and boundaries.
U = Overall Coefficient of Heat Transmission.
The rate of heat flow through a unit area of building envelope material or assembly, including its boundary
films, per unit of temperature difference between the inside and outside air. The term is commonly called the
"U-value". The Overall Coefficient of Heat Transmission is expressed in Btu/(hr
0
F ft
2
). Note that in computing
U-values, the component heat transmissions are not additive, but the overall U-value is actually less (i.e.,
better) than any of its component layers. Normally, the U-value is calculated by determining the resistance (R,
defined below) of each component, and then taking the reciprocal of the total resistance.
k = Thermal Conductivity.
The rate of heat flow through a homogeneous material, 1-in. thick, per unit of temperature difference between
its two surfaces. A material is considered homogeneous when the value of its thermal conductivity does not
depend on its dimensions (within the range normally used in construction). Thermal Conductivity is expressed
in (Btu in)/(hr
0
F ft
2
)
C = Thermal Conductance.
The rate of heat flow through a unit area of material per unit of temperature difference between its two
surfaces for the thickness of construction given, not per in. of thickness. Note that the conductance of an air
space is dependent on height, depth, position, character and temperature of the boundary surfaces.
Therefore, the air space must be fully described if the values are to be meaningful. For a description of other
than vertical air spaces, see the 1981 ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, Chapter 23. Thermal
Conductance is expressed in Btu/(hr
0
F ft
2
)
h = Film or Surface Conductance.
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
2 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
The rate of heat exchange between a unit or surface area and the air it is in contact with. Subscripts i and o
are used to denote inside and outside conductances, respectively. Film or surface conductance is expressed
in Btu/(hr
0
F ft
2
).
R = Thermal Resistance.
The reciprocal of a heat transfer coefficient, as expressed by U, C, or h. R is in (hr
0
F ft
2
)/Btu. For example,
a wall with a U-value of 0.25 would have a resistance value of R = I/U = 1/0.25=4.0. The value of R is also
used to represent Thermal Resistivity, the reciprocal of the thermal conductivity. Thermal Resistivity is
expressed in (hr
0
F ft
2
)/(Btu in)
Btu = British Thermal Unit.
It is the approximate heat required to raise 1 lb. of water 1 deg Fahrenheit, from 59
0
F to 60
0
F.
The difference of thermally homogeneous materials and thermally heterogeneous materials is shown in Figure 1.
There is a directly proportional relationship between the R and C of the thermally homogeneous material, at twice
the thickness the R is twice as great and the C is halved. For the thermally heterogeneous material, there is no
directly proportional relationship to the R or C and the material thickness. Fig. 1 also shows the horizontal path of
heat flow through a 1 ft
2
surface area of the wall component.
Thermal Transmittance Through Materialsa
FIG. 1
a
It is important to note that not all materials are isotropic with respect to heat transmission. In such thermally heterogeneous materials, the specific
thermal property under consideration could vary with temperature and material orientation. For this reason, care must be taken that the direction of
heat flow through a material is suitable for the material's intended use. Materials in which heat flow is identical in all directions are considered
thermally homogeneous.
CALCULATION OF OVERALL COEFFICIENTS
General
Conductance and resistance coefficients of various wall elements are listed in Table 1. These coefficients were
taken from the 1981 ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, Chapter 23, which states:
"The most exact method of determining heat transmission coefficients for a given combination of building materials
assembled as a building section is to test a representative section in a guarded hot box. However, it is not
practicable to test all the combinations of interest. Experience has indicated that U-values for many constructions,
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
3 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
when calculated by the methods given in this chapter using accurate values for component materials, and with
corrections with framing member heat loss, are in good agreement with the values determined by guarded hot box
measurements, when there are no free air cavities within the construction. "Remember, the values shown for
materials in calculating overall heat transmission are representative of laboratory specimens tested under idealized
conditions. In actual practice, if insulation is improperly installed (for example), shrinkage, settling, insulation
compression, and similar factors may have a significant effect on the overall U-value numbers. Materials that are
field fabricated and consequently especially sensitive to the skills of the mechanic, are especially prone to variations
resulting in performance less than the idealized number."
Calculation Methods
Conductances and resistances of homogeneous material of any thickness can be obtained from the following
formula:
C
x
=k/x, and R
x
=x/k
where:
x=thickness of material in inches.

This calculation for a homogeneous material is shown in Fig. 1. The calculation only considers the brick component
of the wall assembly. Whenever an opaque wall is to be analyzed, the wall assembly should include both the outside
and inside air surfaces. The inclusion of these air surfaces makes all opaque wall assemblies layered construction.
In computing the heat transmission coefficients of layered construction, the paths of heat flow should first be
determined. If these are in series, the resistances are additive, but if the paths of heat flow are in parallel, then the
thermal transmittances are averaged. The word "series" implies that in cross-section, each layer of building material
is one continuous material. However, that is not always the case. For instance, in a longitudinal wall section, one
layer could be composed of more than one material, such as wood studs and insulation, hence having parallel paths
of heat flow within that layer. In this case, a weighted average of the thermal transmittances should be taken.
For layered construction, with paths of heat flow in series, the total thermal resistance of the wall is obtained by:
R
1
=R
1
+R
2
+...

and the overall coefficient of heat transmission is:
U=1/R
1
A solid 8-in. face brick wall would be a layered construction assembly in regard to thermal analysis:
R
(hr *
0
F * ft
2
)
--------------
BTU
Outside Air Surface 0.17
8-in. Face Brick 0.88
Inside Air Surface 0.68
Total: R
1
=1.73
U = 1/R
1
= 0.578 Btu/(hr *
0
F * ft
2
Average transmittances for parallel paths of heat flow may be obtained from the formula:
u
avg
[A
A
(U
A
) + A
B
(U
B
) + ...] / A
t
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
4 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
or
Uavg = [1/ (RA/AA) + 1/(RB/AB)...]/AT
where:
A
A
, A
B
, etc. = area of heat flow path, in Ft
2
,
U
A
,U
B
, etc.= transmission coefficients of the respective paths,
R
A
, R
B
, etc.=thermal resistance of the respective paths.
A
t
= total area beign considered (A
A
+A
B
+...), in Ft
2
Such an analysis is important for wall construction with parallel paths of heat flow when one path has a high heat
transfer and the other a low heat transfer, or the paths involve large percentages of the total wall with small
variations in the transfer coefficients for the paths.
Thermal bridges built into a wall may increase heat transfer substantially above the calculated amount if the bridge is
ignored. Thermal bridges occur in several types of walls. Three examples of these are shown. Different methods are
used in calculating the Uavg for metallic and non-metallic bridges. Examples of both are shown.
The brick veneer-frame wall shown in Fig. 2 has thermal bridges which occur at the wood studs. The parallel path
method allows the average U-value of the wall to be calculated by first calculating the U-values in series of the two
paths involved. Using the heat transmission coefficients for the various materials found in Table 1, the calculation is
shown in Fig. 2. The path at the wood stud is Path A and the path at the insulation is Path B.
Brick Veneer/Wood Stud
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
5 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
FIG. 2a
Brick Veneer/Wood Stud
FIG. 2b
This calculation reveals that, if the thermal bridge formed by the stud is considered, the Uavg exceeds the U of the
wall having the insulation (Path B) by approximately 6 per cent. It is common practice to calculate the U-values for
the insulation path by the series method and then multiply this value by 1.08 to obtain the Uavg for the wood frame
walls.
This method of correcting for wood framing in the walls is still used in many energy calculation guidelines
procedures, although it is no longer provided in the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals. It should be noted that the
correction factor should be higher because this value properly predicts the Uavg for the studs, but does not
appropriately adjust the U-value for jambs, heads, sills, and top and toe plates. Also, if 2 in. x 6 in. wood studs are
used, the correction factor may no longer be appropriate.
Most masonry walls have parallel paths of heat flow which result from bonding the separate wythes together. This
may be by masonry bonders or metal ties. However, for conventional constructions, the effect of the bonders is not
significant, because of the relatively small area of the metal ties per sq ft of wall, and the slight differences in
conductivity or conductance of masonry units.
However, if masonry bonded cavity walls with insulation in the cavity of walls with a large amount of headers are
being considered, the parallel path method of calculation should be used. This is illustrated by the calculated
U-values of the brick cavity wall, shown in Fig. 3.
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
6 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
Brick Masonry Cavity Wall(Masonry Bonded)
FIG. 3a
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
7 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
Brick Masonry Cavity Wall(Masonry Bonded)
FIG. 3b
If the thermal bridge at the bonder were ignored, the U-value would be the same as UB, which is 0.088. This is
approximately an 18 per cent differential between the series and parallel path calculated transmission coefficients.
The metal-tied cavity wall shown in Fig. 4 requires the parallel path method of calculation. However, a slightly
modified parallel path method should be used because the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals requires that
calculations for metallic thermal bridges be done by the Zone Method. Under this method a slightly larger area is
assumed to be affected by the metallic bridge than just the area of the metal. The wall is divided into two zones,
Zone A, containing the metal; and Zone B, the remaining portion of the wall.
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
8 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
Brick Masonry Insulated Cavity Wall
FIG. 4a
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
9 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
Brick Masonry Insulated Cavity Wall
FIG. 4b
The Handbook of Fundamentals also prescribes a method for determining the size and shape of Zone A. The
surface shape of Zone A in the case of a metal beam would be a strip of width, W, centered on the beam. In the
wall shown in Fig. 4, the shape of Zone A, due to the circular tie, would be a circle of diameter W. W is calculated
from the following formula:
where:
W = width or diameter of the zone, in in.,
m = width or diameter of the metal heat path, in in.,
d = distance from the panel surface to the metal, in in. The value of d should not be taken
as less than 0.5 in.
Calculations for W should be run for both surfaces and the larger of the two values used.
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
10 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
For the insulated cavity wall with one metal tie provided for each 4 1/2 sq ft of wall surface, the calculations in Fig. 4
show that there is about 3.2 per cent increase in the heat loss through the wall when the ties are considered as
compared to the heat loss through the wall without consideration of the ties.
For a cavity wall which does not contain any insulation, the effect of the metal ties is much less. By subtracting out
the effects of the insulation and the metal ties through the insulation shown in Fig. 4, the effect of the wall tie through
a 1-in. air space may be determined:
This calculation procedure shows that the effect of a metal tie across a 1-in. air space is negligible. Fig. 5 shows the
calculations for an uninsulated cavity wall and again the effect is negligible. These calculations demonstrate that the
effect of a metal tie would be negligible in the 1-in. air space in brick veneer construction and also in uninsulated
cavity walls. There will be minor variations, depending on the type, size and spacing of metal ties, but the effect may
usually be ignored. However, as demonstrated in the calculations in Fig. 4, if the metal tie passes through insulation,
the effect of the metal tie on the thermal performance of the wall may become more significant. It should be noted
that as the R-value of the material the metal tie penetrates in creases, the per cent of heat loss due to the metal tie
also increases.


t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
11 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
Brick Masonry Cavity Wall
FIG. 5a

t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
12 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
Brick Masonry Cavity Wall
FIG. 5b
Another factor which affects the thermal performance of walls containing metal is the location of the metal in the
wall. The farther the metal is located from the face of the wall, the larger the area of the zone affected by the metal
tie. This may be demonstrated with brick veneer/steel stud systems. Consider the brick veneer/steel stud system
shown in Fig. 6. The steel stud backup system consists of 6-in., 20 gage steel studs at 24 in. o.c., with 6-in. batt
insulation between the steel studs. The width of Zone A is determined from the exterior flange of the steel stud to
the exterior face of the brick veneer, as shown in Fig. 6. The zone, including the metal, is quite wide for this type of
construction. In accordance with steady-state analysis, assuming that the 1-in. air space is a material of the system,
the width of the zone becomes 10.5359 in. The 1 5/8-in. wide flange of the metal studs, being relatively thin as
compared to the wall section, is not considered in the analysis because it will not significantly affect the average
thermal performance of the system.
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
13 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
Brick Veneer/Steel Stud
FIG. 6a

Brick Veneer/Steel Stud
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
14 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
FIG. 6b
Without consideration of sills, jambs, heads, and toe and top channels, the performance of the brick veneer/ steel
stud system analyzed is almost 50 per cent less than the value calculated through the insulation. This performance is
calculated using the procedures in the 1981 ASHRAE Handbook and Product Directory. However, actual tests of the
heat transmission and more precise calculation procedures will probably demonstrate that the calculated heat loss is
considerably higher than the actual heat loss.
The intent of this example is simply to show that the thermal performance of brick veneer/metal stud systems is not
the same as brick veneer over wood frame. The designer should be aware of this discrepancy and the accuracy, or
inaccuracy of the approximation of thermal performance by simplified calculation procedures. The thermal
performance of the brick veneer/metal stud system would require a correction factor for the framing which greatly
exceeds the 8 per cent or the 1.08 U adjustment factor allowable for wood frame given in the previous brick veneer
example. Even for the wood frame, because of the presence of fire stops, heads, jambs, sills and top and toe
plates, it is recommended that the 1.08 factor for wood frame be increased to about 1.20, and that an even larger
factor be used for metal studs.
HEAT LOSS AND HEAT GAIN
Building envelope heat losses and heat gains are calculated using the overall heat transmission coefficients and other
known data.
Even though heat losses and heat gains are calculated using U-values in the steady-state and steady-periodic
formulae in lieu of the more accurate methods available, other factors greatly affect the performance of the building
envelope in conserving energy. It should be remembered that the values obtained from the steady-state and steady-
periodic calculations are merely an estimate of the thermal performance of the envelope.
The designer should be aware that several factors, other than U-values, determine the actual performance of the
envelope in conserving energy. Some of these factors are: 1) building orientation and aspect ratio (The aspect ratio
is the proportion of length to width. As the ratio approaches 1, the surface area to volume ratio decreases, and
generally there will be less loss of thermal energy from interior spaces through the building envelope); 2) exterior
surface color of envelope materials; 3) color of inside walls and ceilings; 4) mass and specific heat of envelope
materials; 5) wind velocities; 6) infiltration through the envelope; and 7) orientation, area and external shading of
glazing.
These factors are not considered in the steady-state calculations. However, if their effects on heat transmission are
kept foremost in the designer's mind, he can utilize the energy-conserving characteristics of each of these factors.
The resulting structure will be more thermally efficient than is shown by the steady-state calculations. Note that some
of these factors are accounted for by the CLTD values in heat gain calculations.
The steady-state method of calculation for heat loss is straightforward and simple to perform. The outdoor design
temperatures required can be found in the 1981 ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals. The inside design
temperature should be 72
o
F, or as prescribed by governing codes. The formula for calculating heat loss is as
follows:
where:
H = heat loss transmitted through the walls or other elements of the building envelope, in
Btu/hr,
A = area of the walls or other elements, in ft
2
,
U = overall coefficient of heat transmission of the walls or other elements, in Btu/(hr
o
F
ft
2
),
ti = indoor design temperature, in
o
F,
to = outdoor design temperature, in
o
F.
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
15 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
16 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
a
From ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, except as noted.
b
Face brick and common brick do not always have these specific densities. When the density is different from that shown, there will be a change in
the thermal conductivity.
c
Calculated data based upon hollow brick (25% to 40% cored) of one manufacturer. Based upon coring and density given. R figures based upon
coring and density of supplier using parallel path method. Vermiculite fill in cores.
d
From NCMA TEK 38
e
Values for metal siding applied over flat surfaces vary widely depending upon the amount of ventilation of air space beneath the siding, whether the
air space is reflective or non-reflective, and on the thickness, type. and application of insulating backing-board used. Values given are averages
intended for use as design guide values and were obtained from several guarded hot-box tests (ASTM C 236) on hollow-backed types and on types
made using backer-board of wood-fiber, foamed plastic, and glass fiber. Departures of +/- 50%. or more, from the values given may occur.
t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
17 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM
f
Thicknesses can vary. R values must be stamped on batt.
g
Based upon values as commercially produced. For calculations use specific manufacturer's specified values.
h
Time-aged values for board stock with gas-barrier quality (0.001 in thickness or greater) aluminum foil facers on two major surfaces.
CONCLUSION
Present-day technology for heat transmission (steady-state and steady-periodic) does not permit the designer to
take full advantage of the thermal mass of the element. While these design methods are relatively easy to
understand and calculate, they are not a true measure of the performance of massive elements. These methods do
give the designer an approximate solution which is on the conservative side in relation to the actual performance of
massive walls.
The designer should take into account the higher performance of massive construction which in many cases, may
provide savings in operational costs, efficiency of operation and energy. To provide a more accurate prediction of
these savings, a detailed computer study of the thermal performance of the structure is usually warranted.
Other Technical Notes in this series discuss heat gain through opaque walls, thermal transmission corrections for
dynamic conditions, balance point temperatures and energy conservation including worksheets, examples and data
tables.
METRIC CONVERSION
Because of the possible confusion inherent in showing dual unit systems in calculations, the metric (Sl) units are not
given in the data, equations or examples. Table 2 provides metric (Sl) conversion for the more commonly used heat
transmission units. This table is provided so that the user may use the data and procedures with Sl units.


REFERENCES
1. 1997 ASHRAE Handbook and Product Directory, Fundamentals Volume.
2. 1981 ASHRAE Handbook and Product Directory, Fundamentals Volume.


t4 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4.htm
18 of 18 9/13/2009 12:32 PM

Technical Notes 4B Revised- Energy Code Compliance of Brick Masonry Walls
February 2002

Abstract: All buildings designed today must comply with energy code requirements. Building energy performance
requirements may be embodied in a model building code or in a separate energy standard. These documents typically
contain requirements for the building envelope, including walls, windows, doors, roofs and floors. Brick masonry, as a
high mass building material, has the inherent energy saving feature of thermal storage capacity (thermal mass). This
Technical Notes describes how to quantify thermal mass and calculate the heat capacity of several brick masonry walls.
The procedure for addressing thermal mass in residential and commercial construction when determining building
envelope compliance with widely used energy standards and codes is also described.
Key Words: brick, building codes, building envelope, energy, heat capacity, standards, thermal mass.

INTRODUCTION
All buildings designed today must comply with energy code requirements. Energy performance requirements may be
found in such documents as the 2000 International Residential Code [8], the 2000 International Energy Conservation
Code [7], and the ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-1999: Energy Efficient Design of New Buildings Except New Low-Rise
Residential Buildings [4]. These standards and codes specify energy efficient design through overall building
performance criteria or by a component prescriptive approach. The element in overall building performance discussed in
this Technical Notes is the building envelope. Brick masonry walls provide a uniquely energy efficient envelope due to
their high thermal mass. Thermal mass is the characteristic of heat capacity and surface area capable of affecting
building thermal loads by storing heat and releasing it at a later time. Materials with high thermal mass react more slowly
to temperature fluctuations and thereby reduce peak energy loads. Economic, energy efficient designs may be achieved
by recognizing this inherent aspect of brick masonry and incorporating it in the building envelope design.
The benefits of thermal mass have been known for a long time. Research in 1975-76 during the energy crisis, sponsored
by the Masonry Industry Committee, led to the development of a simplified method for quantifying thermal mass benefits
[10]. This method, called the M Factor, was developed for use by designers to compare wall systems with respect to
energy performance during the heating cycle. The M Factor was not intended for sizing of mechanical equipment, but
rather as a comparative analysis tool. By knowing the weight of a wall and the annual heating degree days (HDD), a
designer could determine the correction factor (M Factor) to convert the calculated U- or R-value of a wall to an
equivalent U- or R-value accounting for thermal mass and its effect of slowing heat transmittance. The U- and R-values
are measures of steady-state heat transmittance. The corrected U- or R-value was then used to comply with prescribed
energy requirements. At that time codes and standards did not incorporate thermal storage concepts when prescribing
limits on heat transfer.
Today, energy codes and standards specify energy requirements as a function of wall type. Adjustment factors are
included for masonry and other high mass walls as well as for walls built with steel studs that create thermal bridges. In
the case of masonry walls, a higher maximum permissible value for the coefficient of thermal transmittance (U-value) for
the building envelope is given depending upon where the insulation is located relative to the wall mass. Some codes
additionally specify a maximum overall thermal transfer value for walls (OTTVw) of mechanically cooled spaces. The
OTTVw is also a measure of heat transmittance and is a function of the wall temperature difference (TDEQ) which is also
related to wall weight.
This Technical Notes instructs the user on the methods for determining compliance of various brick masonry walls with
the building envelope requirements of several energy standards and codes. Those included are the 1999 ASHRAE/IES
Standard 90.1, the 2000 International Residential Code [8], and the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code [7].
The methods by which these energy standards and codes criteria reflect thermal mass properties of brick masonry are
explained.
The user of this Technical Notes is assumed to have a working knowledge of heat transmittance and familiarity with the
t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
1 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
energy codes and standards listed. Procedures for calculating the actual U-values for walls can be found in Technical
Notes 4 Revised, Section 8.4 of ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, and in the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals [5].
Because of the possible confusion inherent in showing dual unit systems in calculations, metric (SI) units are not given in
the data, equations, or examples in this Technical Notes. Table 1 provides metric (SI) conversion factors for the more
commonly used energy units.

NOTATION
Ad door area, ft2
Af fenestration area, ft2
Ag glazing area, ft2
Ao gross wall area above grade, ft2
Aw opaque wall area, ft2
c specific heat, Btu/(lb -F)
dt temperature difference between exterior and interior design conditions, F
HC heat capacity, Btu/(ft2-F)
HDD annual heating degree days
HDD65 annual Fahrenheit heating degree days, 65 F base
OTTVw overall thermal transfer value - walls, Btu/(hr-ft2)
SC shading coefficient of the fenestration, dimensionless
SF solar factor value, Btu/(hr-ft2)
TDEQ temperature difference value, F
Ud thermal transmittance of the door area, Btu/(hr-ft2-F)
Uf thermal transmittance of the fenestration area, Btu/(hr-ft2-F)
Ug thermal transmittance of the glazing area, Btu/(hr-ft2-F)
Uo average thermal transmittance of the gross wall area, Btu/(hr-ft2-F)
Uow overall thermal transmittance of the wall assembly, Btu/(hr-ft2-F)
Uw thermal transmittance of the opaque wall area, Btu/(hr-ft2-F)
t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
2 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
w weight, lb/ft2

HEAT CAPACITY
In most energy codes, the thermal characteristics of high mass walls are quantified by measuring the heat capacity of the
wall. Heat capacity represents the amount of thermal energy which may be stored by a material. For walls constructed
of multiple materials, total heat capacity is calculated as the sum of the heat capacities of the individual components. In
most energy codes and standards in the United States, heat capacity (HC) of a wall is calculated as the product of
weight per unit area and specific heat (HC = w x c). Since the specific heats of most building materials are roughly
equal, the heat capacity of a wall is directly proportional to its weight. Those materials which are relatively lightweight,
such as insulation, do not have a significant effect on heat capacity and are often ignored when determining heat
capacity. Use of the adjustment factors for mass walls in the 2000 International Residential Code [8] and the 2000
International Energy Conservation Code [7] is limited to walls having a heat capacity greater than or equal to 6 Btu/ft
2
.
Sample calculations of heat capacity for several brick walls are provided in Figure 1. Brick walls with a nominal thickness
or 4 in. or greater have heat capacities greater than or equal to 6 Btu/ft
2
.

ENERGY CODE COMPLIANCE
Each energy code and standard is slightly different in scope and criteria for compliance. The ASHRAE/IES Standard
90.1 is only applicable to non-residential buildings. Both residential and non-residential criteria may be found in the model
building codes or the International Energy Conservation Code [7]. Each code and standard is discussed individually
below.

ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1
The ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 covers the energy performance design of new buildings except residential buildings of
three stories or less. Compliance with this standard may follow one of two paths: the Building Energy Cost Budget
Method or the System/Component Method.
The Building Energy Cost Budget Method (BECBM) is to be used with innovative design concepts which cannot be
accommodated by the System/Component Method or when a design fails the System/Component approach. The
BECBM requires a detailed energy analysis to determine the estimated design energy cost. The BECBM permits any
design whose design energy cost does not exceed the specified energy cost budget and meets the other requirements of
the method. A complete description of this method can be found in Section 13 of the ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1.
The System/Component Method can be divided into two compliance paths for the building envelope: Prescriptive Criteria
found in Section 8.5 and System Performance Criteria found in Section 8.6. These methods give minimum requirements
to satisfy both heating and cooling cycle conditions. As the use of the ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 may be somewhat
confusing, the National Codes and Standards Council of the Concrete and Masonry Industries has published a handbook
which discusses the benefits of thermal mass and the design provisions of ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 [2]. In addition to
the examples given in this Technical Notes, the reader is also urged to refer to this handbook.
FIG. 1
Heat Capacities of Several Brick Walls
_________________________________________________________________________________

(a) 4 IN. BRICK AND WOOD STUD WALL

t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
3 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
4 IN. BRICK w = (130 lb/ft3) x [(0.75)(3.63 in.) / 12in./ft] = 29.5 lb/ft2
(>75% SOLID) c = 0.20 Btu/(lb-F)
HC = 29.5 x 0.20 = 5.9 Btu/(ft2-F)
4 IN. STUD w = 45 lb/ft3 x [(3.5 in. x 1.5 in.) / (144 in.2/ft2)] x (12 in./ft / 16 in.)
= 1.23 lb/ft2
c = 0.30 Btu/(lb-F)
HC = 1.23 x 0.30 = 0.4 Btu/(ft2-F)
(2) 1/2 IN. w = 50 lb/ft3 x [(2)(0.5 in.) / 12 in./ft] = 4.2 lb/ft2
GYPSUM BOARD c = 0.26 Btu/(lb-F)
HC = 4.2 x 0.26 = 1.1 Btu/(ft2-F)
INSULATION NEGLIGIBLE
TOTAL HC = 5.9 + 0.4 + 1.1 = 7.4 Btu/(ft2F)
_________________________________________________________________________________

(b) 4 IN. BRICK AND 8 IN. LIGHTWEIGHT CMU WALL

4 IN. BRICK HC = 5.9 Btu/(ft3F) (from Fig. 1a)
8 IN. LIGHTWEIGHT CMU w = 90 lb/ft3 x [(0.52)(7.63 in.) / 12in./ft] = 29.7 lb/ft2
(52% SOLID) c = 0.21 Btu/(lb-F)
HC = 29.7 x 0.21 = 6.2 Btu/(ft2-F)
INSULATION NEGLIGIBLE
TOTAL HC = 5.9 + 6.2 = 12.1 Btu/(ft2-F)
_________________________________________________________________________________

t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
4 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
(c) 4 IN. BRICK AND 6 IN. LIGHTWEIGHT CMU WALL

4 IN. BRICK HC = 5.9 Btu/(ft2-F) (from Fig. 1a)
6 IN. LIGHTWEIGHT CMU w = 90 lb/ft3 x [(0.55)(5.63 in.) / 12 in./ft] = 23.2 lb/ft2
(55% SOLID) c = 0.21 Btu/(lb-F)
HC = 23.2 x 0.21 = 4.9 Btu/(ft2-F)
INSULATION NEGLIGIBLE
TOTAL HC = 5.9 + 4.9 = 10.8 Btu/(ft2-F)
_________________________________________________________________________________

(d) 6 IN. HOLLOW BRICK WALL

6 IN. BRICK w = 130 Ib/ft3 x [(0.60)(5.63 in.) / 12 in./ft] = 36.6 Ib/ft2
(60% SOLID) c = 0.20 Btu/ (Ib-F)
TOTAL HC = 36.6 x 0.20 = 7.3 Btu/(ft2-F)
IF GROUTED, HC WOULD BE EVEN GREATER
_________________________________________________________________________________

Prescriptive Criteria. Section 8.5 of the ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 provides precalculated Alternate Component
Package (ACP) tables based on the System Performance Criteria in Section 8.6 for a set of climate ranges. These ACP
tables list the maximum permissible percentage of fenestration in a wall area, maximum thermal transmittance U-values,
and minimum thermal resistance R-values as a function of the building's internal energy load, type and characteristics of
fenestration and wall construction. The many climatic variables which influence the building envelope are grouped
together in each ACP table for a range of climates. Thus, the criteria found in the ACP tables address a worst case
condition and may be more stringent than the System Performance Criteria in Section 8.6.
t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
5 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
The maximum permissible overall thermal transmittance value of an opaque wall (Uow) using the prescriptive envelope
criteria and the appropriate ACP table. The following example illustrates the benefits of using a thermal mass wall by
comparing the maximum permissible Uow-value of a lightweight and a high mass wall. The UOW-value is a function of the
wall weight (represented by HC); the building's internal cooling loads due to heat generated by lights, equipment, and
people (ILD); the placement of the insulation either internal to or integral with the wall mass (INT INS) or outside the wall
mass (EXT INS); and the percentage of total wall area consisting of doors, windows and other glazing (PCT FEN).
Refer to Fig. 2 of this Technical Notes and Section 8.6 of the ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 for the tables and terms used
in this example.

EXAMPLE 1: ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 Prescriptive Criteria
Office Building
Determine the maximum permissible overall wall thermal transmittance value (Uow) of a 12,000 ft2 office building located
near Albuquerque, NM. The building is constructed of 4 in. nominal brick veneer with 8 in. nominal concrete masonry
loadbearing walls with insulation as shown in Fig. 1b. The building's fenestration is 30 percent of the total wall area. To
determine the maximum permissible Uow-value, use the following steps.
Step 1: To use the Prescriptive Envelope Criteria, first determine the appropriate ACP table from the locations listed in
Table 8A-0 in Attachment 8A of the Standard. Find Albuquerque, NM in Table 2 of this Technical Notes. From Table 2,
determine that the appropriate ACP table is Table 8A-23 of the Standard. The ACP table for Albuquerque, NM (8A-23)
is shown in Fig. 2 of this Technical Notes.
t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
6 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
1Table 8A-0, reprinted by permission from ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-1989 published by ASHRAE
FIG. 2

Step 2: Calculate the heat capacity (HC) of the wall in question. The HC of the brick and concrete masonry wall shown
in Fig. 1b has already been calculated to be 12.1 Btu/(ft2-F) .
Step 3: Calculate internal load density (ILD) of the building. Section 8.5.5.2 of the Standard defines ILD as the sum of
Lighting Power Density (LPD), Equipment Power Density (EPD) and Occupant Load Adjustment (OLA). Values for LPD
are found in Table 6-5 of the Standard. (Note that Unit Lighting Power Allowance (ULPA) equals LPD.) For this office
building example, LPD equals 1.81 W/ft2. The EPD can be selected from Table 8-4 of the Standard. For an office, EPD
equals 0.75 W/ft2. OLA is a measure of the heat generated by living objects and is discussed in Section 8.5.5.2 of the
Standard. For this example, assume OLA equals 0.0 W/ft2. Therefore,

t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
7 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
ILD = LPD + EPD + 0LA = 1.81 + 0.75 + 0.0 = 2.56 W/ft2.

Using the ACP table for Albuquerque, NM shown in Fig. 2, enter the appropriate row based on the ILD of the building.
Since ILD for this example is 2.56 W/ft2, enter the row for ILD 1.51 - 3.00.
Step 4: The ACP tables contain criteria for both fenestration and opaque portions of the building envelope. This example
addresses only the opaque wall requirements. Therefore, to determine the maximum permissible U OW-value for the wall
assembly in this example, move to the far right to the box under the heading OPAQUE WALL. Since HC of the wall in
question is greater than 5 Btu/(ft2-F), go to the subheading MASS WALL and find the box corresponding to the ILD row
found in Step 3.
Step 5: The maximum UOW-value is also a function of the location of insulation in the wall assembly. The insulation in this
example is placed between or integral with the wall mass. Therefore, select the column for interior or integral insulation,
INT INS. See Section 8.5.5.3 of the Standard for a complete discussion of insulation location.
Step 6: Find the appropriate rows under MASS WALL corresponding to the HC of the wall in question. In this example,
HC equals 12.1 Btu/(ft2-F), so use the rows HC greater than or equal to 10. Follow these rows to where they intersect
the INT INS column. There are two possible values of Uow based on the percentage of fenestration (PCT FEN) in the
envelope.
Step 7: Follow the rows for HC greater than or equal to 10 to PCT FEN equal to 11 and PCT FEN equal to 57. Recall
that the building's fenestration (PCT FEN) equals 30 percent of the wall area in this example. The UOW-value
corresponding to 11 percent equals 0.15 Btu/(hr-ft2-F), and Uow-value corresponding to 57 percent equals 0.14 Btu/(hr-
ft2-F). Linearly interpolate for PCT FEN equal to 30 or use the lower of the two values. Using the lower value as the
maximum permissible value, Uow must be less than or equal to 0.14 Btu/(hr-ft2-F).
Step 8: To comply with the Standard, the calculated UOW-value of the wall in question may not exceed the maximum
permissible value as determined from the ACP table. Using the steps found in Technical Notes 4 Revised or the
ASHRAE Hand/book of Fundamentals, the thermal transmittance of the wall in Fig. 1b is calculated to be 0.10 Btu/(hr-
ft2-F). Since the calculated UOW-value is less than the maximum permissible value of 0.14 Btu/(hr-ft2-F), the wall
construction complies with the Building Envelope Requirements of ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1.
Compare the maximum permissible Uow-value of the thermal mass wall in this example with the maximum permissible
Uow-value for a lightweight wall with HC less than 5 Btu/(ft2-F). The box under the heading OPAQUE WALL shows that
the maximum Uow-value is only 0.10 Btu/(hr-ft2-F) for a lightweight wall. In terms of R-values, this thermal mass wall
must have a minimum R-value of 7.1 (hr-ft2-F)/Btu, whereas a lightweight wall must have an R-value of at least 10.0
(hr-ft2-F)/Btu.
System Performance Criteria. A system approach for compliance with envelope requirements is provided in Section
8.6 of the ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1. This method is more flexible than the Prescriptive Criteria when considering
thermal mass for several reasons. The external wall criteria are based on annual energy calculations for a specific
location, rather than for a group of climates. Calculations allow for variations in internal loads and wall heat capacity by
separating the building into zones. Furthermore, wall assemblies with HC greater than or equal to 7 Btu/(ft2-F) do not
have limits on the permissible Uow-value as they do in the ACP tables. Compliance with the System Performance Criteria
is achieved if the calculated energy loads do not exceed the criteria specified in Section 8.6. The System Performance
Criteria approach requires numerous mathematical calculations by hand or a computer program. Information on an
acceptable computer program, ENVSTD, is part of Appendix D of the ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1. The program models
the building envelope's performance and fully accounts for the effects of thermal mass. For this reason, ENVSTD is
recommended for use with the System Performance Criteria when determining energy compliance of brick masonry
walls, particularly when passive solar technologies are employed in the design.
International Residential Code
The 2000 International Residential Code (IRC) covers all aspects of residential design and construction. Section N1102
of Chapter 11 - Energy Efficiency contains prescriptive requirements for energy compliance of the building envelope. This
Code is only applicable for climates with Heating Degree Days (HDD) of less than 13,000. Further restrictions on the use
of this Code limit the glazing area of Type A-1 Residential buildings to 15 percent or less and 25 percent or less for Type
A-2 Residential buildings. Thermal performance criteria in the form of minimum required insulation R-values and maximum
permissible U-factors are specified for each element in the building envelope. This Technical Notes covers the
requirements for exterior walls only.
Section N1102.1.1 contains tables with minimum R-values for walls, ceilings, floors, etc. based on the climates Heating
t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
8 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
Degree Days (HDD). Two tables are included specifically for mass walls. The first, Table N1102.1.1.1(1), specifies the
minimum R-values for mass walls. The requirements vary depending upon the location of insulation and HDD. Walls with
insulation placed on the exterior of the entire masonry mass are considered to have exterior insulation. An example of this
type of construction is EIFS with a masonry backup. Walls that have insulation sandwiched between two roughly equal
layers of masonry or mixed with the mass materials are considered to have integral insulation. Examples of this type of
construction include masonry cavity walls and concrete masonry walls with insulated cores. Log walls are also considered
to have integral insulation. Walls with interior insulation have the entire mass material on the exterior side of the insulation,
such as in the case of brick veneer walls.
The required R-values found in Table N1102.1.1.1(1) for mass walls with exterior or integral insulation are the same. Mass
walls that do not meet the definitions for exterior or integral insulation are grouped into the Other mass walls category.
The R-value requirements are lowest for walls having exterior or integral insulation. However, even Other mass walls
reflect a considerable reduction in R-value as compared with non-mass walls. This savings is shown in Example 2(a).
The second Table in this section provides a listing of the R-values of common mass wall assemblies. To comply with the
minimum R-value requirements of Table N1102.1.1.1(1), find the R-value of the mass assembly from Table N1102.1.1.1(2)
and add to it the R-value of any insulation or other layers in the wall assembly. See Example 2(b).
EXAMPLE 2: 2000 International Residential Code - Mass Wall Requirements
Determine the required amount of insulation for the walls of a single family home in Raleigh, North Carolina framed with
wood construction and a brick veneer. The glazing area is 12 percent. What is the required insulation R-value with vinyl
siding instead of brick veneer? What is the required insulation R-value if the house is built with loadbearing brick masonry
cavity walls?
Ex. 2a: Determine the required R-values for brick veneer wall, a vinyl sided wall, and a loadbearing brick masonry cavity
wall with integral insulation.
Step 1: Determine the Climate Zone and annual Fahrenheit Heating Degree Days (HDD) for the location given.
Climate Zones are listed in Table N1101.2 of the IRC. The Climate Zone for Raleigh, North Carolina which is
located in Wake County is Zone 7.
Step 2: Brick veneer construction is considered to have interior insulation. On Table N1102.1.1.1(1), Mass Wall
Prescriptive Building Envelope Requirements, find Zone 7 and the column for Other mass walls. The required
mass wall assembly (insulation and masonry) R-value is 10.8 (hrft
2
F)/Btu.
Step 3: For the vinyl-sided wall, use Table N1102.1. Zone 7 corresponds to HDD 3,000 - 3,499. From the walls
column determine that R-13 insulation is required for the non-mass wall system.
Step 4: For the loadbearing brick masonry cavity wall, use Table N1102.1.1.1(1). Under the column for integral
insulation, find that the mass wall assembly (insulation and masonry) R-value must be R-8.9 (hrft
2
F)/Btu.
Ex. 2b: Determine the required insulation values for the brick veneer wall and the loadbearing brick masonry cavity wall.
Step 1: For the brick veneer wall, From Table N1102.1.1.1(2) determine that brick veneer alone has an R-value of
2.0(hrft
2
F)/Btu. The required insulation R-value is calculated as 10.8 - 2.0 = 8.8(hrft
2
F)/Btu
Step 2: For the brick masonry cavity wall, assume ungrouted cells are not insulated and the only insulation is
located in the cavity. From Table N1102.1.1.1(2) determine that the mass assembly R-value is equal to 3.7
(hrft
2
F)/Btu. Calculate the required insulation R-value as 8.9 - 3.7 = 5.2 (hrft
2
F)/Btu.

2000 International Energy Conservation Code
The 2000 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) prepared by the International Code Council, Inc. is applicable
to residential dwellings as well as commercial, institutional and other buildings. This code sets limits on the permissible
thermal transmission (U-value) of the building envelope. Residential buildings may comply with this code by adhering to
one of three chapters : Chapter 4 - Residential Building Design by Systems Analysis and Design of Buildings Utilizing
Renewable Energy Sources; Chapter 5 - Residential Building Design by Component Performance Approach; or Chapter
6 - Simplified Prescriptive Requirements for Residential Buildings, Type A-1 and A-2.
t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
9 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
RESIDENTIAL REQUIREMENTS - Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapter 4 - Systems Analysis and Renewable Energy Source Analysis. Chapter 4, as its title implies, is
separated into two sections: Systems Analysis and Renewable Energy Source Analysis. Both sections require an
analysis of the annual energy usage of the proposed system. Requirements and procedures for analysis are specified.
Compliance is achieved if annual energy consumption is not greater than that of a similar residential building designed
according to IECC Component Performance Approach found in Chapter 5.
Chapter 5 - Component Performance Approach. The component performance approach presented in Chapter 5 of
the IECC has requirements for residential building envelope (Section 502) as well as building mechanical systems, water
heating, and electrical power and lighting. Residential requirements of Section 502 are divided into two types of
residential construction, A-1 and A-2. Type A-1 are buildings with glazing areas that do not exceed 15 percent of the
gross area of exterior walls. Detached one- and two-family dwellings are commonly Type A-1 buildings. Type A-2 have
glazing areas that do not exceed 25 percent of the gross area of the exterior walls. Section 502.2, Heating and Cooling
Criteria, specifies the maximum thermal transmission U-value for each building component (walls, roof, slab on grade,
etc.). In residential construction, the maximum permissible UW-value for walls is a function of the heat capacity of the wall
in question. The example that follows illustrates how the maximum permissible Uow-value may be increased if the HC of
the wall in question is greater than or equal to 6 Btu/(ft2-F). All 4 in. brick veneer walls have a HC of at least 6
Btu/(ft2-F). This example utilizes the Compliance by Performance on an Individual Component Basis found in Section
502.2.1. Other provisions in this section contain criteria for compliance using Acceptable Practices (Section 502.2.3) and
Prescriptive Criteria (502.2.4).
EXAMPLE 3: International Energy Conservation Code Component Performance Criteria
Single Family Home
Determine the maximum permissible thermal transmittance of the opaque wall area (UW-value) of a 2,000 ft2 two-story
single family home located in a suburb of Washington, D.C. The house is brick veneer over wood frame constructed as
shown in Fig. 1a. The home's fenestration is 20% of the total wall area: 15% glazing, 5% doors. Thermal transmittance
values for the fenestration are: Ug = 0.48 and Ud = 0.48. The following steps are suggested to determine the maximum
permissible UW-value.
Step 1: Determine the annual Fahrenheit heating degree days (HDD, 65 F base) for the location given. For Washington,
D.C., HDD equals 4224. HDD for many U.S. cities can be found in the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code [7].
Other resources include Table B7.1 of Building Control Systems [1] or in the 1981 ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals
[5]. A single family home with a glazing area of 20% is classified by IECC Section 101.3.1 as building Type A-2. Using
this information, determine the maximum UO-value for the gross wall area from Fig. 3 of this Technical Notes to be 0.215
Btu/(hr-ft2-F).

U
O
WallsType A-1 and A-2 Residential BuildingsHeating'
FIG. 3
t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
10 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM

Step 2: Calculate Uw using Eq. 1 and knowing the U-values of the glazing and door areas and the gross wall area (Uo).
Equation 1 in this Technical Notes is Eq. 5-1 found in Section 502 of the IECC, solved for Uw.
Eq. 1

U
w
= 0.118 Btu/(hr-ft
2
-F) or R 8.42 (hr-ft
2
-F)/Btu. This Uw-value is the maximum permissible value for wall
constructions having a heat capacity less than 6 Btu/(ft2-F).
Step 3: Determine the HC of the wall in question. The HC of the brick veneer and wood stud wall has already been
calculated to be 7.4 Btu/(ft2-F), see Fig. 1a. The maximum permissible Uw-value for a wall having a HC of 6 Btu/(ft2-F)
or greater may be increased to account for the effects of thermal mass using Tables 3a-3c in this Technical Notes. The
values in these tables, taken from the IECC, are a function of climate (represented by HDD65); wall construction (HC
greater than or equal to 6 Btu/(ft2-F)); and the placement of insulation outside the thermal wall mass (Table 3a), on the
interior of the wall mass (Table 3b) or integral with the wall mass (Table 3c).
In this example, the insulation in the wall shown in Fig. 1a is placed interior of the wall mass. Therefore, Table 3b should
be used. Enter the row in Table 3b for HDD equal to 4001-5500 and the column for Uw equal to 0.118 Btu/(hr-ft2-F).
Uw equal to 0.118 is between the columns in the table labeled 0.10 and 0.12. Linearly interpolate the table to determine
the maximum permissible thermal transmittance, Uw, to be 0.137 Btu/(hr-ft2-F). This U-value corresponds to an R-value
greater than or equal to 7.30 (hr-ft2-F)/Btu.

TABLE 3a
Required Uw for Wall With a Heat Capacity
Equal to or Exceeding 6 Btu/(ft2 oF)
With Insulation Placed on the Exterior of the Wall Mass
TABLE 3b
Required Uw for Wall With a Heat Capacity
Equal to or Exceeding 6 Btu/(ft2 oF)
t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
11 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
With Insulation Placed on the Interior of the Wall Mass

TABLE 3c
Required Uw for Wall With a Heat Capacity
Equal to or Exceeding 6 Btu/(ft2 oF)
With Integral Insulation (Insulation and Mass Mixed, Such as a Log Wall)
Step 4: To determine if the wall in question complies with Section 502 of the IECC, compare the maximum permissible
thermal transmittance, Uw-value, determined in Step 3 with the calculated Uw-value. The calculated Uw-value, determined
using the procedures contained in Technical Notes 4 Revised or the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, is 0.071
Btu/(hr-ft2-F). Since the calculated Uw-value is less than the maximum Uw-value (0.157 Btu/(hr-ft2-F)), this wall
construction meets the requirements of the IECC Section 502.
For comparison, in this example the maximum permissible Uw-value for a lightweight wall is 0.118 Btu/(hr-ft2-F), but for a
thermal mass wall, the maximum Uw-value is 0.137 Btu/(hr-ft2-F). The allowable Uw-value for the thermal mass wall is 16
percent greater.
Chapter 6 - Simplified Prescriptive Requirements for Residential Buildings, Type A-1 and A-2
Chapter 6 contains a simplified prescriptive approach that does not reflect different percentages of glazing or trade-offs
between building envelope components. It does, however, allow for decreased R-value requirements for mass walls
similar to those found in Chapter 5.

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION - Chapters 7 and 8

Chapter 7 - Building Design for All Commercial Buildings. Chapter 7 of the IECC simply references the requirements
of ASHRAE/IES Energy Code for Commercial and High-Rise Residential Buildings. All commercial buildings must meet
t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
12 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
the requirements of the ASHRAE/IES Energy Code or the requirements of Chapter 8 of the IECC.
Chapter 8 - Design by Acceptable Practice for Commercial Buildings. Chapter 8 of the IECC is applicable to
buildings that have a window and glazed door area not greater than 50 percent of the gross wall area. Buildings with
glazing areas over 50 percent must comply with the ASHRAE/IEC Energy Code. Chapter 8 contains requirements for
individual building components (walls, roof, floors). If any of these requirements are not met, the ASHRAE/IEC Energy
Code can be used for that portion of the building envelope. Differences for mass walls are reflected in the required
values for all but the warmest climates.

SUMMARY
This Technical Notes continues the discussion of the energy efficiency of thermal mass brick masonry walls. Direction is
provided on how to treat thermal mass when considering the envelope requirements of several energy codes or
standards. Methods for complying with these requirements are described in detail. Sample calculations quantifying
thermal mass as heat capacity (HC) are given.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Notes are based on the available data and the experience of
the engineering staff of the Brick Industry Association. The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with
good technical judgment and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of the
information contained in this Technical Notes are not within the purview of the Brick Industry Association and must rest
with the project architect, engineer and owner.

REFERENCES
1. Bradshaw, V., Building Control Systems, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1985.
2. Thermal Mass Handbook, Concrete and Masonry Design Provisions Using the ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1.
National Codes and Standards Council of the Concrete and Masonry Industries, Herndon, VA, 1993.
3. Energy Conservation in New Building Design (ASHRAE Standard 90A), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating
and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., Atlanta, GA, 1980.
4. Energy Efficient Design of New Buildings Except New Low-Rise Residential Buildings (ASHRAE/IES Standard
90.1-1989 and Addendum-1992), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. and
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, Atlanta, GA.
5. Handbook of Fundamentals, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., Atlanta,
GA, 1981 edition and 1997 edition.
6. Heat Transmission Coefficients of Brick Masonry Walls, Technical Notes on Brick Construction 4 Revised,, Brick
Industry Association, Reston, VA, January 1982.
7. International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), International Code Council (ICC), Falls Church, VA, 2000.
8. International Residential Code (IRC), International Code Council (ICC), Falls Church, VA, 2000.
9. "Report on the Effect of Wall Mass on the Storage of Thermal Energy," Hankins and Anderson, Inc., Richmond, VA
and Boston, MA, 1976.


t4b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t4b.htm
13 of 13 9/13/2009 12:33 PM

Technical Notes 5A - Sound Insulation - Clay Masonry Walls
(Reissued August 2000)
INTRODUCTION
The sound insulation or sound transmission loss of a wall is that property which enables it to resist the passage of
noise or sound from one side to the other. This should not be confused with sound absorption which is that property
of a material which permits sound waves to be absorbed, thus reducing the noise level within a given space and
eliminating echoes or reverberations. Only sound insulation will be discussed in this Technical Notes.
MEASUREMENT OF SOUND
The sound insulation of a building assembly is expressed as a reduction factor in decibels (dB). The decibel is
approximately the smallest change in energy the human ear can detect, and the decibel scale is used for measuring
ratios of sound intensities. The reference sound intensity used to measure absolute noise levels is that
corresponding to the faintest sound a human ear can hear (0 dB). However, a difference of 3 or less dB is not
especially significant, because the human ear cannot detect a change in sounds of less than 3 dB.
Figure 1 shows the intensity level of common sounds on the decibel scale. These data are reproduced from "How
Loud is Loud? Noise, Acoustics and Health", by Lee E. Farr, M.D., published in the February 1970 issue of
Architectural & Engineering News.
SOUND TRANSMISSION LOSS
It is desirable to have a single number rating as a means for describing the performance of building elements when
exposed to an "average" noise. In the past it was customary to use the numerical average of the transmission loss
values at nine frequencies. This rating, termed the nine-frequency average transmission loss, is often quite
inaccurate in comparing an assembly of materials having widely differing TL-frequency characteristics. One single
number rating method which has been recently proposed is the sound transmission class (STC). This rating is
based on the requirements that the value of transmission loss at any of the eleven measuring frequencies does not
fall below a specified TL-frequency contour. The shape of this contour is drawn to represent the more common
types of noise, and generally covers the requirements for speech privacy.
5a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t5a.htm
1 of 9 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
FIG. 1
The following are conclusions in a report entitled, "Measurements of Sound Transmission Loss in Masonry", by
William Siekman of Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories, June 1969.
"In conclusion, changes in results of transmission loss measurements have been studied. They indicate that
deficiencies in earlier test methods and environments have apparently been corrected. Although data reported today
are lower than ever before, they agree very well with data taken in field situations, and consequently provide
5a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t5a.htm
2 of 9 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
assurance that laboratory tests can be relied upon to achieve the desired noise reductions. The performance of
walls near the coincidence frequency cannot be predicted yet on a theoretical basis, nor can the performance of
walls having a compound structure, but test specimen sizes are now large enough to be representative of typical
walls and to provide data over the present frequency range of interest.
"Since the principal deviation due to specimen size is apt to occur at the lower frequencies, users of transmission
loss data are urged to avoid dependence upon single figure ratings, even such a relatively good one as is
recommended by the Proposed Classification for Determination of Sound Transmission Class, ASTM RM 14-2
(1966). The decision to use a particular construction should always be based upon the total curve and the
requirements at individual frequencies."
DESCRIPTION OF SPECIMENS
The specimens discussed in this issue of Technical Notes were constructed at the Riverbank Acoustical
Laboratories in a testing frame having inside dimensions of 14 ft 4 in. wide by 9 ft 4 in. high. The joints were of
typical thickness and were staggered. Mortar was mixed in a ratio by volume of 1 part cement, 2 parts lime and 9
parts sand. All specimens were constructed by a professional mason. The curing time was 28 days or more. The
transmission area, S. used in the computations was generally 126 sq ft.
Following are the descriptions of tests, performed at the Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories starting with the lowest
Sound Transmission Class (STC):
STC 39. 4-in. Structural Clay Tile Wall
Tile dimensions: 3-9/16 by 4-7/8 by 11-3/4 in
Wall thickness: 3-9/16 in.
Average weight: 22.3 psf
Test: TL 67-59
STC 41. 4 in. Structural Clay Tile Wall, with 5/8-in. plaster one face
Tile dimensions: 3-9/16 by 4-7/8 by 11-3/4 in.
Wall thickness: 4-3/16 in.
Average weight: 25.3 psf
Test: TL 67-82
STC 45. 8-in. Structural Clay Tile Wall
Tile dimensions: 7-5/8 by 4-7/8 by 11-3/4 in.
Wall thickness: 7-5/8 in.
Average weight: 40.6 psf
Test: TL 67-69
STC 45. 4-in. Face Brick Wall
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 3-3/4 by 8-1/4 in.
Wall thickness: 3-3/4 in.
5a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t5a.htm
3 of 9 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
Average weight: 38.7 psf
Test: TL 67-70
STC 49. 6-in. "SCR brick" (Reg. U.S. Pat. Off., SCPI) Wall, with 3/8-in. gypsum board
over 1-in. styrofoam insulation one face
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 5-1/2 by 11-1/2.
Wall thickness: 6-7/8 in.
Average weight: 57.7 psf
Test: TL 70-39
NOTE: The styrofoam was placed with adhesive, spot applied 12 in. o.c. both vertically and horizontally, to the brick
wall on one side. A single layer of 3/8 in. gypsum board was applied vertically over the foam with adhesive, spot
applied 12 in. o.c. vertically and horizontally in the field and 6 in. o.c. at the joints. The external joints were finished
with a typical drywall joint system.
STC 50. 8-in. Face Brick and Structural Clay Tile Composite Wall
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 3-3/4 by 8-1/4 in.
Tile dimensions: 4 in. nominal thickness
Wall thickness: 8 in.
Average weight: 63.8 psf
Test: TL 67-65
STC 50. 10-in. Face Brick Cavity Wall, with 2-in. air space
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 3-3/4 by 8-1/4 in.
Wall thickness: 10 in.
Average weight: 81.0 psf
Test: TL 68-31
NOTE: The 2 wythes of masonry were tied together with metal wall ties.
STC 50. 4-in. Brick Wall, with 1/2-in. sanded plaster, two-coat one face
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 3-5/8 by 7-5/8 in.
Wall thickness: 4-1/8 in.
Average weight: 42.4 psf
Test: TL 69-283
STC 51. 6-in. "SCR brick" (Reg. U.S. Pat. Off., SCPI) Wall
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 5-1/2 by 11-1/2 in.
5a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t5a.htm
4 of 9 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
Wall thickness: 5-1/2 in.
Average weight: 55.8 psf
Test: TL 69-286
STC 52. 8-in. Solid Face Brick Wall
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 3-3/4 by 8-1/4 in.
Wall thickness: 8 in.
Average weight: 83.3 psf
Test: TL 67-68
STC 53. 8-in. Solid Brick Wall, with 1/2-in. gypsum board on furring strips one face
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 3-5/8 by 7-5/8 in.
Wall thickness: 9-1/4 in.
Average weight: 86.7 psf
Test: TL 69-287
NOTE: The 3/4-in. collar joint was filled with mortar. Metal Z ties were used between wythes spaced at 24 in. o.c.
both vertically and horizontally. The 1 by 3 wood vertical furring strips were spaced at 16 in. o.c. and nailed at the
mortar joints approximately 12 in. o.c. The gypsum board was applied vertically and attached with nails spaced 12
in. o.c. in the field and 8 in. o.c. along the edges. The joints and nail heads were finished with standard drywall
system.
STC 53. 6-in. "SCR brick" (Reg. U.S. Pat. Off., SCPI) Wall, with 1/2-in. plaster one face
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 5-1/2 by 11-1/2 in.
Wall thickness: 6 in.
Average weight: 60.8 psf
Test: TL 70-70
STC 55. 12-in. Face Brick and Structural Clay Tile Composite Wall
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 3-3/4 by 8-1/4 in.
Tile dimensions: 7-5/8 by 4-7/8 by 11-3/4 in.
Wall thickness: 12 in.
Average weight: 84.1 psf
Test: TL 67-62
STC 59. 12-in. Solid Brick Wall
Brick dimensions:
5a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t5a.htm
5 of 9 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
Face: 2-1/4 by 3-3/4 by 8-1/4 in.
Building: 2-1/4 by 3-5/8 by 8 in.
Wall thickness: 12 in.
Average weight: 116.7 psf
Test: TL 67-32
NOTE: The outside wythes were of face brick. The interior wythe was of common brick.
STC 59. 10-in. Reinforced Brick Masonry Wall (RBM)
Brick dimensions: 2-1/4 by 3-5/8 by 7-5/8 in
Wall thickness: 9-1/2 in.
Average weight: 94.2 psf
Test: TL 70-6
NOTE: The 2-1/4-in. grouted cavity contained No. 6 bars at 48 in. o.c. vertically and No. 5 bars at 30 in. o.c.
horizontally.
SOUND TRANSMISSION CLASS
Sound transmission class contours (see Fig. 2) may be constructed in accordance with ASTM RM 14-2 on
conventional semi-logarithmic paper as follows: a horizontal line segment from 1250 to 4000 Hz (cycles per second);
a middle line segment decreasing 5 dB in the interval 1250 to 400 Hz; and a low frequency segment decreasing 15
dB in the interval 400 to 125 Hz.
5a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t5a.htm
6 of 9 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
The sound transmission loss of the tested specimen is shown by the curved line in the above graph. The broken line
is the limiting sound transmission class contour.
The theoretical transmission loss of that limp mass having the same weight per square foot as the specimen can be
located by drawing a straight line between the two slash marks on the edges of the grid. This was derived from the
equation: TL = 20 log W + 20 log F - 33, where W is weight in pounds per square foot, and F is frequency in Hertz
(cycles per second).
FIG. 2
The STC contour is shifted vertically relative to the test curve until some of the measured TL values for the test
specimen fall below those of the STC contour and the following conditions are fulfilled: The sum of the deficiencies
(that is; the deficiencies of test points below the contour) shall not be greater than 32 dB, and the maximum
deficiency of any single test point shall not exceed 8 dB. The sound transmission class for the specimen is the TL
(transmission loss) value corresponding to the intersection of the sound transmission class contour and the 500-Hz
ordinate.
Table 1 shows the decibel losses for 18 frequencies of test specimens listed above. Deficiencies or deviations from
the contour (see graph) are tabulated to correspond with the proper frequencies.
These measurements were made using a one-third octave bank of pink noise, swept in 13 min from 100 to 5000 Hz.
Runs were made before and after a system interchange, during which the ratio of sound pressure levels in the two
rooms was directly recorded graphically. The final results were obtained by averaging the runs, with a resultant
precision within a 90 per cent confidence limit of 1 dB.
The sound transmission class is computed in accordance with the Tentative Recommended Practice for Laboratory
Measurement of Airborne Sound Transmission Loss of Building Partitions, ASTM E 90-66T, and ASTM RM 14-2.
The STC number is intended to be used as a preliminary estimate of the acoustical properties of the specimen. Final
decisions for design use should be based upon the entire TL curve for the values at all the test frequencies.
5a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t5a.htm
7 of 9 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
1
Transmission Loss, decibels
2
Deficiencies, decibels
MASKING EFFECT
The sound insulation required in a structure to give satisfactory results depends not only upon the noise level outside
of the building or in adjoining rooms, but also upon the noise level within the room under consideration.
If it is to be assumed that there is no noise within the room to be insulated against sound transmission and the noise
level in the adjoining room is 60 dB, it will require a partition having a reduction factor of 60 dB to render the noise in
the adjoining room inaudible. However, if the noise level in the room under consideration is 30 dB, a partition having a
sound reduction factor of approximately 40 dB (see Fig. 3) will make the sound in the adjoining room inaudible.
Experiments have shown that for one sound to mask another, there must be at least 10 dB difference between the
two sounds. This effect of the sound within the room under consideration is known as the "masking effect". Figure 3
illustrates this "masking effect" principle.
5a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t5a.htm
8 of 9 9/13/2009 12:33 PM
Effect of Masking Noise on "Listening" Side of Wall
FIG. 3
CONCLUSION
This issue of Technical Notes has discussed recent test data for, and sound insulation performance of, brick and tile
walls and partitions. Future issues of Technical Notes will contain some suggestions and recommendations for the
control of sound transmission through brick and tile walls and partitions.
5a http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t5a.htm
9 of 9 9/13/2009 12:33 PM

Technical Notes 6 - Painting Brick Masonry
Rev [May 1972] (Reissued December 1985)
INTRODUCTION
Although some masonry walls require protective coatings to impart color and help in resisting rain penetration, clay
masonry requires no painting or surface treatment. Brick are generally selected because, among other
characteristics, they have integral and durable color and, when properly constructed, are resistant to rain
penetration.
Clay masonry walls may be painted to increase light reflection or for decorative purposes. Most paint authorities
agree that, once painted, exterior masonry will require repainting every three to five years.
This issue of Technical Notes discusses general applications of paint to interior and exterior brick walls, and a brief
discussion on specific paints suitable for brick masonry.
GENERAL
It is often erroneously assumed that brick masonry walls that are to be painted can be built with less durable
materials and, in some instances, with less than extreme care in workmanship than would normally be used for
unpainted brick walls. This is not the case. When a brick wall is to be painted, the selection of materials, both brick
units and mortar, and the workmanship used in constructing the wall should all be of the highest quality; at least as
good in quality as when the walls are to be left exposed. Every care should be taken to see that joints are properly
filled with mortar to avoid the entrance of moisture into the wall, since it may become trapped behind the paint and
cause problems. Every care should be taken to see that there are no efflorescing materials in the wall, either in the
mortar, brick units or in the backup, since efflorescence beneath the paint film can also cause problems. See
Technical Notes 23 Series.
Brick. Brick units to be used for walls that are to be painted should conform to the applicable requirements of the
ASTM Specifications for Building Brick or Facing Brick, C 62 or C 216, respectively. The grade of units (which
designates their durability) should not be lower than would be used if the wall were not to be painted. Grade SW is
recommended. It may be acceptable to use brick units which are durable but differ in color in a wall to be painted.
However, care should be taken that the units have similar absorption and suction characteristics so that the paint
applied will adhere to all of the surfaces and have a uniform acceptable appearance.
Mortar. Mortar for brick masonry walls to be painted should conform to the Specifications for Mortar for Unit
Masonry, ASTM C 270, Proportion Specifications. It is suggested that the mortar consist of portland cement and
lime, and that the mortar type be selected on the basis of the structural requirements of the wall. See Technical
Notes 8.
Paint. Paint for application to brick masonry walls should be durable, easy to apply and have good adhesive
characteristics. It should be porous if applied on exterior masonry, thereby permitting the wall to breathe and
preventing the trapping of free moisture behind the paint film.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR PAINTING CLAY MASONRY
In selecting a paint system for a brick masonry wall, the primary concern should be the characteristics of the surface
and the exposure conditions of the wall. A primer coat may be of particular importance, especially where unusual or
severe conditions exist.
Alkalinity. The chemical property of masonry which may have a significant effect on paint durability and performance
t6 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t6.htm
1 of 7 9/13/2009 12:34 PM
is the alkalinity of the wall. Brick are normally neutral, but are set in mortars which are chemically basic. Paint
products, which are based on drying oils, may be attacked by free alkali and the oils can become saponified. To
prevent this occurrence, an alkaline-resistant primer is recommended.
Efflorescence. The deposit of water-soluble salts on the surface of masonry, efflorescence, is another factor that
can hamper the performance of painted masonry. Efflorescence, which is present on the surface, should be
removed and, once removed, the surface should be observed for reoccurrence prior to being painted. Methods of
preventing and removing efflorescence are discussed in Technical Notes 23 Series, "Efflorescence-Causes,
Prevention and Control".
Water and Moisture. Water or moisture in a masonry system will generally hamper the satisfactory performance of
the painted surface. Moisture may enter masonry walls in any of several ways; through the pores of the material,
through incompletely bonded or only partially filled mortar joints, copings, sills and projections, through incomplete
caulked joints and improperly installed flashing or where flashing is omitted. In general, brick wall surfaces should be
dry for painting. Acceptable moisture conditions for masonry walls to receive paint are listed in Table 1. The use of
an electrical moisture meter may be used to measure the moisture content of a wall
1
Some manufacturers offer special porous, highly pigmented emulsion paints which may give somewhat better results in very adverse conditions
where delay is not acceptable.
SURFACE PREPARATION
General. Proper surface preparation is as important as paint selection. Because each coat is the foundation for all
future coats, success or failure depends largely upon surface preparation. Thoroughly examine all surfaces to
determine the required preparation. Previously painted surfaces often require the greatest effort. Before painting,
remove all loose matter. Take special care when cleaning surfaces for emulsion paints and primers. They are
nonpenetrating and require cleaner surfaces than solvent-based paints. Some paints can or should be applied to
damp surfaces. Others must not. Be sure to follow directions accompanying proprietary brands.
New Masonry. As a general rule, new clay masonry is seldom painted. It is difficult to justify the extra expenditure
for initial and future painting. However, if for any reason painting new masonry is desired, there are a few
precautions necessary for reasonable success.
Do not wash new clay masonry walls with acid cleaning solutions. Acid reactions can result in paint failures. Use
alkali-resistant paints. If low-alkali portland cement is not used in the mortar, it may be necessary to neutralize the
wall to reduce the possibility of alkali-caused failures. Zinc chloride or zinc sulfate solution, 2 to 3 1/2 lb per gal of
t6 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t6.htm
2 of 7 9/13/2009 12:34 PM
water, is often used for this purpose.
Existing Masonry. Examine older unpainted masonry for evidence of efflorescence, mildew, mold and moss. While
these conditions are not common, they all indicate the presence of moisture. Examine all possible entry points for
water. Where necessary, repair flashing and caulking; tuckpoint defective mortar joints.
Remove all efflorescence by scrubbing with clear water and a stiff brush. A wall which has effloresced for a long
time may present difficulties. The presence of moisture, the deposition of salts and the probable presence of alkalies
are all factors which may contribute to the deterioration of paints.
If moss has accumulated on damp, shaded masonry, apply an ordinary weed killer. Wet the wall with clear water
before applying weed killers to prevent them from being drawn into the wall. Chemical weed killers may contain
solubles which can contribute to efflorescence or react unfavorably with paint, and should be removed after being
used by scrubbing the wall with a stiff brush while rinsing with clear water.
Mildew seldom occurs on unpainted masonry. However, where present, treat it the same as on painted surfaces,
discussed in the following paragraphs. Be sure to wet the wall before applying any cleaning solution. Clean small
areas and rinse thoroughly. For further discussion on cleaning brick see Technical Notes 20 Revised, "Cleaning Clay
Products Masonry".
Painted Surfaces. Previously painted surfaces normally require extensive preparation prior to repainting (refer to
Table 2 for typical paint failures). Under humid conditions, mildew may have developed. Mildew may feed on a paint
film or on particles trapped by the painted surface. If present, remove it completely before applying paint.
Otherwise, growth will continue, damaging new paint. Mildew has been successfully removed by steam cleaning and
sand blasting. The following is also effective:
3 oz trisodium phosphate (Soilax, Spic and Span, etc.), plus
1 oz detergent (Tide, All, etc.), plus
1 qt 5 per cent sodium hyperchlorite (Chlorox, Purex, etc.), plus
3 qt warm water, or enough to make 1 gal of solution.
Use this solution to remove mildew and dirt. Scrub with a medium soft brush until the surface is clean; then rinse
thoroughly with fresh water. For small areas, use an ordinary household cleanser. Scrub with a medium soft brush
and then rinse thoroughly. Use masonry paints containing a mildewcide to help prevent molds from recurring.
Remove all peeled, cracked, flaked or blistered paint by scraping, wire brushing or sand blasting. In some instances,
old paint may be burned off, but this should be done only by skilled operators. Like efflorescence, paint blistering is
caused by water within the masonry. Search for the water's source and take the necessary corrective measures to
keep water out of the wall.
If alligatoring exists, remove the entire finish. There is no other means of correction.
If slight chalking has occurred, brush the surface thoroughly. However, if chalking is deep, remove by scrubbing with
a stiff fiber brush and a solution of trisodium phosphate and water. Rinse the surface thoroughly afterwards. Use a
penetrating primer to improve adhesion of the final coat.
Excessive paint buildup results from too many coats or excessively thick coats. Where it occurs, remove all paint and
treat as a new surface.
Completely remove cement-based paints before repainting with other types. An exception to this rule is the use of
cement-based paints as primers which will be covered by another paint within a relatively short time. If the wall will
be repainted with another cement-based paint, wire brushing and scrubbing will suffice, providing treatments for
mildew, efflorescence, etc. are not required.
TABLE 2
Types of Paint Failure
t6 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t6.htm
3 of 7 9/13/2009 12:34 PM

MASONRY PAINTS
Because all paints have distinct properties and because surfaces vary considerably, even the most experienced
painting contractors carefully examine a surface before making recommendations. However, the following will
generally indicate the proper use of masonry paints.
CEMENT-BASED PAINTS
For many years, cement-based paints have been satisfactory coatings for masonry surfaces. They achieved
popularity because they have relatively good adherence and tendency to make a wall less permeable to free water.
Cement-based paints are permeable, permitting the wall to breathe. Their main components are portland cement,
lime and pigments. Additives, binders and sands may be added.
Although cement-based paints are more difficult to apply than other types, good surface protection results when
properly applied. While they are not complete waterproofers, cement-based paints help to seal and fill porous areas,
excluding large amounts of free water. White and light colors tend to be the most satisfactory. It is difficult to obtain
a uniform coating with darker shades. Lighter colors tend to become translucent when wet, and dark colors become
darker. Color returns to normal as the wall surface dries. Cement-based paints can provide a good base for other
paints applied within a relatively short time.
The following procedure for applying paint on a properly prepared surface generally applies:
1. Cure new masonry walls for approximately one month before applying cement-based paints.
2. Dampen wall surfaces thoroughly by spraying with water.
3. Cement-based paints are packaged in powdered form. Because their cementitious components begin to hydrate
upon contact with water, mix immediately prior to application for optimum results.
4. Apply heavy coats with a stiff brush, allowing at least 24 hr to elapse between coats.
5. During this time, keep the wall damp by periodically spraying it with water.
t6 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t6.htm
4 of 7 9/13/2009 12:34 PM
6. Apply additional coats in the same manner.
7. Keep the final coat damp for several days to properly cure.
WATER-THINNED EMULSION PAINTS
General Characteristics. Water-thinned emulsion paints, commonly referred to as latex paints, are relatively easy
to apply. Water-thinned emulsions may be brush, roller or spray-applied. However, brush application is preferable,
especially on coarse-textured masonry. Emulsion paints dry quickly, have practically no odor and present no fire
hazard. They may be applied to damp surfaces, permitting painting shortly after a rain or on walls damp with
condensation.
As a group, these paints are alkali-resistant. Hence, neutralizing washes and curing periods are not usually
necessary before painting. Water emulsion paints possess high water vapor permeability and are known to have
performed well on brick substrates that have been properly prepared.
Emulsion paints will not adhere well to moderately chalky surfaces. If possible, repainting should be done before the
previous coat chalks excessively. However, specifically formulated latex paints are available containing emulsified
oils or emulsified alkyds which facilitate wetting of chalky surfaces. This property enables the paint to bond the chalk
together and to the substrate.
The principal water-thinned emulsion paint types are: butadiene-styrene, vinyl, acrylic, alkyd and multicolored
lacquers.
Butadiene-Styrene Paints. These relatively low-cost, rubber-based latex paints develop water resistance more
slowly than vinyl or acrylic emulsions. They are most satisfactory in light tints as chalking rate may be excessive in
deep colors.
Vinyl Paints. Polyvinyl acetate emulsion paints dry faster, have improved color retention and a more uniform, lower
sheen than rubber-based latex paints.
Acrylic Emulsion Paints. Acrylic emulsions have excellent color retention, permit recoating in 30 min or less, and
have good alkali resistance. Acrylics have high resistance to water spotting and may be scrubbed easily.
Alkyd Emulsion Paints. Alkyd emulsions are related to solvent-thinned alkyd types, but have all the general
characteristics of latex paints. They do have more penetration than most water-thinned emulsions, achieving better
adhesion on chalky surfaces. Compared to other emulsion paints, these are rather slow to dry, have more odor, are
not as resistant to alkalies, and have poorer color retention. Under normal exposure conditions, alkyd emulsions can
serve as a finished coat over a suitable primer.
Multicolored Lacquers. A specialized paint group, multicolored lacquers are applied only by spray gun. The finished
film appears as a base color with separate dots or particles of contrasting colors. These paints will cover many
surface defects and irregularities. However, they must be applied over a base coat of another type; for example,
polyvinyl acetate or acrylic emulsion paints.
FILL COATS
Fill coats are base coats for exterior masonry. They are similar in composition, application and uses to
cement-based paints. However, fill coats contain an emulsion paint in place of some water, giving improved adhesion
and a tougher film than unmodified cement paints. Fill coats have greater water retention, giving the cement a better
chance to cure. This is particularly valuable in arid areas where it is difficult to keep the painted surface moist during
the curing period.
SOLVENT-THINNED PAINTS
The five major solvent-thinned paints are oil-based, alkyd (synthetic resin), synthetic rubber, chlorinated rubber and
epoxy. Oil-based and alkyd paints are not recommended for exterior masonry. Solvent-thinned paints should be
applied only to completely dry, clean surfaces. They produce relatively nonporous films and should be used only on
interior masonry walls not susceptible to moisture penetration. The exception to this is special purpose paint, such as
t6 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t6.htm
5 of 7 9/13/2009 12:34 PM
synthetic rubber, chlorinated rubber and epoxy paints.
Oil-Based Paints. Oil-based paints have been used for many years. They are relatively non-porous and
recommended for interior use only. Although several coats may be required for uniform color and good appearance,
they bind well to porous masonry. As with most solvent-based paints, they have good penetration on relatively
chalky surfaces, but are highly susceptible to alkalies. New masonry must be thoroughly neutralized to avoid
saponification. Available in a wide color range, oil-based paints are moderately easy to apply. Several days' drying is
generally required between coats.
Alkyd Paints. Alkyd paints are similar to oil-based paints in most general characteristics. They may have slightly
less penetration, resulting in somewhat better color uniformity at the cost of adhering power. Alkyd paints are more
difficult to brush, dry faster and give a harder film than oil-based paints. These, too, are nonpermeable and are
recommended for interior use only.
Synthetic Rubber and Chlorinated Rubber Paints. These paints have excellent penetration and good adhesion to
previously painted, moderately chalky surfaces as well as new surfaces. They are reported to be more resistant to
efflorescence and are generally good in alkali resistance. They may be applied directly to alkaline masonry surfaces,
but are more difficult to brush on than oil paints. Darker colored synthetic rubber paints lack color uniformity. Both
types have high resistance to corrosive fumes and chemicals. For this reason, they are often specified for industrial
applications. Both types require very strong volatile solvents, a fire hazard which may prove undesirable.
Epoxy Paints. Epoxy paints are of synthetic resins generally composed of two parts, a resin base and a liquid
activator. They must be used within a relatively short time after mixing. Epoxies can be applied over alkaline
surfaces, have very good adhering power, and good corrosion and fume resistance. However, some types chalk
excessively if used outdoors. Epoxies are relatively expensive and somewhat difficult to apply.
"HIGH-BUILD" PAINT COATINGS
High-build paint coatings are generally used on interiors to give the effect of glazed brick. Some coatings are based
on two-component urethane polyesters and epoxies. Others are of an emulsion-based coat with acrylic lacquer.
These paint systems usually include fillers to smooth out surface irregularities.
OTHER COATINGS
Heavily applied coatings of the so-called "breathing type" are available with either a water or solvent base. They are
generally composed of asbestos fiber and sand, and applied thickly to hide minor surface imperfections. The
presence of moisture on the surface of a masonry wall generally will not harm the latex type. Lower application
temperatures of 35 F to 50 F on the other hand are less damaging to the solvent type.
For both types, adhesion is mostly mechanical because of low binder and high pigment content. Some coatings
require special primers to insure adhesion. Although these coatings are reported to have given good performance on
masonry, they tend to show stains where water runoff occurs.
These coatings are capable of allowing passage of water vapor, but cannot transmit large quantities of water that
may enter through construction defects. Failure may occur as a result of freezing of water accumulation behind the
film.
PAINTING NEAR UNPAINTED MASONRY
Often windows and trim of masonry buildings are painted with self-cleaning paints to keep surfaces fresh and clean.
Unfortunately, self-cleaning is generally achieved through chalking. The theory is that rain will wash away chalked
paint, constantly exposing a fresh paint surface. The theory works well, but too often no provision is made to keep
chalk-contaminated rain water away from masonry surfaces. The result is usually more unsightly than dirty paint on
trim or windows. Avoid this staining by choosing nonchalking paints for windows and trim and by providing a
means of draining water away from wall surfaces.
REFERENCES

t6 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t6.htm
6 of 7 9/13/2009 12:34 PM
1. Manual on the Selection and Use of Paints, Technical Report #6, National Research Council of Canada,
Division of Building Research, 1950, Ottawa, Canada.
2. Paints for Exterior Masonry Walls, BMS110, National Bureau of Standards, 1947, Washington, D.C.
3. Field Applied Paints and Coatings, Publication 653, Building Research Institute, 1959, Washington, D.C.
4. Paints and Coatings, Publication 706, Building Research Institute, 1960, Washington, D.C.
5. Painting Walls; 1, Building Research Station Digest (2nd Series), No. 55, Building Research Station, 1965,
Garston, Herts., England.
6. Coatings for Masonry Surfaces, by H. E. Ashton, Canadian Building Digest, CBD 131, November 1970,
Ottawa, Canada.
7. Coatings for Masonry and Cementitious Materials, by Walter Bayer, Construction Specifier, November
1970, Washington D.C.
t6 http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t6.htm
7 of 7 9/13/2009 12:34 PM
2008 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 14
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
6A
August
2008
Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry
Abstract: This Technical Note discusses common reasons for applying colorless coatings to above-grade brick masonry and
the appropriateness of such actions. The types of products often used and the advantages and disadvantages of each are
presented. Issues to consider prior to application of a clear coating to brick masonry are provided.
Key Words: clear, colorless coatings, film former, graffiti-resistant, penetrant, silane, siloxane, water penetration, water
repellent.
General
Application of a water repellent coating is not necessary
to achieve water resistance in brickwork subjected to
normal exposures where proper material selection,
detailing, construction and maintenance have been
executed
Application is not recommended on newly constructed
brick veneer or cavity walls or on new or existing
pavements using clay pavers
Correct conditions contributing to water penetration
before applying a coating to brickwork
Consider providing vents at top of drainage spaces when
a water repellent coating is applied
General Selection Criteria
Consult the brick manufacturer prior to the selection of a
coating
Select only coatings intended for use on clay brickwork
Consider the effects of all coating properties on
brickwork, not just the desired property
Select coatings that have demonstrated consistent
performance on similar installations, materials and
exposures for a minimum period of five years

Except for anti-graffiti applications, use only breathable


coatings with a water vapor permeability of 0.98 or
greater as measured by ASTM E96
Consider the use of a siloxane or siloxane/silane pre-
blended coating
Use comparative testing of treated and untreated walls
using ASTM E514 or ASTM C1601 to determine coating
effectiveness
Do not apply film-forming coatings to brickwork located in
freeze-thaw environments
Specific Selection Criteria
For exterior brickwork, consider a condensation analysis
to determine whether coating affects the dew point
location within the wall
For paving, consider the effects of coating on pavement
slip resistance and the abrasion resistance of the coating
Application
Use a contractor with a minimum of five years experience
installing selected coating on similar installations
Apply the coating according to the coating manufacturer
directions

INTRODUCTION
Colorless coatings are available in many types and are designed for a variety of uses. When needed, colorless
coatings for brick masonry should be selected based on their intended use, documented performance and
chemical and physical properties [Refs. 4, 6, 10, 13]. Clear coatings formulated for use on other masonry materials
may not be appropriate for brick masonry and may in fact be detrimental to brick. Clay brick masonry has physical
and chemical properties that are different from stone, concrete or concrete masonry. Brick masonry has a different
pore structure and is generally less absorptive, less permeable and less alkaline than concrete masonry. The
recommendations included herein are applicable only to clay brick masonry.
The type of exposure the brickwork is subject to also plays an important role in coating selection. Coatings suitable
for interior brick masonry may not be suitable for exterior exposures. Similarly, coatings applied to floors or
pavements are subject to conditions different from those in brick walls.
Specific recommendations regarding the reasons for, selection of and use of colorless coatings are found
throughout this Technical Note. Opaque coatings, such as damp-proofing or waterproofing coatings, are not
addressed. For further information about opaque coatings, refer to Technical Note 6, which covers painting of brick
masonry.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 2 of 14
REASONS FOR USE
Clear coatings may be applied to brick masonry in an effort to facilitate cleaning, to resist graffiti, to provide gloss
or to reduce water absorption or penetration. Often, a single product is used to achieve several of these objectives.
Selection of a coating should be based on the desired appearance, resistance to water penetration, application of
brickwork, material substrate, economics, life span or other criteria set by the designer or user. The disadvantages
of using colorless coatings should also be considered during selection.
Water Penetration Resistance
It is desirable to minimize the penetration and absorption of water in brickwork to avoid problems encountered in
walls. Problems caused by excessive water penetration include freezing and thawing deterioration; corrosion of
metal ties, metal studs and other items; rotting of wood members; mold growth; and damage to interior finishes.
The most effective means of minimizing water penetration include exercising care during material selection,
designing and detailing brick masonry properly, constructing high-quality brickwork, and performing proper
maintenance. Detailed discussions of these issues are provided in the Technical Note 7 Series. Drainage-type
walls, such as brick veneer and cavity walls, are designed to accommodate water penetration of the exterior
brickwork without damage to the interior components of the wall system through its drainage system.
Nonetheless, water-repellent coatings are sometimes suggested to reduce the amount of water that penetrates
brickwork. Research indicates varied effectiveness of clear water repellents in reducing water leakage through a
brick masonry wythe. [Refs. 3, 7, 11] Water-repellent coatings are most effective at reducing the amount of water
absorbed by brick masonry. But water usually penetrates brick masonry at separations and cracks between brick
and mortar or at junctures with other materials. Thus, a change in the absorption properties of brick masonry
provided by a water-repellent coating may not significantly reduce water penetration through brickwork. Water-
repellent coatings cannot stop water penetration caused by design or construction deficiencies such as ineffective
sills, caps or copings, or incompletely filled mortar joints. Penetrating water-repellent coatings seldom stop water
penetration through cracks more than 0.02 in. (0.5 mm) wide, and their effectiveness under conditions of wind-
driven rain is limited. As a result, the use of water-repellent coatings to eliminate water penetration in a wall with
existing defects can be futile.
Water repellents can be useful for barrier walls, chimneys, parapets and other brickwork that is particularly
vulnerable to water absorption and penetration, especially in climates that receive large amounts of rain. When
a water-repellent coating is considered for use on these elements, the benefits must be weighed against the
possible disadvantages. Past successful performance of the proposed coating, for a number of years in the
same exposure conditions and on the same type of brick and mortar, should be required. In climates that
experience freezing and thawing cycles, the effect of a coating on the durability of the brickwork is of particular
concern.
The age of construction and limitations of different types of water repellents are described in the sections that
follow. Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of water repellents are discussed under Performance Criteria.
New Construction Use. Water repellents sometimes are specified for newly constructed brick masonry to protect
against water penetration due to imperfections in construction. As discussed previously, water repellents have
limited effectiveness and cannot compensate for poor construction or design. Furthermore, most brick masonry
wall systems do not require a water repellent to effectively manage water and prevent water intrusion into the
interior of a building. For these reasons, the use of water repellents on newly constructed drainage walls is not
recommended.
Remedial Use. Water-repellent coatings most often are applied in an attempt to reduce or eliminate water
penetration in existing brickwork experiencing water penetration problems. As noted previously, water repellents
cannot prevent water from penetrating cracks wider than 0.02 in. (0.5 mm). Therefore, the source of water
penetration should be determined and necessary repairs completed prior to the application of a water-repellent
coating. Exterior walls should be inspected to determine the condition of caps and copings, flashing, weeps,
sealant joints, mortar joints, brick units and general execution of details. Technical Note 46 provides an inspection
checklist for areas of concern. Repair and replacement of missing, broken, failed or disintegrating items identified
during the inspection and essential to the water resistance of the brickwork should be completed prior to
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 3 of 14
application of a water repellent. The application of a water repellent is rarely effective and is not recommended in
lieu of the following common repairs:
1. Removal of failed sealant, and cleaning, priming and replacement with an appropriate grade of elastomeric
sealant at all windows, copings, sills, expansion joints and between brick masonry and other materials.
2. Repointing of incompletely filled, cracked or disintegrated mortar joints.
3. Removal and replacement of brick with spalled faces or cracks extending through the face shell.
4. Surface grouting of separations between the brick units and the mortar.
These remedial measures are described in Technical Note 46.
Other repairs, which are generally more difficult and costly to complete, include the following:
1. Clearing of mortar blockage from weeps and the air space or cavity.
2. Removal and replacement of damaged, omitted or improperly installed flashing.
The latter repairs are considered by some to be unnecessary or uneconomical if a water repellent is applied.
However, these repair techniques provide long-term solutions to water penetration problems. Not completing them
may allow water within a wall to become trapped, resulting in failure of the coating or deterioration of brickwork.
After remedial repairs have been completed and inspected, it is advisable to wait a period of several months to
determine whether a water repellent is necessary. Moisture penetration problems often will be corrected by these
initial repairs, and further consideration of coatings can be dismissed.
If water penetration remains a problem, or long-term solutions are judged to be too costly despite their benefits, the
application of a water repellent can be considered. If water absorption appears to be the problem, a water repellent
can be particularly effective. However, water repellents are not a permanent solution and will require reapplication.
See the discussion under Durability of Coating for further information on the life span of coatings.
Stain Resistance and Efflorescence Prevention
By reducing the amount of water absorbed by brickwork, colorless coatings may help reduce staining and
efflorescence. As a result, colorless coatings are sometimes used on brickwork that is subject to severe exposures
or on units that have a relatively high absorption. Brick manufacturers sometimes apply colorless coatings to units
during manufacture to reduce staining or initial rate of absorption. ASTM standards for face brick require that
the brick manufacturer report the presence of such coatings. Selection of a coating for any of these uses should
be based on demonstrated successful performance on similar brick with comparable exposures. Staining and
efflorescence may not be completely eliminated by application of a coating. If staining or efflorescence occur on
masonry treated with a colorless coating, the stains and salts may be difficult or impossible to remove. Further, for
film-forming coatings and water repellents with a vapor permeability less than 0.98, efflorescing salts may become
trapped under the coating, causing damage to the brick.
Appearance Change
Another common reason for using a colorless coating
is to achieve a darker, wet or glossy appearance.
In some cases, a colorless coating may result in
an undesired sheen or gloss. Such gloss may be
an indication of an improperly applied coating or of
poor coating selection (see Photo 1). Satisfactory
appearance of a treated surface is best judged by
examining a sample panel or test area of masonry
before and after treatment.
Graffiti Resistance
Resistance to graffiti and ease of cleaning can be
important attributes for public structures such as
schools, government buildings, libraries and noise
barrier walls, where brick masonry is chosen for its
Photo 1
Undesired Gloss Due to a Colorless Coating
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 4 of 14
appearance and low maintenance. Colorless coatings are sometimes applied to brick masonry to keep graffiti or
dirt on the surface of the brickwork for easier removal. Glazed brick often are used in similar installations to provide
the same benefits. Note that some coatings used for graffiti resistance are sacrificial, meaning that the coating
itself is removed when the graffiti is removed.
TYPES OF COLORLESS COATINGS
Colorless coatings for brick masonry can be classified into two general categories: film formers and penetrants.
The two types have significantly different physical properties and performance. As the name implies, film formers
produce a continuous film on the surface of the masonry. Penetrants enter up to in. (10 mm) into the brick
masonry and do not form a surface film.
Colorless coatings may be either waterborne or solvent-borne. Carrier type influences permissible application
conditions. Originally, better penetration and performance were attained using solvent-borne solutions. However,
manufacturers are increasingly producing waterborne solutions that have lower volatile organic compound (VOC)
content. Coatings with higher solids content also may have lower VOC content. VOC content is regulated by
the Environmental Protection Agency nationwide because of its connection with poor air quality. In addition,
many green building guidelines have limits on VOC content in coatings. Product data and test results should
be examined carefully to compare performance. Temperature range, substrate moisture content, environmental
regulations and effects on adjacent materials and vegetation must be considered.
Colorless coatings are discussed in the following sections according to generic chemical type. Most colorless
coating manufacturers will provide information on the generic chemical composition of their products. In addition,
handbooks are available that classify many proprietary coatings according to their generic chemical composition.
Film Formers
Typically, film-forming products adhere to the brick masonry and form a film on the surface. Surface preparation
can be important in achieving satisfactory adhesion of a film-forming coating. Film-forming products should be
applied only to dry surfaces. Film materials, continuity and product concentration determine the performance
characteristics.
Film-forming products are effective at preventing water from penetrating into brick masonry. Film formers can
bridge the small, hairline cracks that are commonly the source of water penetration. If the crack is active, such as
one created by wind load or thermal fluctuations, a film-forming product may also crack. This obviously reduces its
effectiveness. However, a film-forming product's ability to exclude water from the exterior also inhibits evaporation
of water within the masonry through the exterior face and can result in clouding (see Photo 2) and spalling
(see Photo 3) if the source of moisture is not addressed. The reduced water vapor transmission rate, or lack of
breathability, is of special concern in exterior brick masonry subject to freezing and thawing cycles. Thus, film-
forming products are not recommended for brick masonry in such environments.
Photo 2
Clouding of Brick Masonry Wall
with a Film-Forming Coating
Photo 3
Spalling of Brick Masonry Wall
with a Film-Forming Coating
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 5 of 14
A film on a masonry wall may facilitate cleaning by keeping surface contaminants from penetrating into the
masonry. This characteristic leads to such products' use as graffiti-resistant coatings. When an appearance
change is desired, film formers typically are used. Film-forming products, by their nature, tend to produce a sheen
or gloss when applied. When used in high concentrations, they may darken the appearance of a wall (the wet
look).
Acrylics, stearates, mineral gum waxes and urethanes are among the products that form a film when applied to
brick masonry. The large molecular size of these products prevents them from penetrating into the masonry.
Acrylics. Acrylics can be effective as water repellents. They often are used when a high gloss is desired. Acrylics
are available in two forms, waterborne and solvent-borne. Acrylic emulsions are waterborne. Acrylic solutions
are solvent-borne. Because of increasing regulation of solvent-borne products, acrylic emulsions are more widely
used. Coating manufacturers typically recommend that acrylics be applied to substrates that are thoroughly dry.
If applied to a damp substrate, the acrylic film can separate from the masonry, giving it a cloudy, or whitened,
appearance. Some acrylics can create a slippery surface, which is a concern in pavements. However, some
acrylics increase slip resistance. When stabilized against degradation in ultraviolet (UV) light, acrylics can last
approximately five to seven years.
Stearates. Stearates promoted for use on masonry are generally aluminum or calcium stearates. They are
sometimes known as metallic soaps. Stearates form a water-repellent surface by reacting with free salts in
mineral building materials and plugging the pores. Some formulations are used as integral water repellents in
concrete masonry and mortar. Their effectiveness as applied water repellents varies, and typically film-forming
stearates must be reapplied every year. Stearates also have the potential to turn cloudy if moisture gets behind
the coating.
Mineral Gum Waxes. Paraffin wax and polyethylene wax are commonly referred to as mineral gum waxes.
These products are typically solvent-borne and can be good water repellents, able to bridge hairline cracks. As
with other coating types, mineral gum waxes can be used to protect units from staining. However, they have
been known to darken the substrate and, in cases where moisture gets behind the coating, turn the surface a
milky white. If the sources of moisture are not addressed, clouding and eventual spalling of the masonry may
occur.
Urethanes. Urethanes, chemically referred to as polyurethanes, are isocyanate resins. They are classified
as either aromatic or aliphatic, depending on the resulting chemical. They are considered one-part urethanes
if cured by moisture in the substrate or air and two-part if they require a chemical catalyst to cure. While
urethanes can be excellent water repellents and provide good gloss, they can break down under UV light and
have very low vapor permeability. Chemical additives often are used in urethanes to prevent UV degradation
and yellowing and to improve gloss retention. Urethanes with such additives usually last from one to three
years.
Penetrants
Penetrating type coatings are characterized by their penetration into the substrate, typically to depths up to in.
(10 mm). They repel water by changing the capillary force, or contact angle with water, of the pores in the face of
the masonry from positive (suction) to negative (repellency). Penetrating coatings are typically more resistant to
UV degradation because of their chemical composition and because they penetrate below the masonry surface.
Because they coat the pores rather than bridge them, penetrants tend to have better water vapor transmission
characteristics. The solids content of these materials commonly ranges from 5 to 40 percent by weight. Higher
solid content typically indicates better water penetration resistance. Penetrants can be categorized into six
groups siloxanes, silanes, silicates, methyl siliconates silicone resins and RTV silicone rubber and blends of
these.
Siloxanes. Siloxanes have a larger molecular structure than silanes and provide good penetration and water
repellency. Siloxanes bond chemically with silica- or alumina-containing materials, such as brick and mortar, to
make the material water-repellent. This results in a long life, up to 10 years or more, and makes the coating more
difficult to remove. Some siloxanes can also be applied to slightly damp surfaces. Siloxanes are less volatile than
silanes and react with chemically neutral substrates without a chemical catalyst. Siloxanes are typically used
in solutions having 5 to 12 percent solids by weight. Siloxanes have been known to work well on certain brick
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 6 of 14
masonry installations. However, siloxanes are highly reactive with silica and will bond with glass that is not properly
protected.
Silanes. Silanes used as clear water repellents have a smaller molecular structure than siloxanes, which allows
good penetration on dense substrates. They are used in relatively high concentrations (typically 20 percent or
greater solids content). Like siloxanes, silanes bond chemically with silica- or alumina-containing materials and
can bond with unprotected glass. Silanes can be applied to slightly damp substrates. An alkaline substrate, such
as concrete or concrete masonry, acts as a catalyst to speed the reaction to form a water-repellent surface.
Chemical catalysts also are used with silanes to improve the chemical reaction on less alkaline substrates such
as brick.
Silicates. Ethyl silicates are commonly used in restoration of deteriorated masonry as consolidants for natural
stone and occasionally brick masonry. Consolidants are designed to react with and stabilize the substrate to
which they are applied. Their use on brick is uncommon. None are effective water repellents, and they are not
recommended for this use on brick masonry.
Methyl Siliconates. Methyl siliconates are alkaline solutions that react with silica-containing materials in the
presence of carbon dioxide to form a water-repellent surface. Siliconates are sometimes injected into brick
masonry to form a horizontal barrier to rising damp.
Silicone Resins. Silicone resins come in many weights and forms. The 5 percent silicone resin is the most
common penetrating formula. Silicones do not chemically bond with the substrate and as a result have a short life.
Many silicones require reapplication on a yearly basis, although some last longer.
RTV Silicone Rubber. Room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone rubber is a penetrating water repellent
that contains petroleum distillates. It does not require the presence of alkali to react with the substrate. Once
cured, RTV silicone rubber retains its elasticity, helping it to bridge hairline cracks. Asphalt, plastic rubber and
glass surfaces must be protected from contact with it. RTV silicone rubber is commonly used in anti-graffiti
coatings.
Blends. Colorless coatings also are made from blends of the materials listed above. Blends are created to
produce products with the benefits of the constituent materials. As such, they reflect the properties of the
constituent materials, but the properties will be modified somewhat. Thus, it is important to review product data
and test results for products, especially blended ones. For quality assurance that a blend is formulated in the
correct proportions, select a product that is pre-blended by the manufacturer.
PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
Any coating applied to brick masonry will change the physical properties of the masonry. The most critical
properties of colorless coatings to be evaluated are water vapor transmission, water penetration and repellency,
durability, compatibility with the substrate, gloss, slip resistance, graffiti resistance, VOC content and environmental
considerations. A variety of industry standard tests for evaluating these properties exist; however, it can be difficult
to compare products because the reported performance characteristics of each product may be based on a
different set of tests.
Another difficulty exists in correlating test results with in-service performance of coatings applied to brickwork. For
example, one method of evaluating water repellency of a coating is by comparing the cold water absorption of an
untreated brick to that of a treated brick, using the method described in ASTM C67, Test Methods of Sampling
and Testing Brick and Structural Clay Tile. Although such a test may indicate the ability of a coating to reduce
the amount of water absorbed through the faces of individual brick, it neglects the effect of mortar joints on the
water penetration resistance of brickwork. The presence of partially filled mortar joints, hairline cracks and minute
separations that occur in brickwork will often reduce, and sometimes completely negate, the tested effectiveness
of a coating.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 7 of 14
Until standard tests better correlate with performance of brickwork in service, good judgment and experience are
necessary in establishing performance criteria. The properties discussed in the following sections can be useful
in comparing colorless coating alternatives. Table 1 presents a relative comparison of several colorless coating
properties.
TABLE 1
Typical Properties of Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry
1
Water Vapor
Transmission
Water
Repellency
Life Span,
Years
Available with
Glossy Finish
Graffiti
Resistance
Film Formers
Acrylics Poor Very good 5 to 7 Yes Yes
Stearates Poor Varies 1 No No
Mineral gum waxes Poor Good Varies No No
Urethanes Poor Very good 1 to 3 Yes Yes
Penetrants
Siloxanes Very good Very good 10+ No No
Silanes Very good Very good 10+ No No
Silicates Poor Poor Varies No No
Methyl siliconates Good Fair Varies No No
Silicone resins Fair Varies 1 Yes No
RTV silicone rubber Good Good 5 to 10 No Yes
Blends Varies Varies Varies No No
1. Refs. 6, 14
Water Vapor Transmission
Rate and Permeability
The most important property to consider when
selecting a coating for application on exterior brick
masonry is the water vapor transmission rate. The
water vapor transmission, or breathability, determines
the rate and amount of water that can evaporate
through the face of the brickwork. Coatings that have
low water vapor transmission rates inhibit evaporation
and can trap water within the brickwork, leading to
clouding of the coating, as shown in Photo 2 and
Photo 4.
Low water vapor transmission may also result in the
premature deterioration of brickwork. Water that is
unable to pass through a coating increases risks of
masonry deterioration due to freeze-thaw cycles and
deposition of water-soluble salts behind the coating.
As these salts crystallize, they grow significantly in
size and can create enough expansive pressure to
cause spalling of brick.
For these reasons, the effect of a coating on the water vapor transmission rate of brickwork should be carefully
considered, particularly for walls exposed to freezing and when moisture problems such as rising damp and
condensation are known to exist. Coatings with a water vapor permeability of 0.98 or higher allow natural
evaporation to occur, thus reducing the potential for problems. However, even a highly breathable coating may
lower the vapor transmission of a wall by preventing moisture migration to the exterior surface where evaporation
occurs. A condensation analysis, as described in Technical Note 47, should be performed before applying a
coating to determine the effect of the coating on the location of condensation within the wall system.
Photo 4
Clouding of a Colorless Coating
on a Brick Pavement
M
i
k
e

D
i
c
k
e
y
,

F
r
i
e
z
e

&

A
s
s
o
c
i
a
t
e
s
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 8 of 14
At present, there is no definitive test establishing the effect of colorless coatings on the water vapor transmission
rate and durability of brick masonry. However, the water vapor transmission rate of a coating can be measured
using ASTM E96, Test Methods for Water Vapor Transmission of Materials. To accurately replicate field conditions
(air rather than water on one side of the brick), the desiccant method is preferred. Using this test, the effect of a
coating can be evaluated through a comparative measurement between an untreated and a treated brick. For
comparative testing, a maximum 10 percent reduction in the rate of vapor transmission is the recommended limit.
Another method to evaluate the potential of a colorless coating to entrap damaging salts and cause spalling is
proposed by Binda [Ref. 2]. Individual brick are treated with the colorless coating on their exposed faces. The
sides of the units are sealed with rubber to prevent evaporation except through the treated face. The units are
subjected to cycles of immersion in a salt solution for four hours and air drying for 44 hours. The cross-sectional
size is measured after each cycle. Deterioration is typically by delaminations of the treated brick face, hence a
reduction in brick cross section. A correlation of the number of cycles to deterioration in this test to the durability
of a masonry assemblage has not yet been established. However, this method is one means of assessing salt
crystallization damage potential when evaluating colorless coatings.
Water Repellency
Water repellency is an important criterion when a coating is intended to reduce water penetration resistance.
However, water repellency of most coatings is based on reducing the amount of water absorbed by a substrate.
Water repellency is often evaluated by comparing the absorptions of treated and untreated brick using the
ASTM C67 test for cold water absorption. As discussed previously, this approach has significant limitations.
Because most water penetrates brickwork through voids or cracks in mortar joints and minute separations between
brick and mortar, tests of water repellents on individual brick cannot accurately indicate the performance of a
water repellent on brickwork. The effectiveness of water-repellent coatings in reducing water penetration through
brickwork is more accurately evaluated by using representative brickwork panels.
ASTM E514, Test Method for Water Penetration and Leakage Through Masonry, is the preferred laboratory
test for evaluating the ability of a coating to reduce the water penetration of brickwork. The test can be used
to compare the water penetration resistance of brickwork treated with water-repellent coatings to untreated
brickwork. Testing should be performed on a minimum of three identical wall specimens of the intended materials
and construction. The amount of water penetration should be measured on each specimen in accordance with
ASTM E514 before and after coating with the clear water repellent. The percentage reduction in water penetration
is a measure of the water repellent effectiveness. A 90 percent reduction in maximum leakage rate; and a
75 percent reduction in percent area of dampness on the back face of the wall and total water collected after 24
hours of testing [Ref. 3] as compared to the untreated wall panel is recommended. ASTM E514 has its limitations.
Performance of coatings in laboratory tests may differ from results on actual brickwork due to the variables
inherent in construction. Thus, a tested percent reduction rate for a laboratory test does not automatically translate
into the same percent reduction in water leakage through the exterior brickwork of a constructed building.
ASTM C1602, Test Method for Field Determination of Water Penetration of Masonry Wall Surfaces, provides a
means to evaluate the effectiveness of a coating in the field. The test can be used on existing masonry walls or
field mock-ups. A sheet of water is to be developed and maintained on the wall surface during testing. If the sheet
of water does not consistently form, the results of this test may be inaccurate. After a preconditioning period, a
specified water flow rate and air pressure are maintained. The amount of water applied to the face of the wall
during the test is measured and the water loss calculated. Again, a coating should provide at least a 75 percent
reduction in loss of water.
Durability of Coating
The durability of a coating is an important selection criterion. Greater depth of penetration or film thickness and
greater resistance to degradation in UV light and harmful environments imply longer life for coatings applied to
exterior brickwork. Durability of coatings applied to brick pavements may also depend on resistance to abrasion.
A coatings durability also determines how often it must be reapplied, which may have permeability and ongoing
maintenance implications.
Most coatings must be reapplied every five to 15 years, and some last considerably shorter periods of time. Many
coatings are warranted by the manufacturer to last 10 years or more. It is common for film-forming products to
require reapplication more often than penetrants, particularly if they are applied to brick floors subject to significant
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 9 of 14
amounts of traffic. Evaluation of a coatings resistance to abrasion is difficult, because there are no direct test
methods for measurement on brick. Reapplication of a coating (especially if carried out prematurely) may decrease
the vapor permeability of the brickwork. This may be a concern for exterior brick masonry walls, particularly in
climates subject to freezing and thawing.
One way to evaluate the durability of a coating is with laboratory tests that simulate outdoor exposure.
ASTM G154, Practice for Operating Fluorescent Light Apparatus for UV Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials, is one
often specified. The difficulty with using laboratory tests to measure the life span of a coating is trying to correlate
laboratory test results to field performance. Coating characteristics, such as gloss or water repellency, can be
measured before and after exposure and the results compared, but such tests have not been correlated to the
actual life expectancy of the coating.
Periodic evaluations of field performance can also be used to determine whether a coating continues to be
effective. Results of field tests conducted on a specified area of a newly treated wall can be compared to tests
performed in the same location after some period of service. Such evaluation will indicate if the coating has met its
warranted life and help to determine when reapplication may be necessary.
Compatibility. Compatibility of a coating with the brickwork and its existing surface treatments should be
determined prior to application. Only coatings specifically formulated for use on brickwork should be selected.
Incompatibility of a coating with the brickwork or an existing coating may adversely affect durability, appearance
or otherwise prevent the coating from performing as intended. Penetrating coatings are typically incompatible with
existing film-forming coatings. In some cases, reapplication of a coating may cause clouding and may be difficult or
impossible to remove.
It may be necessary to remove any existing coating, following the coating manufacturers recommendations before
reapplication or application of a different coating. This procedure may involve hazardous chemicals often regulated
or restricted from use by local, state or federal environmental regulations. Thus, an existing coating may have to
remain in place until it wears off, even if deterioration of the masonry calls for its removal.
Environmental Considerations
Possible environmental hazards are also of concern when considering a colorless coating. Often the chemicals
used in colorless coatings are highly reactive and can etch glass, damage paint, kill vegetation and emit harmful
vapors. This requires attention to worker safety and proper protection of adjacent surfaces.
Appearance
Some coatings, particularly film-formers, may impart a gloss, sheen or darkening to brickwork. Acceptable
appearance is a subjective matter and should be determined by the designer or owner prior to application. Gloss
is best evaluated by treating half of a test area representing the entire range of brick colors and textures and
comparing the treated half to the untreated half. An accepted test area should be retained as a means of judging
acceptability of other treated areas. When necessary, a number of ASTM test methods can be used to evaluate
differences and to establish tolerances [Ref. 1, Volume 6.01].
Slip Resistance
A coating can adversely affect the slip resistance of a brick floor or pavement. The slip resistance of coated floors
or pavements should be evaluated for safety reasons, especially in public access areas and in areas where water
may contact the floor or pavement. The slip resistance of coatings often is measured in the laboratory using ASTM
D2047, Test Method for Static Coefficient of Friction of Polish-Coated Floor Surfaces as Measured by the James
Machine [Ref. 1]. A value of 0.5, measured by the James machine, is the recognized minimum value for slip-
resistant walking surfaces in courts of law in the United States. Slip resistance can be measured in the field using
portable devices such as the NBS-Brungraber machine (also known as the Mark I Slip Tester). The United States
Access Board recommends coefficient of friction values of 0.6 for a level surface and 0.8 for ramps, as measured
using the NBS-Brungraber machine [Ref. 14].
Graffiti Resistance
Effective graffiti resistance depends on the ability of a coating to prevent penetration of unwanted markings into
brickwork and facilitate their removal. Often, water repellency, appearance, durability and other properties are also
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 10 of 14
important selection criteria for anti-graffiti coatings. A method for determining the effectiveness of an anti-graffiti
coating is described in ASTM D7089, Practice for Determination of the Effectiveness of Anti-Graffiti Coating for
Use on Concrete, Masonry and Natural Stone Surfaces by Pressure Washing [Ref. 1]. Satisfactory performance
is indicated by successful removal of intentionally applied graffiti. Always consult the coating manufacturer prior to
testing, as reactions between the cleaner and the coating may be hazardous.
Anti-graffiti coatings generally employ either a barrier or sacrificial strategy to resist graffiti. Barrier or permanent
coatings must be resistant to cleaning chemicals so that they remain on the surface of brickwork after graffiti is
removed. Conversely, sacrificial coatings should be easy to remove. Removal of graffiti should always follow
coating manufacturers recommendations, because many anti-graffiti coatings are intended to be used with a
particular removal method or cleaning product.
As anti-graffiti coatings provide a barrier to paint and other staining, they also provide a barrier to water
evaporation through the outer face of the brick, similar to that of glazed brick. Therefore, most of the drying of the
brickwork occurs by evaporation through the back face of the brick, into the air space. It is important that when
an anti-graffiti coating is used, the cavity behind the brick be vented at top and bottom to help remove the excess
moisture in the air space created by this evaporation.
CONSIDERATIONS PRIOR TO COATING
Selection of a colorless coating for use on brick masonry should be based on the desired performance, the
information discussed in this Technical Note and literature from the coating manufacturer. Additional items
to be considered prior to application of a colorless coating follow. Whenever possible, consult with the brick
manufacturer for specific recommendations regarding coating of a particular brick. Properties of each brick are
unique and can affect coating performance.
1. It is suggested that the designer or user require test reports for relevant performance criteria and a written
warranty from the coating manufacturer for the performance of the coating over a designated period of time.
2. The coating should be that of a well-known manufacturer who has been in business for at least five years.
It is suggested that a brand name be used that has a good track record over a period of at least five years.
References of projects with similar installations, materials and exposure should be investigated.
3. The coating should be applied at the application rate and under the climatic conditions recommended for
clay brick masonry substrates by the coating manufacturer. Typically, temperatures above 40 F (4 C) and
below 100 F (38 C) are required. Application on windy days should be avoided when possible.
4. Repair and replacement of brick and mortar joints and other necessary repairs should be completed prior to
applying a colorless coating.
5. A minimum of one month should pass after close-in of the building before a water repellent is applied to
newly constructed brickwork. This period allows the evaporation of moisture from the building materials to
occur naturally, unimpeded by a coating on the brickwork, and permits the walls to cure sufficiently. In fact,
many colorless coating manufacturers recommend application only to a relatively dry substrate. A delay of
one year is preferred so that efflorescence due to water absorbed during construction, often known as new
building bloom, is not entrapped by the coating. For a more complete discussion of efflorescence, refer to
the Technical Note 23 Series.
6. There should have been no efflorescence or, at the maximum only a minor occurrence of efflorescence, on
the brick masonry to be treated. Walls with a history of efflorescence should be coated only after the source
of moisture has been addressed.
7. The wall must be clean at the time of application [Ref. 9]. Heavy accumulations of dirt will interfere with
proper penetration or adhesion of the coating and result in poor performance and shorter life. See ASTM
D5703, Practice for Preparatory Surface Cleaning for Clay Brick Masonry [Ref. 1], for a discussion of
cleaning techniques that may be required. In addition, freshly repointed mortar and repaired sealant joints
should cure for a minimum of 72 hours before a coating is applied [Ref. 11].
8. The brickwork should have a moisture content consistent with that recommended by the coating
manufacturer. Moisture content of the brick masonry should be checked at several locations by the method
recommended by the coating manufacturer.
9. Apply samples of the selected coating to test areas of at least 10 ft (1 m) on the building at a location
representative of the area to be treated or on a sample panel. Allow these test areas to cure as
recommended by the coating manufacturer. Inspect and test them to determine satisfactory performance
with respect to the performance criteria established.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 11 of 14
10. The application contractor should know the work to be performed and should protect adjacent and
surrounding surfaces from over-spray as necessary. Qualifications of the contractor should be verified.
These steps must be taken in conjunction with the recommendations contained within the applicable sections of
this Technical Note. They cannot guarantee successful performance but will greatly increase the likelihood that the
colorless coating will perform as intended. The coating manufacturer often will have additional recommendations
regarding coating selection, substrate preparation, curing, application methods and coverage rates. The coverage
rate is especially critical, because over-application of the coating can reduce its breathability. Failure to consider
these items can result in poor performance of the coating and can cause severe harm to the masonry or
surrounding elements.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR USE
Selection of a specific product should be based on recommended performance criteria described herein and any
other criteria set by the designer to address the particular conditions involved. In addition, the brick manufacturer
should be consulted for recommendations on the use of colorless coatings prior to coating selection.
There are a variety of reasons that colorless coatings may be considered for application to brickwork. However, it
is important to recognize that coatings change the physical properties of the brickwork to which they are applied.
Therefore, the potential advantages of colorless coatings should be carefully weighed against their disadvantages.
Exterior Walls
Penetrating coatings are preferred for exterior brick masonry walls because they permit water vapor transmission.
Only coatings with a water vapor permeability of 0.98 or greater as measured by ASTM E96 should be used.
If a water repellent is to be used, siloxanes are recommended. Siloxanes provide the advantage of good water
repellency and long-term performance and have been shown to be effective on many brick masonry walls. Silanes
containing chemical catalysts also have been used successfully.
Because of the effect of a film on the breathability of masonry, use of film-forming coatings is discouraged,
particularly in freezing climates. Some film-forming coatings have been known to perform successfully; however,
there can be significant risks. If use of a film-forming coating, such as an anti-graffiti coating, is necessary, select
only products known to successfully perform in a similar climate, wall type and exposure on brick masonry with
similar physical properties.
When a drainage wall is treated with a colorless coating, the use of vents at the top and bottom of wall cavities can
promote evaporation of moisture from the brickwork.
Chimneys and Parapets. These
elements can be subject to
premature deterioration because
of severe exposure. They are often
exposed to wind-driven rain and
water rundown on the exterior walls
from the crown or coping. Because
of the large amount of moisture
that can contact the surface of
a chimney or parapet wall, a
clear water-repellent coating can
sometimes be effective in reducing
water-related problems. Conditions
in which a clear water repellent
may be recommended on chimneys
and parapet walls include climates
with a driving rain index above
3 (see Figure 1) and on sloped
or horizontal projections of such
elements where water and snow
can accumulate.
Driving Rain Index
1 2 3 4 0 5 >5
Figure 1
Driving Rain Index Map [Ref. 9]
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 12 of 14
Interior Walls
Colorless coatings are generally applied to interior walls to facilitate cleaning or to provide a gloss. Water
repellency and breathability of interior walls is generally not a concern. Film-forming products, specifically water-
borne acrylics (acrylic emulsions) and urethanes, typically will give the best results when gloss and ease of
cleaning are desired. However, some penetrating coatings may also provide this effect. Acrylics in particular are
known to provide a high gloss. Both acrylics and urethanes are durable in installations with no UV exposure.
In the case of exterior brick masonry walls that have their interior faces exposed, water vapor transmission may
be a concern. Film-forming products should be used cautiously, only after the effect of the film on the water vapor
transmission of the wall system has been evaluated.
Pavements and Floors
Coatings may be desired on brick pavements to resist staining or to decrease moss and mildew growth.
The exposure and construction of brick pavements are significantly different from those of vertical brickwork.
Lack of a drainage cavity or air space to aid in drying increases the severity of exposure. There are several
disadvantages associated with the use of a colorless coating on pavement surfaces. Colorless coatings can
decrease the slip resistance of the pavement or floor, especially when wet. Also, pavements and interior floors are
subject to abrasion due to foot traffic, which shortens the life expectancy of most coatings compared to vertical
installations. Exterior brick pavements are subjected to more severe weathering exposures than exterior vertical
walls. Pavements often have prolonged contact with moisture due to their horizontal orientation and are seldom
protected by overhangs.
Any joint sand stabilizers needed to protect sand in joints from erosion are typically applied before coatings. For
more information about these products, refer to Technical Note 14A.
Exterior Pavements. By the nature of their construction, pavements allow evaporation of moisture from the
masonry through only one face, the wearing surface. As a result, the potential for problems associated with
reduced water vapor transmission are significant. These disadvantages usually outweigh any potential benefit. For
this reason, colorless coatings are not recommended for use on exterior brick pavements subject to freezing and
thawing. In exterior environments not subject to freezing, the water vapor transmission rate of the coating must be
high. Clouding of the coating is a particularly common problem (see Photo 4).
Interior Floors. Colorless coatings are often applied to interior brick floors to provide a glossy finish and to
facilitate cleaning. Mortarless brick pavements also can be coated to help retain the jointing sand in the joints.
Urethanes, acrylics, waxes and some penetrating coatings that meet the performance criteria discussed herein,
and those set by the designer, can be used on interior brick masonry floors not subject to freezing. The primary
disadvantage of most colorless coatings used on floors is their tendency to reduce the skid resistance of the
floor. New epoxy-based coatings show promise in this area. Film-forming coatings may separate from the brick
paving and turn cloudy if moisture from the brickwork or supporting members migrates through the brick floor.
Consequently, film-forming coatings should be applied only when the brick floor and supporting members are dry.
Past successful performance is the best measure of a satisfactory coating.
SUMMARY
This Technical Note has discussed both the reasons for and the suitability of colorless coatings for brick masonry.
For most exterior brick masonry, use of colorless coatings is discouraged. Furthermore, clear water repellents
are not necessary on properly designed and constructed brick masonry. However, under certain conditions, clear
water repellents and other colorless coatings may be beneficial.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available
data and the experience of the engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of
the information contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 13 of 14
REFERENCES
1. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2007:
Volume 4.05
C67 Standard Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Brick and Structural Clay Tile
C1601 Standard Test Method for Field Determination of Water Penetration of Masonry Wall
Surfaces
E514 Standard Test Method for Water Penetration and Leakage Through Masonry
Volume 4.06
E96/E96M Standard Test Methods for Water Vapor Transmission of Materials
Volume 6.01
D523 Standard Test Method for Specular Gloss
D3134 Standard Practice for Establishing Color and Gloss Tolerances
D4449 Standard Test Method for Visual Evaluation of Gloss Differences Between Surfaces of
Similar Appearance
Volume 6.02
D5703 Standard Practice for Preparatory Surface Cleaning of Clay Brick Masonry
D7089 Standard Practice for Determination of the Effectiveness of Anti-Graffiti Coating for Use
on Concrete, Masonry and Natural Stone Surfaces by Pressure Washing"
Volume 15.04
D2047 Standard Test Method for Static Coefficient of Friction of Polish-Coated Floor Surfaces
as Measured by the James Machine
G154 Standard Practice for Operating Fluorescent Light Apparatus for UV Exposure of
Nonmetallic Materials
2. Binda, L., Experimental Study on the Durability of Preservation Treatments of Masonry Surfaces: Use of
Outdoor Physical Models, Proceedings of the Workshop The Degradation of Brick and Stone Masonries
Due to Moisture and Salt Content and the Durability of Surface Treatments, Politecnico di Milano, Milan,
Italy, January 1991, pp. 1-8.
3. Brown, R.H., Initial Effects of Clear Coatings on Water Permeance of Masonry, Masonry: Materials,
Properties, and Performance, ASTM STP 778, J.G. Borchelt, ed., ASTM International, West
Conshohocken PA, 1982, pp. 221-236.
4. Clark, E.J., Campbell, P.G., and Frohnsdorff, G., Waterproofing Materials for Masonry, NBS Technical
Note 883, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD, October 1975.
5. Clear Water Repellents for Above Grade Masonry and Horizontal Concrete, Sealant, Waterproofing &
Restoration Institute, Kansas City, MO, 1994.
6. Clear Water Repellent Treatments for Concrete Masonry, Concrete Masonry Association of California and
Nevada and the Masonry Institute of America, Los Angeles, CA, 1993, pp. 38-40.
7. Coney, W.B., and Stockbridge, J.G., The Effectiveness of Waterproofing Coatings, Surface Grouting, and
Tuckpointing on a Specific Project, Masonry: Materials, Design, Construction, and Maintenance, ASTM
STP 992, H.A. Harris, ed., ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 1988, pp. 220-224.
8. Grimm, C.T., A Driving Rain Index for Masonry Walls, Masonry Materials, Properties, and Performance,
ASTM STP 778, American Society for Testing and Materials, West Conshohocken, PA, 1982, pp. 171-
177.
9. Mack, R.C., and Grimmer, A., Assessing Cleaning and Water-Repellent Treatments for Historic Masonry
Buildings, Preservation Briefs, No. 1, U.S. National Park Service, Washington, DC, November 2000.
10. McGettigan, E., Selecting Clear Water Repellents, The Construction Specifier, Vol. 47, No. 6,
Construction Specifications Institute, Alexandria, VA, June 1994, pp. 121-132.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 6A | Colorless Coatings for Brick Masonry | Page 14 of 14
11. Roller, Sandra, A Comparison of ASTM E 514 and MAT Tube Water Penetration Testing Methods
Including an Evaluation of Saver Systems Water Repellents, Department of Civil and Architectural
Engineering, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, October 1994.
12. Roth, M., Comparison of Silicone Resins, Siliconates, Silanes and Siloxanes as Water Repellent
Treatments for Masonry, Technical Bulletin 983-1, ProSoCo, Inc., Kansas City, KS, 1985.
13. Suprenant, B.A., Water Repellents: Selection and Usage, Magazine of Masonry Construction, Aberdeen
Group, Addison, IL, December 1993, pp. 527-532.
14. Technical Bulletin: Ground and Floor Surfaces, United States Access Board, Washington, DC, August
2003.
Water Penetration Resistance -
Design and Detailing
Abstract: Proper design, detailing and construction of brick masonry walls are necessary to minimize water penetration into
or through a wall system. Many aspects of design, construction and maintenance can influence a wall's resistance to water
penetration. The selection of the proper type of wall is of utmost importance in the design process as is the need for com-
plete and accurate detailing. In addition to discussing various wall types, this Technical Note deals with proper design of brick
masonry walls and illustrates suggested details which have been found to be resistant to water penetration.
Key Words: barrier, design, detailing, drainage, flashing, installation, rain, wall types, weeps.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
7
December
2005
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
Wall System Selection:
Drainage walls provide maximum protection against water
penetration
Barrier walls are designed to provide a solid barrier to
water penetration and provide good water penetration
resistance
Single wythe masonry walls require careful detailing and
construction practices to provide adequate water penetra-
tion resistance
Through Wall Flashing Locations:
Install at wall bases, window sills, heads of openings, shelf
angles, tops of walls and roofs, parapets, above projec-
tions, such as bay windows, and at other discontinuities in
the cavity
Through-Wall Flashing Installation:
Lap continuous flashing pieces at least 6 in. (152 mm)
and seal laps
Turn up the ends of discontinuous flashing to form end
dams
Extend flashing beyond the exterior wall face
Terminate UV sensitive flashings with a drip edge
Weeps:
Open head joint weeps spaced at no more than 24 in.
(610 mm) o.c. recommended
Most building codes permit weeps no less than
3
/16 in. (4.8
mm) diameter and spaced no more than 33 in. (838 mm)
o.c.
Wick and tube weep spacing recommended at no more
than 16 in. (406 mm) o.c.
Page 1 of 9
INTRODUCTION
This Technical Note is the first in a series addressing water resistance of brick masonry. Design considerations
and details are provided to illustrate the principles involved in addressing water penetration issues. The other
Technical Notes in this series provide detailed guidance in the areas of material selection (7A) and construction
(7B). Technical Notes 7C and 7D provide information on condensation.
When masonry walls encounter problems, water-related issues are often one of the primary factors. If a wall is
saturated with water, freezing and thawing may cause cracking, crazing, spalling and disintegration over time.
Water can cause masonry to experience dimensional changes, metals to corrode, insulation to lose its effective-
ness, interior finishes to deteriorate and efflorescence to appear on exterior surfaces. Water penetration may also
provide the moisture necessary for the development of mold growth on susceptible wall elements.
Water resistance of a masonry wall depends on four key factors: design, including detailing; materials; construc-
tion; and maintenance. Attention to all four is necessary to produce a satisfactorily performing wall. Failure to prop-
erly address any one factor can result in water penetration problems.
Water is abundant in many forms. Rain and snow contact building materials, wetting them. Water vapor is present
in the air from many sources. As a result, since water cannot be completely eliminated, water penetration must
be controlled. When water passes through brick masonry walls, it typically does so through minute separations
between the brick units and the mortar joints. Under normal exposures, it is virtually impossible for significant
amounts of water to pass directly through the brick units or through the mortar. Highly absorbent brick will absorb
some water, but certainly do not contribute to an outright flow of water through a wall.
Before brick veneer became popular, masonry walls usually functioned as both the structural system and as the
exterior skin of the building. As a result, these masonry walls were quite massive, ranging in thickness from 12 in.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7 | Water Penetration Resistance - Design and Detailing | Page 2 of 9
(305 mm) up to 6 ft (1.83 m) of solid brick. These masonry walls, both because of their thickness and their being
in constant compression due to the structural loads, worked quite well in keeping water out of the interior of the
building. Many older masonry walls were built with cornices and other ornamentation which helped to protect the
faces of the buildings from excessive water rundown and subsequent water penetration to the interior.
Walls used today are much less massive, and the masonry may be only 3 in. (76 mm) or less in thickness. In
many cases, they have minimal overhang at the top, allowing sheeting of the rain water from the roof or para-
pet down to the ground. As a result of these newer wall systems, rain water is allowed to be in contact with the
masonry in larger quantities and for longer periods of time, thus leading to more opportunity for water penetration
problems.
The successful performance of a masonry wall depends on limiting the amount of water penetration and control-
ling any water that enters the wall system. If water penetration can be minimized, for all practical purposes, the
wall system will perform well.
DESIGN
The first factor in evaluating water penetration resistance of masonry is that of design. Proper design of masonry
does not mean just proper structural design. Design includes fire resistance, heat transmission, structural integrity,
material compatibility, sound reduction, aesthetics and water resistance. Other Technical Notes provide guidance
on each of these different design factors.
Design for water resistance requires evaluation of several items, including: (1) sources of moisture; (2) selection
of wall type; and (3) flashing and weeps. Each of these items will be addressed separately.
Sources of Moisture
Moisture is present almost everywhere in various
forms, i.e., rain, snow, condensation, ground water,
construction water, etc. Some of these lend them-
selves to control; some do not. This section deals
with wind-driven rain. Interstitial condensation and
its control are discussed in Technical Notes 7C and
7D.
Wind-Driven Rain. The exposure to which a
masonry wall will be subjected is very important to
the proper design of the wall. No single standard
design can be expected to perform equally well
under all exposures.
Exposures vary greatly throughout the United
States, from severe on the Atlantic Seaboard and
Gulf Coast, where rains of several hours' duration
may be accompanied by high velocity winds; to
moderate in the Midwest and Mississippi Valley,
where wind velocities are usually lower; to slight in
the arid areas of the West. Refer to Figure 1.
Selection of Wall Type
The selection of the proper wall type to use in any
given situation is very important. Under normal
conditions, it is nearly impossible to keep a heavy
wind-driven rain from penetrating a single wythe of
brickwork, regardless of the quality of the materials
or the degree of workmanship used.
The best approach to designing a water resistant
wall is to design the wall assuming some water
penetrates the surface. Therefore, the objective is
Figure 1
Wind Speed and Precipitation
Source: National Climatic Data Center
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7 | Water Penetration Resistance - Design and Detailing | Page 3 of 9
to control the moisture once it begins to penetrate the wall. Two basic wall systems are used for this purpose: the
drainage wall and the barrier wall.
Drainage Wall Systems. Drainage wall systems include cavity walls (metal-tied and masonry-bonded hollow walls
in historical applications), and anchored veneer walls as shown in Figures 2 through 5. The basic concept behind
the drainage wall assumes a heavy, wind-driven rain will penetrate the exterior wythe of brickwork. When it does,
the wall is designed to allow the water to flow inward to
the air space or cavity between the wythes. The water
then flows down the back face of the outer brick wythe,
where it is collected on the flashing and redirected out of
the wall system through the weeps. Properly designed,
detailed and constructed drainage wall systems are excel-
lent with respect to water penetration resistance. Specific
detailed information on all aspects of cavity wall systems
can be found in the Technical Notes 21 Series. The
Technical Notes 28 Series addresses anchored veneer
wall systems.
Barrier Wall Systems. Barrier wall systems, such as
the one shown in Figure 6, include multi-wythe walls with
mortar- or grout-filled collar joints (including composite
brick and concrete block walls), reinforced brick masonry
walls and adhered veneer walls. The basic concept is that
when a wind-driven rain penetrates the exterior wythe of
Figure 4
Insulated Brick/CMU Wall
Figure 5
Masonry Bonded Hollow Wall
Figure 2
Brick Veneer/Wood Stud Wall
Figure 3
Brick Veneer/Steel Stud Wall
Figure 6
Reinforced Barrier Wall
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7 | Water Penetration Resistance - Design and Detailing | Page 4 of 9
masonry it migrates inward toward a filled collar joint that acts as a barrier to prevent further inward movement.
The water then migrates back out of the wall system. The key item is that the collar joint must be completely filled
with grout or mortar to provide a monolithic barrier to moisture. Grouting is the most effective method of ensuring
that collar joints are completely filled. However, grouting spaces less than
3
/4 in. (19.1 mm) is not recommended.
In these instances, the face of the inner masonry wythe should be parged and the back of brick in the exterior
wythe buttered in order to fill the collar joint. Placing mortar in the collar joint with a trowel after the individual
wythes are laid, commonly referred to as "slushing", does not result in completely filled joints, and is not recom-
mended. Flashing is also integrated into barrier walls to aid in controlling water that penetrates the exterior wythe.
Properly designed, detailed and constructed barrier wall systems work well with respect to water penetration resis-
tance.
Single-Wythe Walls. Single-wythe masonry walls can be considered a variation of a barrier wall system. Single-
wythe brick masonry construction can be designed with either solid or hollow units. In single-wythe walls, the
masonry wythe usually exceeds the thickness of a nominal 4 in. (102 mm) exterior brick wythe. In addition to the
added thickness, grouted cells help to prevent water from penetrating to the interior of the wall system. The single-
wythe wall design is not inherently as resistant to water penetration as are drainage wall systems or multi-wythe
barrier wall systems and may not be appropriate for some severe exposures. With careful detailing and good
construction practices however, they can perform well. For example vertically reinforced and grouted brickwork
often provides good water penetration resistance. With single-wythe masonry, it is especially important to use a
mortar joint profile that sheds, rather than collects water. Concave and "V" joints are preferred over raked joints,
for example. See Technical Note 7B for further information. Penetrating water repellents can increase the water
resistance of single-wythe walls. See Technical Note 6A for further information.
DETAILING
Through-Wall Flashing
Through-wall flashing is a membrane, installed in a masonry wall system, that collects water that has penetrated
the exterior wythe and facilitates its drainage back to the exterior. Such flashing is essential in a drainage wall sys-
tem, and is required as a second line of defense in a barrier wall system. Proper design requires flashing at wall
bases, window sills, heads of openings, shelf angles, projections, recesses, bay windows, chimneys, tops of walls
and at roofs. Flashing should extend vertically up the backing a minimum of 8 in. (203 mm). The water-resistant
barrier on the backing should lap the top of the flashing. Examples of water-resistant membranes include No. 15
asphalt felt, building paper, certain high-density polyethylene or polypropylene plastics (housewraps) and certain
water-resistant sheathings. Various types of flashing materials which may be used in the design of brick masonry
and composite walls are covered in Technical Note 7A.
In regard to flashing, the designer must also address the following considerations:
Extension Through Wall. When possible, flashing should extend beyond the face of the wall to form a drip as
shown in Figure 7. When using a flashing that deteriorates with UV exposure, a metal or stainless steel drip edge
can accomplish this. It is imperative that flashing be extended at least to the face of the brickwork.
Continuity. Flashing is not usually installed in one
long, continuous sheet. As a result, pieces must be
fitted together on the job. Flashing pieces should be
lapped at least 6 in. (152 mm) and the laps sealed
with mastic or an adhesive compatible with the flash-
ing material. Self-adhesive flashing should be consid-
ered as an alternate.
Flashing Around Corners. To achieve flashing con-
tinuity around corners, preformed corner pieces are
available or the pieces of flashing may be cut, lapped
and sealed to conform to the shape of the structure.
End Dams. Where the flashing is not continuous, such
as over and under openings in the wall and on each
side of vertical expansion joints, the ends of the flash-
ing should be extended beyond the jamb lines on both
Figure 7
Shelf Angle Flashing
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7 | Water Penetration Resistance - Design and Detailing | Page 5 of 9
sides and turned up into the head joint at least 1 in. (25.4
mm) at each end to form a dam. Preformed end dams may
also be used. Refer to Figure 8.
Flashing at Vertical Supports. In some cases, connec-
tions that support shelf angles make it necessary to cut,
puncture or otherwise interrupt the flashing. When this
occurs, it is important to make sure that all openings in the
flashing are tightly sealed, and that the flashing is attached
to these supports with mastic.
Weeps
In order to properly drain any water collected on the flash-
ing, weeps are required immediately above the flashing at
all locations. An open head joint, formed by leaving mortar
out of a joint, is the recommended type of weep. Open
head joint weeps should be at least 2 in. (51 mm) high.
Weep openings are permitted by most building codes to
have a minimum diameter of
3
/16 in. (4.8 mm). The practice
of placing weeps in one or more courses of brick above the
flashing can cause a backup of water and is not recom-
mended. Non-corrosive metal, mesh or plastic screens can
be installed in open head joint weeps if desired. Refer to
Figure 9.
Spacing of open head joint weeps is recommended at no
more than 24 in. (610 mm) on center. Spacing of wick and
tube weeps is recommended at no more than 16 in. (406
mm) on center. Weep spacing is permitted by most building
codes at up to 33 in. (838 mm) on center. Wicks should be
at least 16 in. (406 mm) long and extend through the brick,
into the air space and along the back of the brick.
Drainage
The air space must be kept clear of mortar and mortar drop-
pings to allow proper drainage. Drainage materials may be
specified that prevent mortar from entering the air space or
catch mortar droppings at the wall base. These materials
are usually made of a plastic mesh or fabric porous enough
to allow passage of water, but catch or deter mortar from
collecting at the base of the air space. The effects of mortar
collection devices should be considered carefully as they
may require modifications to typical details such as extend-
ing flashing more than 8 in. (203 mm) vertically up the back-
ing. While it is not mandatory to include drainage materials,
they may help to keep the air space open for drainage.
However, the use of drainage materials should not preclude
good workmanship and an effort to keep the air space
clean.
Critical Locations
Wall Base. Moisture that enters a wall gradually travels downward. Continuous flashing must be placed above
grade at the base of walls to divert this water to the exterior. In addition, base flashing prevents water from ris-
ing up into the wall system due to capillary action and helps prevent efflorescence. The elevation of flashing and
weeps should be above planting beds, ground covering, sidewalks, etc. that are placed immediately adjacent to
the wall. Once the designer has determined the level for placing flashing in the wall in accordance with the grad-
Figure 9
Flashing and Weeps
Figure 8
End Dam Detail
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7 | Water Penetration Resistance - Design and Detailing | Page 6 of 9
ing plans, care should be taken that field modifications do not result in any section of flashing being below grade.
Refer to Figure 10.
The top of the foundation stem wall should be above the elevation of the base flashing to prevent water from
being directed toward the building interior. The cavity below base wall flashing should be solidly filled with mortar
or grout.
Window Sills. Window sills should be sloped to drain; 15 degrees is recommended. Through-wall flashing must
be placed under all sills as shown in Figures 11 through 13 and turned up at the ends to form dams. Soffits and
deep reveals may require special flashing considerations. The Technical Notes 36 Series contains further details
and information.
Steel Lintels. Through-wall flashing should be installed over all openings including door and window heads as
shown in Figure 14. An exception may be those completely protected by overhangs. The flashing should be
placed on a thin bed of mortar directly on top of the lintels and turned up at the ends to form dams. Figure 15
shows several examples of lintels. Weeps are recommended above all lintels which require flashing.
Figure 10
Wall Base Flashing
(a)
(b)
(c) (d)
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7 | Water Penetration Resistance - Design and Detailing | Page 7 of 9
Shelf Angles. In concrete or steel frame buildings with the brick wythe supported on shelf angles, the entire face
of spandrel beam may be flashed or the flashing may be inserted in a continuous reglet installed in the spandrel
beam or integrated with moisture-proofing on the spandrel beam. Refer to Figure 8.
Projections, Recesses and Caps. Projections, recesses and caps tend to collect rain water and snow. They
should be sloped away from the wall to drain and be flashed where possible as shown in Figure 16. Other details
and information can be found in the Technical Notes 36 Series.
Tops of Walls and Parapets. The tops of all walls and parapets should have an adequate cap or coping, and
there should be flashing beneath the coping. Drainage-type parapet walls as shown in Figures 17 and 18 are rec-
Figure 12
Window Sill in Cavity Wall
Figure 11
Window Sill in Brick Veneer/Frame Wall
Figure 14
Window Head in Brick Veneer/Frame Wall
Figure 13
Precast Concrete or Stone Sill
Figure 15
Structural Steel Lintels
Double Angle
Solid Wall
Double Angle
Hollow Wall
Steel Shape
Suspended Plate
Steel Shape
Attached Plate
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7 | Water Penetration Resistance - Design and Detailing | Page 8 of 9
Counter Flashing
Precast or
Stone Coping
Anchorage Varies
Sealant (Typ.)
Flashing
Air Space, Min.
2 in. (51 mm)
Recommended
Overhang, Min.
1 in. (38 mm)
Recommended
1
2
/
J oint Reinforcement
with Eye & Pintle
Through-Wall
Flashing
Figure 16
Projections and Caps
Figure 17
Precast Concrete or Stone Coping on Cavity Wall
Figure 18
Metal Coping on Cavity Wall Parapet
Figure 19
Non-Parapet Wall
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7 | Water Penetration Resistance - Design and Detailing | Page 9 of 9
ommended as the best parapet system for resistance to water penetration. The Technical Notes 36 Series provide
more details and information on these subjects.
Metal copings, as shown in Figure 19, are preferable to brick, cast stone, concrete or stone copings. Metal cop-
ings should extend down the face of the wall at least 8 in. (203 mm) with the bottom edge sealed against the
masonry to prevent wind-blown rain from entering the wall. Copings of cast stone, concrete or stone must have
joints between each element closed with sealants.
Roof Flashing. Because roof flashing is placed at very vulnerable points, it must be designed and installed with
great care. Roof flashing design may depend upon the type of roofing used. Where the roof flashing is metal, the
counter-flashing should also be metal, extending into the wall and overlapping the roof flashing a minimum of 3 in.
(76 mm). Refer to Figures 17 and 18.
SUMMARY
Masonry walls constructed of brickwork have performed well for centuries and are a testament to the performance
and durability of brick. Design and detailing that maximizes the water penetration resistance of brickwork is need-
ed to achieve this level of service.
Selection of the wall type should be based on the project's location, environmental conditions and building use.
Water penetration resistance of brickwork is enhanced by including appropriate details that reduce water penetra-
tion at key points in the brickwork.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of
the information contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. ASTM E 2266, " Standard Guide for Design and Construction of Low-Rise Frame Building Wall
Systems to Resist Water Intrusion", Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.12, ASTM International, West
Conshohocken, PA, 2005.
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
Water Penetration Resistance - Materials
Abstract: This Technical Note discusses considerations for the selection of materials used in brickwork and their impact on
its resistance to water penetration. Minimum recommended property requirements and performance characteristics of typical
materials are described.
Key Words: anchors, brick, coatings, corrosion resistance, flashing, grout, lintels, mortar, sealants, shelf angles, ties, water-
resistant barrier, weeps
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction 7A
December
2005
Brick and Mortar:
Select brick from the appropriate ASTM standard, desig-
nated for exterior exposures
Choose mortar materials and types that are compatible
with the brick selected
Use mortar type with lowest compressive strength meeting
project requirements
Ties and Anchors:
Use galvanizing, stainless steel or epoxy coatings to pro-
vide corrosion resistance
Water-Resistant Barriers:
Install when brick veneer is anchored to wood or steel
studs
Protect from or avoid prolonged ultraviolet (UV) exposure
Use No. 15 asphalt felt conforming to ASTM D 226 or
building paper, polymeric films (building wraps) or water-
resistant sheathings deemed equivalent or conforming to
AC 38
Tape or seal all joints of insulation or sheathings with fac-
ings intended to act as a water-resistant barrier
Flashing:
Select flashing that is waterproof, durable, UV resistant
and compatible with adjacent materials
Flashing materials should conform to applicable ASTM
specifications
Do not use aluminum, sheet lead, polyethylene sheeting
or asphalt-saturated felt, building paper or house wraps
Use a metal drip edge to extend flashings that degrade
when exposed to UV light
Weeps:
Open head joint weeps recommended
Sealant Joints:
Use backer rods in joints wide enough to accommodate
them.
Use sealants meeting the requirements of ASTM C 920 for
joints subject to large movements
Page 1 of 10
INTRODUCTION
This Technical Note is the second in a series addressing water resistance of brick masonry and provides guidance
regarding material selection of brick masonry components. Other Technical Notes in the series address brickwork
design and details (7), construction techniques and workmanship (7B) and condensation (7C and 7D).
The use of quality construction materials in brickwork is of prime importance in attaining a satisfactory degree of
water resistance. Requiring that materials meet the minimum criteria of appropriate material specifications helps to
ensure that they are of an acceptable quality.
The most recognized and widely used building material specifications for the determination of quality construction
materials are those developed by ASTM International (ASTM). The requirements of ASTM specifications alone
cannot predict performance levels of products because they are also affected by design, detailing and workman-
ship. However, the requirements are based on laboratory tests and field experience and, in the case of brick, are
the result of experience gained over a time span exceeding 100 years.
BRICK UNITS
Selection of quality brick is very important. Units are normally chosen based on color, texture, size and cost.
However, characteristics that can affect water penetration resistance should also be considered. These include
durability and those properties that influence brick/mortar compatibility.
Under normal exposures, it is virtually impossible for significant amounts of water to pass directly through brick
units. Brick may absorb some water, but this does not contribute to an outright flow of water through the brickwork.
Durability
Because exterior masonry will be exposed to moisture and the elements, durability is a primary concern. Durability
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7A | Water Penetration Resistance - Materials | Page 2 of 10
of the brickwork is affected not only by the durability of individual materials, but also the compatibility of materials,
how the assembly is designed, how materials are installed and the conditions to which the masonry is exposed.
The ASTM specifications for brick are written to provide guidance in choosing a suitable quality of brick based on
specific exposure conditions. The requirements for compressive strength, absorption and saturation coefficient are
established to indicate the resistance of the brick to damage by freezing and thawing when saturated. Cracking,
crazing, spalling and disintegration can occur if an improper choice of brick is made.
The ASTM requirements are not intended to serve as an indicator of the degree of water resistance of the mason-
ry. The degree of water resistance is related to the durability of the masonry insofar as the more water that enters
the system, the greater the probability that the masonry will be in a saturated condition during freeze/thaw cycles.
Brick Standards. Each kind of brick currently in use has its own designated ASTM standard, with specific require-
ments for durability stipulated by physical properties of the brick. The most commonly used brick standards and
the classification for the most severe exposures are:
ASTM C 216, Grade SW - Facing Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made From Clay or Shale)
ASTM C 652, Grade SW - Hollow Brick (Hollow Masonry Units Made From Clay or Shale)
ASTM C 62, Grade SW - Building Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made From Clay or Shale)
ASTM C 1405, Class Exterior - Glazed Brick (Single Fired, Brick Units)
ASTM C 126, (does not include physical requirements for the brick body, use Grade SW within ASTM C 216 or C
652) - Ceramic Glazed Structural Clay Facing Tile, Facing Brick, and Solid Masonry Units
MORTAR AND GROUT
Choosing the proper type of mortar or grout to use in a particular application is very important. To minimize water
penetration the primary concern is to choose a mortar and/or grout that will result in the most complete bond with
the masonry units chosen. The Technical Notes 8 Series provides detailed information on mortar. Technical Note
3A provides further information on grout.
Mortar
The most commonly used standard for specifying mortars for unit masonry is ASTM C 270. Four types of mortar
(M, S, N and O) are covered in the standard, although building codes typically require the use of Types M, S or
N. ASTM C 270 addresses mortars made with portland cement-lime combinations and those made with mortar
cements and masonry cements. Detailed information on ASTM C 270, mortar types and properties can be found
in Technical Note 8.
No single type of mortar is best for all purposes. The basic rule for the selection of a mortar for a particular project
is: Always select the mortar type with the lowest compressive strength that meets the performance requirements
of the project.
This general rule must be tempered with good judgment. For example, it would be uneconomical and unwise to
continuously change mortar types for various parts of a structure. However, the general intent of the rule should
be followed, using good judgment and economic sense. For most brick veneer applications, Type N mortar is
appropriate.
Grout
In some barrier masonry walls, grout is used to form a collar joint that bonds the outer and inner masonry wythes
together. Collar joints are the primary means of providing water penetration resistance in contemporary barrier
wall construction. When properly constructed, collar joints provide a solid cementitious layer deterring water entry
into the inner masonry wythe.
Grout for brickwork should conform to ASTM C 476. Two types of grout, fine and coarse, are addressed in this
standard. Coarse grout differs from fine grout in that, in addition to sand, it contains coarse aggregates such as
pea gravel. Grout may be specified by proportions or by strength requirements. Specification by proportions is
recommended for grout used in brickwork. Volumes of materials used in grout specified by proportions should be
consistently measured throughout the project.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7A | Water Penetration Resistance - Materials | Page 3 of 10
Specification for Masonry Structures [Ref. 9] contains requirements for the maximum height of grout pour, the min-
imum width of grout space and the minimum dimensions of cells receiving grout for each grout type. Fine grout
requires a minimum grout space width of in. (19.1 mm) and any cells receiving grout to be a minimum dimen-
sion of 1 x 2 in. (38 x 51 mm). Coarse grout requires a minimum grout space width of 1 in. (38 mm) and any
cells receiving grout to be a minimum dimension of 1 x 3 in. (38 x 76 mm).
BRICK/MORTAR COMPATIBILITY
When water passes through brick masonry walls, it does so through separations that form between the brick
and the mortar at the time of laying or through cracks that form after the mortar has cured. The dominant prop-
erty affecting the amount of water entering brickwork from a materials selection standpoint is the extent of bond
between the brick and the mortar. Extent of bond is a measure of the area of contact at the interface between
brick and mortar surfaces.
Not to be confused with extent of bond, bond strength is a measure of the adhesion between brick and mortar.
Bond strength is one factor that determines if cracks form after the mortar cures. Brick and mortar combinations
that have high bond strengths may not have an extent of bond that would provide high resistance to water pen-
etration. Consequently, extent of bond is more important to water penetration resistance of brick masonry than
bond strength.
Extent of bond is influenced by both brick and mortar properties and is best achieved when both are considered.
Initial rate of absorption is the key property of the brick related to brick/mortar compatibility. Mortar properties
include water retention, air content and workability.
The initial rate of absorption (IRA) of a brick is a measure of the amount of water taken into a 30 in.
2
(194 cm
2
)
brick surface area within one minute. A bricks IRA can be measured in the laboratory under controlled drying
conditions or in the field. The field IRA of a brick will vary depending on its moisture condition at the time it is mea-
sured.
Tests over the years have shown that the most complete bond is achieved when the initial rate of absorption (IRA)
of a brick, at the time of laying, is below 30 g/min30 in.
2
(30 g/min194 cm
2
). As a result, Specification for Masonry
Structures requires brick with initial rates of absorption in excess of this value to be wetted prior to laying. Water
penetration tests of masonry built with low and high IRA brick [Ref. 4 and 5] indicate that water penetration gen-
erally increases as brick IRA increases and as mortar water retention decreases. Thus, low IRA brick should be
combined with mortars that exhibit low water retention and high IRA brick should be combined with mortars with
high water retention, See Technical Note 8B for mortar recommendations with brick of various IRAs.
Mortar air content will also affect extent of bond. Higher air content mortars such as masonry cement mortars and
those made with air-entrained cements or lime are more likely to increase water penetration.
Several studies have shown that workmanship is critical with respect to water penetration. Thus, mortars with
better workability should be used. There are no recognized tests to determine mortar workability, but it typically
increases with air content and lower compressive strength mortars.
TIES AND ANCHORS
Ties and anchors in a masonry wall system connect two or more wythes together or attach the brick veneer to
a structural backing. Ties and anchors do not directly influence water penetration, except when related to crack-
ing of the brickwork and resulting water entry. All ties and anchors must be corrosion-resistant. Applicable ASTM
standards for corrosion-resistance of masonry ties and anchors are discussed later in this Technical Note. More
detailed information on ties and anchors can be found in Technical Note 44B.
Truss-type joint reinforcement that engages the brick wythe with fixed diagonal cross wires is only permitted in
multiwythe walls with a filled collar joint. In other walls, it can restrict differential in-plane movement between
masonry wythes, which can lead to cracking and subsequent water penetration.
Additional Considerations
Drips. A drip is a bend or crimp in a tie or anchor that helps any moisture traveling across the tie to drip off before
reaching the interior masonry wythe or backing. Ties and anchors with drips are not permitted [Ref. 6] because
the drips reduce the compressive and tensile capacity of the ties when transferring the lateral loads between the
wythes.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7A | Water Penetration Resistance - Materials | Page 4 of 10
Corrosion Resistance. Corrosion resistance is usually provided by zinc coatings or by using stainless steel. The
level of corrosion protection required for wall ties and anchors varies with their intended exposure conditions, as
follows [Ref. 6]:
- when exposed to earth or weather or to a mean relative humidity exceeding 75%, ties and anchors are
required to be stainless steel, hot-dip galvanized or epoxy-coated
- in other exposures, ties and anchors must be mill galvanized, hot-dip galvanized or stainless steel.
In addition, the designer should consider the potential for corrosion due to contact between dissimilar metals.
Items protected by zinc coatings may be hot-dip or mill galvanized. With mill galvanizing, the steel is galvanized
before the joint reinforcement or wall tie is fabricated. Therefore, ends cut during or after the manufacturing pro-
cess are not coated. With hot-dip galvanizing, the finished item is galvanized, providing more complete coverage.
Stainless steel items should be AISI Type 304 or Type 316 and conform to the appropriate specification listed
below. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, also known as the MSJC Code [Ref. 6] also allows
epoxy coatings to be used as corrosion protection.
To ensure adequate resistance to corrosion, coatings or materials should conform to the following:
Zinc Coatings - ASTM A 123 or A 153 Class B (for sheet metal ties and sheet metal anchors) or 1.50 oz/ft
2

(458 g/m
2
) (for joint reinforcement, wire ties and wire anchors)
ASTM A 641, 0.1 oz/ft
2
(0.031 kg/m
2
) (minimum for joint reinforcement)
ASTM A 653, Coating designation G60 (for sheet metal ties and sheet metal anchors)
Stainless Steel - ASTM A 240 (for sheet metal anchors and sheet metal ties)
ASTM A 480 (for sheet metal anchors and sheet metal ties and for plate and bent-bar anchors)
ASTM A 580 (for joint reinforcement, wire anchors and wire ties)
ASTM A 666 (for plate and bent-bar anchors)
Epoxy Coatings - ASTM A 884 Class A, Type 1- less than or equal to 7 mils (175 m) (for joint reinforcement)
ASTM A 899, Class C 20 mils (508 m) (for wire ties and wire anchors)
MASONRY HEADERS
A header is a masonry unit laid perpendicular to the wythe that may be used to connect two wythes of masonry.
Although the MSJC Code allows wythes of masonry designed for composite action to be bonded by masonry
headers, they are not commonly used in contemporary construction. These units provide a direct path for water
penetration from the outside of the wall to the interior along the head and bed joints. As a result, they are not rec-
ommended.
WATER-RESISTANT BARRIERS
Water-resistant barriers are membranes placed behind claddings as a secondary measure to prevent the passage
of liquid water to underlying materials such as sheathing and other wall elements susceptible to moisture damage.
This function is distinct from those provided by vapor retarders, intended to prevent water vapor diffusion, and air
barriers, intended to prevent air flow through the wall system. However, some materials can serve all three func-
tions. A water-resistant barrier should keep out any water which finds its way across the air space via anchors,
mortar bridging or splashing.
A water-resistant barrier is required in exterior walls when brick veneer is anchored to wood or steel framing and
can be provided by No. 15 asphalt felt or other approved materials as described below. While a membrane is pre-
ferred, sheathing or rigid insulation boards with an inherent resistance to moisture penetration may serve as the
water-resistant barrier when all edges and joints are completely taped or sealed.
Sheet Membranes
Typically, mechanically attached membranes should not be left exposed to UV light for an extended period of time,
as they deteriorate and become less water-resistant.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7A | Water Penetration Resistance - Materials | Page 5 of 10
Asphalt Saturated Felt. One layer of No. 15 asphalt felt is prescribed by most codes as the material for water-
resistant barriers. The felt should conform to Type I of ASTM D 226, Specification for Asphalt-Saturated Organic
Felt Used in Roofing and Waterproofing. The durability of asphalt-saturated felt is adequate; however it may be
torn during or after installation. Asphalt-saturated felt typically has a high water vapor permeability.
Building Paper. Asphalt saturated kraft paper (generally referred to as building paper) has a long history as an
approved and common substitution for No. 15 asphalt felt. Building paper for use as a water-resistant barrier
should conform to the requirements of Federal Specification UU-B-790a, Type I, Grade D. Characteristics of build-
ing paper are similar to those of asphalt saturated felt. Building paper typically has less asphalt and lower perme-
ance than felts and can offer better resistance to bending damage.
Polymeric Films. Some plastic films (building-wraps) have been approved for use as water-resistant barriers.
These films may have qualities similar to those of other water-resistant barriers, but ascertaining the effectiveness
of a particular plastic as a water-resistant barrier can be difficult as a standard specification is yet to be developed.
Some plastic membranes act as vapor retarders and can potentially trap water vapor inside the stud wall where
it can condense if the temperature in the wall drops below the dew point. Thus, all plastic membranes should not
be considered suitable and caution should be exercised when specifying them as water-resistant barriers. AC38,
Acceptance Criteria for Water-Resistive Barriers [Ref. 1], developed by the International Code Council Evaluation
Service, Inc., is typically used to establish the suitability of a polymeric film as a water-resistant barrier. Perforated
films are not recommended because they do not consistently resist water penetration in commonly used perfor-
mance tests. PVC is not recommended because of its tendency to become brittle with age.
Polymeric films are highly resistant to tearing and often function concurrently as air barriers; however, they do not
tend to seal themselves when penetrated by fasteners as felts sometimes do. Some manufacturers suggest fas-
teners with large heads or plastic caps be used rather than standard fasteners to enhance water penetration resis-
tance at fastener locations. Polymeric films can often be installed with fewer lap joints than felt and building paper,
as they are supplied in larger rolls up to 10 feet (3.1 m) wide.
Liquid Applied Films
Liquid applied films often have the capability of serving as vapor and air barriers and sometimes thermal insula-
tion, in addition to providing water resistance. These coatings are varied in type and may be spray, roller or trowel
applied; however they generally have the benefit of providing a seamless, monolithic membrane that adheres to
most substrates. Although these materials can be applied rapidly, they require skilled applicators to ensure quality
and performance.
These membranes have a unique set of service requirements as a result of being bonded to a substrate. The
effects of wet substrates, expansion and contraction at substrate joints, volume changes of building materials, and
stresses caused by lateral loads must be considered so that the membrane performs successfully during its life.
Quality installations are more difficult to achieve on substrates with rough surfaces and may require increased
thicknesses.
Board Products
Sheathings and other board products that are inherently water-resistant or have water-resistant facings are per-
mitted to serve as water-resistant barriers when the edges and joints of boards are completely taped or sealed.
To perform successfully, the materials providing this seal must maintain their integrity and performance when
subjected to moisture and other environmental conditions for the entire service life of the wall. Board products that
act as water-resistant barriers should be vapor permeable except when they are also intended to serve as a vapor
retarder.
SHELF ANGLES AND LINTELS
Although similar, shelf angles and lintels differ in the way each is incorporated into brickwork. A shelf angle sup-
ports brick veneer and is anchored to the structure. A lintel, on the other hand, is a structural beam placed over an
opening to carry superimposed loads. As such, it is supported by the masonry on each side of the opening and is
not attached to the structure.
Lintels may be loose steel angles, stone, precast concrete or reinforced masonry. The proper specification of
material for lintels is important for both structural and serviceability requirements.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7A | Water Penetration Resistance - Materials | Page 6 of 10
Nongalvanized and non-stainless steel angles and lintels should be primed and painted as a minimum to inhibit
corrosion. For severe climates and exposures, such as coastal areas, consideration should be given to the use of
galvanized or stainless steel shelf angles and lintels. Even where galvanized or stainless steel shelf angles and
lintels are used, continuous flashing should be installed to protect the angle. To ensure adequate resistance to
corrosion, shelf angles should be protected by a zinc coating conforming to ASTM A 123, or be made of stainless
steel conforming to ASTM A 167, Type 304. Additional discussion and details of shelf angles and lintels may be
found in Technical Notes 21, 21A, 28B, 31 and 31B.
FLASHING
Selection of a proper flashing material is of utmost importance because the flashing is a critical element to the
drainage of water that may penetrate the wall system. Flashing materials should be waterproof, durable and resist
puncture and cracking during and after construction. Because flashing may be installed in advance of the exterior
brick wythe, it should be able to endure some exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light without significant deterioration.
The flashing should also resist damage from contact with metal, mortar or water and be compatible with adjacent
adhesives and sealants. Minimum recommended flashing thicknesses are included below for each type of flash-
ing. In general, thicker flashings are more durable, but may be more difficult to form.
Flashing materials generally fall into three categories: sheet metals, composite materials (combination flashings)
and plastic or rubber compounds. The selection is largely determined by cost and suitability. It is suggested that
only superior quality materials be selected, since replacement in the event of failure may be expensive. Materials
such as polyethylene sheeting, asphalt-impregnated building felt, building paper and house wraps should not be
used as flashing materials. These materials are easily damaged during installation and in many cases, turn brittle
and decay over time.
Sheet Metals
Stainless Steel. Stainless steel is an excellent flashing material that has excellent chemical resistance and does
not stain masonry. Stainless steel flashing should conform to ASTM A 167, Type 304. The minimum thickness
should be at least 0.01 in. (0.25 mm).
Because it is difficult to form, preformed shapes are commonly used, although these are difficult to bend on-site if
field adjustments are required. Mastic can be used to seal joints between individual flashing pieces, as stainless
steel can be difficult to solder.
Copper. Copper is another excellent flashing material that is durable, easy to form and solder, and is available
in preformed shapes. Exposed copper may stain adjacent masonry, but it is not damaged by the caustic alkalies
present in masonry mortars. It can be safely embedded in fresh mortar and will not deteriorate in continuously
saturated, hardened mortar, unless excessive chlorides are present. When using copper flashing, prohibit the use
of mortar admixtures containing even small amounts of chloride ions.
Copper flashing should conform to ASTM B 370, Standard Specification for Copper Sheet and Strip for Building
Construction, or B 882, Specification for Pre-Patinated Copper for Architectural Applications. The Copper
Development Association recommends minimum weights of 12 oz./ft
2
and 16 oz./ft
2
for High Yield and standard
cold rolled copper, respectively, used as through-wall flashing. If copper flashing is used adjacent to other metals,
proper care should be taken to account for separation of the materials. Laminated copper flashing and combina-
tions of copper sheet and other materials are discussed below in the Composites section.
Galvanized Steel and Zinc Alloys. Galvanized coatings are subject to corrosion in fresh mortar, thus the use
of galvanized steel as through wall flashing is not recommended. Although corrosion forms a very compact film
around zinc, its extent cannot be accurately predicted. Bending steel items cracks the galvanized coating, thereby
reducing its durability. Some zinc-alloy flashings are available, but, like many alloys, these may have properties
considerably different from those of the pure metal.
Aluminum. Aluminum should not be used as a flashing material in brick masonry. The caustic alkalies in fresh,
unhardened mortar will attack aluminum. Although dry, seasoned mortar will not affect aluminum, corrosion can
continue if the adjacent mortar becomes wet.
Sheet Leads. Thin lead sheet is not recommended as a flashing material in brick masonry. Lead, like aluminum,
is susceptible to corrosion in fresh mortar. Furthermore, where lead is partially embedded in mortar with moisture
present, galvanic action can occur resulting in the gradual disintegration of the lead.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7A | Water Penetration Resistance - Materials | Page 7 of 10
Plastic and Rubber Flashing
Plastic and rubber flashings are resilient, corrosion resistant materials that are easy to form and join. However,
because the chemical compositions of these products vary widely, the durability of these materials is variable.
Thus, it is necessary to rely on performance records of the material, the reputation of the manufacturer, and where
possible, test data to ensure satisfactory performance. Some of the critical areas are: (1) resistance to degrada-
tion in UV light; (2) compatibility with alkaline masonry mortars; (3) compatibility with joint sealants and (4) resis-
tance to tear and puncture during construction. A minimum thickness of 30 mil (0.76 mm) is recommended for
plastic and rubber flashings.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC degrades under exposure to UV light and should be cut flush with the face of the
wall or used with a metal drip edge to extend beyond the wall face.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM). EPDM is a synthetic rubber that is used as a single ply roofing
membrane as well as flashing. It has better low temperature performance the PVC, and better weathering resis-
tance than butyl rubber. It is commonly available in a thickness of 40 mils (1.0 mm) or greater, reducing concerns
of fragility during construction. Dimensional stability may be a concern.
Self-Adhesive Rubberized Asphalt. Self-adhesive rubberized asphalt flashing adheres to other building materi-
als and itself, thus speeding flashing installation and making it easier to seal flashing laps and terminations. These
flashings are also self-healing, making them less susceptible to small punctures. Substrates should be dry and
clean for proper adhesion. In addition, when self-adhesive flashings are used, care should be taken to ensure
compatibility between the flashing adhesive and sealants used in the wall. Primers may be necessary to ensure
adequate adhesion of self-adhering flashings to some substrates.
Composites
The most common type of composite or combination flashing is a thin layer of metal sandwiched between one or
two layers of another material, such as bitumen, kraft paper or various fabrics. The metal layer is usually copper,
lead or aluminum. Composite flashings utilize the better properties of each of their component materials. In the
case of lead and aluminum composite flashings, the paper and fabric laminates reduce the potential for corrosion
resulting from the metal foil contacting the mortar or adjacent dissimilar metals. These flashings also allow the use
of thinner metal sheet, making them less expensive and easier to form, but also more prone to tearing and punc-
tures. The laminate must either be durable and stable under UV exposure or these flashings should be used with
stainless steel drip edges. It is beyond the scope of this Technical Note to describe the various types of composite
flashing and their properties. The manufacturer's literature should be consulted for the various types of composite
flashing available.
DRAINAGE MATERIALS AND MORTAR DIVERTERS
When a high probability of mortar falling into the air space exists, such as for tall brick veneer without shelf angles,
drainage materials and mortar diverters may be useful to help prevent mortar from bridging the air space or block-
ing weeps. It is beyond the scope of this Technical Note to characterize the widely varying types of materials used
for these purposes. Manufacturers literature should be used to compare and determine the suitability of drainage
materials and mortar diverters. The use of drainage materials should not preclude good workmanship and an
effort to keep the air space clean of excess mortar droppings.
WEEPS
Although open head joint weeps are the recommended type of weep, some weeps are made using plastic or
metal tubes, or using rope wicks. These alternate weeps should be spaced more closely as they do not drain
water as quickly. Weep openings are permitted by most building codes to have a minimum diameter of
3
/16 in (4.8
mm). Rope wicks should be at least 16 in. (406 mm) long and made from cotton sash cord or other materials that
wick. Items used to form weeps should not easily deteriorate or stain the brickwork. Open head joint weeps may
have non-corrosive plastic, mesh or metal screens installed if desired. Vent-type weeps can serve a dual function
of allowing water to drain, but can also allow air to enter the cavity resulting in more drying action. There is no
single method that produces the best weep for all situations.
SEALANTS
Sealants are an important element in preventing water penetration around openings in masonry walls. Too fre-
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7A | Water Penetration Resistance - Materials | Page 8 of 10
quently, sealants are relied on as a means of correcting or hiding poor workmanship rather than as an integral
part of construction.
A discussion of the characteristics of joint sealants is beyond the scope of this Technical Note, but a few com-
ments are in order. Sealants should be selected for their durability, extensibility, compressibility and their compat-
ibility with other materials. Other important considerations in sealant selection may include curing time, UV resis-
tance, color stability, resistance to staining and the ability to handle a broad range of joint sizes. A sealant should
be able to maintain these qualities under the temperature extremes of the climate in which the building is located.
Trial applications of sealants under consideration are always helpful in determining suitability for a particular appli-
cation. Additional discussion of sealants may be found in Technical Notes 18 and 18A.
Oil-based caulks and acetoxic silicone sealants that attack cement in mortar should not be applied to masonry.
Solvent-based acrylic sealant or a butyl caulk should only be used where little or no movement is expected, such
as joints around windows and other openings. For joints subject to large movements, such as expansion joints, an
elastomeric joint sealant conforming to the requirements of ASTM C 920 should be used. This includes silicones,
urethanes and polysulfides. Application of a sealant primer may be required to preclude staining of some sealants
on certain brick.
Backer rods are recommended behind sealants in joints large enough to accommodate them. Backer rods should
be plastic foam or sponge rubber. Backer rods should be capable of resisting permanent deformation before and
during sealant application, non-absorbent to liquid water and gas, and should not emit gas which may cause bub-
bling of the sealant. A bond breaking tape may be used when there is not sufficient space for a backer rod. For
further information on sealants, refer to ASTM C 1193, Guide for Use of Joint Sealants.
COATINGS
The use of external coatings, such as paint or clear coatings, on brick masonry should be considered only after
a detailed evaluation of the possible consequences. Although coatings are not required on properly designed,
specified and constructed brick masonry, they may be used successfully to correct certain deficiencies or alter the
walls appearance.
Coatings intended to reduce water penetration (water repellents) are most effective when their intended use corre-
sponds with the nature of the water penetration problem. Use of coatings for reasons outside their intended appli-
cation rarely reduces water penetration and often leads to more serious problems. Considerations in the choice of
coating include: compatibility with brick masonry, water and air permeability, ability to span cracks, applicability to
exterior exposure, potential lifespan and aesthetic considerations. Technical Notes 6 and 6A should be consulted
when considering a coating for brick masonry.
SUMMARY
This, the second in a series of Technical Notes on water resistance of brick masonry, has provided information on
properly selecting quality materials for masonry work. This Technical Note cannot cover all available materials or
all conditions. Lack of specific reference to a material should not preclude its use providing that it results in water-
resistant brick masonry.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of
the information contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. Acceptance Criteria for Water Resistive Barriers, AC38, ICC Evaluation Service, Inc., Whittier CA, 2004.
2. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2005:
Volume 1.03 - A 167, Standard Specification for Stainless and Heat-Resisting Chromium-Nickel Steel
Plate, Sheet, and Strip
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7A | Water Penetration Resistance - Materials | Page 9 of 10
A 240/A 240M, Standard Specification for Chromium and Chromium-Nickel Stainless Steel
Plate, Sheet, and Strip for Pressure Vessels and for General Applications
A 480/A 480M, Standard Specification for General Requirements for Flat-Rolled Stainless
and Heat-Resisting Steel Plate, Sheet, and Strip
A 580/A 580M, Standard Specification for Stainless Steel Wire
A 666, Standard Specification for Annealed or Cold-Worked Austenitic Stainless Steel
Sheet, Strip, Plate, and Flat Bar
A 884/A 884M, Standard Specification for Epoxy-Coated Steel Wire and Welded Wire
Reinforcement
A 899, Standard Specification for Steel Wire, Epoxy-Coated
Volume 1.06 - A 123/A 123M, Standard Specification for Zinc (Hot-Dipped Galvanized) Coatings on Iron
and Steel Products
A 153/A 153M, Standard Specification for Zinc Coating (Hot-Dip) on Iron and Steel
Hardware
A 641/A 641M, Standard Specification for Zinc-Coated (Galvanized) Carbon Steel Wire
A 653/A 653M, Standard Specification for Steel Sheet, Zinc-Coated (Galvanized) or Zinc-
Iron Alloy-Coated (Galvannealed) by the Hot-Dip Process
Volume 2.01 - B 370, Standard Specification for Copper Sheet and Strip for Building Construction
B 882, Specification for Pre-Patinated Copper for Architectural Applications
Volume 4.04 - D 226, Standard Specification for Asphalt-Saturated Organic Felt Used in Roofing and
Waterproofing
Volume 4.05 - C 62, Standard Specification for Building Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made From Clay or
Shale
C126, Standard Specification for Ceramic Glazed Structural Clay Facing Tile, Facing Brick,
and Solid Masonry Units
C 216, Standard Specification for Facing Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made from Clay or
Shale)
C 270, Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry
C 476, Standard Specification for Grout for Masonry
C 652, Standard Specification for Hollow Brick (Hollow Masonry Units Made From Clay or
Shale)
C 1405, Standard Specification for Glazed Brick (Single Fired, Brick Units)
Volume 4.07 - C 920, Standard Specification for Elastomeric Joint Sealants
C 1193, Standard Guide for Use of Joint Sealants
2. Beall, C., "Selecting a Joint Sealant", Masonry Construction, Hanley Wood, LLC, December 1996.
3. Bomberg, M. and Onysko D., "Characterization of Exterior Sheathing Membranes," Symposium on
Membranes in Enclosure Wall Systems, Building Environment and Thermal Envelope Council, June 10-
11, 2004.
4. Borchelt, J.G. and Tann, J.A., Bond Strength and Water Penetration of Low IRA Brick and Mortar,
Proceedings of the Seventh North American Masonry Conference, South Bend, IN, The Masonry Society,
June 1996.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7A | Water Penetration Resistance - Materials | Page 10 of 10
5. Borchelt, J.G., Melander, J.M. and Nelson, R.L., Bond Strength and Water Penetration of High IRA Brick
and Mortar Proceedings of the Eight North American Masonry Conference, Austin, TX, The Masonry
Society, June 1999.
6. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530-05/ASCE 5-05/TMS 402-05), The Masonry
Society, Boulder, CO, 2005.
7. Lies, K.M., "Weather Resistant Barrier Performance and Selection", Symposium on Membranes in
Enclosure Wall Systems, Building Environment and Thermal Envelope Council, June 10-11, 2004.
8. Pickett, M., "Fluid Applied Wall Membrane Systems", Symposium on Membranes in Enclosure Wall
Systems, Building Environment and Thermal Envelope Council, June 10-11, 2004.
9. Specification for Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1-05/ASCE 6-05/TMS 602-05), The Masonry Society,
Boulder, CO, 2005.
10. Yorkdale, A.H. , Initial Rate of Absorption and Mortar Bond, Masonry: Materials, Properties and
Performance, STP 778, J.G. Borchelt, Ed., ASTM, September, 1982.
Water Penetration Resistance -
Construction and Workmanship
Abstract: This Technical Note covers essential construction practices needed to assure water-resistant brick masonry.
Procedures for preparing materials to be used in brick construction are recommended, including proper storage, handling and
preparation of brick, mortar, grout and flashing. Good workmanship practices are described, including the complete filling of all
mortar joints, tooling of mortar joints for exterior exposure and covering unfinished brick masonry walls to protect them from
moisture.
Key Words: air space, brick, construction, flashing, initial rate of absorption, joints, mortar, tooling, weeps, workmanship.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction 7B
December
2005
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
General
Store materials on the job site to avoid wetting and con-
tamination
For drainage walls, keep the air space free of excessive
mortar droppings
Do not disturb newly laid masonry
Cover tops of unfinished walls until adjacent construction
protects them from water entry
Brick
Pre-wet brick with a field measured initial rate of absorp-
tion (IRA) exceeding 30 g/min30 in.
2
(30 g/min194 cm
2
)
Mortar
When mixing mortar, use accurate batching measure-
ments and maximum amount of water that produces a
workable mortar
For brick with an IRA exceeding 30 g/min30 in.
2
(30 g/
min194 cm
2
), increase water or maximize water retention
by increasing lime proportions within limits of ASTM C 270
For brick with an IRA lower than 5 g/min30 in.
2

(5 g/min194 cm
2
), reduce water or minimize water reten-
tion by decreasing lime proportions within limits of ASTM
C 270
Joints
In exterior wythes, completely fill all mortar joints intended
to have mortar
Minimize furrowing of bed joints and prohibit slushing of
head joints
Fill collar joints completely with grout or mortar, preferably
grout; do not slush collar joints
Tool mortar joints when thumbprint hard with a concave,
V or grapevine jointer
Flashing and Weeps
Do not stop flashing behind face of brickwork
Where required, turn up flashing ends into head joint a
minimum of 1 in. (25.4 mm) to form end dams
Lap continuous flashing pieces at least 6 in. (152 mm) and
seal laps
Where installed flashing is pierced, make watertight with
sealant or mastic compatible with flashing
Install weeps immediately above flashing
Page 1 of 7
INTRODUCTION
The best design, detailing and materials will not compensate for poor construction practices and workmanship.
Proper construction practices, including preparation of materials and workmanship, are essential to achieve a
water-resistant brick masonry wall.
This Technical Note discusses construction techniques and workmanship and is the third in a series of Technical
Notes addressing water penetration resistance of brick masonry. Other Technical Notes in the series address
brickwork design and details (7), materials (7A) and condensation (7C and 7D). Maintenance of brick masonry is
addressed in Technical Note 46. All of these items are essential to obtain water-resistant brick masonry walls.
PREPARATION OF MATERIALS
Preparation of masonry materials before bricklaying begins is very important. Specific procedures must be followed
to ensure satisfactory performance and avoid future problems. Preparation includes material storage, mixing mor-
tar and grout and, in some cases, wetting the brick.
Storage of Materials
All materials at the jobsite should be stored to avoid contamination. Masonry units, mortar materials, ties and rein-
forcement should be stored off the ground, preferably in a dry location. In addition, all materials should be covered
with tarpaulins or other weather-resistant materials to protect them from the elements.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7B | Water Penetration Resistance - Construction and Workmanship | Page 2 of 7
Wetting Brick
Brick with an initial rate of absorption (IRA) greater than 30 g/min30 in.
2
(30 g/min194 cm
2
) at the time of laying
tend to draw too much moisture from the mortar before initial set. As a result, construction practices should be
altered when using brick with high IRA to achieve strong, water-resistant masonry. The IRA of brick in the field will
typically be less than that reported in laboratory tests. Laboratory test results may be used to determine if measur-
ing IRA in the field is necessary. ASTM C 67, Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Brick and Structural Clay
Tile, includes a standard procedure for measuring IRA in the field.
A crude method of indicating whether brick need to be wetted prior to placement consists of drawing, with a wax
pencil, a circle 1 in. (25.4 mm) in diameter on the brick surface that will be in contact with the mortar. A quarter
can be used as a guide for the circle. With a medicine dropper, place 20 drops of water inside this circle and note
the time required for the water to be absorbed. If the time exceeds 1
1
/2 minutes, the brick should not need wetting;
if less than 1
1
/2 minutes, adjustments to typical construction practice are recommended.
Specification for Masonry Structures [Ref. 4] requires that brick
with an IRA exceeding 30 g/min30 in.
2
(30 g/min194 cm
2
) be
wetted prior to laying to produce an IRA less than 30 g/min30
in.
2
(30 g/min194 cm
2
) when the units are placed. However, exe-
cution of this method may be impractical on large-scale construc-
tion projects and the contractor may consider other alternatives,
as discussed in the following section, Mixing of Mortar and Grout.
If brick are to be wetted, the method of wetting is very important.
Sprinkling or dipping the brick in a bucket of water just before lay-
ing would produce the surface wet condition which may not be
sufficient, as shown in Figure 1b. The units should have a satu-
rated interior, but be surface dry at the time of laying, as shown in
Figure 1d.
Satisfactory procedures for wetting the brick consist of letting
water run on the cubes or pallets of brick, or placing them in a
large tank of water. This should be done the day before the units
are laid, or not later than several hours before the units will be
used so that the surfaces have an opportunity to dry before the
brick are laid. Wetting low-absorption brick or excessive wetting
of brick may result in saturation, as shown in Figure 1c. This can
cause bleeding of the mortar joints and floating of the brick.
Mixing of Mortar and Grout
Typically, a high water content in the mortar is necessary to obtain complete and strong bond between mortar and
brick. In general the mortar should be mixed with the maximum amount of water that produces a workable mor-
tar. Factors such as the jobsite environment and the IRA of the brick should be considered when determining the
proper amount of water to include in the mortar.
Mortar to be used with brick that have an IRA greater than 30 g/min30 in.
2
(30 g/min194 cm
2
) should be mixed to
maximize water retention by increasing mixing water or lime content within the limits of ASTM C 270. This is par-
ticularly important when pre-wetting the brick to reduce their IRA is impossible or impractical. Admixtures designed
to increase the water retention of the mortar may also be used to improve the compatibility of mortar with high IRA
brick. Only admixtures with test data showing no deleterious effects should be used.
Mortar for use with brick that have an IRA less than 5 g/min30 in
2
(5 g/min194 cm
2
) should be mixed with
reduced amounts of water or lime to minimize water retention. Lime proportions should remain within the limits of
ASTM C 270.
When brick with widely different absorption rates are used together in brickwork, it is important to maintain the cor-
rect water content in the mortar used with the different brick.
All cementitious materials and aggregates must be mixed for at least 3 minutes and not more than 5 minutes in
a mechanical batch mixer. If, after initial mixing, the mortar stiffens due to the loss of water by evaporation, addi-
c) Saturated
a) Dry b) Surface Wet
d) Surface Dry c) Saturated
a) Dry b) Surface Wet
d) Surface Dry
Figure 1
Moisture Content of Brick
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7B | Water Penetration Resistance - Construction and Workmanship | Page 3 of 7
tional water should be added and the mortar remixed (retempered). All mortar should be used within 2
1
/2 hr (2 hr
in hot weather conditions, see Technical Note 1) of initial mixing and grout should be used within 1
1
/2 hour of intro-
ducing water into the mix. No mortar or grout should be used after it has begun to set.
One of the most common problems with mortar is oversanding. Oversanded mortar is harsh, unworkable and
results in poor extent of bond and reduced bond strength, thus increasing the potential for water penetration prob-
lems. The cause of oversanding is frequently the use of the shovel method of measuring the sand. The amount of
sand that a shovel will hold varies depending on the moisture content of the sand, the person doing the shoveling
and the different size of shovels used on the jobsite. To alleviate this problem, proper batching methods must be
used. Measurement of sand by shovel should not be permitted without periodically gauging the shovel count using
a bucket or box of known volume. Technical Note 8B provides detailed guidelines for various methods of more
accurately batching mortar.
Blending of Brick
While not related to water penetration resistance, blending of brick at the jobsite is an important preparation task
related to workmanship and the acceptable appearance of brickwork. Because brick is made from natural materi-
als that vary in physical properties, variations in color may occur between production runs and occasionally within
the same run. Modern manufacturing processes use automatic equipment which may not permit inspection of
each brick, also resulting in minor color and texture variations. For these reasons, straps of brick from different
cubes should be placed together around the wall. The mason should then select brick from adjacent straps when
laying a given section of brickwork. By blending the brick throughout the wall in this manner, the effect of potential
color variations on the finished brickwork is minimized.
WORKMANSHIP
The importance of good workmanship to attain quality brickwork
cannot be overemphasized. While design and the quality of mate-
rials contribute to the water penetration resistance of brickwork,
workmanship is a highly important factor in the construction of
water-resistant masonry.
Placing Flashing and Weeps
Flashing must be installed properly and integrated with adjacent
materials to form an impervious barrier to moisture movement. The
flashing should be wide enough to start outside the exterior face
of the brick wythe, extend across the cavity, and turn up vertically
against the backing or interior wythe at least 8 in. (203 mm). The
top (vertical) edge should be placed in a mortar joint of the back-
ing wythe, in a reglet in concrete backing, or attached to sheathing
with a termination bar, as shown in Figure 2. Sections of flashing
are to be overlapped at least 6 in. (152 mm) and the lap sealed
with a compatible adhesive. Water-resistant sheet membranes
should overlap the flashing in a shingle fashion by at least 6 in.
(152 mm).
Flashing that is placed so that the outside edge projects from the
face of the wall may be cut flush with the face of the brickwork. In
no circumstances should the flashing be stopped behind the face
of the brickwork. Continuity at corners and returns is achieved by
cutting and folding straight sections or using preformed corner
pieces. Discontinuous flashing should terminate with an end dam in
a head joint, rising at least 1 in. (25.4 mm) as shown in Figure 3.
Flashing must be placed without punctures or tears. Openings cre-
ated for reinforcement or anchors must be closed with a compatible
sealant. Protection may be needed around bolts fastening shelf
angles to the structure.
Termination Bar
Water-Resistant
Barrier on
Exterior Sheathing
Weep
Flashing
Filled Cavity
Beneath Flashing
Figure 2
Wall Base Flashing Detail
Flashing
End Dam
Figure 3
End Dam Detail
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7B | Water Penetration Resistance - Construction and Workmanship | Page 4 of 7
Weeps are required, and should be formed in mortar joints imme-
diately above the flashing. Open head joints, formed by leaving
mortar out of a joint, are the recommended type of weep. Open
head joint weeps should be at least 2 in. (51 mm) high. Weep
openings are permitted by most building codes to have a mini-
mum diameter of
3
/16 in. (4.8 mm). The practice of specifying the
installation of weeps one or more courses of brick above the flash-
ing can cause a backup of water and is not recommended. Non-
corrosive metal, mesh or plastic screens can be installed in open
head joint weeps if desired.
Spacing of open head joint weeps at no more than 24 in. (610
mm) on center is recommended. Spacing of wick and tube weeps
is recommended at no more than 16 in. (406 mm) on center.
Weep spacing is permitted by most building codes up to 33 in.
(838 mm) on center. If other than an open head joint weep is
used, be sure the weep is clear of all mortar to allow the wall to
drain (see Technical Note 21C). Rope wicks should be flush with,
or extend
1
/2 in. (12.7 mm) beyond the face of the wall to promote
evaporation. The rope should continue into the bottom of the air
space, placed along the back of the brick and be at least 16 in.
(406 mm) long.
Filling Mortar Joints
To reduce water penetration, there is no substitute for proper
filling of all mortar joints that are designed to receive mortar.
Improperly filled mortar joints can result in leaky walls, reduce
the strength of masonry, and may contribute to disintegration and
cracking due to water penetration and subsequent freezing and
thawing.
A uniform bed of mortar should be spread over only a few brick,
and furrowed lightly, if at all. Filled joints result when plenty of mor-
tar is placed on the end of the brick to be laid and it is shoved into
place so that mortar is squeezed out of the top of the head joint,
as shown in Photo 1. After placement, mortar squeezed out of bed
joint should be cut off prior to tooling, as shown in Photo 2. When
placing closures, plenty of mortar is needed on the ends of brick in
place and on the ends of the brick to be laid. The closure should
be shoved into place without disturbing brick on either side, as
shown in Photo 3.
Bed Joints. A bed joint is the horizontal layer of mortar on which
a brick is laid. The length of time between placing the bed joint
mortar and laying the succeeding brick influences the resulting
bond. If too long a time elapses, poor extent of bond will result.
Brick should be laid within 1 minute or so after the mortar is placed.
For solid brick, bed joints should be constructed without deep
furrowing of the mortar, as full bed joints (covering the entire bed-
ding surface) are an inherent requirement for water-resistant brick
masonry construction. For hollow brick, bed joints may be laid with
face shell bedding (mortar placed only on the front and back face
shells). Both face shells must be completely covered with mortar.
Head Joints. A head joint, sometimes called a cross joint, is the vertical mortar joint between two brick. For both
solid and hollow brick it is important that head joints be completely filled. The best head joints are formed by com-
pletely buttering the ends of the brick with mortar and shoving the brick into place against previously laid brick.
Photo 1
Shoving Brick into Place
Photo 2
Cutting Excess Mortar
Bad Bad Good
Photo 3
Placing the Closure
Figure 4
Head Joints
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7B | Water Penetration Resistance - Construction and Workmanship | Page 5 of 7
Slushing (throwing mortar into the joint with the edge of a trowel)
does not adequately fill joints or compact the mortar, resulting in
joints that are less resistant to water penetration. The results of head
joint forming are shown in Figure 4.
Tooling of Mortar Joints
Proper tooling, or striking, of mortar joints helps seal the wall sur-
face against moisture penetration. Mortar joints should be tooled
when they are thumbprint hard, (pressing the thumb into the mortar
leaves an indentation, but no mortar is transferred to the thumb)
with a jointer slightly larger than the joint. It is important that joints
are tooled at the appropriate time as this affects both their effective-
ness and appearance. J oints that are tooled too early often smear
and result in rough joints. If tooling is delayed too long the surface of
the joint cannot be properly compressed and sealed to the adjacent
brick. Each portion of the completed brickwork should be allowed to
set for the same amount of time before tooling in order to ensure a
uniform mortar shade. Early tooling often results in joints of a lighter
color. Later tooling results in darker shades.
Concave, V and grapevine joints best resist water penetration in
exterior brickwork. These joints produce a more dense and weather-
tight surface, as the mortar is pressed against the brick, as shown in
Photos 4 and 5. For interior masonry work, other joints such as the
weathered, beaded, struck, flush, raked or extruded joints shown in
Figure 5 can also be used.
Collar Joints
The vertical, longitudinal joint between wythes of masonry is called a
collar joint. The manner in which these joints are filled is very impor-
tant. Grouting is the most effective method of ensuring that collar
joints are completely filled. However, grouting spaces less than
3
/4 in.
(19.1 mm) is not permitted. Mortar protrusions (fins) that extend more
than
1
/2 in. (12.7 mm) into a cell or cavity that will be grouted must be
removed prior to grouting. For mortar-filled collar joints, the outer face
of the inner masonry wythe should be parged and the back of brick in
the exterior wythe buttered in order to fill the collar joint.
Slushing of collar joints is not effective since it does not completely
fill all voids in the joint, as shown in Photo 6. Frequently, the mortar is
Figure 5
Typical Mortar Joints
Photo 6
Poorly Filled Collar Joint
Photo 4
Concave Mortar Joints
Photo 5
"V" Mortar Joints
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7B | Water Penetration Resistance - Construction and Workmanship | Page 6 of 7
caught and held before it reaches the bottom of the joint, leaving openings between the face brick and the back-
ing. Even when this space is filled, there is no way to compact the mortar. The mortar does not bond with the brick
over its entire surface and channels are left between the mortar and the brick. Some of these channels may allow
water to reach the back of the wall. A properly constructed collar joint is completely filled with grout or mortar.
Parging
Parging is the process of applying a coat of portland cement mortar to masonry. Parging the outer face of the
inner wythe of a multiwythe wall with Type M or S mortar as damp proofing may help resist rain penetration and
can also reduce air leakage. Membranes or liquid-applied materials usually provide superior performance to parg-
ing, which will crack if the wythe cracks. However, parging can provide a smooth base for these materials. If parg-
ing alone is to resist water penetration, proper curing is necessary to reduce shrinkage cracks. Parging the back
side of the exterior wythe is not recommended for drainage-type walls, as this may result in more debris in the air
space or break the brick/mortar bond.
The face of the wall to be parged must not have any mortar protrusions. Protruding mortar can cause bond breaks
in the parge coat, resulting in a leaky wall. When applied in multiple layers, each should be a minimum thickness
of in. (6.4 mm). The first coat should be allowed to partially set, roughened, and allowed to cure for 24 hours.
It is then moistened for application of the second coat. The parged surface should be troweled smooth so that it
sheds water easily. When completed in adjacent areas, the edges of the parging should be feathered and new
parging should overlap existing parging by a minimum of 6 in. (152 mm). Lap joints should be spaced no closer
than 6 feet (1.83 m).
Keeping Air Spaces Clean
In a drainage wall system, such as a cavity wall or an anchored veneer wall, it is essential that the air space be
kept clean. If it is not, mortar droppings may clog the weeps, protrusions may span the air space and water pen-
etration to the interior may occur.
To the greatest extent possible, mortar droppings should be prevented from falling into the air space or cavity. An
aid to prevent this is to bevel the bed joint away from the air space or cavity, as shown in Figure 6. When brick
are laid on a beveled bed joint, a minimum of mortar is squeezed out of the joint, as shown in Photo 7. The mor-
tar squeezed from the joints on the air space or cavity side may be troweled onto the units. This same procedure
may be used for laying the exterior wythes of grouted and reinforced brick cavity walls.
Another method allows access to the base of the cavity for cleaning. When the brickwork is initially constructed,
every third brick or so in the course above the flashing of the exterior wythe is omitted. Once the brickwork is com-
plete, mortar droppings at the base of the cavity can be easily removed and weeps provided when the omitted
brick are placed in the wall with mortar.
Alternately, a wooden or metal strip, slightly smaller than the cavity width, can be placed in the air space. This
strip rests on the wall ties as the wall is built. Wire or rope is attached to the strip so the strip can be lifted out as
the mason builds the wall. Care should be taken when raising or removing the strip to not disturb the brickwork.
a
b
Beveled
Bed J oints
Beveled
Bed J oints
Beveled
Bed J oints
Figure 6
Beveled Bed Joints
Photo 7
Beveled and Conventional Mortar Joints
(a) Beveled J oint; (b) Conventional J oint
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 7B | Water Penetration Resistance - Construction and Workmanship | Page 7 of 7
Drainage materials and mortar dropping control devices may also be used to keep the air space adjacent to the
weeps free from mortar. Use of these devices does not guarantee that bridging of the air space will not occur, thus
the amount of mortar droppings should be limited as much as possible.
Disturbance of Newly Laid Masonry
Newly laid brick should never be pushed, shoved, tapped or otherwise disturbed once they are laid in their final
position and the mortar has begun to set. Any disturbance at this point will break the bond and may lead to a leak.
If adjustments are necessary, the incorrectly placed brick should be removed and re-laid in fresh mortar.
Protection of Unfinished Brickwork
Covering of masonry walls at the end of each work day, and especially in times of inclement weather, is essential
for satisfactory performance. Covering unfinished walls with tarpaulins or other water-resistant materials, securely
tied or weighted in position, should be rigorously enforced. Mortar boards, scaffold planks and light plastic sheets
weighted with brick should not be accepted as suitable cover. Metal clamps, similar to bicycle clips, are commer-
cially available in a variety of sizes to meet various wall thicknesses. These are used in conjunction with plastic
sheets or water-repellent tarpaulins and offer excellent protection for extended periods of time.
Tops of walls should also be covered after the masons work is finished if a permanent coping is not attached
immediately after the brickwork is completed. Protection of openings in brickwork such as those for windows,
movement joints, etc. should also be considered as they may allow moisture ingress from rain and snow and can
lead to moisture-related problems such as efflorescence, and in some cases could affect the final mortar color.
SUMMARY
Quality construction practices and good workmanship are essential to achieve brickwork that is resistant to water
penetration. This Technical Note does not cover all construction practices, but describes material storage and
preparation procedures, construction practices and installation techniques that are indicative of high quality and,
when combined with proper design, detailing and materials, result in brickwork that is resistant to water penetra-
tion.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of
the information contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. The BDA Guide to Successful Brickwork, Second Edition, The Brick Development Association, Arnold (a
member of the Hodder Headline Group), London, England, 2000.
2. Drysdale, R.G., Hamid, A.A., and Baker, L.R., Masonry Structures: Behavior and Design, Second Edition,
The Masonry Society, Boulder, CO, 1999.
3. Koski, J .A., Waterproof the Backup Wythe, Masonry Construction, August 1992.
4. Specification for Masonry Structures, ACI 530.1-05/ASCE 6-05/TMS 602-05, The Masonry Society,
Boulder, CO, 2005.
2008 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 11
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
8
January
2008
Mortars for Brickwork
Abstract: This Technical Note addresses mortars for brickwork. The major ingredients of mortar are identified. Means of
specifying mortar are covered. Mortar properties are described, as well as their effect on brickwork. Information is provided for
selection of the appropriate materials for mortar and properties of mortars.
Key Words: hardened mortar properties, mortar, plastic mortar properties, specifications, Types of mortar.
General
Use mortar complying with ASTM C270
For typical project requirements, use proportion
specifications of ASTM C270
Select mortar Type using recommendations of Technical
Note 8B
Use Type N mortar for normal use, including most veneer
applications
Avoid combining two air-entraining agents in mortar
Mortar Materials
Cementitious:
Use cement complying with ASTM C150 (portland
cement), ASTM C595 (blended hydraulic cement), or
ASTM C1157 (hydraulic cement) in combination with
either hydrated lime complying with ASTM C207, Type S,
or lime putty complying with ASTM C1489
Use mortar cement complying with ASTM C1329
Use masonry cement complying with ASTM C91
Aggregate:
Use natural or manufactured sand complying with
ASTM C144
Water:
Use potable water free of deleterious materials
Mortar Admixtures
Use admixtures complying with ASTM C1384
When using a bond enhancer admixture, do not use an
air-entraining agent
When using a set retarding admixture, do not retemper
mortar
Do not use water-repellent admixtures
Pigments
Use pigments complying with ASTM C979
Use as little pigment as possible
For metallic oxide pigments, limit quantity to 10 percent of
cement content by weight
For carbon black pigment, limit quantity to 2 percent of
cement content by weight
Avoid using pigments containing Prussian blue, cadmium
lithopone and zinc and lead chromates
Premix cement and coloring agents in large, controlled
quantities
Do not retemper colored mortar
INTRODUCTION
Mortar is the bonding agent that integrates brick into a masonry assembly. Mortar must be strong, durable
and capable of keeping the masonry intact, and it must help to create a water-resistant barrier. Also, mortar
accommodates dimensional variations and physical properties of the brick when laid. These requirements are
influenced by the composition, proportions and properties of mortar ingredients.
Because concrete and mortar contain the same principal ingredients, it is often erroneously assumed that good
concrete practice is also good mortar practice. In reality, mortar differs from concrete in working consistencies,
methods of placement and structural performance. Mortar is used to bind masonry units into a single element,
developing a complete, strong and durable bond. Concrete, however, is usually a structural element in itself.
Mortar is usually placed between absorbent masonry units and loses water upon contact with the units. Concrete
is usually placed in nonabsorbent metal or wooden forms, which absorb little if any water. The importance of the
water/cement ratio for concrete is significant, whereas for mortar it is less important. Mortar has a high water/
cement ratio when mixed, but this ratio changes to a lower value when the mortar comes in contact with the
absorbent units.
The most frequently used means of specifying mortar is ASTM C270, Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit
Masonry [Ref. 1]. This standard contains information on specifying and using mortar. This Technical Note uses
ASTM C270 as a basis and addresses the materials, properties and means of specifying mortars. The other
Technical Note in this series addresses the selection and quality control of mortars.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 2 of 11
MATERIALS
Historically, mortar has been made from a variety of materials. Burned gypsum and sand were used to make
mortar in ancient Egypt, while lime and sand were used extensively in this country before the 1900s. Currently,
the basic dry ingredients for mortar include some type of cement, hydrated lime and sand. Each of these materials
makes a definite contribution to mortar performance.
Portland and Other Hydraulic Cements
Portland cement, a hydraulic cement, is the principal cementitious ingredient for cement-lime mortar. It contributes
to durability, high strength and early setting of the mortar. Portland cement used in masonry mortar should conform
to ASTM C150, Standard Specification for Portland Cement [Ref. 1]. Of the eight portland cement Types covered
by ASTM C150, only three are recommended for use in masonry mortars:
Type I - For general use when the special properties of Types II and III are not required.
Type II - For use when moderate sulfate resistance or moderate heat of hydration is desired.
Type III - For use when high early strength is desired.
ASTM C270 permits the use of other hydraulic cements in mortar. Some of these materials may slow the strength
gain or may affect the color of mortar. The material standards for these cements are ASTM C595, Standard
Specification for Blended Hydraulic Cements [Ref. 1], such as portland blast-furnace slag cement, portland-
pozzolan cement and slag cement; and ASTM C1157, Standard Performance Specification for Hydraulic Cement
[Ref. 1]. The use of blended hydraulic cements is not recommended unless the mortar containing such cements
meets the property specifications of ASTM C270.
Because high air entrainment can significantly reduce the bond between the mortar and brick or reinforcement, the
use of air-entrained portland, blended hydraulic or hydraulic cements is not recommended. Most building codes
have lower allowable flexural tensile stress values for mortar made with air-entrained cementitious materials.
Masonry Cements
Masonry cements are proprietary cementitious materials for mortar. They are widely used because of their
convenience and good workability. ASTM C91, Standard Specification for Masonry Cement [Ref. 1], defines
masonry cement as a hydraulic cement, primarily used in masonry and plastering construction, consisting of
a mixture of portland or blended hydraulic cement and plasticizing materials (such as limestone, hydrated or
hydraulic lime) together with other materials introduced to enhance one or more properties such as setting time,
workability, water retention, and durability. ASTM C91 provides specific criteria for physical requirements and
performance properties of masonry cements. The constituents of masonry cement may vary depending on the
manufacturer, local construction practices and climatic conditions.
Masonry cements are classified into three Types by ASTM C91: Types M, S and N. The current edition of ASTM
C91 requires a minimum air content of 8 percent (by volume) and limits the maximum air content to 21 percent
for Type N masonry cement and 19 percent for Types S and M masonry cements. Mortar prepared in the field will
typically have an air content that is 2 to 3 percent lower than mortar tested under laboratory conditions.
In the model building codes, allowable flexural tensile stress values for masonry built with masonry cement mortar
are lower than those for masonry built with non-air-entrained portland cement-lime mortar. Therefore, the use of
masonry cement should be based on the requirements of the specific application.
Mortar Cements
Mortar cements are hydraulic cements, consisting of a mixture of portland or blended hydraulic cement, plasticizing
materials such as limestone or hydrated or hydraulic lime, and other materials intended to enhance one or more
of the properties of mortar. In this respect, mortar cement is similar to masonry cement. However, ASTM C1329,
Standard Specification for Mortar Cement [Ref. 1], includes requirements for maximum air content and minimum
flexural bond strength that are not found in the masonry cement specification. Because of the strict controls on
air content and the minimum strength requirement, mortar cement and portland cement-lime mortars are treated
similarly in the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530-05/ASCE 5-05/TMS 402-05) [Ref. 5].
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 3 of 11
Three Types of mortar cements are specified in ASTM C1329: Types M, S and N. Physical requirements vary
depending upon mortar cement Type. Air content for all three Types must be a minimum of 8 percent. The
maximum air content is 14 percent for Types M and S and 16 percent for Type N. Flexural bond strength, as
measured by the test method in ASTM C1072, Standard Test Method for Measurement of Masonry Flexural
Bond Strength [Ref. 1], is also specified. The minimum flexural bond strength for these mortar cements is 115 psi
(0.8 MPa) for Type M, 100 psi (0.7 MPa) for Type S and 70 psi (0.5 MPa) for Type N.
Hydrated Lime and Lime Putty
Hydrated lime is a derivative of limestone that has been through two chemical reactions to produce calcium
hydroxide. Lime contributes to extent of bond, workability, water retention and elasticity.
Hydrated lime in ASTM C207, Standard Specification for Hydrated Lime for Masonry Purposes [Ref. 1], is
available in four Types. Only Type S hydrated lime should be used in mortar. Type N hydrated lime contains no
limits on the quantity of unhydrated oxides. Types NA and SA lime contain air-entraining additives that reduce the
extent of bond between the mortar and masonry units or reinforcement, and are therefore not recommended for
mortar.
ASTM C1489, Standard Specification for Lime Putty for Structural Purposes [Ref. 1], is prepared from hydrated
lime and is often used in restoration projects.
Because lime hardens only upon contact with carbon dioxide in the air, hardening occurs over a long period of
time. However, if small hairline cracks develop, water and carbon dioxide that penetrate the joint will react with
calcium hydroxide from the mortar and form calcium carbonate. The newly developed calcium carbonate will seal
the cracks, limiting further water penetration. This process is known as autogenous healing.
Aggregates
Aggregates (sand) act as a filler material in mortar, providing for an economical mix and controlling shrinkage.
Either natural sand or manufactured sand may be used. Gradation limits are given in ASTM C144, Standard
Specification for Aggregates for Masonry Mortar [Ref. 1].
Gradation can be easily and inexpensively altered by adding fine or coarse sands. Sometimes the most feasible
method requires proportioning the mortar mix to suit the available sand, rather than requiring sand to meet a
particular gradation. However, if the sand does not meet the grading requirement of ASTM C144, it can only be
used provided the mortar meets the property specifications of ASTM C270.
Water
Water that is clean, potable and free of deleterious acids, alkalis or organic materials is suitable for masonry
mortars.
Admixtures
Admixtures are sometimes used in mortar to obtain a specific mortar color, increase workability, decrease setting
time, increase setting time, increase flexural bond strength or act as a water repellent [Ref. 2]. Admixtures to
achieve a desired color of the mortar are the most widely used. Although some admixtures are harmless, some
are detrimental to mortar and the resulting brickwork. Because the properties of both plastic and hardened mortars
are highly dependent on mortar ingredients, the use of admixtures should not be considered unless their effect on
the mortar is known. Admixtures also should be examined for their effect on the masonry, masonry units and items
embedded in the brickwork. For example, admixtures containing chlorides promote corrosion of embedded metal
anchors and therefore should not be used. ASTM C1384, Standard Specification for Admixtures for Masonry
Mortars [Ref. 1], provides methods to evaluate the effect of admixtures on mortar properties. The admixtures
represented in ASTM C1384 are as follows:
Bond Enhancers. Bond enhancers improve flexural bond strength, surface density and freeze-thaw resistance.
They are typically used to increase bond strength to smooth, dense surface units and applications such as
copings and pavers. Bond enhancers should not be used with air-entraining agents.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 4 of 11
Set Accelerators. Set accelerators shorten the time required for cement hydration to occur and typically reduce
the setting time by 30 to 40 percent. They are typically used to reduce the time required for cold weather protective
measures. Set accelerators typically increase short-term compressive strengths and may affect color.
Set Retarders. Set retarders increase the board life of fresh mortar by increasing the time required for cement
hydration to occur. They are typically used in conjunction with hot weather protective measures or to aid in
reducing the rapid suction associated with high initial rate of absorption (IRA) brick. Mortar with set retarders
should not be retempered, and severely retarded mortar may require moist curing to maintain hydration. Set
retarders typically reduce short-term compressive strength and may affect color.
Water Repellents. Water repellent admixtures are typically used in conjunction with concrete masonry units where
the admixture is added to both the mortar and to the concrete masonry units. When water-repellent admixtures are
used in the mortar alone, they may inhibit bond and are not recommended for use with brick.
Workability Enhancers. Workability enhancers add viscosity to mortar mixes, allowing easier placement of mortar
on masonry units. The benefits of workability enhancers are subjective, and their use is more to suit the liking of
the mason. They should be reviewed to ensure that there are no deleterious effects on the mortar.
Colored Mortar
Colored mortars may be obtained through the use of colored aggregates or suitable pigments. The use of colored
aggregates is preferable when the desired mortar color can be obtained. White sand, ground granite, marble
or stone usually have permanent color and do not weaken the mortar. For white joints, use white sand, ground
limestone or ground marble with white portland cement and lime.
Most pigments that conform to ASTM C979, Standard Specification for Pigments for Integrally Colored Concrete
[Ref. 1], are suitable for mortar. Mortar pigments must be sufficiently fine to disperse throughout the mix, capable
of imparting the desired color when used in permissible quantities, and must not react with other ingredients to
the detriment of the mortar. These requirements are generally met by metallic oxide pigments. Carbon black and
ultramarine blue also have been used successfully as mortar colors. Avoid using organic colors and, in particular,
those colors containing Prussian blue, cadmium lithopone and zinc and lead chromates. Paint pigments may not
be suitable for mortars.
Use as little pigment as is needed to produce the desired results; an excess may seriously impair strength and
durability. The maximum permissible quantity of most metallic oxide pigments is 10 percent of the cement content
by weight. Although carbon black is a very effective coloring agent, it will greatly reduce mortar strength when used
in greater proportions. Therefore, limit carbon black to 2 percent of the cement content by weight.
For best results, use cement and coloring agents premixed in large, controlled quantities. Premixing large
quantities will ensure more uniform color than can be obtained by mixing smaller batches in the field. A consistent
mixing sequence is essential for color consistency when mixing smaller batches in the field. Further, use the same
source of mortar materials throughout the project.
Color uniformity varies with the amount of mixing water, the moisture content of the brick when laid and whether
the mortar is retempered. The time and degree of tooling and cleaning techniques also will influence final mortar
color. Color permanence depends upon the quality of pigments and the weathering and efflorescing qualities of the
mortar.
SPECIFYING MORTAR
Masonry mortars are classified by ASTM C270 into four Types: M, S, N and O. Each mortar Type consists of
aggregate, water and one or more of the four cementitious materials (portland or hydraulic cement, mortar cement,
masonry cement and lime) listed in the previous section.
There are two methods of specifying mortar by Type in ASTM C270: proportion specifications and property
specifications. A cement-lime mortar, a mortar cement mortar, or a masonry cement mortar is permitted. The type
of cementitious material desired should be specified.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 5 of 11
Proportion Specifications
The proportion specifications require that mortar materials be mixed according to given volumetric proportions. If
mortar is specified by this method, no laboratory testing is required, either before or during construction. Table 1
lists proportion requirements of the various mortar Types. Note that masonry cement and mortar cement may be
used alone to produce Type M, S, N or O mortars. Additionally, Type N mortar cement or masonry cement may be
combined with portland cement to produce a Type M or Type S mortar.
Mortar Type
Proportions by Volume (Cementitious Materials)
Aggregate Ratio
(Measured in
Damp, Loose
Conditions)
Portland
or Blended
Cement
Mortar Cement Masonry Cement
Hydrated Lime
or Lime Putty
M S N M S N
Cement
Lime
M 1

Not less than


2 and not
more than 3
times the sum
of the separate
volumes of
cementitious
materials
S 1

over to
N 1

over to 1
O 1

over 1 to 2
Mortar
Cement
M 1

1

M

1

S

1

S

1

N

1

O

1

Masonry
Cement
M 1

1

M

1

S

1

S

1

N

1

O

1

TABLE 1
Proportion Specification Requirements
Note: Two air-entraining materials shall not be combined in mortar
The volumetric proportions given in Table 1 can be converted to weight proportions using assumed weights per
cubic foot (cubic meter) for the materials as follows:
Portland cement 94 lb (1506 kg)
Masonry, mortar and blended cements Varies, use weight printed on bag
Hydrated lime 40 lb (641 kg)
Lime putty 80 lb (1281 kg)
Sand, damp and loose 80 lb (1281 kg) of dry sand
Property Specifications
The property specifications require a mortar mix of the materials to be used for construction to meet the specified
properties under laboratory testing conditions. If mortar is specified by the property specifications, compressive
strength, water retention and air content tests must be performed prior to construction on mortar mixed in the
laboratory with a controlled amount of water. The material quantities determined from the laboratory testing are
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 6 of 11
then used in the field with the amount of water determined by the mason. Table 2 lists property requirements of
the various mortar Types. Properties of field-mixed mortar cannot be compared to the requirements of the property
specifications because of the different amounts of water used in the mortars, the use of different mixers and the
different curing conditions. Field sampling of mortar, where specified, is typically performed for tracking project
consistency from beginning to end. It is not to be used for compliance with property specifications. Additional
information about this type of quality assurance testing can be found in Technical Note 8B.
Proportion vs. Property Specifications
The specifier should indicate in the project specifications whether the proportion or the property specifications are
to be used. If the specifier does not indicate which should be used, then the proportion specifications govern by
default. The specifier also should confirm that the mortar Types selected and the materials indicated in the project
specifications are consistent with the structural design requirements of the masonry.
Mortar prepared by the proportion specifications is not to be compared to mortar of the same Type prepared by the
property specifications. A mortar that is mixed according to the proportion specification will have a higher laboratory
compressive strength than that of the corresponding mortar Type under the property specification [Ref. 7].
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF MORTAR
Mortars have two distinct, important sets of properties: those in the plastic state and those in the hardened
state. The plastic properties help to determine the mortars compatibility with brick and its construction suitability.
Properties of plastic mortar include workability, water retention, initial flow and flow after suction. Properties of
hardened mortars help determine the performance of the finished brickwork. Hardened properties include flexural
bond strength, durability, extensibility and compressive strength. Properties of plastic mortar are more important to
the mason, while the properties of hardened mortar are more important to the designer and owner.
Workability
Workability is the most important physical property of plastic mortar. A mortar is workable if its consistency allows
it to be spread with little effort and if it will readily adhere to vertical masonry surfaces. This results in good extent
of bond between the mortar and the brick, which provides resistance to water penetration. Although experienced
masons are good judges of the workability of a mortar and have developed various methods to determine
suitability, there is no standard laboratory or field test for measuring this property.
TABLE 2
Property Specification Requirements
1
Mortar Type
Average Compressive
Strength at 28 Days,
min. psi (MPa)
Water
Retention,
min. %
Air Content,
max. %
Aggregate Ratio (Measured
in Damp, Loose Conditions)
Cement
Lime
M 2500 (17.2) 75 12
Not less than 2 and
not more than 3 times
the sum of the separate
volumes of cementitious
materials
S 1800 (12.4) 75 12
N 750 (5.2) 75 14
2
O 350 (2.4) 75 14
2
Mortar
Cement
M 2500 (17.2) 75 12
S 1800 (12.4) 75 12
N 750 (5.2) 75 14
2
O 350 (2.4) 75 14
2
Masonry
Cement
M 2500 (17.2) 75 18
S 1800 (12.4) 75 18
N 750 (5.2) 75 20
3
O 350 (2.4) 75 20
3
1. Laboratory prepared mortar only.
2. When structural reinforcement is incorporated in cement-lime or mortar-cement mortar, the maximum air content shall be 12 percent.
3. When structural reinforcement is incorporated in masonry-cement mortar, the maximum air content shall be 18 percent.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 7 of 11
Water retention, flow and resistance to segregation affect workability. In turn, these are affected by properties of
the mortar ingredients. Because of this complex relationship, quantitative estimates of workability are difficult to
obtain. Until a test is developed, the requirements for water retention and aggregate gradation must be relied upon
to provide a quantitative measure of workability.
Water Content
Water content is possibly the most misunderstood aspect of masonry mortar, probably due to the similarity
between mortar and concrete materials. Many designers mistakenly base mortar specifications on the assumption
that mortar requirements are similar to concrete requirements, especially with regard to the water/cement ratio.
Many specifications incorrectly require mortar to be mixed with the minimum amount of water consistent with
workability. Often, retempering of the mortar is prohibited. These provisions result in mortars that have higher
compressive strengths but lower bond strengths. Mixing mortar with the maximum amount of water consistent
with workability will provide maximum bond strength within the capacity of the mortar. As a result, water content
normally should be determined by the mason or bricklayer to produce the best workability. Retempering is
permitted, but only to replace water lost by evaporation. This is usually controlled by the requirement that all mortar
be used within 2 hours after initial mixing, or as determined for hot weather construction.
Water Retention
Water retention is the ability of a mortar to hold water when placed in contact with absorbent masonry units. The
laboratory value of water retention is the ratio of flow after suction to the initial flow, expressed in a percentage.
Flow after suction, as described in ASTM C91, is determined by subjecting the mortar to a vacuum and
remeasuring the flow of the mortar. A mortar that has low water retention will lose moisture more rapidly. This is
used in conjunction with the IRA of the brick to select mortar materials and Type.
In general, the following will increase water retention:
1. Addition of sand fines within allowable gradation limits.
2. Use of highly plastic lime (Type S lime).
3. Increased air content.
4. Use of hydraulic cement containing very fine pozzolans.
Initial Flow
Initial flow is essentially a measure of the mortars water content. It can be measured by either of two methods:
ASTM C109, Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Hydraulic Cement Mortars [Ref. 1], or ASTM
C780, Standard Test Method for Preconstruction and Construction Evaluation of Mortars for Plain and Reinforced
Unit Masonry [Ref. 1].
In ASTM C109, a truncated cone of mortar is formed on a flow table, which is then mechanically raised 1 in.
(25.4 mm) and dropped 25 times in 15 seconds. During this test, the mortar will flow, increasing the diameter of the
mortar specimen. The initial flow is the ratio of the increase in diameter from the initial 4 in. (102 mm) cone base
diameter, expressed in a percentage. Flow rates are laboratory tests.
In ASTM C780, a 3 in. (89 mm) high hollow cylinder is filled with mortar, and a cone-shaped plunger, whose
point is placed at the top of the cylinder, is dropped into the mortar. The depth of the cone penetration into the
mortar is measured in millimeters. The greater the penetration of the cone into the mortar, the greater its flow or
water content. Cone penetration can be measured in the laboratory or in the field.
Laboratory mortars are mixed to have an initial flow of only 105 to 115 percent. Construction mortars normally have
initial flows in the range of 130 to 150 percent (sometimes higher in hot weather) to produce workability satisfactory to
the mason. Requirements for laboratory-prepared mortar should not be applied to field-prepared mortar. Test results
of laboratory-prepared mortar should not be compared to test results of field-prepared mortar without considering the
initial flow of each. The lower initial flow requirements for laboratory mortars were set to allow for more consistent test
results on most available laboratory equipment, and to compensate for water absorbed by the units.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 8 of 11
Extensibility and Plastic Flow
Extensibility is another term for maximum tensile strain at failure. It reflects the maximum elongation possible
under tensile forces. High-lime mortars exhibit greater plastic flow than low-lime mortars. Plastic flow, or creep,
acting with extensibility will impart some flexibility to the masonry, permitting slight movement. Where greater
resiliency for movement is desirable, the lime content may be increased while still satisfying other requirements.
Flexural Bond Strength
Flexural bond strength is perhaps the most important physical property of hardened mortar. For veneer
applications, the bond strength of mortar to brick units provides the ability to transfer lateral loads to veneer
anchors. For loadbearing applications, the bond influences the overall strength of the wall for resisting lateral and
flexural loads. Variables that affect the bond strength include texture of the brick, suction of the brick, air content
of the mortar, water retention of the mortar, pressure applied to the joint during forming, mortar proportions and
methods of curing.
Brick Texture. The texture of a brick affects the mechanical bond between the brick and mortar [Ref. 8]. Mortar
bond is greater to roughened surfaces, such as wire-cut surfaces, than to smooth surfaces, such as die-skin
surfaces. Sanded and coated surfaces can reduce the bond strength depending upon the amount and type of
material on the surface and its adherence to the surface.
Brick IRA (Suction). The laboratory-measured initial rate of absorption (IRA) of brick indicates the bricks suction
and whether it should be considered for wetting before use. It is the IRA at the time of laying that influences bond
strength. In practically all cases, mortar bonds best to brick with an IRA less than 30 g/min/30 in.
2
(30 g/min/
194 cm
2
) when laid. If the bricks IRA exceeds this value, then the brick should be wetted three to 24 hours before
laying. Wetted brick should be surface dry when they are laid in mortar.
Several researchers have shown that IRA appears to have little influence on bond strength when the appropriate
mortar is used [Refs. 3, 4 and 9].
Air Content. Available information indicates a definite relationship between air content and bond strength of
mortar. Provided that other parameters are held constant, as air content is increased, compressive strength and
bond strength are reduced, while workability and resistance to freeze-thaw deterioration are increased [Ref. 10].
Water Content. Mortar with a high water content, or flow, at the time of use is beneficial because it can satisfy the
suction of the brick and can allow greater control of the mortar for the bricklayer. For all mortars, and with minor
exceptions for all brick suction rates, bond strength increases as flow increases. However, excessive water can
reduce both workability and bond strength.
The time lapse between spreading mortar and placing brick will affect mortar flow, particularly when mortar is
spread on brick with high suction rates, or when construction takes place during hot, dry weather. In such cases,
mortar will have less flow by the time brick are placed than when it was first spread. Conceivably, bond to brick
placed on this mortar could be materially reduced. For highest bond strength, reduce the time interval between
spreading the mortar and laying brick on top of it to a minimum.
Because not all mortar is used immediately after mixing, some of its water may evaporate while it is on the mortar
board. The addition of water to mortar (retempering) to replace water lost by evaporation should be encouraged,
when necessary. Although compressive strength may be slightly reduced and mortar color lightened if mortar
is retempered, bond strength may be lowered if it is not. ASTM C270 requires that all mortar be used within
2 hours after mixing since the mortar will begin to set. This time may be affected by hot or cold weather, as
discussed in Technical Note 1.
Materials and Proportions. There is no precise combination of materials that will always produce optimum bond.
Mortars made with cement-lime and mortar cement cementitious materials typically have higher flexural bond
strengths than do masonry cement mortars [Refs. 3, 4, 6]. Building codes prescribe the same bond strength values
to Type S and M mortars [Ref. 5].
Test Methods. Because many variables affect bond, it may be desirable to achieve reproducible results from
a small-scale laboratory test. The bond wrench test, ASTM C1072, Standard Test Method for Measurement of
Masonry Flexural Bond Strength [Ref. 1], appears to fulfill this need. It evaluates the flexural bond strength of each
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 9 of 11
joint in a masonry prism. The apparatus shown in
Figure 1 consists of a stack-bonded prism clamped in
a stationary frame. A cantilevered arm is clamped to
the top brick over the joint to be tested. The free end
of the cantilevered arm is loaded until failure, which
occurs when the clamped brick is wrenched off. The
bond wrench test has replaced previous tests of full-
sized wall specimens and prisms in which only one
joint was tested.
In general, to increase the flexural bond strength:
1. Bond mortar to a wire-cut or roughened
surface rather than a die-skin surface.
2. Wet brick with an IRA greater than 30
grams/min/30 in.
2
(30 g/min/194 cm
2
) when
laid.
3. Use Type S portland cement-lime mortar,
Type S mortar cement or Type S masonry
cement mortar with air content in the low to mid-range of ASTM C91 limits.
4. Mix mortar to the maximum flow compatible with workmanship. Use maximum mixing water
and permit retempering.
Compressive Strength
As with concrete, the compressive strength of mortar primarily depends upon the cement content and the water/
cement ratio. However, because compressive strength of masonry mortar is less important than bond strength,
workability and water retention, the latter properties should be given principal consideration in mortar selection.
The water/cement ratio of mortar as mixed in the field is reduced due to absorption of water by the adjacent brick.
Proportions. Compressive strength increases with an increase in cement content of mortar and decreases with
an increase in water content, lime content or over-sanding. Occasionally air entrainment is introduced to obtain
higher flows with lower water content. The reasoning here is that lower water/cement ratios will provide higher
compressive strengths. However, this generally proves futile since compressive strength decreases with an
increase in air content.
Test Methods. Compressive strength is measured by testing 2 in. (51 mm) mortar cubes or 2 in. (51 mm) or 3 in.
(76 mm) diameter cylinders. Procedures for molding and testing cubes appear in ASTM C109, and procedures for
molding and testing both cubes and cylinders appear in ASTM C780.
Durability
The durability of mortar in unsaturated masonry is not a serious problem. The durability of mortar is shown in the
number of masonry structures that have been in service for many years.
In general, mortar contains sufficient entrapped and entrained air to resist freeze-thaw damage. Though increasing
air content may theoretically increase the durability of masonry mortar, a decrease in bond strength, compressive
strength and other desirable properties will result. For this reason, the use of air-entraining admixtures to increase
air content is not recommended.
Volume Change
Volume changes in mortars can result from four causes: chemical reactions in hardening, temperature changes,
wetting and drying, and unsound ingredients that chemically expand. Differential volume change between brick
and mortar in a given wythe has no significant effect on performance. However, total volume change can be
significant.
Volume change caused by cement hydration (hardening) is often termed shrinkage and depends upon curing
conditions, mix proportions and water content. Mortars hardened in contact with brick exhibit considerably less
shrinkage than those hardened in nonabsorbent molds. An increase in water content will cause an increase in
Figure 1
Bond Wrench Test Apparatus
Load
Bearing Plate
Clamping
Bolts
Test Specimen
Adjustable
Base Support
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 10 of 11
shrinkage during hardening of mortar if the excess water is not removed. Change in temperature will lead to
expansion or contraction of mortar. Thermal expansion and contraction of masonry and means to accommodate
the expected movement are discussed in the Technical Note 18 Series.
Mortar swells as its moisture content increases and shrinks as it decreases. Moisture content changes with
normal cycles of wetting and drying. The magnitude of volume change due to this effect is smaller than that from
shrinkage. Unsound ingredients or impurities such as unhydrated lime oxides or gypsum can cause significant
volume change and are thus limited by ASTM C207.
Efflorescence
Efflorescence is a crystalline deposit of water-soluble salts on the surface of masonry. Mortar may be a major
contributor to efflorescence since it is a primary source of calcium hydroxide. This chemical can produce
efflorescence on its own and can react with carbon dioxide in the air or solutions from the brick to form insoluble
compounds. Mortar can contain other soluble constituents, including alkalis, sulfates and magnesium hydroxide.
Currently there is no standard test method to determine the efflorescence potential of mortar or of a brick/mortar
combination. Researchers have concluded that mortars will effloresce under any standard test.
RECOMMENDED MORTAR USES
Selection of a particular mortar Type and materials is usually a function of the needs of the finished masonry
element. Type N mortar is recommended for normal use and in most veneer applications. In applications where
high lateral strength is required, mortar with high flexural bond strength should be chosen. For loadbearing
walls and reinforced brick masonry, high compressive strength may be the governing factor. In some projects,
considerations of durability, color and flexibility may be of utmost concern. Factors that improve one property of
mortar often do so at the expense of others. For this reason, when selecting a mortar, evaluate properties of each
Type and materials and choose the combination that will best meet the particular end-use requirements. No single
mortar Type is best for all purposes. Refer to Technical Note 8B for more information on selection of mortar Type.
GREEN BUILDING/SUSTAINABILITY
Sustainability or Green Building is a movement to use resources efficiently, create healthier environments and
enhance the quality of buildings while minimizing social and environmental impacts on future generations. For
further information about the sustainability of brick masonry, refer to Technical Note 48.
While materials used to make mortar are readily abundant and produce a durable material, sustainability can be
improved further by using recycled products such as blast furnace slag cement and cements with fly ash in the
mortar to partially replace portland cement. Blast furnace slag is a by-product from the production of iron. The
waste from the production is processed to produce slag cement. When slag cement is used in mortar, it typically
makes the cement hydration process more efficient, increases long-term compressive strength, produces a tighter
pore structure and increases workability of mortar during placement. Fly ash comes from coal-fired plants used in
generating electrical power. It can replace a portion of the cement in mortar materials. Fly ash increases strength
and durability by increasing density.
SUMMARY
Mortar requirements differ from concrete requirements, principally because the primary function of mortar is to
bond masonry units into an integral element. Properties of both plastic and hardened mortars are important. Plastic
properties determine construction suitability; hardened properties determine performance of finished elements.
When selecting a mortar, evaluate all properties, and then select the mortar providing the best results overall for
the particular requirements.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of
the information contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8 | Mortars for Brickwork | Page 11 of 11
REFERENCES
1. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2007:
Volume 4.01
C91 Standard Specification for Masonry Cement
C109 Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Hydraulic Cement Mortars (Using 2-in. or
[50-mm] Cube Specimens)
C150 Standard Specification for Portland Cement
C207 Standard Specification for Hydrated Lime for Masonry Purposes
C595 Standard Specification for Blended Hydraulic Cements
C1157 Standard Performance Specification for Hydraulic Cement
C1489 Standard Specification for Lime Putty for Structural Purposes
C1329 Standard Specification for Mortar Cement
Volume 4.02
C979 Standard Specification for Pigments for Integrally Colored Concrete
Volume 4.05
C144 Standard Specification for Aggregate for Masonry Mortar
C270 Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry
C780 Standard Test Method for Preconstruction and Construction Evaluation of Mortars for Plain and
Reinforced Unit Masonry
C1072 Standard Test Method for Measurement of Masonry Flexural Bond Strength
C1384 Standard Specification for Admixtures for Masonry Mortars
2. Beall, Christine, A Guide to Mortar Admixtures, Magazine of Masonry Construction, October 1989, pp.
436-438.
3. Borchelt, J .G., Melander, J .M., and Nelson, R.L., Bond Strength and Water Penetration of High IRA
Brick and Mortar, Proceedings of the Eighth North American Masonry Conference, The Masonry Society,
Boulder, CO, J une 1999, pp. 304-315.
4. Borchelt, J .G., and Tann, J .A., Bond Strength and Water Penetration of Low IRA Brick and Mortar,
Proceedings of the Seventh North American Masonry Conference, The Masonry Society, Boulder, CO,
J une 1996, pp. 206-216.
5. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530-05/ASCE 5-05/TMS 402-05), The Masonry
Society, Boulder, CO, 2005.
6. Matthys, J .H., Brick Masonry Flexural Bond Strength Using Conventional Masonry Mortar, Proceedings
of the Fifth Canadian Masonry Symposium, University of Vancouver, Vancouver, BC, 1992, pp. 745-756.
7. Melander, J .M., and Conway, J .T., Compressive Strengths and Bond Strengths of Portland Cement-Lime
Mortars, Masonry, Design and Construction, Problems and Repair, ASTM STP 1180, American Society
for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, PA, 1993, pp. 105-120.
8. Ribar, J .W., and Dubovoy, V.S., Investigation of Masonry Bond and Surface Profile of Brick, Masonry:
Materials, Design, Construction and Maintenance, ASTM STP 992, American Society for Testing and
Materials, Philadelphia, PA, 1988, pp. 33-37.
9. Wood, S.L., Flexural Bond Strength of Clay Brick Masonry, The Masonry Society Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2,
The Masonry Society, Boulder, CO, February 1995, pp. 45-55.
10. Wright, B.T., Wilkin, R.D., and J ohn, G.W., Variables Affecting the Strength of Masonry Mortars, Masonry,
Design and Construction, Problems and Repair, ASTM STP 1180, American Society for Testing and
Materials, Philadelphia, PA, 1993, pp. 197-210.
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
Mortars for Brickwork -
Selection and Quality Assurance
Abstract: This Technical Note discusses the selection and specification of mortar Type.
Key Words: bond strength, extent of bond, lime, masonry cement, mortar, mortar cement, portland cement, quality
assurance, sand, testing, workability.
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction 8B
October
2006
Select a mortar Type with the lowest compressive strength
meeting project requirements
Select mortar appropriate for application, project conditions
and workability
Type N mortar is recommended for normal use, including
most veneer applications
Create a quality assurance program, where appropriate, to
obtain consistent mortar
Follow recommended procedure and sequence for mixing
mortar
Measure mortar materials by volume
2006 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 6
INTRODUCTION
Selection of an appropriate mortar helps to ensure durable brickwork that meets performance expectations.
Mortar Type and mortar material selection should consider multiple aspects of a project, including design, brick
or masonry materials, exposure and required level of workmanship. Improper mortar selection may lead to lower
performance of the finished project.
This Technical Note provides guidance for selecting the appropriate mortar Type. It also describes a quality
assurance program to ensure the desired results. Technical Note 8 addresses specific properties of mortar, mortar
materials and their selection as well as the specification of mortar.
SELECTION OF MORTAR
Mortar bonds individual brick together to function as a single element. In its hardened state, mortar must be
durable and must help resist moisture penetration. Mortar also must have certain properties in its plastic state so
that it is both economical and easy to place.
One property of mortar that is often overemphasized is compressive strength. Stronger is not necessarily better
when specifying mortar. In fact, the opposite is often true. Mortar selection should be based on properties such as
durability and workability in addition to compressive strength.
Mortar for each project should be selected to balance the construction requirements with the performance of
the completed masonry. High lateral loads from wind or seismic activity may require a mortar that develops high
flexural tensile strength. Allowable flexural tensile and compressive stresses for unreinforced structural masonry
are given in the building code. Building code requirements may limit the use of some mortar Types under certain
conditions. For example, Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402) [Ref. 8]
does not permit the use of Type N or masonry cement mortars in any part of the lateral force-resisting system for
structures located in Seismic Design Categories D, E or F.
Other considerations may include durability (below grade or in retaining walls), color uniformity, flexibility,
workability or other desired properties. The combination of the mortar and brick properties may dictate the
selection of a certain mortar.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
These are the fundamental guidelines of mortar selection:
No single mortar is best for all purposes.
Select a mortar Type with the lowest compressive strength meeting the project requirements.
Of course, these guidelines must be used with good judgment. For example, it could be uneconomical and unwise
to use different mortars for various portions of the same structure.
Mortar Type Characteristics
Mortars are classified by ASTM C 270, Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry [Ref. 2], into four Types:
M, S, N and O. These four Types of mortar can be made with portland cement, masonry cement, mortar cement
or blended cements some of which are combined with hydrated lime.
Each mortar Type has some basic characteristics:
Type N mortar - General all-purpose mortar with good bonding capabilities and workability
Type S mortar - General all-purpose mortar with higher flexural bond strength
Type M mortar - High compressive-strength mortar, but not very workable
Type O mortar - Low-strength mortar, used mostly for interior applications and restoration
Although the descriptions above provide basic mortar characteristics, each mortar Type can be used in a variety
of applications. No single mortar is best for all purposes.
Simplistic Mortar Selection
The easiest method to select mortar is to remember the following mnemonic:
Type N for normal brickwork applications
Type S for stronger brickwork applications
Normal applications include most veneer. Stronger applications are needed in high seismic and high wind areas
and in reinforced brickwork.
Mortar Selection Based on Use
More explicit guidance on mortar selection based on the location and use of the building segment is given in Table
1. More durable mortar Types are recommended for more severe exposures.
TABLE 1
Mortar Recommendations Based on Use
Brick Properties Influencing Mortar Selection
In general, the bond between brick and mortar is the most important property to consider when selecting mortar
Type. Bond actually has two components: extent of bond and bond strength. Extent of bond refers to the amount
of intimate contact between the mortar and brick, which is enhanced by good mortar workability. Good extent
of bond provides durability and resistance to water penetration. Bond strength refers to the force required to
separate the mortar from the brick. Good bond strength provides resistance to cracking.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8B | Mortars for Brickwork - Selection and Quality Assurance | Page 2 of 6
Recommended Alternate
Exterior, above grade Reinforced or Loadbearing walls S N
Veneer or Non-loadbearing walls N S
Parapets, Chimneys N S
Exterior, at or below grade Foundation walls, Retaining walls M S
Sewers, Manholes
Interior Loadbearing walls N S
Partitions N O or S
Mortar Type
Building Segment Location
Brick properties, particularly the initial rate of absorption (IRA), also can affect bond. Brick with a high IRA should
be used with mortar that has a greater ability to retain mixing water. Conversely, brick with a low IRA should be
used with mortar that does not retain water as easily. Bed joint surface texture also may influence bond strength
and extent of bond, but to a lesser degree than IRA.
Table 2 can be used to select a mortar based on IRA. These recommendations are based on Bond Strength and
Water Penetration of Low IRA Brick and Mortar [Ref. 6] and Bond Strength and Water Penetration of High IRA
Brick and Mortar [Ref. 7]. The mortar recommendations in Table 2 are applicable for construction in temperatures
from 40 to 100 F (4 to 37.8 C). Under colder or hotter temperatures, other brick and mortar combinations may
be preferable. Refer to Technical Note 1 for hot and cold weather construction recommendations. In addition, there
may be other brick/mortar combinations that perform as well. Bond strength of particular combinations can be
tested using ASTM C 1357, Standard Test Methods for Evaluating Masonry Bond Strength [Ref. 4].
TABLE 2
Mortar Recommendations Based on Brick Unit IRA
1
Mortars for Special Applications
Certain applications may require special considerations for mortar selection. Several of these follow:
Repointing Mortars. Repointing mortars are used in maintenance and restoration projects. Compatibility between
existing brick and mortar is the most important consideration in selecting a repointing mortar. Hence, it may be
necessary to use a weaker mortar for older masonry than would be used for new construction. In general, the
compressive strength of a repointing mortar should not exceed that of the existing mortar. If necessary, the existing
mortar can be tested to determine proportions of ingredients for the repointing mortar. Type O mortar often is used
for repointing older brickwork. Type N mortar may be suitable for repointing newer brickwork.
Repointing mortars should be pre-hydrated. In this process the mortar materials are mixed dry, and then just
enough water is added to produce a damp mix which will retain its shape when formed into a ball. After one to
one and half hours, additional water should be added to bring the mortar to the proper consistency for placement.
Refer to Technical Note 46 for more information about repointing.
Paving. Paving applications are more likely to be in a saturated condition than walls. Because of this, the mortar
typically must be more durable to resist the harsher exposure. Type M mortar is recommended with Type S as
the alternate. A mortar with a latex modifier conforming to ANSI A118.4, Specification for Latex-Portland Cement
Mortar [Ref. 1], may provide a more durable assembly. Flexible brick paving, which uses sand rather than mortar
to fill joints between pavers, is less susceptible to damage from exposure and should be considered as an
alternative to mortared paving. Refer to Technical Note 14A for more information about paving materials.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8B | Mortars for Brickwork - Selection and Quality Assurance | Page 3 of 6
Up to 10 g/min/30 in.
(Up to 0.0005 g/min/mm)
Type S
(Type N)
Type S
(Type N)
Type S
(Type N)
10 to 30 g/min/30 in.
(0.0005 to 0.0016 g/min/mm)
Type N or S Type N or S Type N or S
Above 30 g/min/30 in.
(Above 0.0016 g/min/mm)
Dry when laid
Type N
(Type S)
__
2
__
2
Above 30 g/min/30 in.
(Above 0.0016 g/min/mm)
Wetted prior to laying
Type N
(Type S)
Type N
(Type S)
Type S
(Type N)
2
Not recommended unless verified with testing
Masonry Cement
Mortar
Initial Rate of Absorption
Range of Brick
Portland or Blended Cement:
Lime Mortar
Mortar Cement
Mortar
1
Alternate Types listed in parentheses
Stain-Resistant Mortar. Where resistance to staining is desired, aluminum tristearate, calcium stearate or
ammonium stearate may be added to the mortar. Where maximum stain resistance is desired, use mortar
consisting of one part portland cement, one-eighth part lime and two parts graded fine (80 mesh) sand,
proportioned by volume. To this, add aluminum tristearate, calcium stearate or ammonium stearate equal to
2 percent of the portland cement by weight.
Chemical-Resistant Mortar. Chemical-resistant masonry often is used in food processing plants, refineries
or breweries. Chemical-resistant mortars may include silicate mortars, sulfur mortars, various resin mortars
or cementitious mortars. For further information on chemical-resistant mortar, refer to Corrosion & Chemical
Resistant Masonry Materials Handbook [Ref. 9].
MIXING REQUIREMENTS
Although most mortar is mixed on-site, preblended mortar also is available. Preblended mortar is supplied in
consistent proportions without the need for on-site batching and measurement controls. While each mortar Type has
specified ranges of material quantities, accurate and consistent material quantities are desired throughout the job.
Material measuring and batching should be by volume or by weight to ensure that the specified mortar proportions
are accurately controlled and maintained. For material weights and recommended proportions, refer to ASTM
C 270 or Technical Note 8. When using a mechanical mixer, the ingredients should be added in such a manner
that the mix remains damp. Typically, about half the mix water is added to the mixer, followed by about half of the
sand, then any and all lime. The cement and the remainder of the sand are then added, followed by the remainder
of the water. These materials should be mixed for three to five minutes. If admixtures are to be used, they should
consistently be added at the same stage in the
mixing process. The same quantities of materials
should be added in the same order from batch to
batch to help ensure uniform results throughout
the job.
Every effort should be made to keep the
materials agitated by the paddles. This may
require changing the sequence in which water
is added. If ingredients are added too fast or if
not enough water is added to the mixer before
the dry ingredients, the mixer may not be able
to combine them, and the dry materials will stick
around the bowl.
Cement and lime should be placed in the mixer
in whole (preferable) or half bags. The mixer
should be sized accordingly, also depending
upon the project requirements and the size of the
masonry crew.
Photo 1 shows an example of batching and measurement controls that are both economical and accurate. Sand
can be measured with a 1-cubic foot (0.028 m
3
) box or a 5-gallon bucket equal to 2/3-cubic-feet (0.019 m
3
).
Alternatively, the number of shovels of sand required to fill the box or bucket can be calibrated. Shovel count
calibration should be done every morning and afternoon or whenever the shovel size or individual shovelling sand
is changed.
QUALITY ASSURANCE
A quality assurance program provides policies, procedures and requirements intended to ensure compliance with
the contract documents. Quality assurance requirements may be set by the owner, designer or governing building
code. Quality control is a part of the quality assurance program that may involve testing, inspection, or both. Some
quality assurance programs require the contractor to submit documentation showing conformance to the contract
documents. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures [Ref. 8] assumes that all masonry is constructed
under a quality assurance program.
Photo 1
Obtaining Accurate Sand Quantities
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8B | Mortars for Brickwork - Selection and Quality Assurance | Page 4 of 6
For mortar specified by ASTM C 270, the key to quality assurance is adherence to the material proportions
added to the mixer. ASTM C 270 prescribes the volumes of the materials in each mortar Type when the
proportion specification is used. When the property specification is used, laboratory testing establishes the
material proportions that will be used in the field. Observation during measuring and mixing is thus an essential
component of the quality assurance program. Testing may be included as a second component. ASTM C 1586,
Standard Guide for Quality Assurance for Mortars [Ref. 5], explains how to use ASTM C 270 and ASTM C 780 for
evaluating laboratory-prepared and field-prepared mortars.
Inspection
Inspection is often a part of the quality assurance programs required by the contract documents or building code.
Mortar inspection typically entails verifying that the specified materials are used and that they are in the proper
proportions. Inspection also may include verifying proper mix time, retempering, mortar placement and tooling.
Testing
Field testing of mortar is not necessary on most projects. When the ASTM C 270 property specification is used,
however, laboratory testing is necessary to establish mortar mix proportions, which are then used to prepare mortar
in the field. If inspection during mixing is not possible, some physical testing of the mortar may be appropriate.
ASTM C 780, Standard Test Method for Preconstruction and Construction Evaluation of Mortars for Plain and
Reinforced Unit Masonry [Ref. 3], provides methods for sampling and testing mortar in the laboratory and in the
field. It defines procedures for measuring properties of plastic mortar such as consistency, the aggregate ratio,
air content and water content. Finally, it defines procedures for measuring properties of hardened mortar, such as
compressive strength. These test results are used to verify mortar consistency from batch to batch.
For test results to be useful there must be a basis of comparison. Preconstruction testing with the materials to be
used during the actual construction provides the benchmark for field testing results. Proper interpretation of mortar
test results requires a thorough knowledge of mortar specifications and test methods.
For example, compressive strength test results from field-sampled mortar cannot be compared with the minimum
requirements of the ASTM C 270 property specification. The different sampling and mixing requirements of ASTM
C 780 will yield different results from those determined according to ASTM C 270. ASTM C 270 is for laboratory-
prepared and tested mortars, while ASTM C 780 is mainly for field sampling and testing. Compressive strength
results obtained according to ASTM C 780 can be expected to be lower and more variable than ASTM C 270
laboratory test results; the two are not comparable.
ASTM C 780 can be used to determine whether the proper proportions are being used in the field. Freshly
sampled mortar is placed in a jar with isopropyl or methyl alcohol to prevent hydration. The sand used in the
mortar also is sampled to determine its gradation. After weighing the materials, the fine material is filtered out of
the mortar using a sieve. The remaining material is assumed to be sand, from which the sand to cement ratio can
be determined. This can be compared with the specified proportions.
Interpreting Test Results
If ASTM C 780 field test methods are used, the results must be properly interpreted and compared with
preconstruction test results. Observations should include mortar sampling, test specimen preparation, specimen
handling during transportation, storage at the test facility and test procedures. If there is a substantial difference
between preconstruction and field results, the following should be investigated:
Change of mortar materials or proportions
Change in brick properties (different brick or wet brick) resulting in a change to the amount of water added
to the mortar
Change in time between mortar mixing and sampling
Proper construction of specimens
Unusual curing conditions
Damage to specimens during transit or storage
Proper adherence to test procedures
Accuracy of calculations
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8B | Mortars for Brickwork - Selection and Quality Assurance | Page 5 of 6
This information can be used to help identify the possible cause(s) of inconsistent test results. If questions about
mortar quality remain, additional masonry testing may be required. In some cases, prism tests of masonry
specimens from the project can be conducted to determine the structural capacity of the masonry.
SUMMARY
Mortar, although it comprises a relatively small portion of brickwork, has a significant impact on overall
performance. A range of mortars is available to suit the needs of all brick projects. Taking into consideration the
brick unit properties as well as the project requirements when specifying mortar Type will contribute to a properly
performing brick structure, as will implementing a good quality assurance plan.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of
the information contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
ANSI A118.4, Specification for Latex-Portland Cement Mortar, American National Standards Institute,
Washington, DC, 2006.
ASTM C 270, Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry, Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.05,
ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
ASTM C 780, Standard Test Method for Preconstruction and Construction Evaluation of Mortars for Plain and
Reinforced Unit Masonry, Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.05, ASTM International, West Conshohocken,
PA, 2006.
ASTM C 1357, Standard Test Methods for Evaluating Masonry Bond Strength, Annual Book of Standards,
Vol. 04.05, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
ASTM C 1586, Standard Guide for Quality Assurance for Mortars, Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.05,
ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
Borchelt, J .G. and Tann, J .A., Bond Strength and Water Penetration of Low IRA Brick and Mortar,
Proceedings of the Seventh North American Masonry Conference, The Masonry Society, Boulder, CO, 1996.
Borchelt, J .G., Melander, J .M., and Nelson, R.L., Bond Strength and Water Penetration of High IRA Brick
and Mortar, Proceedings of the Eighth North American Masonry Conference, The Masonry Society, Boulder,
CO, 1999.
Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402) and Specification for
Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1/ASCE 6/TMS 602), The Masonry Society, Boulder, CO, 2005.
Sheppard, Walter Lee J r., Editor, Corrosion and Chemical Resistant Masonry Materials Handbook, Noyes
Publications, Park Ridge, NJ , 1986.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 8B | Mortars for Brickwork - Selection and Quality Assurance | Page 6 of 6
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
Manufacturing of Brick
Abstract: This Technical Note presents fundamental procedures for the manufacture of clay brick. The types of clay used,
the three principal processes for forming brick and the various phases of manufacturing, from mining through storage, are
discussed. Information is provided regarding brick durability, color, texture (including coatings and glazes), size variation,
compressive strength and absorption.
Key Words: absorption, clays, color, cooling, compressive strength, de-hacking, drying, durability, firing, forming, hacking,
manufacturing, mining, preparation, shales, size variation, texture.
SUMMARY:
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction 9
December
2006
Brick is made of clay or shale formed, dried and fired into
a durable ceramic product.
There are three ways to form the shape and size of a
brick: extruded (stiff mud), molded (soft mud) and dry-
pressed. The majority of brick are made by the extrusion
method.
Brick achieves its color through the minerals in the fired
clay or through coatings that are applied before or after
the firing process. This provides a durable color that never
fades or diminishes.
Brick shrink during the manufacturing process as
vitrification occurs. Brick will vary in size due to the
manufacturing process. These variations are addressed by
ASTM standards.
The method used to form a brick has a major impact on
its texture. Sand-finished surfaces are typical with molded
brick. A variety of textures can be achieved with extruded
brick.
Brick manufacturers address sustainability by locating
manufacturing facilities near clay sources to reduce
transportation, by recycling of process waste, by
reclaiming land where mining has occurred, and by taking
measures to reduce plant emissions. Most brick are used
within 500 miles of a brick manufacturing facility.
2006 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 7
INTRODUCTION
The fundamentals of brick manufacturing have not changed over time. However, technological advancements
have made contemporary brick plants substantially more efficient and have improved the overall quality of the
products. A more complete knowledge of raw materials and their properties, better control of firing, improved kiln
designs and more advanced mechanization have all contributed to advancing the brick industry.
Other Technical Notes in this series address the classification and selection of brick considering the use, exposure
and required durability of the finished brickwork.
RAW MATERIALS
Clay is one of the most abundant natural mineral materials on earth. For brick manufacturing, clay must possess
some specific properties and characteristics. Such clays must have plasticity, which permits them to be shaped or
molded when mixed with water; they must have sufficient wet and air-dried strength to maintain their shape after
forming. Also, when subjected to appropriate temperatures, the clay particles must fuse together.
Types of Clay
Clays occur in three principal forms, all of which have similar chemical compositions but different physical
characteristics.
Surface Clays. Surface clays may be the upthrusts of older deposits or of more recent sedimentary formations. As
the name implies, they are found near the surface of the earth.
Shales. Shales are clays that have been subjected to high pressures until they have nearly hardened into slate.
Fire Clays. Fire clays are usually mined at deeper levels than other clays and have refractory qualities.
Surface and fire clays have a different physical structure from shales but are similar in chemical composition. All
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9 | Manufacturing of Brick | Page 2 of 7
three types of clay are composed of silica and alumina with varying amounts of metallic oxides. Metallic oxides
act as fluxes promoting fusion of the particles at lower temperatures. Metallic oxides (particularly those of iron,
magnesium and calcium) influence the color of the fired brick.
The manufacturer minimizes variations in chemical composition and physical properties by mixing clays from
different sources and different locations in the pit. Chemical composition varies within the pit, and the differences
are compensated for by varying manufacturing processes. As a result, brick from the same manufacturer will have
slightly different properties in subsequent production runs. Further, brick from different manufacturers that have the
same appearance may differ in other properties.
MANUFACTURING
Although the basic principles of manufacture are fairly uniform, individual manufacturing plants tailor their
production to fit their particular raw materials and operation. Essentially, brick are produced by mixing ground
clay with water, forming the clay into the desired shape, and drying and firing. In ancient times, all molding was
performed by hand. However, since the invention of brick-making machines during the latter part of the 19
th

century, the majority of brick produced in the United States have been machine made.
Phases of Manufacturing
The manufacturing process has six general phases: 1) mining and storage of raw materials, 2) preparing raw
materials, 3) forming the brick, 4) drying, 5) firing and cooling and 6) de-hacking and storing finished products (see
Figure 1).
Mining and Storage. Surface clays, shales and some
fire clays are mined in open pits with power equipment.
Then the clay or shale mixtures are transported to
plant storage areas (see Photo 1).
Continuous brick production regardless of weather
conditions is ensured by storing sufficient quantities
of raw materials required for many days of plant
operation. Normally, several storage areas (one for
each source) are used to facilitate blending of the
clays. Blending produces more uniform raw materials,
helps control color and allows raw material control for
manufacturing a certain brick body.
Figure 1
Diagrammatic Representation of Manufacturing Process
Photo 1
Clay or Shale Being Crushed
and Transported to Storage Area
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9 | Manufacturing of Brick | Page 3 of 7
Preparation. To break up large clay lumps and stones, the material is processed through size-reduction machines
before mixing the raw material. Usually the material is processed through inclined vibrating screens to control
particle size.
Forming. Tempering, the first step in the forming process, produces a homogeneous, plastic clay mass. Usually,
this is achieved by adding water to the clay in a pug mill (see Photo 2), a mixing chamber with one or more
revolving shafts with blade extensions. After pugging, the plastic clay mass is ready for forming. There are three
principal processes for forming brick: stiff-mud, soft-mud and dry-press.
Stiff-Mud Process - In the stiff-mud or extrusion process (see Photo 3), water in the range of 10 to 15
percent is mixed into the clay to produce plasticity. After pugging, the tempered clay goes through a de-
airing chamber that maintains a vacuum of 15 to 29 in. (375 to 725 mm) of mercury. De-airing removes
air holes and bubbles, giving the clay increased workability and plasticity, resulting in greater strength.
Next, the clay is extruded through a die to produce a column of clay. As the clay column leaves the die,
textures or surface coatings may be applied (see PROPERTIES, Textures, Coatings and Glazes). An
automatic cutter then slices through the clay column to create the individual brick. Cutter spacings and die
sizes must be carefully calculated to compensate for normal shrinkage that occurs during drying and firing
(see PROPERTIES, Size Variation). About 90 percent of brick in the United States are produced by the
extrusion process.
Soft-Mud Process - The soft-mud or molded process is particularly suitable for clays containing too
much water to be extruded by the stiff-mud process. Clays are mixed to contain 20 to 30 percent water
and then formed into brick in molds. To prevent clay from sticking, the molds are lubricated with either
sand or water to produce sand-struck or water-struck brick. Brick may be produced in this manner by
machine or by hand.
Dry-Press Process - This process is particularly suited to clays of very low plasticity. Clay is mixed with
a minimal amount of water (up to 10 percent), then pressed into steel molds under pressures from 500 to
1500 psi (3.4 to 10.3 MPa) by hydraulic or compressed air rams.
Drying. Wet brick from molding or cutting machines contain 7 to 30 percent moisture, depending upon the forming
method. Before the firing process begins, most of this water is evaporated in dryer chambers at temperatures
ranging from about 100 F to 400 F (38 C to 204 C). The extent of drying time, which varies with different clays,
usually is between 24 to 48 hours. Although heat may be generated specifically for dryer chambers, it usually is
supplied from the exhaust heat of kilns to maximize thermal efficiency. In all cases, heat and humidity must be
carefully regulated to avoid cracking in the brick.
Hacking. Hacking is the process of loading a kiln car or kiln with brick. The number of brick on the kiln car is
determined by kiln size. The brick are typically placed by robots or mechanical means. The setting pattern has
Photo 2
Clay is Thoroughly Mixed with Water
in Pug Mill Before Extrusion
Photo 3
After Mining, Clay is Extruded Through a Die and
Trimmed to Specified Dimension Before Firing
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9 | Manufacturing of Brick | Page 4 of 7
some influence on appearance. Brick placed face-to-
face will have a more uniform color than brick that are
cross-set or placed face-to-back.
Firing. Brick are fired between 10 and 40 hours,
depending upon kiln type and other variables. There
are several types of kilns used by manufacturers.
The most common type is a tunnel kiln, followed by
periodic kilns. Fuel may be natural gas, coal, sawdust,
methane gas from landfills or a combination of these
fuels.
In a tunnel kiln (see Photo 4), brick are loaded onto
kiln cars, which pass through various temperature
zones as they travel through the tunnel. The heat
conditions in each zone are carefully controlled, and
the kiln is continuously operated. A periodic kiln is one
that is loaded, fired, allowed to cool and unloaded,
after which the same steps are repeated. Dried brick
are set in periodic kilns according to a prescribed
pattern that permits circulation of hot kiln gases.
Firing may be divided into five general stages: 1)
final drying (evaporating free water); 2) dehydration;
3) oxidation; 4) vitrification; and 5) flashing or
reduction firing. All except flashing are associated
with rising temperatures in the kiln. Although the
actual temperatures will differ with clay or shale, final
drying takes place at temperatures up to about 400 F
(204 C), dehydration from about 300 F to 1800 F
(149 C to 982 C), oxidation from 1000 F to 1800 F
(538 C to 982 C) and vitrification from 1600 F to
2400 F (871 C to 1316 C).
Clay, unlike metal, softens slowly and melts or vitrifies
gradually when subjected to rising temperatures.
Vitrification allows clay to become a hard, solid mass
with relatively low absorption. Melting takes place in
three stages: 1) incipient fusion, when the clay particles become sufficiently soft to stick together in a mass when
cooled; 2) vitrification, when extensive fluxing occurs and the mass becomes tight, solid and nonabsorbent; and
3) viscous fusion, when the clay mass breaks down and becomes molten, leading to a deformed shape. The key
to the firing process is to control the temperature in the kiln so that incipient fusion and partial vitrification occur but
viscous fusion is avoided.
The rate of temperature change must be carefully controlled and is dependent on the raw materials, as well as
the size and coring of the brick being produced. Kilns are normally equipped with temperature sensors to control
firing temperatures in the various stages. Near the end, the brick may be flashed to produce color variations (see
PROPERTIES, Color).
Cooling. After the temperature has peaked and is maintained for a prescribed time, the cooling process begins.
Cooling time rarely exceeds 10 hours for tunnel kilns and from 5 to 24 hours in periodic kilns. Cooling is an
important stage in brick manufacturing because the rate of cooling has a direct effect on color.
De-hacking. De-hacking is the process of unloading a kiln or kiln car after the brick have cooled, a job often
performed by robots (see Photo 5). Brick are sorted, graded and packaged. Then they are placed in a storage
yard or loaded onto rail cars or trucks for delivery. The majority of brick today are packaged in self-contained,
strapped cubes, which can be broken down into individual strapped packages for ease of handling on the jobsite.
The packages and cubes are configured to provide openings for handling by forklifts.
Photo 4
Brick Enter Tunnel Kiln for Firing
Photo 5
Robotic Arm Unloading Brick After Firing
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9 | Manufacturing of Brick | Page 5 of 7
PROPERTIES
All properties of brick are affected by raw material composition and the manufacturing process. Most
manufacturers blend different clays to achieve the desired properties of the raw materials and of the fired brick.
This improves the overall quality of the finished product. The quality control during the manufacturing process
permits the manufacturer to limit variations due to processing and to produce a more uniform product.
The most important properties of brick are 1) durability, 2) color, 3) texture, 4) size variation, 5) compressive
strength and 6) absorption.
Durability
The durability of brick depends upon achieving incipient fusion and partial vitrification during firing. Because
compressive strength and absorption values are also related to the firing temperatures, these properties, together
with saturation coefficient, are currently taken as predictors of durability in brick specifications. However, because
of differences in raw materials and manufacturing methods, a single set of values of compressive strength and
absorption will not reliably indicate the degree of firing.
Color
The color of fired clay depends upon its chemical composition, the firing temperatures and the method of firing
control. Of all the oxides commonly found in clays, iron probably has the greatest effect on color. Regardless of its
natural color, clay containing iron in practically any form will exhibit a shade of red when exposed to an oxidizing
fire because of the formation of ferrous oxide. When fired in a reducing atmosphere, the same clay will assume a
dark (or black) hue. Creating a reducing atmosphere in the kiln is known as flashing or reduction firing.
Given the same raw material and manufacturing method, darker colors are associated with higher firing
temperatures, lower absorption values and higher compressive strength values. However, for products made from
different raw materials, there is no direct relationship between strength and color or absorption and color.
Texture, Coatings and Glazes
Many brick have smooth or sand-finished textures
produced by the dies or molds used in forming. A
smooth texture, commonly referred to as a die skin,
results from pressure exerted by the steel die as the
clay passes through it in the extrusion process. Most
extruded brick have the die skin removed and the
surface further treated to produce other textures using
devices that cut, scratch, roll, brush or otherwise
roughen the surface as the clay column leaves the
die (see Photo 6). Brick may be tumbled before or
after firing to achieve an antique appearance.
Many manufacturing plants apply engobes (slurries)
of finely ground clay or colorants to the column.
Engobes are clay slips that are fired onto the ceramic
body and develop hardness, but are not impervious
to moisture or water vapor. Sands, with or without
coloring agents, can be rolled into an engobe or
applied directly to the brick faces to create interesting
and distinctive patterns in the finished product.
Although not produced by all manufacturers, glazed brick are made through a carefully controlled ceramic glazing
procedure. There are two basic variations of glazing; single-fired and double-fired. Single-fired glazes are sprayed
on brick before or after drying and then kiln-fired at the normal firing temperatures of the brick. Double-fired glazes
are used to obtain colors that cannot be produced at higher temperatures. Such a glaze is applied after the brick
body has been fired and cooled, then refired at temperatures less than 1800 F (982 C). Glazes are available in a
wide variety of colors and reflectances. Unlike engobes, glazes are impervious to water and water vapor.
Photo 6
Some Brick Textures are Applied by Passing
Under a Roller After Extrusion
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9 | Manufacturing of Brick | Page 6 of 7
Size Variation
Because clays shrink during both drying and firing, allowances are made in the forming process to achieve the
desired size of the finished brick. Both drying shrinkage and firing shrinkage vary for different clays, usually falling
within the following ranges:
Drying shrinkage: 2 to 4 percent
Firing shrinkage: 2.5 to 4 percent
Firing shrinkage increases with higher temperatures, which produce darker shades. When a wide range of colors
is desired, some variation between the sizes of the dark and light units is inevitable. To obtain products of uniform
size, manufacturers control factors contributing to shrinkage. Because of normal variations in raw materials and
temperature variations within kilns, absolute uniformity is impossible. Consequently, specifications for brick allow
size variations.
Compressive Strength and Absorption
Both compressive strength and absorption are affected by properties of the clay, method of manufacture and
degree of firing. For a given clay and method of manufacture, higher compressive strength values and lower
absorption values are associated with higher firing temperatures. Although absorption and compressive strength
can be controlled by manufacturing and firing methods, these properties depend largely upon the properties of the
raw materials.
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Brick manufacturing is one of the most efficient uses of materials to produce a product. Brick plants are typically
located close to raw material sources. Processed clay and shale removed in the forming process before firing are
returned to the production stream. Brick not meeting standards after firing are culled from the process and ground
to be used as grog in manufacturing brick or crushed to be used as landscaping material. There is virtually no
waste of raw materials in manufacturing brick.
Brick manufacturing uses readily available raw
materials, including some waste products. The
primary ingredient, clay, has been termed an
abundant resource by many authorities including the
American Institute of Architects [Ref. 1], confirming
that depletion of clay is not a concern. Nonhazardous
waste products from other industries are sometimes
used. Examples include using bottom- and fly-ash
from coal-fired generators, using other ceramic
materials as grog, using lubricants derived from
processing organic materials in the forming of brick,
and using sawdust as a burnout material.
The brick industrys goal is to reduce resources used
in the manufacturing process. Although water is used
in brick manufacturing, it is not chemically altered but
is evaporated into the atmosphere. By using storage
tanks to recirculate and reuse water, potable water
demand can be cut dramatically. Brick manufacturers
are continuously looking for ways to minimize use of
water. Photo 7 shows one plant using a storage tank to
hold recirculated water for reuse in brick production.
While natural gas is the most frequently used energy source for brick manufacturing, many manufacturers are
using waste products, such as methane gas from landfills and sawdust, for brick firing.
The brick industry recognizes the need for compliance with state and federal regulations for clean air and the
environment. Air emissions are minimized with controls such as scrubbers installed on kiln exhausts. Dust in plants
Photo 7
Left Storage Tank Captures Used Water from
Manufacturing Process; Water is Cleaned, Cooled
and Moved to Holding Tank for Reuse
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9 | Manufacturing of Brick | Page 7 of 7
is controlled through the use of filtering systems, vacuums, additives and water mists. Mined areas are reclaimed
by replacing overburden and topsoil so the resulting property can be used for a wide variety of functions, including
farmland, residential and commercial sites, and even wetlands.
Current manufacturing processes for brick are similar in scope to those used for the past 3500 years. Over this
period of time, it has been demonstrated that brick are safe and durable products for society. The long service life
of brickwork is a key component of sustainable structures and pavements.
The Brick Industry Association has adopted the following environmental policy statement:
The brick industry recognizes that the stewardship of our planet lies in the hands of our generation. Our
goal is to continually seek out innovative, environmentally friendly opportunities in the manufacturing
process and for the end use of clay brick products. As demonstrated over time, we are committed
to manufacturing products that provide exceptional energy efficiency, durability, recyclability, and low
maintenance with minimal impact on the environment from which they originate. We will ensure that our
facilities meet or exceed state and federal environmental regulations, and we will continue to partner with
building professionals to help them in using our products to create environmentally responsible living and
working spaces for todays and future generations.
SUMMARY
This Technical Note on manufacturing brick is the first in a series covering the manufacturing, classification and
selection of brick. It provides a synopsis of the manufacturing process and discusses the various properties that
are a function of this process. More detailed descriptions of the ceramic properties of brick are not within the
purview of the Brick Industry Association. This type of information is more readily available through the National
Brick Research Center, ceramic engineers and educators.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment and a
basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of the information
contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry Association and
must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. American Institute of Architects, Environmental Resource Guide, The American Institute of Architects,
Canada, 1998.
2. Campbell, J . W. P. and Pryce, W., Brick, A World History, Thames and Hudson, New York, NY, 2003.
2007 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 13
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
9A
October
2007
Specifications for and Classification
of Brick
Abstract: This Technical Note describes the predominant-consensus standard specifications for brick and the various
classifications used in each. Specific requirements including physical properties, appearance features and coring are
described. Additional requirements for each brick specification also are covered.
Key Words: appearance, ASTM standards, brick, chippage, classification, CSA standard, dimensions, distortion, durability,
exposure, grade, physical properties, specification, tolerances, type, use.
Identify the appropriate brick specification for the intended
use
Specify each classification in the specification or verify
that the default classification is valid
Specify each required action of the purchaser and
specifier
Evaluate and specify any optional requirement
Use requirements in consensus-based specifications;
deviate from them only with consideration of effect on
performance and cost
INTRODUCTION
Brick selection is made according to the specific application in which the brick will be used. Standards for brick
cover specific uses of brick and classify the brick by performance characteristics. The performance criteria include
strength, durability and aesthetic requirements. Selection of the proper specification and classification within that
specification, along with proper design and construction, should result in expected performance.
ASTM International (ASTM) publishes the most widely accepted standards on brick. These standards are voluntary
consensus standards that are reviewed and updated periodically to contain the most recent information. All
have been through a thorough review process by a balanced committee of interested ASTM members classified
as producers, users and general interest. All of the model building codes in the United States reference ASTM
standards for brick.
Standards used in Canadian building codes are prepared by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The
process used to prepare and revise CSA standards is similar to ASTMs. The sole CSA standard for brick, A82
Fired Masonry Brick Made from Clay or Shale, is similar in content to the ASTM standards for face brick and
hollow brick. It also includes test methods.
This Technical Note identifies the standards for brick and the specific requirements for its various classifications.
Other Technical Notes in this series address the fundamentals of brick manufacturing and the proper selection of
brick.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 2 of 13
BRICK SPECIFICATIONS
Depending on its use, brick is covered by one of several specifications. See Table 1. Because firebox brick,
chemical resistant brick, sewer and manhole brick, and industrial floor brick are special uses, they will not be
addressed in this Technical Note.
Title of Specification ASTM Designation
1
CSA Designation
2
Building Brick C 62
Facing Brick C 216 A82
Hollow Brick C 652 A82
Thin Veneer Brick Units Made from Clay or Shale C 1088
Pedestrian and Light Traffic Paving Brick C 902
Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick C 1272
Ceramic Glazed Structural Clay Facing Tile, Facing
Brick, and Solid Masonry Units
C 126
Glazed Brick, Single Fired C 1405
Firebox Brick, Residential Fireplaces C 1261
Chemical-Resistant Masonry Units C 279
Sewer and Manhole Brick C 32
Industrial Floor Brick C 410
TABLE 1
Specifications for Brick
1. ASTM International, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428.
2. Canadian Standards Association, 5060 Spectrum Way, Suite 100, Mississauga, Ontario, L4W 5N6 Canada.
Beginning with the 2007a edition of ASTM C 216, an appendix has been added. The appendix is designed to
explain the specification, noting subtleties and relationships that might not otherwise be clear. In many instances
the use of brick is similar to the title of its ASTM specification.
Facing Brick
Facing brick are intended for use in both structural and nonstructural masonry, including veneer, where
appearance is a requirement.
Hollow Brick
Hollow brick are used as either building or facing brick but have a greater void area. Most hollow brick are used
as facing brick in anchored veneer. Hollow brick with very large cores are used in reinforced brickwork and contain
steel reinforcement and grout.
Building Brick
Building brick are intended for use in both structural and nonstructural brickwork where appearance is not a
requirement. Building brick are typically used as a backing material.
Thin Brick
Thin veneer brick have normal face dimensions but a reduced thickness. They are used in adhered veneer
applications.
Paving Brick
Paving brick are intended for use as the wearing surface on clay paving systems. As such they are subject to
pedestrian and light or heavy vehicular traffic.
Glazed Brick
Glazed brick have a ceramic glaze finish fused to the brick body. The glaze can be applied before or after the firing
of the brick body. These brick may be used as structural or facing components in masonry.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 3 of 13
CLASSIFICATIONS
There are several classifications used in each standard. Classifications include grade, class, type, application and
use. The criteria for these classifications may include exposure or use conditions; appearance items; physical
properties needed for performance; tolerances on dimensions and distortion; chippage; and void area.
Brick qualify for a particular classification based on their properties after manufacturing. While most brick can be
manufactured to attain all the attributes desired by a user, certain attributes may be dictated by the production
method, durability classification or appearance classification designated by the user. For example, a molded brick
cannot be made to meet the classification for the tightest dimensional tolerances since the production method uses
a higher percentage of water that may result in greater shrinkage. Brick manufactured by the extrusion process
can be made to meet the classification for tight or loose dimensional tolerances.
When specifying brick each classification should be designated. Some ASTM brick specifications default to a
certain classification if it is not designated. The default classification may not be suitable for the intended use.
Table 2 contains a listing of the classifications in ASTM and CSA brick specifications.
Classification
Durability Appearance Void Area Use
ASTM Specification
C 62
Building Brick
Grade None None None
C 216
Facing Brick
Grade Type None None
C 652
Hollow Brick
Grade Type Class None
C 1088
Thin Veneer Brick
Grade Type None None
C 902
Pedestrian and Light Traffic Paving Brick
Class and Type Application None Type
C 1272
Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick
Type Application None Type
C 126
Ceramic Glazed Facing Brick
None Grade and Type None None
C 1405
Single Fired Glazed Brick
Class Grade and Type Division None
CSA Specification
A82
Fired Masonry Brick
Made from Clay or Shale
Grade Type None
1
None
TABLE 2
Classifications in Specifications for Brick
1. No classification given, but solid, cored and hollow brick are defined. See Void Area.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 4 of 13
Durability
Classification
More Severe
Exposure
Less Severe
Exposure
ASTM Specification
C 62 Building Brick Grade SW MW NW
C 216 Facing Brick Grade SW MW
C 652 Hollow Brick Grade SW MW
C 1088 Thin Veneer Brick Grade Exterior Interior
C 902 Pedestrian and Light Traffic Paving Brick
Class SX MX NX
Type I II III
C 1272 Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick Type F R
C 126 Ceramic Glazed Facing Brick None
C 1405 Single Fired Glazed Brick Class Exterior Interior
CSA Specification
A82 Fired Masonry Brick Made from Clay or Shale Grade Exterior (EG) Interior (IG)
TABLE 3
Durability Classifications
For durability classifications the letters S, M and N in C 62, C 216, C 652 and C 902 indicate the following
exposure conditions:
S indicates severe weathering.
M indicates moderate weathering.
N indicates negligible or no weathering.
Physical Property Requirements. The physical property requirements in most specifications are compressive
strength, water absorption and saturation coefficient. These properties must be determined in accordance with
ASTM C 67, Standard Methods of Sampling and Testing Brick and Structural Clay Tile [Ref. 1] or CSA A82 [Ref.
3]. The minimum compressive strength, maximum water absorption and maximum saturation coefficient are
used in combination to predict the durability of the bricks in use. The saturation coefficient, also referred to as the
C/B ratio, is the ratio of 24-hour cold water absorption to the five-hour boiling absorption. The physical property
requirements for each standard are listed in Table 4.
Some brick are durable but cannot be classified under the physical requirements shown in Table 4. Using
alternates and alternatives in the specifications allows brick that are known to perform well to meet the durability
requirement. A brick qualifying for a classification by an alternate or alternative does not signify that it is of a lower
quality.
The Absorption Alternate is found in ASTM C 62, C 216, C 652, C 1088, C 902 and C 1405. The Freezing
and Thawing Alternative is found in ASTM C 62, C 216, C 652, C 1088, C 902, C 1272 and C 1405. The Low
Weathering Index Alternative is found in ASTM C 62, C 216 and C 1088. CSA A82 includes a freeze-thaw test
as an alternative if the brick does not meet the physical property requirements. Other unit specifications include
alternates as well. These are discussed in the Additional Requirements section.
Absorption Alternate- The saturation coefficient requirement does not apply, provided the cold water absorption of
any single brick of a random sample of five brick does not exceed 8 percent.
Durability and Exposure
Since the environmental and service conditions that brick are subjected to vary, each brick specification classi-
fies brick for its specific durability. The classification is based on the severity of weather and the exposure of the
brick. The classification assigned to the brick is typically based on physical properties of the brick. See Technical
Note 9B for selection of the appropriate level of durability. The durability classifications for each specification are
listed in Table 3.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 5 of 13
Minimum
Compressive
Strength, Gross
Area
1
psi (MPa)
Maximum Cold
Water Absorption,
%
Maximum
Five-Hour Boiling
Absorption, %
Maximum Saturation
Coefficient
Minimum Breaking
Load, lb/in. (kN/mm)
Average
of 5 brick
Individual
Average
of 5 brick
Individual
Average
of 5 brick
Individual
Average
of 5 brick
Individual
Average
of 5 brick
Individual
ASTM Specification and Classification
C 62
Grade
SW
3000
(20.7)
2500
(17.2)
17.0 20.0 0.78 0.80
MW
2500
(17.2)
2200
(15.2)
22.0 25.0 0.88 0.90
NW
1500
(10.3)
1250
(8.6)
No limit No limit No limit No limit
C 216
Grade
SW
3000
(20.7)
2500
(17.2)
17.0 20.0 0.78 0.80
MW
2500
(17.2)
2200
(15.2)
22.0 25.0 0.88 0.90
C 652
Grade
SW
3000
(20.7)
2500
(17.2)
17.0 20.0 0.78 0.80
MW
2500
(17.2)
2200
(15.2)
22.0 25.0 0.88 0.90
C 1088
Grade
Ext. 17.0 20.0 0.78 0.80
Int. 22.0 25.0 0.88 0.90
C 902
Class
SX
8000
[4000]
2
(55.2)
[(27.6)]
2
7000
[3500]
2
(48.3)
[(24.1)]
2
8.0
[16.0]
2
11.0
[18.0]
2
0.78 0.80
MX
3000
(20.7)
2500
(17.2)
14.0 17.0 No limit No limit
NX
3000
(20.7)
2500
(17.2)
No limit No limit No limit No limit
C 1272
Type
F
10,000
(69.0)
8800
(60.7)
6.0 7.0
475
(83)
333
(58)
R
8000
(55.2)
7000
(48.3)
6.0 7.0
C 126
Coring
Vert.
3000
(20.7)
2500
(17.2)

Horiz.
2000
(13.8)
1500
(10.3)

C 1405
Class
Ext.
6000
(41.4)
5600
(34.8)
7.0 0.78 0.80
Int.
3000
(20.7)
2500
(17.2)

CSA Specification and Classification
A82
Ext.
3000
(20.7)
2500
(17.2)
8.0
3
17.0 0.78
3

Int.
2500
(17.2)
2200
(15.2)
22.0 25.0 0.88 0.90
TABLE 4
Physical Properties in Brick Specifications
1. Brick in bearing position or loaded in the same direction as in service.
2. Numbers in brackets are for molded brick and apply provided the requirements for saturation coefficient are met.
3. Either of these requirements must be met, not both.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 6 of 13
Freezing and Thawing Alternative- The requirements for five-hour boiling water absorption and saturation
coefficient do not apply, provided a sample of five brick, meeting the strength requirements, passes the freezing
and thawing test as described in the Rating section of the Freezing and Thawing test procedures of ASTM C 67
with a weight loss not greater than 0.5 percent in dry weight of any individual brick (for Grade SW). Unlike ASTM
C 67, CSA A 82 stipulates that brick must be kept in a frozen state during any interruption of the freeze-thaw test.
Low Weathering Index Alternative- If the brick are intended for use where the weathering index is less than 50
and have a minimum average compressive strength of 2500 psi (17.2 MPa), the requirements given for five-hour
boiling water absorption and for saturation coefficient shall not apply.
Consult the appropriate ASTM specification for specific alternates.
Appearance
Classification related to the appearance may include limits tolerances on dimensions, distortion, out-of-square
and chippage. The appearance classification is established on the size and precision attained in manufacturing.
The classifications for appearance of brick for each specification are listed in Table 5, and requirements for size
variation, distortion and chippage are listed in Table 6, Table 7 and Table 8, respectively. There are no color-related
tolerances in the ASTM standards for brick. Those are dictated by the sample panel or project specification.
Appearance
Classifications
More Stringent
Requirements
Less Stringent
Requirements
ASTM Specification
C 62 Building Brick None
C 216 Facing Brick Type FBX FBS FBA
C 652 Hollow Brick Type HBX HBS HBA HBB
C 1088 Thin Veneer Brick Type TBX TBS TBA
C 902 Pedestrian and Light Traffic
Paving Brick
Application PX PS PA
C 1272 Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick Application PX PS PA
C 126 Ceramic Glazed Facing Brick
Grade SS S
Type II I
C 1405 Single Fired Glazed Brick
Grade SS S
Type II I
CSA Specification
A82 Fired Masonry Brick Made from
Clay or Shale
Type X S A
TABLE 5
Appearance Classifications
For appearance classifications the letters X, S and A have the following meanings:
X indicates extreme or extra control in the criteria.
S indicates standard production.
A indicates architectural or aesthetic criteria that must be specified and in many specifications must be less
stringent than the S designation.
Dimensional Tolerances. Variations in raw materials and the manufacturing process will result in brick that vary
in size. Permitted size variation is based on the brick classification and the relative dimensional range measured.
These permitted variations in size are listed in Table 6A, Table 6B and Table 6C. The variation is plus or minus
from the specified dimension. Size variation becomes important when vertical alignment of brick (stack bond)
is used, when bands of brick from different production runs are combined, or when a short horizontal extent of
brickwork is constructed, such as between closely spaced window openings.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 7 of 13
Specified Dimension or
Average Brick Size
in Job Lot Sample, in. (mm)
Maximum Permissible Variation, in. (mm), plus or minus from:
Column A (for Specified
Dimension)
Column B (for Average Brick Size in Job
Lot Sample)
2
Type FBX Type FBS Type FBX
Type FBS
Smooth
3
Type FBS
Rough
4
3 (76) and under 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/16 (1.6) 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4)
Over 3 to 4 (76 to 102), inclusive 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2)
Over 4 to 6 (102 to 152), inclusive 1/8 (3.2) 3/16 (4.8) 3/32 (2.4) 3/32 (2.4) 3/16 (4.8)
Over 6 to 8 (152 to 203), inclusive 5/32 (4.0) 1/4 (6.4) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 1/4 (6.4)
Over 8 to 12 (203 to 305), inclusive 7/32 (5.6) 5/16 (7.9) 1/8 (3.2) 3/16 (4.8) 5/16 (7.9)
Over 12 to 16 (305 to 406), inclusive 9/32 (7.1) 3/8 (9.5) 3/16 (4.8) 1/4 (6.4) 3/8 (9.5)
TABLE 6A
Dimensional Tolerances for ASTM C 216 and CSA A82
1
1. Dimensional tolerances for Type FBA and A in C 216 and A82,
respectively, shall be as specified by the purchaser, but not more
restrictive than Type FBS and S (Rough), respectively.
2. Lot size shall be determined by agreement between purchaser and
seller. If not specified, lot size shall be understood to include all
brick of one size and color in the job order.
3. Type FBS Smooth brick have relatively fine texture and smooth
edges, including wire cut surfaces. These definitions relate to
dimensional tolerances only.
4. Type FBS Rough bricks are molded brick or extruded brick with tex-
tured, rounded or tumbled edges or faces. These definitions apply
to dimensional tolerances only.
TABLE 6B
Dimensional Tolerances
ASTM
Specification
and
Classification
Maximum Permissible Variation, in. (mm), plus or minus
3 (76) and
under
Over 3 to 4
(102) inclusive
Over 4 to 6
(152) inclusive
Over 6 to 8
(204) inclusive
Over 8 to 12
(306) inclusive
Over 12 to 16
(408) inclusive
C 62 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 3/16 (4.8) 1/4 (6.4) 5/16 (8.0) 3/8 (9.5)
C 652
HBX 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 5/32 (4.0) 7/32 (5.6) 9/32 (7.1)
HBS
and
HBB
3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 3/16 (4.8) 1/4 (6.4) 5/16 (7.9) 3/8 (9.5)
HBA As specified by the purchaser, but not more restrictive than HBS and HBB
C 1088
TBX 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 5/32 (4.0) 7/32 (5.6) 9/32 (7.2)
TBS 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.3) 3/16 (4.8) 1/4 (6.4) 5/16 (8.0) 3/8 (9.5)
TBA As specified by the purchaser
C 126 See ASTM C 126
C 902
and
C 1272
PX 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 7/32 (5.6)
PS 1/8 (3.2) 3/16 (4.8) 1/4 (6.4) 5/16 (8.0)
PA No limit No limit No limit No limit
Specified Dimension
or Average Brick Size
in Job Lot Sample, in. (mm)
Maximum Permissible Variation in Dimensions, in. (mm) plus or minus from:
Column A (for Specified Dimension)
Column B (for Average Brick Size
in Job Lot Sample)
1
Grade S Grade SS Grade S Grade SS
3 (76) and under 1/16 (1.6) 1/16 (1.6) 1/16 (1.6) 1/16 (1.6)
Over 3 to 4 (76-102), inclusive 3/32 (2.4) 1/16 (1.6) 1/16 (1.6) 1/16 (1.6)
Over 4 to 6 (102-152), inclusive 1/8 (3.2) 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/16 (1.6)
Over 6 to 8 (152-203), inclusive 5/32 (4.0) 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/16 (1.6)
Over 8 to 12 (203-305), inclusive 7/32 (5.6) 1/16 (1.6) 1/8 (3.2) 1/16 (1.6)
Over 12 to 16 (305-406), inclusive 9/32 (7.1) 1/16 (1.6) 3/16 (4.8) 1/16 (1.6)
TABLE 6C
Dimensional Tolerances for ASTM C 1405
1. Lot size shall be determined by agreement between purchaser and seller. If not specified, lot size shall be understood to include all brick of
one size and color in the job order.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 8 of 13
Distortion. Permitted distortion, or warpage, of brick is
listed in Table 7. The amount of distortion is based on
the brick specification and face dimension. Distortion
may be convex or concave and may be in the plane of
the wall or perpendicular to it, as illustrated in Figure 1.
Other terms for distortion are bowed or banana
brick. A brick that is over the distortion limitations is
difficult to lay and is easily noticeable in the brickwork.
Maximum Permissible Distortion, in. (mm)
8 (204) and under
Over 8 to 12 (306),
inclusive
Over 12 to 16 (408),
inclusive
ASTM Specification and Classification
C 62 No limit No limit No limit
C 216
FBX 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2)
FBS 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 5/32 (4.0)
FBA As specified by the purchaser
C 652
HBX 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2)
HBS 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 5/32 (4.0)
HBA As specified by the purchaser
C 1088
TBX 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2)
TBS 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) 5/32 (4.0)
TBA As specified by the purchaser
C 902 and
C1272
PX 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2)
PS 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.3) 5/32 (4.0)
PA No limit.
C 126 Special requirements see ASTM C 126
C 1405
SS 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 3/32 (2.4)
S 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2)
CSA Specification and Classification
A82
X (1.5) (2.5) (3.0)
S (2.5) (3.0) (4.0)
A As specified by purchaser, but not more restrictive than Type S (Rough)
TABLE 7
Distortion Tolerances
Concave Surface Convex Surface
Average of
4 Corners
Concave Edge Convex Edge
Maximum
Maximum Maximum
Figure 1
Distortion Measurements
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 9 of 13
Chippage. Brick may be damaged or chipped during packaging, shipping or on the job site. Limitations to the
size and number of chips on individual brick are listed in Table 8. The amount of chippage is based upon the brick
specification and classification.
A delivery of brick may contain up to 5 percent broken brick or brick chipped beyond the limits in Table 8. The
chippage requirements in Table 8 are based on the remaining 95 percent of the shipment. The chips are measured
from an edge or a corner, and the total length of these chips may not be greater than 10 percent of the perimeter
of the face of the brick. Chips are more noticeable on brick that have a surface color different from the body of the
brick. Chips on through-body color brick are less noticeable.
Specification and Type or Application
Percent
Allowed
Chippage in From
Percent
Allowed
Chippage in From
ASTM
C 216
ASTM
C 652
ASTM
C 1088
ASTM
C 902
ASTM
C 1272
CSA
A82
Edge,
in. (mm)
Corner,
in. (mm)
Edge,
in. (mm)
Corner,
in. (mm)
FBX HBX TBX X
95 to
100%
0 to 1/8
(0 to 3.2)
0 to 1/4
(0 to 6.4)
5% or
less
1/8 to 1/4
(3.2 to 6.4)
1/4 to 3/8
(6.4 to 9.5)
FBS
2
HBS
2
TBS
2
S
2
90 to
100%
0 to 1/4
(0 to 6.4)
0 to 3/8
(0 to 9.5)
10% or
less
1/4 to 5/16
(6.4 to 7.9)
3/8 to 1/2
(9.5 to
12.7)
FBS
3
HBS
3
TBS
3
S
3
85 to
100%
0 to 5/16
(0 to 7.9)
0 to 1/2
(0 to 12.7)
15% or
less
5/16 to 7/16
(7.9 to
11.1)
1/2 to 3/4
(12.7 to
9.1)
FBA
HBA
TBA PA PA
4
A As specified by the purchaser
5
HBB
PS
PS
100%
5/16
(7.9)
1/2
(12.7)

PX
PX 100%
1/4
(6.4)
3/8
(9.5)

1. There are no chippage requirements for C 62, C 126 or C 1405.
2. Extruded brick with unbroken natural die finish face and dry-pressed brick.
3. Extruded brick with finished face sanded, combed, scratched, scarified, or broken by mechanical means such as wire cutting or wire brush-
ing, and molded brick.
4. No limit.
5. Not more restrictive than FBS (Textured) in C 216 or HBS (altered).
TABLE 8
Maximum Permissible Range of Chippage
1
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Void Area
In ASTM standards brick are generally classified as solid or hollow. A solid brick is defined as a unit whose net
cross-sectional area in every plane parallel to the bearing surface is 75 percent or more of its gross cross-sectional
area measured in the same plane. Thus, a solid brick has a maximum coring or void area of 25 percent. A hollow
brick is defined as a unit whose net cross-sectional area in every plane parallel to the bearing surface is less than
75 percent of its gross cross-sectional area measured in the same plane. A hollow brick has a minimum coring or
void area greater than 25 percent, and a maximum of 60 percent. Brick are cored or frogged at the option of the
manufacturer.
Cores. Holes in brick less than or equal to 1 square inches (9.68 cm
2
) in cross-sectional area, referred to as
cores, are used to aid in the manufacturing process and shipping of brick. The cores permit better utilization of raw
materials, create more uniform drying and firing of the brick, reduce the amount of fuel necessary to fire the brick
and reduce shipping costs by reducing weight. Additional advantages, such as aiding in mechanical bond in a wall,
easier laying of the brick, etc., also may result from brick manufactured with cores. Cores are found only in brick
manufactured by the extrusion or dry-press process. Limits to the amount of coring allowed in brick, the distance
from a core to a face, and web thickness where applicable are listed in Table 9.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 10 of 13
Cells. Cells are similar to cores except that a cell is larger in minimum dimension and has a cross-sectional
area greater than 1 square inches (9.68 cm2). Some requirements for cells are shown in Table 9. Additional
requirements for cells can be found in ASTM C 652, C 126 and C 1405 and CSA A82.
Frogs. Frogs are depressions in brick, usually located on one bed surface, and are included for the same reasons
as cores and cells. Frogs are found in brick manufactured by the molded process. Panel frogs are limited to a
specified depth and a specified distance from a face. Requirements for panel frogs are listed in Table 9. Deep
frogs are depressions deeper than 3/8 in. (10 mm), and must conform to the requirements for coring, hollow
spaces and void area of the applicable standard.
The Canadian Standards Association takes a different approach. CSA A82 defines a solid brick as one without
cores, cells or frogs deeper than 3/8 in. (10 mm); cored brick as those of which the net cross-sectional area in any
plane parallel to the bed face shall be at least 75 percent of the gross cross-sectional area measured in the same
plane; and hollow brick as brick whose net cross-sectional area in a plane parallel to the bed face is not less than
40 percent and not more than 75 percent of its gross cross-sectional area measured in the same plane. Further,
there is a required minimum dimension of 1/2 in. (6 mm) between cores; 1 in. (13 mm) between cells; and 3/4 in.
(19 mm) to an edge from a core, cell or frog.
ASTM
Specification
Void
Area, %
Cores Frogs Cells
a A b c E e f g h
in.
(mm),
min.
in.
(cm),
max.
in.
(mm),
min.
in.
(mm),
min.
in.
(cm),
max.
in.
(mm),
min.
in.
(mm),
min.
in.
(mm),
min.
in.
(mm),
min.
C 62 < 25
3/4
(19.1)

3/4
(19.1)
3/8
(9.5)
No Requirements for Cells
C 216 < 25
3/4
(19.1)

3/4
(19.1)
3/8
(9.5)
No Requirements for Cells
C 652
2
H40V
> 25,
40
5/8
(16)
1
(9.68)
5/8
(16)
3/8
(9.5)
< 1
(9.68)
3/4
(19.1)
3/4
(19.1)
1/2
(13)

H60V
3
> 40,
60
5/8
(16)
1
(9.68)
5/8
(16)
3/8
(9.5)
> 1
(9.68)
3/4
(19.1)
3/4
(19.1)
1/2
(13)

C 1088 No Requirements for Cores, Frogs or Cells


C 902 No Requirements for Cores, Frogs or Cells
C 1272 Cores and Cells Not Permitted
C 126
4

No Requirements
for Cores or Frogs
> 1
(9.68)
3/4
(19.1)
3/4
(19.1)
1/2
(13)
5
1/2
(13)
C 1405
2

Solid 25
3/4
(19.1)

3/4
(19.1)
3/8
(9.5)
No Requirements for Cells
H40V
> 25,
40
5/8
(16)
1
(9.68)
5/8
(16)
3/8
(9.5)
> 1
(9.68)
3/4
(19.1)
3/4
(19.1)
1/2
(13)

H60V
3
> 40,
60

5/8
(16)
1
(9.68)
5/8
(16)
3/8
(9.5)
1
(9.68)
3/4
(19.1)
3/4
(19.1)
1/2
(13)
g
e
f
h
E
A
a
c
b
1. Deep frogs shall meet coring requirements of the applicable specification (see ASTM C 62, C216, C 652 and C 1405).
2. Cored-shell and double-shell hollow brick shall meet additional coring requirements of applicable specification in ASTM C 652 and C 1405.
3. Based on 3 in. (76 mm) and 4 in. (102 mm) nominal width (for larger dimensions see C 652 and C 1405).
4. Cells shall meet additional requirements of ASTM C 126.
5. Web thickness in cored brick shall meet additional requirements of ASTM C 126.
TABLE 9
Requirements for Void Areas
1
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 11 of 13
Efflorescence
Efflorescence is a crystalline deposit of water-soluble salts that can form on the surface of some brickwork. The
principal objection is an unsightly appearance, though it typically is not harmful to brick. The test for efflorescence
is described in ASTM C 67 and CSA A82. Brick tested under C 67 are given a rating of effloresced or not
effloresced. The specifier must invoke this part of the standard for the requirement of not effloresced to apply.
CSA A82 also includes a rating of slightly effloresced, and it is this rating that must be met if efflorescence testing
is invoked. Requirements on efflorescence are not included in C 62 and C 126.
Strength
Brickwork may be used as a structural material, so there may be instances when it is important to specify a
minimum compressive strength of the brick. This possibility is noted in ASTM C 62, C 216, C 652 and C 1405.
Most brick have compressive strengths considerably higher than the minimum compressive strengths required for
durability and abrasion resistance.
Initial Rate of Absorption
The initial rate of absorption (IRA) is a measure of how quickly the brick will remove water from mortar spread on
it. IRA is not a qualifying property or condition of brick in the ASTM or CSA specifications. IRA values may be of
interest when selecting mortar and in use of the brick on the jobsite. If the purchaser wishes to learn the IRA of the
brick, the IRA test must be requested. Initial rate of absorption information is included in ASTM C 62, C 216, C 652
and C 1405.
Sampling and Testing
All brick under ASTM specifications are sampled and tested in accordance with ASTM C 67. The purchaser
designates the place of selection of the brick for testing when the order is placed. Brick for efflorescence testing
must be sampled at the point of manufacturer. This is because the brick may be contaminated by efflorescing
materials after leaving the brick plant. Brick are sampled and tested for compliance to their specification prior
to use. ASTM C 126 and C 1405 include additional tests for properties of the glaze. These are described in the
following section on Glazed Brick.
CSA A82 includes sampling and test methods as part of the standard.
Facing Brick, ASTM C 216 and CSA A82
An additional tolerance is found in the ASTM standard for solid facing brick specification and in CSA A82. The
amount that the exposed face of a brick can be out-of-square is limited. This is more critical as brick height
increases. The maximum permitted dimension for out-of-square of the exposed face of the brick in C 216 is 1/8 in.
(3.2 mm) for Type FBS brick and 3/32 in. (2.4 mm) for Type FBX brick. Tolerances on out-of-square for Type FBA
brick shall be specified by the purchaser.
CSA A82 contains similar requirements: Type S of 3.0 mm and Type X of 2.5 mm. Tolerances on out-of-square for
Type A brick shall be specified be specified but shall not be more restrictive than for Type S (Rough) brick.
Paving Brick, ASTM C 902 and C 1272
Not only must paving brick conform to the physical properties required in Table 4, but they also must have
additional alternatives for durability and must meet requirements for abrasion resistance.
Alternative Performance Requirements. If information on the performance of brick in a pavement subject to
similar exposure and traffic conditions is documented, then the physical property requirements in Table 4 may be
waived. This is identified as the Performance Alternative.
An optional test for the freeze and thaw test is ASTM C 88 Test Method for Soundness of Aggregates by Use of
Sodium Sulfate. The sulfate soundness test, like the freeze and thaw test, is not required unless the paving brick
do not meet the saturation coefficient and absorption requirements.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 12 of 13
Abrasion Resistance. Since paving brick are used in a horizontal application and are exposed to traffic, they
must meet a specified abrasion limit. Pedestrian and light traffic paving brick (C 902) are assigned a Type by the
traffic or abrasion expected. Type I pavers are exposed to extensive abrasion, such as driveways or public entries.
Type II pavers are exposed to high levels of pedestrian traffic, such as in stores, restaurant floors or exterior
walkways. Type III pavers are exposed to light pedestrian traffic, such as floors or patios in homes.
Heavy vehicular paving brick (C 1272) are assigned a Type depending on their intended installation. Type R
pavers are intended to be set in a mortar or asphalt setting bed supported by an adequate base. Type R pavers
must be at least 2 in. (57.2 mm) thick. Type F pavers are intended to be set in a sand setting bed, with sand
joints, and supported by an adequate base. Type F pavers must be at least 2 in. (66.7 mm) thick. The abrasion
requirements are the same for Type F and Type R pavers.
The abrasion resistance index can be determined in either of two ways: 1) by dividing the absorption by the
compressive strength and multiplying by 100, or 2) by determining the volume abrasion loss in accordance with
ASTM C 418 Test Method for Abrasion Resistance of Concrete by Sandblasting. The abrasion requirements are
listed in Table 10.
ASTM Specification Traffic Type Abrasion Index, Max.
Volume Abrasion Loss,
Max. (cm
3
/cm
2
)
C 902 Pedestrian and
Light Traffic Paving Brick
Type I 0.11 1.7
Type II 0.25 2.7
Type III 0.50 4.0
C 1272 Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick Types F and R 0.11 1.7
TABLE 10
Abrasion Resistance Requirements for Pavers
Glazed Brick, ASTM C 126 and C 1405
ASTM C 126 and C 1405 are specifications for glazed brick and contain requirements for properties of the glaze.
These properties include imperviousness, opacity, resistance to fading, resistance to crazing, flame spread, fuel
contribution and smoke density, toxic fumes, hardness, and abrasion resistance.
SUMMARY
This Technical Note identifies brick specifications used in the United States and Canada. Classification
designations for each brick specification and the criteria used to qualify for them are explained. Potential
performance issues can be minimized by designating the proper brick specification and applicable classifications
based on the environmental and service conditions of the project.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available
data and the experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein should be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of the
information discussed in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 9A | Specifications for and Classification of Brick | Page 13 of 13
REFERENCES
1. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 2006:
Volume 04.02 Concrete and Aggregate
ASTM C 88 Test Method for Soundness of Aggregates by Use of Sodium Sulfate
ASTM C 418 Test Method for Abrasion Resistance of Concrete by Sandblasting
Volume 4.05 Chemical Resistant Nonmetallic Materials; Vitrified Clay Pipe; Concrete Pipe; Fiber-Reinforced
Cement Products; Mortars and Grouts; Masonry; Precast Concrete
C 32, Standard Specification for Sewer and Manhole Brick (Made From Clay or Shale)
C 62, Standard Specification for Building Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made From Clay or Shale)
C 67, Standard Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Brick and Structural Clay Tile
C 126, Standard Specification for Ceramic Glazed Structural Clay Facing Tile, Facing Brick, and Solid
Masonry Units
C 216, Standard Specification for Facing Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made from Clay or Shale)
C 279, Standard Specification for Chemical-Resistant Masonry Units
C 410, Standard Specification for Industrial Floor Brick
C 652, Standard Specification for Hollow Brick (Hollow Masonry Units Made from Clay or Shale)
C 902, Standard Specification for Pedestrian and Light Traffic Paving Brick
C 1088, Standard Specification for Thin Veneer Brick Units Made from Clay or Shale
C 1261, Standard Specification for Firebox Brick for Residential Fireplaces
C 1272, Standard Specification for Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick
C 1405, Standard Specification for Glazed Brick (Single Fired, Brick Units)
2. Borchelt, J. G., Danforth, L.. Jr., and Hunsicker, R., Specifying Brick: Getting what you want for appearance and
function, The Construction Specifier, Construction Specifications Institute, Alexandria, VA, January 2006, pp.
20-28.
3. CSA A82, Fired Masonry Brick Made from Clay or Shale, Canadian Standards Association, Mississauga,
Ontario, Canada, 2006.

Technical Notes 9B - Manufacturing, Classification, and Selection of Brick, Selection, Part 3
Revised December 2003
Abstract: This Technical Notes addresses the selection of brick. Evaluation of the properties and applications of brick
determines the durability, appearance, and impression of a project. Information is provided regarding aesthetics, cost
and availability.
Key Words: abrasion, absorption, aesthetics, availability, brick, color, compressive strength, cost, durability, size,
texture.
INTRODUCTION
The selection of brick is important in that it determines a project's durability and appearance, and results in a lasting
impression. It is necessary to identify which qualities and properties of brick are appropriate to consider in selecting a
brick. Brick with a wide variety of strength, color, texture, size, shape and cost are available. The owner or designer
must decide which characteristics of brick are most critical. This selection process can dictate the success of any
project.
This Technical Notes addresses the properties and characteristics which must be considered in the selection of the
appropriate brick for a project. Other Technical Notes in this series provide the fundamentals of brick manufacturing and
classification of brick.
GENERAL
Brick selection is based on a number of factors. Not only are aesthetics and durability important, but strength,
absorption, availability and cost are important to the owner, designers and contractors. The selection process can be
difficult since each group is trying to satisfy different requirements. Typically, the final selection is based on a
compromise from all parties involved.
Aesthetics
The use of brick as a building material dates back centuries. Because of brick's enduring qualities and limitless
appearances, designers can satisfy their creative styles with brick. Brick is readily available in many sizes, colors,
textures and shapes. These can be adapted to achieve virtually any desired style or expression.
A variety of common brick sizes are shown in Figure 1. Brick's small module can be related to the scale of the wall.
These sizes can be combined in such a way as to create different appearances and patterns. Not only does brick size
influence scale and appearance, but the size of brick influences wall cost because larger units require fewer brick,
normally resulting in less labor. When specifying the size of units, dimensions should be listed in the following order:
thickness (width) by height by length.
9b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t9b.htm
1 of 8 9/13/2009 12:40 PM
Brick Sizes (Nominal Dimensions)
FIG. 1
Brick manufacturers also offer a wide variety of colors to choose from. Units whose colors range from reds and
burgundies to whites and buffs are manufactured today. Many manufacturers produce over 100 colors. Many of these
color variations are created during the firing process. Temperature variations and the order in which the units are
stacked in the kiln determine shades of light and dark. Ceramic glazes, slurries or sand coatings can be applied to the
surface to achieve colors not possible with some clays. The possibilities of using units of contrasting colors in bands or
other patterns are endless. Sample panels, or mockups, can aid in selecting the desired color by showing the finished
appearance.
Another aesthetic feature to consider when selecting brick is the texture. Textures on brick can be smooth, wirecut
(velour), stippled, tumbled, brushed, rolled, and more. The texture interacts with light and creates differing and
interesting shadows.
Unique design features can easily be achieved by using special brick shapes. Brick can be molded and formed into any
shape, from simple sloped sill shapes to fancy watertable brick. For most manufacturers, molded shapes are easier to
produce than extruded shapes, because the molded, or soft-mud process is more adaptable to making brick shapes than
the extruded process. Making very large shapes can be difficult in either process because of problems with proper
drying and firing.
Physical Properties
There are many physical properties which may influence the selection of brick. Some of these include durability,
absorption, compressive strength and abrasion resistance. This Technical Notes will provide a basic understanding of
these properties to aid in selection of the proper brick. Physical properties required for proper performance are given in
the appropriate American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification for brick.
Durability. Currently, there are two accepted methods for demonstrating durability under ASTM standards: 1)
durability as predicted by compressive strength, absorption, and saturation coefficient, or 2) durability as determined by
compressive strength and passing 50 cycles of the freeze and thaw test. Criteria in each ASTM specification determine
grade or class designations. Because of the varying climates and applications of brick, specific physical properties are
required. Brick are classified into these grades or classes according to their resistance to freezing when wet. Table 1
gives the recommended grade of facing, building and hollow brick, based on weathering index and exposure. Fig. 2
indicates the approximate weathering indices of areas across the U.S. Technical Notes 9A describes this in more detail.
Most manufacturers make brick to meet the designation for the most severe weathering exposure, SW or SX, so they
9b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t9b.htm
2 of 8 9/13/2009 12:40 PM
may ship brick to all parts of the country. Some manufacturers produce brick complying only with the designation for
moderate weathering, MW or MX. Grade NW or NX brick are typically confined to interior applications, or where they
are protected from water absorption and freezing. Brick manufacturers can furnish certification that their product will
meet a certain grade or class.

Weathering Indices in the United States
FIG. 2


Absorption. Absorption can be broken into two distinct categories - absorption and initial rate of absorption (IRA). Both
are important in selecting the appropriate brick. Absorption of a brick is expressed as a percentage, and defined as the
ratio of the weight of water that is taken up into its body divided by the dry weight of the unit. Water absorption is
measured in two ways: 1) submerging the test specimen in room temperature water for a period of 24 hours, and 2)
9b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t9b.htm
3 of 8 9/13/2009 12:40 PM
submerging the test specimen in boiling water for five hours. These are known as the 24 hour cold water absorption, and
the 5 hour boiling water absorption, respectively. These two are used to calculate the saturation coefficient by dividing
the 24 hour cold water absorption by the 5 hour boiling. The saturation coefficient is used to help predict durability.
The initial rate of absorption (IRA) or suction is the rate of how much water a brick draws (sucks) in during the first
minute after contact of the bed surface with water. The suction has a direct bearing on the bond between brick and
mortar. It has been shown by test results that when a brick has high suction (over 30 grams/min/30 in [30
grams/min./194 cm
2
]), a strong, watertight joint may not be achieved. Therefore, high suction brick should be wetted
prior (3 hrs to 24 hrs) to laying to reduce the suction and allow the brick's surface to dry. Very low suction brick should
be covered and kept dry on the jobsite. Brick manufacturers can furnish values of IRA and saturation coefficient of the
selected units. The material specifier or supplier should inform the mason contractor about the suction of the brick prior
to construction.
Compressive Strength. The strength of a unit is used to determine durability and also compressive strength of the
resulting brick masonry. Typically, most materials are judged on the basis of strength. However, it is important not to
sacrifice properties of durability and bond for higher compressive strengths. Most brick currently produced have
strengths ranging from 3,000 psi (20.7MPa) to over 20,000 psi (138 MPa), averaging around 10,000 psi (68.9 MPa).
Achieving sufficient compressive strength with brick is seldom a problem.
Abrasion Resistance. This property is important when brick is used as paving. The resistance to abrasion is affected
by the degree of firing and by the nature of the raw material. Abrasion resistance is predicted in two manners. It is
evaluated in terms of cold water absorption and compressive strength. These two properties produce an abrasion index
which is used to determine the type of traffic which is suitable for a particular brick. Alternately, volume loss is
determined by sand blasting the paver surface.
Application
A building must perform the functions for which it is designed. The materials selected for a project must also perform as
intended. The designer must consider all factors which a wall or material must withstand. Some of the more important
factors include moisture penetration, temperature variations and structural loads. No one standard assembly is suitable
for all localities, occupancies, or designs; therefore, the designer must evaluate each factor and its relative effect on the
selection of a material or assembly.
Moisture Penetration. The use of quality materials and workmanship is essential in obtaining a satisfactory degree of
water resistance. When water passes through brick masonry walls, it invariably does so through separations or cracks
between the brick units and the mortar. It is virtually impossible for significant amounts of water to pass directly through
a brick unit. Therefore, brick units which develop a complete bond with mortar offer the best moisture resistance. Brick
and mortar properties should be compared to provide compatible materials which result in more watertight walls.
Currently, there are no requirements for the degree of water resistance of a wall.
Temperature Variations. Brick must withstand daily temperature cycles and seasonal extremes (-30F to 120F [-34C
to 49C]) depending on location, throughout its life. Thermal expansion and contraction of brick is not critical to the
selection of brick, but it is important to designers and this movement should be provided for in design and construction.
Brick also withstands temperature extremes in fires. Since brick is a fired material, it will not burn and acts as an
excellent barrier to fire because it is non-combustible.
Structural Loads. Ability to withstand either gravity or lateral loads relies heavily on brick strength, mortar strength and
dimensions of the wall assembly. Compressive strength requirements found in the ASTM specifications for brick are
based on durability performance. Structural analysis may require a higher compressive strength in order to resist the
applied loads. Compressive strength of masonry may be a governing criterion in loadbearing or reinforced brick masonry
projects.
Cost
Material selection is often based on cost, usually initial cost only. Although initial cost is important, lifecycle cost is a
better tool for making critical decisions. When deciding between different materials, all costs involved including labor and
maintenance costs, future value and life expectancy should be considered.
The selling price of brick is governed by many factors, including manufacturing methods and appearance of the unit.
2
9b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t9b.htm
4 of 8 9/13/2009 12:40 PM
When considering different brick, one must take into account shipping costs. Since most prices quoted are plant prices,
distance between the manufacturing plant and the jobsite is a major determinant of these shipping costs. Brick
manufacturers and distributors can supply brick prices and shipping prices. Brick price is only one part of the in-place
costs. Labor and overhead costs are approximately twice the brick and mortar costs. Many of the Masonry Institutes
throughout the country provide cost comparisons between different materials.
Availability
The availability of brick fluctuates with the time of the year and current construction trends and demands. On the
average, brick production time runs about 5 days, from pugging of the clay to the finished, fired product. This can
change depending on many factors such as variations in raw materials, forming process, and kiln types. Many brick
manufacturers have stockpiles of brick, but usually only a small quantity of each brick type. This may satisfy smaller
jobs, but for large projects requiring large quantities of brick, a special production run must be made for the job. Most
manufacturers have a set schedule as to when they produce a certain brick shade. It is at this time that the size of the
run will be increased to accommodate the large order. It is wise to determine the brick's availability from the
manufacturer.
It is best to purchase all brick from the same production run because there are typically slight color variations between
runs. All manufacturers have quality controls to keep this at a minimum.

SUMMARY
This Technical Notes has described which characteristics of brick are important in selecting a particular unit. There is a
wide selection of brick from which to choose. Selecting the appropriate material is important to the project's longevity
and appearance.
The remainder of this Technical Notes is "Recommended Practices Relating to the Responsibilities and Relationships in
Brick Construction". This document, developed jointly by the Brick Industry Association and the Mason Contractors
Association of America, explains some potential problems that may occur during and after the selection process, and
how to avoid them.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Notes are based on the available data and the experience of
the technical staff of the Brick Industry Association. The information and recommendations contained herein must be
used along with good technical judgment and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions
on the use of the information discussed in this Technical Notes are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
More detailed information on subjects discussed here can be found in the following publications:
1.Brick Industry Association Technical Notes 7 Series - Water Resistance of Brick Masonry
2.ASTM Standard Specifications for Brick.

Most brick construction projects are completed with the result that the building owner, architect, general contractor,
mason contractor, brick distributor, and brick manufacturer are completely satisfied with the final product. On rare
occasions, however, a mistake is made or a misunderstanding occurs that spoils what would otherwise be a rewarding
and profitable experience for all concerned.
Recognizing this fact, representatives from the manufacturing, sales and distribution, and installation segments have
9b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t9b.htm
5 of 8 9/13/2009 12:40 PM
developed these Recommended Practices which identify the areas in which misunderstandings are most likely to
occur and suggest procedures to be followed that will minimize the effects when mistakes do occur.
The Recommended Practices Relating to the Responsibilities and Relationships in Brick Construction was developed
through the cooperative efforts of the Brick Industry Association and the Mason Contractors Association of America.
Draft copies of the complete document were distributed to other construction industry associations for review and,
where appropriate, their advice was included in these final Recommended Practices.
INTRODUCTION
The purpose of these recommended practices is to prevent misunderstandings that might result from improper sampling
procedures, ordering, or examination of the field work.
As in all business relationships, there are responsibilities among all parties involved - manufacturers, distributors, general
contractors, mason contractors, construction managers, architects, engineers, owners and/or their respective
representatives or agents - in producing an acceptable masonry project. It is to the mutual advantage of all concerned
that problems, when encountered, be identified and addressed in a timely manner.
Contract Allowances
The practice of using only dollar value allowances for brick in construction documents is not recommended because this
method does not provide sufficient information to make an informed bid. Items such as special shapes often are too
complicated to use an allowance. However, if an allowance is used, the following variables should be included: unit
specification (ASTM standard), grade, type and size (width by height by length). The construction documents should
clearly state whether taxes, delivery, handling, and/or installation are included in the allowance. In the initial
establishment of an allowance, the parties should take into consideration the extra cost of special shapes and any other
special units required by the project.
Ordering
All brick orders should be submitted in writing by the purchaser to the distributor or manufacturer, whichever is
appropriate. The order should include and clearly identify the following:

A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
Job name and type;
Location;
Owner;
Architect;
General contractor and/or mason contractor;

F. Material quantities, including types and quantities of special or non-standard items, should be accurately
determined so that the order may be shipped in its entirety. Brick should be described by specified dimensions
(width by height by length) rather than by generic or trade name;
G. Unit prices, including conditions such as escalation of prices, freight rates and terms;
H. Delivery schedules, including anticipated start date and quantity of each shipment;
I.
Other information pertinent to the order, such as a copy of that portion of the specifications which applies to the
brickwork.
If special shapes are required, detailed large-scale drawings should be supplied by the purchaser through appropriate
channels at the earliest possible time.
Most orders are processed through a chain of purchasing which begins with the signing of the owner-general contractor
agreement and ends with the receipt of an order by the manufacturer. Other parties may be involved in this process as
intermediaries or secondary parties, including, among others, the owner's representative, the general contractor, the
mason contractor and the distributor. Each party in the chain should endeavor to promptly process the order and give
approvals as necessary so as to cause minimal delays in the schedule of the project. Upon receipt of the order, the
manufacturer typically acknowledges the order and should promptly advise the parties through the chain of purchasing
about any unacceptable or impractical terms. The acknowledgement should then be thoroughly scrutinized by the
responsible parties.
It should also be understood by all parties that by the placement of a written order the purchaser incurs the specific
payment responsibility for all special and/or non-standard items.
9b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t9b.htm
6 of 8 9/13/2009 12:40 PM
Certificates and Testing
Contract documents may require a letter of certification from the manufacturer to verify that the quality and
characteristics of the brick meet ASTM standards. Test reports from an independent testing laboratory, supplied by the
manufacturer, should be considered current if they are 24 months old or less. The cost of such tests is borne by the
seller. If testing of the production run that is intended for shipment to the project is required, the cost of testing is
typically borne as follows: if the results of the tests show that the brick do not conform to the requirements of the
product specification, the cost is typically borne by the seller; if the results of the tests show that the brick conform to the
requirements of the products specification, the cost is typically borne by the purchaser. The cost of any additional testing
is typically borne by the purchaser.
All testing shall be done in accordance with ASTM procedures and specifications.
Selection and Sampling
Brick is subject to variations in color between production runs and occasionally within the same run. Modern
manufacturing processes encompass the use of automatic equipment, which may also result in minor differences in color
and texture of the brick.
The selection of the size, color, texture and type of brick is the responsibility of the owner and/or owner's representative.
Usually, small samples are used for the preliminary selection and may not exactly represent the complete range of colors
and textures encountered in production runs.
Sometimes, a small sample is sufficient for determining the final selection. However, when large quantities of brick are to
be erected, the prudent owner, general contractor, mason contractor, distributor and/or manufacturer should direct or
request that the final selection be made from a field panel (also known as a field sample or mock-up). A field panel is
typically constructed as a freestanding element that will later be torn down when the project is complete. Usually, a
quantity of brick equal to 100 modular-size brick (approximately 15 square feet) will be used for the construction of the
freestanding field panel.
If an owner or the owner's representative requires the field panel, the distributor or manufacturer may not have control
over the actual erection that is frequently performed by a mason contractor. The party or parties who have control over
the work of the mason contractor (either by direct contract or by other powers) should take appropriate action during the
erection of the field panel to assure that no additions or deletions are made to the brick supplied by the distributor and
manufacturer, unless written approval has been received from the manufacturer for such a change.
Field panels should be constructed from the production run that is intended for shipment to the project. In the event that
the field panel has to be constructed for inspection and final selection before the production run for that project, the
owner and the manufacturer should agree in writing upon such a use. The manufacturer may reserve the right to
resample from the actual run before shipment commences. The owner or owner's representative should inspect and
approve the new panel.
When the field panel has been formally approved, it is the manufacturer's responsibility to provide brick as represented in
the field panel. A strap or control sample may be retained at the plant.
Typically, the general contractor and mason contractor are responsible for preserving and maintaining the integrity of the
field panel which is considered the project standard for bond, mortar, workmanship and appearance and as the standard
for comparison until the masonry has been completed and accepted by the owner or the owner's representative. If the
owner or owner's representative elects not to have a field panel erected, the first 100 square feet of actual construction
shall serve as the field panel.
Inspection and Examination
The general contractor or mason contractor normally receives the brick when they are delivered to the job site. The
general contractor or mason contractor should properly protect the brick from the weather and damage. It is critical that
the contractor inspect the brick before they are placed in the wall. If there are any discrepancies, the manufacturer or
distributor should be notified immediately.
The owner or the owner's representative is responsible for acceptance of the work and, therefore, should inspect, as
necessary, while the work progresses. This is especially critical at the start of the project to ensure that the color,
texture and workmanship are representative of the field panel and are acceptable.
9b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t9b.htm
7 of 8 9/13/2009 12:40 PM
The selling party, whether the manufacturer or distributor should visit the job site, as necessary, and, in addition, should
be available for meetings and consultation in the event the owner or the owner's representative discovers a problem.
In the event the work does not meet with the approval of the owner or the owner's representative, the owner should
immediately notify the general contractor, and appropriate action should be taken to correct the problem. If necessary,
this may require that the work be stopped and that all interested parties meet to resolve the problem.
References
Brick Industry Association, 11490 Commerce Park Dr., Reston, VA 20191, (703) 620-0010, www.gobrick.com.
Mason Contractors Association of America, 33 S. Roselle Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60193, (800) 536-2225,
www.masonryshowcase.com.
9b http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t9b.htm
8 of 8 9/13/2009 12:40 PM
2009 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 11
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
10
February
2009
Dimensioning and Estimating Brick
Masonry
Abstract: This Technical Note presents information for determining the basic layout of brick masonry walls, including both
structural and veneer applications. Modular and non-modular brick masonry is discussed, including overall dimensioning of
masonry walls using various brick unit sizes. Finally, guidelines are presented to aid the designer in estimating the amount of
materials needed for brick masonry.
Key Words: actual dimension, construction, estimating, modular masonry, nominal dimension, size, specified dimension.
Brick and Mortar Joint Sizes:
Specify brick using standardized nomenclature and
specified size (width by height by length)
For modular brick, specify mortar joint thicknesses such
that when added to the specified brick size, the intended
modular dimensions result
When possible, select brick size to minimize cutting
Bond Pattern:
Select one-half running bond for applications when brick
width is one-half of brick length; select one-third running
bond when brick width is one-third of brick length
Dimensioning:
When using modular brick sizes, use multiples of
brick dimension plus mortar joint to determine nominal
dimensions
For horizontal dimensions of elements longer than four
brick lengths, use nominal dimensions as intended
constructed dimensions
When nominal dimensions are used on plans but are
not intended to be used for construction, note plans
accordingly
Estimating:
Use wall area method and tables to determine number
of brick and quantity of mortar per wall area
Modify brick estimates for bond pattern, breakage and
waste
Modify mortar estimates for bond pattern, collar joints
and waste
Include partial brick in estimates to maintain bond at
corners
Determine approximate mortar material quantities based
on brick size and bond pattern
INTRODUCTION
Brick are made in a number of sizes and laid in a variety of patterns. Most patterns of brickwork will adhere
to a common module that facilitates the dimensioning of the brickwork and any masonry openings. Generally,
designers can minimize the number of cuts of whole brick by dimensioning to a module. Knowing the size of the
brick and bond pattern will allow an estimate of the number of brick and amount of mortar needed for the project.
This Technical Note presents information to help the designer to choose a brick size, lay out modular dimensions
using the chosen size, and develop a materials estimate for brick and mortar.
Metric Measurements
Throughout this Technical Note, dimensions are based on the inch-pound system with conversions given for
the metric system. The measurements and dimensions correspond to brick manufactured primarily in the United
States to a typical module of 4 in. (102 mm). Brick manufactured for projects requiring metric dimensions typically
conform to a module of 100 mm (3.94 in.). Although the principles presented here are the same for either system,
care should be used when using the conversions given here for metric modular units and construction.
BRICK SIZES
Brick is a building material with a human scale. Brick sizes have varied over the centuries but have always been
similar to present-day sizes. Some sizes were developed to meet specific design, production or construction
needs. For example, larger brick were developed to increase bricklaying economy, and thinner brick help conserve
resources.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 2 of 11
Brick Orientation
A brick has three dimensions: width (sometimes
referred to as thickness), height and length. Although
brick can be laid in six different orientations (see
Figure 1), these dimensions as referenced apply
to a brick laid as a stretcher. Height and length are
sometimes called face dimensions, because these are
the dimensions exposed when the brick is laid as a
stretcher.
Brick Dimensions
There are three different sets of dimensions used
with brick: nominal, specified and actual. Each must
be used with care and accuracy to avoid confusion
during design and construction.
Nominal dimensions. Nominal dimensions apply
to modular brick and are the result of the specified
dimension of the brick plus the intended thickness of
its intended mortar joint. Generally, these dimensions
will fall into round numbers to produce modules
of 4 in. or 8 in. for imperial units or 100 mm for SI units. They are also a quick way to refer to a given brick size
without having to include fractions.
Specified dimensions. Specified dimensions are the anticipated manufactured dimensions of the brick, without
consideration for mortar, which are to be used in project specifications and purchase orders. They are also used
by the structural engineer in rational design of brick masonry. In non-modular construction, only the specified
dimensions are used; thus the absence of corresponding nominal dimensions in Table 2.
Actual dimensions. Actual dimensions are the measurements of the brick as manufactured. Generally the actual
dimensions will be within a tolerance of the specified dimensions. The allowable tolerances are dependent upon
the type and size of the brick and are given within the applicable ASTM standard specifications, such as those in
ASTM C216, Standard Specification for Facing Brick and C652, Standard Specification for Hollow Brick [Ref. 1].
Bond Pattern
For most brick sizes, one-half running bond is the basic pattern when laying a wall or pavement; i.e.,
approximately half of the bricks length overlaps the brick below. This pattern is the most frequently used pattern
in homes, schools and offices. However, some sizes lend themselves best to other bond patterns. As an example,
a utility-sized brick has a nominal length three times its nominal thickness. At corners, where the thickness of the
wythe is exposed as the brickwork turns the corner, laying a one-half running bond with utility-sized brick would
require cutting at least one brick in every course to maintain bond around the corner. So for utility-sized brick, one-
third running bond is much easier to install. These two patterns, as well as some of the more historic patterns that
use headers to tie together multiple wythes of masonry, are presented in greater detail in Technical Note 30.
Modular and Non-Modular Brick
Modular brick are sized such that the specified dimension plus the intended mortar joint thickness equal a
modular dimension. Generally, modular dimensions are whole numbers without fractions that result in modules of
4 in. or 8 in. for imperial units or 100 mm for SI units. A modular brick has a set of nominal, specified and actual
dimensions as referenced above. A non-modular brick has a set of specified and actual dimensions but does not
have nominal dimensions.
Brick are available in many sizes and are referred to by many different names, depending on region. In addition,
the name of a brick and its size, whether modular or non-modular, can vary depending on the manufacturer.
Modular brick and their nominal and specified dimensions are shown in Table 1 and Figure 2. Non-modular brick
and their specified sizes are shown in Table 2 and Figure 3.
Stretcher
Sailor
Header
Rowlock
Stretcher Soldier
Rowlock
Exposed faces shaded.
Figure 1
Brick Positions in a Wall
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 3 of 11
2 / " - 3"
3
4
2 / " - 2 / "
5
8
3
4
9 / " - 9 / "
5
8
3
4
8"
2 / " - 2 / "
3
4
13
16
2 / "
1
4
3 / "- 3 / "
1
2
5
8
8 "
Standard
Engineer
Standard
3 / "- 3 / "
1
2
5
8
Closure
Standard
8"
3 / "- 3 / "
1
2
5
8
3 / "- 3 / "
1
2
5
8
2 / " - 3"
3
4
2 / "
3
4
7 / " - 8"
5
8
King Queen
3"
2 / " - 2 / "
5
8
3
4
8 / "
5
8
4"
16"
4"
4"
12"
4"
Utility
16"
8"
Meridian
16"
8"
16"
4"
16"
4"
8"
Double Through-
Wall Meridian
8"
8-in. Through-
Wall Meridian
6"
6-in. Through-
Wall Meridian
4"
Double
Meridian
3 / "
1
5
12"
2 / "
2
3
12"
2
12"
4"
Norman
4"
Engineer
Norman
Roman
4"
8"
4"
8"
4"
3 / "
1
5
4"
Closure
Modular
Modular
Engineer
Modular
2 / "
2
3
8"
4"
12"
8"
4"
6"
12"
4"
12"
6"
3 / "
1
5
8"
8"
4"
8"
4"
6"
16"
4"
2 / "
2
3
Figure 2
Modular Brick Sizes (Nominal Dimensions)
Figure 3
Non-modular Brick Sizes (Specified Dimensions)
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 4 of 11
TABLE 1
Modular Brick Sizes
Brick Designation
1
Nominal Dimensions, in. (mm) Joint
Thickness,
3

in. (mm)
Specified Dimensions,
4
in. (mm)
Vertical
Coursing
W H L W H L
Modular 4 (102) 2 (68) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
2 (57)
7 (194)
7 (191)
3C = 8 in.
(203 mm)
Engineer Modular 4 (102) 3
1
5 (81) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
2
13
16 (71)
2 (70)
7 (194)
7 (191)
5C = 16 in.
(406 mm)
Closure Modular 4 (102) 4 (102) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
3 (92)
3 (89)
7 (194)
7 (191)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)

2
4 (102) 6 (152) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
5 (143)
5 (140)
7 (194)
7 (191)
2C = 12 in.
(305 mm)

2
4 (102) 8 (203) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
7 (194)
7 (191)
7 (194)
7 (191)
1C = 8 in.
(203 mm)
Roman 4 (102) 2 (51) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
1 (41)
1 (38)
11 (295)
11 (292)
2C = 4 in.
(102 mm)
Norman 4 (102) 2 (68) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
2 (57)
11 (295)
11 (292)
3C = 8 in.
(203 mm)
Engineer Norman 4 (102) 3
1
5 (81) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
2
13
16 (71)
2 (70)
11 (295)
11 (292)
5C = 16 in.
(406 mm)
Utility 4 (102) 4 (102) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
3 (92)
3 (89)
11 (295)
11 (292)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)

2
6 (152) 3
1
5 (81) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
5 (143)
5 (140)
2
13
16 (71)
2 (70)
11 (295)
11 (292)
5C = 16 in.
(406 mm)

2
6 (152) 4 (102) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
5 (143)
5 (140)
3 (92)
3 (89)
11 (295)
11 (292)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)

2
8 (203) 4 (102) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
7 (194)
7 (191)
3 (92)
3 (89)
11 (295)
11 (292)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)

2
4 (102) 2 (68) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
2 (57)
15 (397)
15 (394)
3C = 8 in.
(203 mm)
Meridian 4 (102) 4 (102) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
3 (92)
3 (89)
15 (397)
15 (394)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)
Double Meridian 4 (102) 8 (203) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
7 (194)
7 (191)
15 (397)
15 (394)
1C = 8 in.
(203 mm)
6-in. Through-Wall
Meridian
6 (152) 4 (102) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
5 (143)
5 (140)
3 (92)
3 (89)
15 (397)
15 (394)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)
8-in. Through-Wall
Meridian
8 (203) 4 (102) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
7 (194)
7 (191)
3 (92)
3 (89)
15 (397)
15 (394)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)
Double Through-
Wall Meridian
8 (203) 8 (203) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
7 (194)
7 (191)
7 (194)
7 (191)
15 (397)
15 (394)
1C = 8 in.
(203 mm)
1. Some manufacturers may use a brick designation different from that shown.
2. No brick designation is provided due to inadequate consensus among manufacturers.
3. Common joint sizes used with length and width dimensions. Actual bed joint thicknesses vary based on vertical coursing and actual brick
height.
4. Specied dimensions may vary within this range from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Although a size not listed in Table 1 or Table 2 might be desired for a specific project, special sizes are typically
avoided where possible in order to not increase costs unnecessarily. The use of specified dimensions when
ordering and specifying brick is strongly recommended, since a brick name can vary from manufacturer to
manufacturer, and a non-modular brick will not have nominal dimensions. To avoid confusion, specify brick using
the stretcher position with width first, followed by height, then length. In other words, a modular brick would be
specified as 3 in. 2 in. 7 in. (92 mm 57 mm 194 mm).
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 5 of 11
MODULAR MASONRY
There are relationships between the width, height and
length of brick that were developed as brick masonry
construction began. The most common of these
dimensional relationships are:
two brick widths plus one mortar joint
equal one brick length, and
three brick heights plus two mortar joints
equal one brick length.
Use of these relationships allows corners and
openings in brick walls to be constructed with little
waste and limited cutting of brick. These relationships
allow rowlocks and headers to tie adjacent wythes
together and courses of brick in different orientations
to align vertically (see Photo 1). This has given
rise to the rich variety of detailing that is part of the
architectural vernacular of brickwork.
Because of greater ease in design and construction,
the vast majority of contemporary brickwork uses
modular-sized brick and modular dimensioning.
The most common modular dimension system for
brickwork utilizes a 4 in. (102 mm) grid. The 4 in.
(102 mm) grid is used in modular coordination
between brick and concrete masonry units [Ref. 1]
and fits the modular dimensions of other construction
materials.
TABLE 2
Non-Modular Brick Sizes
Brick Designation
1
Joint
Thickness,
3

in. (mm)
Specified Dimensions,
4
in. (mm)
Vertical
Coursing W H L
Queen
(9.5)
(12.7)
2 (70)
3 (76)
2 (70)
7 (194)
8 (203)
5C = 16 in.
(406 mm)
King
(9.5)
(12.7)
2 (70)
3 (76)
2 (67)
2 (70)
9 (244)
9 (248)
5C = 16 in.
(406 mm)

2 (9.5)
(12.7)
3 (76)
2 (67)
2 (70)
8 (219)
5C = 16 in.
(406 mm)
Standard
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
2 (57) 8 (203)
3C = 8 in.
(203 mm)
Engineer Standard
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
2
13
16 (71)
2 (70)
8 (203)
5C = 16 in.
(406 mm)
Closure Standard
(9.5)
(12.7)
3 (92)
3 (89)
3 (92)
3 (89)
8 (203)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)
1. Some manufacturers may use a brick designation different from that shown.
2. No brick designation is provided due to inadequate consensus among manufacturers.
3. Common joint sizes used with length and width dimensions. Actual bed joint thicknesses vary based on vertical coursing
and actual brick height.
4. Specied dimensions may vary within this range from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Photo 1
Dimensional Relationships
A
r
c
h
i
t
e
c
t
:

D
i
M
e
l
l
a

S
h
a
f
f
e
r
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 6 of 11
Modular dimensions are sometimes called nominal dimensions, because they represent round numbers without
accounting for the fractions of an inch represented by mortar joint thicknesses. For masonry elements, the
relationship between modular dimensions and the actual dimensions constructed in the field can depend upon
the overall length of the masonry element. For longer masonry wall lengths made of modular-sized brick and
about four or more brick lengths long, the actual constructed length of the element often will be the modular
dimension. This is possible because during construction, the mason typically will adjust the horizontal layout
of the brick to allow slightly larger or smaller head joints so that the brickwork meets the required dimension.
For shorter masonry wall lengths made of modular-sized brick and less than about four brick lengths long, the
designer may want to consider the specified dimension of the brick and joint thickness when dimensioning the
wall. This is because the amount of adjustment necessary to the thickness of head joints between brick will be
larger. Additionally, the mason will adjust the number of courses and the bed joint thicknesses in order to meet
fixed vertical dimensions. When the completed elevation is viewed, any slight deviation in mortar joint width or the
number of courses generally is not obvious in the brickwork.
Overall Dimensioning
The choice of whether nominal or specified dimensions are to be used on drawings is often determined by
the type of information that the drawing provides. For drawings that cover large areas, such as elevations and
floor plans, use of nominal dimensions is recommended. The overall intent and appearance of the project can
be presented without the precision of specified dimensions. When nominal dimensions are used on plans, the
drawings must be clearly noted to advise the mason of the intended actual size of the completed masonry
elements.
For drawings that provide specific information to other trades, those that coordinate the installation of materials,
and for shop drawings, the use of specified dimensions is recommended. An easy manner to remember this is to
use nominal dimensions for drawings in which the scale is smaller than in. per foot. Use specified dimensions
for drawings shown in in. per foot and larger, Of course Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Building
Information Modeling (BIM) programs often have the specified dimensions of the brick and mortar joint as input
options. Thus, at the designers discretion, specified dimensions that utilize fractions can be used throughout the
drawings to indicate the desired constructed dimensions of the brickwork. However, doing so involves fractions
and may complicate the dimensioning process.
Non-Modular Horizontal Dimensioning. Non-modular brick by definition do not conform to a 4 in. (203 mm)
module. However, all non-modular brick of a certain size create a module equal to the sum of one brick length
and one mortar joint width. This module can be used to establish modular dimensioning for the brickwork in a
fashion similar to that used for modular brick. Non-modular brick that are approximately three times as long as
they are wide are usually laid in one-third running bond. When laid in one-half running bond, brick near wall ends
and openings must usually be cut to maintain the bond.
Vertical Dimensioning. The vertical coursing of both modular and non-modular sized brick is similar. A certain
number of courses will correspond to 4, 8, 12 or 16 in. (102, 203, 305 or 406 mm) in height. This dimension
establishes the vertical modular grid used on the brickwork. For example, for a non-modular engineer standard
brick, a vertical grid of 16 in. (406 mm) is used since five courses of brick equal 16 in. (406 mm). For a wall
constructed of modular brick, a vertical grid is established by three courses (three brick and three mortar joints)
equaling 8 in. (203 mm). Table 3 gives the vertical dimensions for numbers of courses (stretcher or header
positions) and corresponding mortar joints using various sized brick, rounded to the nearest
1
16 in.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 7 of 11
TABLE 3
Vertical Coursing
No. of
Courses
Vertical Coursing of Unit
2C = 4 in.
(102 mm)
3C = 8 in.
(203 mm)
5C = 16 in.
(406 mm)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)
ft in. m ft in. m ft in. m ft in. m
1 0 2 0.051 0 2
11

16
0.068 0 3
3

16
0.081 0 4 0.102
2 0 4 0.102 0 5
5
16 0.135 0 6 0.163 0 8 0.203
3 0 6 0.152 0 8 0.203 0 9 0.244 1 0 0.305
4 0 8 0.203 0 10
11
16 0.271 1
13
16 0.325 1 4 0.406
5 0 10 0.254 1 1
5
16 0.339 1 4 0.406 1 8 0.508
6 1 0 0.305 1 4 0.406 1 7
3
16 0.488 2 0 0.61
7 1 2 0.356 1 6
11
16 0.474 1 10 0.569 2 4 0.711
8 1 4 0.406 1 9
5
16 0.542 2 1 0.65 2 8 0.813
9 1 6 0.457 2 0 0.61 2 4
13
16 0.732 3 0 0.914
10 1 8 0.508 2 2
11
16 0.677 2 8 0.813 3 4 1.02
11 1 10 0.559 2 5
5
16 0.745 2 11
3
16 0.894 3 8 1.12
12 2 0 0.61 2 8 0.813 3 2 0.975 4 0 1.22
13 2 2 0.66 2 10
11
16 0.881 3 5 1.06 4 4 1.32
14 2 4 0.711 3 1
5
16 0.948 3 8
13
16 1.14 4 8 1.42
15 2 6 0.762 3 4 1.02 4 0 1.22 5 0 1.52
16 2 8 0.813 3 6
11
16 1.08 4 3
3
16 1.3 5 4 1.63
17 2 10 0.864 3 9
5
16 1.15 4 6 1.38 5 8 1.78
18 3 0 0.914 4 0 1.22 4 9 1.46 6 0 1.83
19 3 2 0.965 4 2
11
16 1.29 5
13
16 1.54 6 4 1.93
20 3 4 1.02 4 5
5
16 1.36 5 4 1.63 6 8 2.03
21 3 6 1.07 4 8 1.42 5 7
3
16 1.71 7 0 2.13
22 3 8 1.12 4 10
11
16 1.49 5 10 1.79 7 4 2.24
23 3 10 1.17 5 1
5
16 1.56 6 1 1.87 7 8 2.34
24 4 0 1.22 5 4 1.63 6 4
13
16 1.95 8 0 2.44
25 4 2 1.27 5 6
11
16 1.69 6 8 2.03 8 4 2.54
26 4 4 1.32 5 9
5
16 1.76 6 11
3
16 2.11 8 8 2.64
27 4 6 1.37 6 0 1.83 7 2 2.2 9 0 2.74
28 4 8 1.42 6 2
11
16 1.9 7 5 2.28 9 4 2.85
29 4 10 1.47 6 5
5
16 1.96 7 8
13
16 2.36 9 8 2.95
30 5 0 1.52 6 8 2.03 8 0 2.44 10 0 3.05
31 5 2 1.58 6 10
11
16 2.1 8 3
3
16 2.52 10 4 3.15
32 5 4 1.63 7 1
5
16 2.17 8 6 2.6 10 8 3.25
33 5 6 1.68 7 4 2.24 8 9 2.68 11 0 3.35
34 5 8 1.73 7 6
11
16 2.3 9
13
16 2.76 11 4 3.45
35 5 10 1.78 7 9
5
16 2.37 9 4 2.85 11 8 3.56
36 6 0 1.83 8 0 2.44 9 7
3
16 2.93 12 0 3.66
37 6 2 1.88 8 2
11
16 2.51 9 10 3.01 12 4 3.76
38 6 4 1.93 8 5
5
16 2.57 10 1 3.09 12 8 3.86
39 6 6 1.98 8 8 2.64 10 4
13
16 3.17 13 0 3.96
40 6 8 2.03 8 10
11
16 2.71 10 8 3.25 13 4 4.06
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 8 of 11
2-8 (813 mm) M.O.
Approx. 2-8 (822 mm) actual
4 Nom. Brick Lengths + 1 Joint
3
8 /
Modular Brick,
inch (9.5 mm) Joints
3
8 /
5-4 (1.63 m) M.O.
Approx. 5-4 / (1.64 m) actual
24 Nom. Brick Courses + 1 Joint
3
8
Figure 4
Example of Determining Dimensions
for a Masonry Opening
Masonry Openings
The edges of masonry openings are defined by brick
units rather than mortar joints. Vertical dimensions
are based on the number of courses plus an extra
bed joint thickness. Figure 4 shows an example of
dimensions for a punched window opening for modular
sized brick units. Note that the height is for the
opening before the installation of the sill and extends
up to the bottom of the brick above, not to the bottom
of the lintel supporting the brick.
ESTIMATING BRICK MASONRY
There are various methods to estimate material
quantities on a project. Hand calculations and
computer programs have been used depending on
the complexity of the building. Because of its simplicity
and accuracy, the most widely used estimating
procedure is the wall-area method. It consists simply
of multiplying the net wall area (gross areas less areas
of openings) by known quantities of material required
per square foot (square meter).
Determining the area of brick and mortar within each
unit area of wall depends on both brick size and joint
width. For non-modular masonry, both dimensions
must be known to make accurate estimates. In
modular masonry, mortar joint sizes are dictated
by the size of the brick, simplifying the estimating
process.
TABLE 3
Vertical Coursing
No. of
Courses
Vertical Coursing of Unit
2C = 4 in.
(102 mm)
3C = 8 in.
(203 mm)
5C = 16 in.
(406 mm)
1C = 4 in.
(102 mm)
ft in. m ft in. m ft in. m ft in. m
41 6 10 2.08 9 1
5
16 2.78 10 11
3
16 3.33 13 8 4.17
42 7 0 2.13 9 4 2.85 11 2 3.41 14 0 4.27
43 7 2 2.18 9 6
11
16 2.91 11 5 3.5 14 4 4.37
44 7 4 2.24 9 9
5
16 2.98 11 8
3
16 3.58 14 8 4.47
45 7 6 2.29 10 0 3.05 12 0 3.66 15 0 4.57
46 7 8 2.34 10 2
11
16 3.12 12 3
3
16 3.74 15 4 4.67
47 7 10 2.39 10 5
5
16 3.18 12 6 3.82 15 8 4.78
48 8 0 2.44 10 8 3.25 12 9 3.9 16 0 4.88
49 8 2 2.49 10 10
11
16 3.32 13
13
16 3.98 16 4 4.98
50 8 4 2.54 11 1
5
16 3.39 13 4 4.06 16 8 5.08
100 16 8 5.08 22 2
11
16 6.77 26 8 8.13 33 4 10.2
TABLE 3 (continued)
Vertical Coursing
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 9 of 11
Brick and Mortar Quantities
Masons frequently use a rule of thumb that eight bags of masonry cement will lay 1000 modular brick. This is a
very rough estimate and includes an unspecified amount of waste. Table 4 presents the estimated quantities of
brick and mortar (not including waste) required for brick masonry according to the size of brick used in the wall.
The mortar quantities are based on theoretical dimensions of the mortar in the wall. Estimates made using Table 4
should also include applicable correction factors listed in the Correction Factor section. For guidance on the
volume of each solid material required for a specific mortar type, refer to ASTM C270, Standard Specification for
Mortar for Unit Masonry [Ref. 1]. The commonly used rule of thumb is appropriate: 1 cubic foot (cubic meter) of
loose, damp sand will yield about one cubic foot (cubic meter) of mortar.
TABLE 4
Quantity Estimates for Brick Masonry
MODULAR BRICK SIZES
Brick
Designation
Nominal Dimensions, in. (mm)
Joint
Thickness,
in. (mm)
Number of
Brick per
100 sq ft
(per 10 m)
Cubic Feet (Cubic
Meters) of Mortar
W H L
Per 100 sq ft
(10 m)
Per 1000
Brick
Modular 4 (102) 2 (68) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
675 (727)
5.5 (1.7)
6.9 (2.1)
8.1 (0.23)
10.3 (0.29)
Engineer
Modular
4 (102) 3
1
5 (81) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
563 (605)
4.8 (1.5)
6.1 (1.9)
8.5 (0.24)
10.8 (0.31)
Closure Modular 4 (102) 4 (102) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
450 (484)
4.1 (1.3)
5.2 (1.6)
9.1 (0.26)
11.6 (0.33)
4 (102) 6 (152) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
300 (323)
3.2 (0.98)
4.1 (1.3)
10.7 (0.30)
13.7 (0.39)
4 (102) 8 (203) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
225 (242)
2.8 (0.84)
3.5 (1.1)
12.3 (0.35)
15.7 (0.44)
Roman 4 (102) 2 (51) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
600 (646)
6.4 (2.0)
8.2 (2.5)
10.7 (0.30)
13.7 (0.39)
Norman 4 (102) 2 (68) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
450 (484)
5.1 (1.5)
6.5 (2.0)
11.2 (0.32)
14.3 (0.41)
Engineer
Norman
4 (102) 3
1
5 (81) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
375 (404)
4.4 (1.3)
5.6 (1.7)
11.7 (0.33)
14.9 (0.42)
Utility 4 (102) 4 (102) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
300 (323)
3.7 (1.1)
4.7 (1.4)
12.3 (0.35)
15.7 (0.44)
6 (152) 3
1
5 (81) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
375 (404)
6.8 (2.1)
8.8 (2.7)
18.1 (0.51)
23.4 (0.66)
6 (152) 4 (102) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
300 (323)
5.7 (1.7)
7.4 (2.3)
19.1 (0.54)
24.7 (0.70)
8 (203) 4 (102) 12 (305)
(9.5)
(12.7)
300 (323)
7.8 (2.4)
10.1 (3.1)
25.9 (0.73)
33.6 (0.95)
4 (102) 2 (68) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
338 (363)
4.9 (1.6)
6.5 (2.1)
14.5 (4.7)
19.2 (6.2)
Meridian 4 (102) 4 (102) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
225 (242)
3.5 (1.1)
4.4 (1.4)
15.4 (0.44)
19.7 (0.56)
Double Meridian 4 (102) 8 (203) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
113 (121)
2.1 (0.64)
2.7 (0.82)
18.6 (0.53)
23.8 (0.67)
6-in. Through-
Wall Meridian
6 (152) 4 (102) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
225 (242)
5.4 (1.6)
7.0 (2.1)
24.0 (0.68)
31.0 (0.88)
8-in. Through-
Wall Meridian
8 (203) 4 (102) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
225 (242)
7.3 (2.2)
9.5 (2.9)
32.5 (0.92)
42.3 (1.2)
Double Through-
Wall Meridian
8 (203) 8 (203) 16 (406)
(9.5)
(12.7)
113 (121)
4.4 (1.3)
5.7 (1.8)
39.1 (1.1)
51.0 (1.4)
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 10 of 11
NON-MODULAR BRICK SIZES
Brick
Designation
Specified Dimensions, in. (mm)
Joint
Thickness,
in. (mm)
Number of
Brick per
100 sq ft
(per 10 m)
Cubic Feet (Cubic
Meters) of Mortar
W H L
Per 100 sq ft
(10 m)
Per 1000
Brick
Queen
2 (70)
3 (76)
2 (70)
7 (194)
8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
550 (592)
6.7 (2.1)
7.4 (2.3)
12.2 (0.35)
13.5 (0.38)
King
2 (70)
3 (76)
2 (67)
2 (70)
9 (244)
9 (248)
(9.5)
(12.7)
455 (490)
6.5 (2.0)
7.3 (2.2)
14.2 (0.40)
16.0 (0.45)
3 (76)
2 (67)
2 (70)
8 (219)
(9.5)
(12.7)
512 (551)
6.6 (2.0)
8.2 (2.5)
13.0 (0.37)
16.1 (0.46)
Standard
3 (92)
3 (89)
2 (57) 8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
655 (705)
9.5 (2.9)
11.0 (3.3)
14.5 (0.41)
17.8 (0.50)
Engineer
Standard
3 (92)
3 (89)
2
13
16 (71)
2 (70)
8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
539 (581)
8.2 (2.5)
9.7 (3.0)
15.3 (0.43)
18.7 (0.53)
Closure
Standard
3 (92)
3 (89)
3 (92)
3 (89)
8 (203)
(9.5)
(12.7)
430 (463)
7.0 (2.2)
8.5 (2.6)
16.4 (0.46)
20.0 (0.57)
Collar Joints. For multi-wythe construction, where the vertical joint between wythes is designed to be mortared
solid, the values in Table 5 can be used to estimate the quantity of mortar within the collar joint.
TABLE 4 (continued)
Quantity Estimates for Brick Masonry
Correction Factors
Hollow Brick. The mortar quantities in Table 4 are based on fully bedded, solid masonry units (coring up to 25
percent of the bedded area). In veneer applications, hollow brick should also be laid in full mortar beds. Field
testing has demonstrated that a veneer constructed of hollow brick units with a nominal thickness of 3 to 4 in. (76
to 102 mm) and cores or cells between 25 and 35 percent of the bedded area and laid in a full mortar bed does
not significantly increase mortar usage compared to the same veneer constructed of solid brick units. Care should
be taken to avoid using excessively plastic mortar or placement methods that would force excessive amounts
of mortar into the cells or cores of the brick below. If these steps are taken, the estimates of Table 4 are valid for
most hollow brick veneer applications. For hollow units laid with face shell bedding (as typically done in structural
applications), the estimated quantities can be reduced by a percentage equal to the percentage of voids in the
brick. This reduction will typically be between 25 and 35 percent.
Bond Pattern. The values in Table 4 are based on running or stack bond patterns. For patterns that incorporate
headers, the correction factors in Table 6 can be applied. The factor is a net increase for the number of brick
and the mortar quantity, not including waste. For definitions of the patterns cited, refer to Technical Note 30. For
example, for a standard-size brick laid with a in. (9.5 mm) joint thickness in a common bond with full headers
every fifth course, the following estimates would apply:
Number of brick per 100 sq ft (9.30 m) of brickwork: 655 + (
1
5 655) = 786 brick
Cubic feet (0.028 m) of mortar per 1000 brick: 14.5 + (
1

15
14.5) = 15.5
Cubic Feet of Mortar per 100 sq ft (m per 10 m) of Wall
-in. (6.4 mm) joint -in. (9.5 mm) joint -in. (12.7 mm) joint -in. (19.1 mm) joint
2.08 (0.064) 3.13 (0.095) 4.17 (0.13) 6.25 (0.19)
TABLE 5
Mortar Quantities in Collar Joints
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 10 | Dimensioning and Estimating Brick Masonry | Page 11 of 11
Brick Breakage and Waste. In the estimating procedure, determine the net quantities of all brick, including all
correction factors above, before adding any allowances for waste. Allowances for waste and breakage vary, but
as a general rule, at least 5 percent is added to the net brick quantities delivered to the jobsite. Particular job
conditions or experience may warrant using a higher percentage for waste.
Mortar Waste. In the estimating procedure, determine the net quantities of all materials, including all correction
factors above, before adding any allowances for waste. Allowances for waste vary, but as a general rule, add 15 to
25 percent to the net mortar quantities. Particular job conditions, or experience, may dictate different factors.
SUMMARY
This Technical Note provides a discussion of brick sizes and modular masonry construction and a discussion
of the basic layout of brick masonry walls. Methods are presented for estimating quantities of brick and mortar
materials for a chosen brick size, mortar joint size and bond pattern.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the experience of the engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association. The
information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment and a
basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of the informa-
tion discussed in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry Association
and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. Annual Volume of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohoken, PA, 2008.
Volume 04.05
C216 Standard Specification for Facing Brick
C270 Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry
C652 Standard Specification for Hollow Brick
Volume 04.11
E835/ Standard Guide for Modular Coordination of Clay and Concrete Masonry Units
E835M
TABLE 6
Estimate Correction Factors for Bond Patterns
Bond
Brick Correction
Factor
1
Mortar Correction
Factor
2
Common Bond with full headers every fifth course only
1
5
1
15
Common Bond with full headers every sixth course only
1
6
1
18
Common Bond with full headers every seventh course only
1
7
1
21
English Bond (full headers every second course)
1
6
Flemish Bond (alternate full headers and stretchers every course)
1
9
Cross Bond with Flemish headers every sixth course
1
18
1
54
Flemish Cross Bond (Flemish headers every second course)
1
6
1
18
Double-stretcher, garden wall bond
1
5
1
15
Triple-stretcher, garden wall bond
1
7
1
21
1. The net increase for brick units may be less than that given when multiple headers can be made from a single brick.
2. Correction factors are applicable only to brick with lengths equal to twice the depth and 2 to three times the height.

Technical Notes 11 - Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry, Part 1
Rev. [Dec. 1971] (Reissued August 2001)
INTRODUCTION
Numerous methods are being explored to reduce constantly rising building costs. One means in which many
segments of the construction industry believe holds promise of lowering these costs is the use of specific, definitive
and concise specifications. They must convey to the contractor the exact requirements of the project and be
organized to facilitate take-off and estimating. Many general contractors have testified that the use of such
specifications results in lower contract bids.
During recent years, organizations, such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Producers' Council (PC),
Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), have made
the improvement of construction specifications one of their major activities.
In accordance with the work of these agencies, the guide specifications in this series of Technical Notes are
written to follow the CSI format insofar as possible.
Use of Standards. It is recommended that, where suitable standards exist, such as those developed by the
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American
Concrete Institute (ACI) and other similar nationally recognized organizations, they be used and included in the
project specifications by reference.
Use of Detailed Descriptive Requirements. While detailed descriptive requirements are generally necessary as a
means of specifying installation or workmanship, it is recommended that they be used only as a last resort in
specifying materials.
Use of Performance Specifications. Performance specifications are not, in general, considered suitable for
specifying architectural building products. It is recommended that, if performance specifications are used to specify
building materials, they should state results desired or properties desired, but not both.
Use of Trade Names. It is recommended that, if building products are specified by trade names, the "special
conditions" contain a clause providing that substitutes will be considered on a quality and price basis, and that the
phrase "or equal", frequently included in such specifications, be eliminated.
The following paragraph is suggested for substitutions:
Variation From Materials Specified: It is intended that materials or products specified by name of manufacturer,
brand, trade name or by catalog reference shall be the basis of the bid and furnished under the contract, unless
changed by mutual agreement. Where two or more materials are named, the choice of these shall be optional with
the contractor. Should the contractor wish to use any materials or products other than those specified, he shall so
state, naming the proposed substitutions and stating what difference, if any, will be made in the contract price for
such substitution should it be accented.
Use of Allowances. It is recommended that allowances be used only with discretion. In all cases of allowances,
there should be sufficient description to indicate to the contractor the extent of labor required to install the items for
which allowances are listed. Also, all allowances should be listed under special conditions or under a separate
section with cross references to the individual trade sections involved.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR STRUCTURAL CLAY PRODUCTS
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11.htm
1 of 4 9/13/2009 12:42 PM
Standard specifications for the various types and grades of brick and tile have been developed by technical
committees of the American Society for Testing and Materials. Membership of these committees is balanced
among consumers, manufacturers and a general interest group made up of engineers, scientists, educators, testing
experts and representatives of research organizations. Because of this balance of committee membership, ASTM
specifications are widely accepted and it is recommended that the appropriate ASTM specifications be included by
reference in all specifications for solid brick, hollow brick, structural facing tile (glazed or unglazed) and structural
clay tile.
ASTM standards are under continuous review by the stands committees having jurisdiction over them. From time to
time these standards are revised as a result of new developments. The ASTM designation of a standard consists
of a letter and a number permanently assigned to the standard, a dash and a number indicating the year the
standard was approved: as for example, C 216-69 which designates the Standard Specifications for Facing Brick
approved in 1969. If the letter T follows the year designation, it indicates a tentative standard.
When ASTM specifications are included by reference in project specifications, the full designation, including the
year of approval, should be given, since, obviously, after a contract has been awarded, a revision of specifications
by ASTM does not alter the contract. Similarly, the dates of any other specifications or codes included by
reference should be given.
Solid Masonry Units. ASTM Specifications C 216, C 62, and C 126 cover solid building brick, facing brick and
ceramic glazed units made from clay and/or shale. Under these specifications, a solid masonry unit may be cored
not in excess of 25 per cent; consequently, the term "solid brick" is not confined to those units which have no cores,
unless so stated in the project specifications.
Hollow Masonry Units. ASTM Specification C 652 covers hollow building brick, facing brick or hollow masonry units
made from clay, shale, fire clay or mixtures thereof, and fired. The term "hollow" in this specification is defined to
mean any unit cored in excess of 25 per cent, but not more than 40 per cent, in every plane parallel to the bearing
surface.
Supplementary Requirements. ASTM specifications for brick and tile do not fix the size or color and texture of the
units. They do, however, include requirements for several grades and types of products, and some of them contain
optional requirements which are applicable to specific projects, if so specified.
When ASTM specifications are included in project specifications by reference, it is essential that they be
supplemented with project requirements covering size, color, grade, type, etc. Without these supplementary
provisions, the specifications are incomplete and inadequate as a basis for estimating.
Size. Size of units required should be included in the project specifications. Without this information, a contractor
cannot accurately estimate quantity of materials or the labor required to construct the masonry.
It is recommended that the specified size be the manufactured size. Individual unit dimensions may vary from the
specified or manufactured size by the allowable tolerances included in the appropriate ASTM specifications for the
particular type or grade.
Specifying nominal sizes of clay masonry units is not recommended, due to the ambiguity of the term "nominal". In
some fields, it is understood to mean approximate and actual dimensions may vary from the nominal only by
permissible variations in dimensions included in the specifications. However, in modular design, the nominal
dimension of a masonry unit is understood to mean the specified or manufactured dimension plus the thickness of
the mortar joint with which the unit is designed to be laid; that is, modular brick, whose nominal length is 8 in.,
would have a specified (manufactured) length of 7 1/2 in. if designed to be laid with a 1/2 - in. joint, or 7 5/8 in. if
designed to be laid with a 3/8 - in joint.
Color and Texture. Generally, the color and texture of the brick or structural facing tile in a masonry wall vary
slightly. These variations, which prevent monotony in the appearance of the finished wall, are one of the most
attractive features of brick and tile. Because of these variations and of the wide variety of colors and textures
produced by the industry, it is impossible to write descriptions of either color or texture which will accurately identify
the products required.
For this reason, ASTM specifications for brick and structural clay facing tile provide that texture and color shall
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11.htm
2 of 4 9/13/2009 12:42 PM
conform to an approved sample showing the full range of color and texture that will be acceptable. The number of
units required in the sample should be stated in the project specifications and will depend upon the range of color
and texture. In general, it will be from three to five.
Grade and Type. Most ASTM specifications for brick or structural clay tile cover two or more grades, and
specifications for facing brick, hollow brick and ceramic glazed structural facing tile include requirements for two or
more types. Specifications for structural clay facing tile cover two types and two classes.
When these specifications are included in project specifications by reference, it is essential that the grade and type
or type and class of product required be specified. Failure to do so makes it difficult for the contractor to estimate
the project and frequently results in a demand for extras after the contract is awarded.
Cell Arrangement. Structural clay tile are produced with either vertical cells or horizontal cells. Furring tile, nominal
thickness 2 in., in ceramic glaze often referred to as "soaps", are produced with either solid backs or open (ribbed)
backs. If either vertical-cell or horizontal-cell units are required for specific locations, this should be stated in the
project specifications. Similarly, if solid-back soaps or furring are required, it should be so stated. Otherwise,
product specifications make the selection optional with the supplier.
Plaster Base Finish. Specifications for structural clay facing tile and structural clay tile contain requirements for the
finish of surfaces suitable for the application of plaster. When such surfaces are required, they should be specified
in the project specifications; otherwise, the finish of the unexposed (back) of the unit is optional with the supplier.
Tests. Most ASTM specifications for structural clay products provide that the cost of tests of units furnished for any
particular project "shall be borne by the purchaser", unless the tests indicate that the units do not conform to the
requirements of the specifications, in which case "the cost shall be borne by the seller". Project specifications
should state the number of tests that will be required and should indicate who is responsible for selecting the
samples and who pays the cost of testing.
PROJECT SPECIFICATIONS FOR STRUCTURAL CLAY PRODUCTS
As previously indicated, it is recommended that ASTM specifications, supplemented to meet project requirements,
be used in specifying brick and structural clay tile. These specifications are suitable for use in any of the following
forms:
Open Specifications. This type of specification, frequently required in public work, makes no reference to product
trade names. In such a specification, ASTM specifications should be included by reference, supplemented with
project requirements, and an "approved sample" of the required color and texture should be available for inspection
by bidders prior to submission of bids.
Trade Names. For private work, specifying facing brick and structural facing tile by trade or manufacturer's names
gives the contractor definite information as to the product required and provides the architect with assurance that
the quality desired will be furnished.
In general, when this method is used, three or more acceptable products are named and the contractor is given the
option of selecting among them.
When trade names are used for specifying brick or tile, it is recommended that the units be required to comply with
applicable ASTM specifications and that samples of acceptable units be available for inspection of bidders prior to
bidding; also, that a provision for substitution, similar to that previously recommended, be included in the
specifications.
Allowances. The use of allowances for cost of facing brick and facing tile has been used successfully for many
years and, in general, this method is recommended by the Structural Clay Products Institute. Allowances place all
contractors on an equal basis and permit the owner to select products that he considers most desirable. However,
when this method is employed, the specifications should state the size and texture of the units that will be selected,
the tests that will be required and the responsibility for payment of tests.
GUIDE SPECIFICATIONS
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11.htm
3 of 4 9/13/2009 12:42 PM
The guide specifications in Technical Notes 11A Revised and 11B Revised are written for both reinforced and
non-reinforced brick masonry, designed to comply with ANSI A41.1-1953 (R1970), "Building Code Requirements
for Masonry", ANSI A41.2-1960 (R 1970), "Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Masonry", or equivalent
sections in the Model Building Codes.
The guide specifications in these Technical Notes can be used for engineered brick masonry designed to comply
with Building Code Requirements for Engineered Brick Masonry, BIA, August 1969, or equivalent sections in the
Model Building Codes, when additional quality assurance requirements are incorporated into the specification. See
Technical Notes 11C Revised.
The specifications do not cover requirements for structural clay tile, concrete masonry units, glass block or stone.
Where these materials and design procedures are included in the masonry section, the specifications should be
supplemented or revised. It will be found, however, that many of the requirements pertaining to brick masonry are
also applicable to other types of masonry construction.
"Guide Specifications for Masonry Mortar" will be included as a separate Technical Notes 11E to comply with CSI
format.
Metric numbers listed are conversions from the current customary system and are not industry agreed-upon
standards; i.e., a typical modular 3 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 7 1/2 - in.. (actual size) brick may be produced at some
dimensions other than 89 x 57 x 191 mm when metric dimensions are adopted within the industry.
The cold weather protection requirements contained in paragraph 1.05.C are those recommended by the
International Masonry Industry All-Weather Council, published December 1, 1970.
In using these specifications, the specification writer should cheek each section to insure compliance with project
requirements and modify the paragraphs or delete those not needed.
REFERENCES
1. Brick and Tile Engineering, Harry C. Plummer, Brick Institute of America (BIA), November 1967.
2. Building Code Requirements for Engineered Brick Masonry, BIA, August 1969.
3. Recommended Practice for Engineered Brick Masonry, J. G. Gross, R. D. Dikkers and J. C.
Grogan, BIA, November 1969.
4. Specifications for Clay Masonry Construction, BIA, February 1962.
5. Technical Notes on Brick Construction, BIA, published monthly.
6. Building Code Requirements for Masonry, ANSI - A41.1-1953 (R 1970).
7. Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Masonry, ANSI - A41.2-1960 (R 1970).
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11.htm
4 of 4 9/13/2009 12:42 PM

Technical Notes 11A - Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry, Part 2
Rev [June 1978] (Reissued Sept. 1988)
INTRODUCTION
This Technical Notes contains the guide specifications in CSI format for Division 4, Section 04210, Part I - General,
and Part II - Products. Part III - Execution is in Technical Notes 11B Revised.
The specifications are applicable to ANSI A41.1 - 1953 (R1970), ''Building Code Requirements for Masonry,'' ANSI
A41.2 - 1960 (R 1970), "Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Masonry,'' or equivalent sections in the Model
Building Codes.
The guide specifications in Technical Notes 11A Revised and 11B Revised can be used for engineered brick
masonry designed to comply with Building Code Requirements for Engineered Brick Masonry, BIA, August 1969,
or equivalent sections in the Model Building Codes, when additional quality assurance requirements are incorporated
into the specifications. See Technical Notes 11C Revised.
Guide Specification & Notes
PART I - GENERAL
1.01 DESCRIPTION:
A. Related Work Specified Elsewhere:
1. Concrete work: Section 03__________.
2. Rough carpentry: Section 06__________.
3. Structural steel and metals: Section 05__________.
4. Waterproofing: Section 07__________.
B. Material Installed but Furnished by Others:
1. Bolts.
2. Anchors.
3. Nailing blocks.
4. Inserts.
5. Flashing.
6. Lintels.
7. Doors.
8. Window frames.
9. Vents.
10. Conduits.
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11a.htm
1 of 9 9/13/2009 12:43 PM
11. Expansion joints.
1.02 QUALITY ASSURANCE:
A. Brick Tests:
1. Test in accordance with ASTM C 67-__________with the following additional requirements:
a. If the coefficient of variation of the compression samples tested exceeds 12%, obtain
compressive strength by multiplying average compressive strength of specimens by
where v is the coefficient of variation of sample tested.
b. Cost of tests of units after delivery shall be borne by the purchaser, unless tests
indicate that units do not conform to the requirements of the specifications, in which case
cost shall be borne by the seller.
NOTE:
1.02.A This section can be deleted if Architect/Engineer has sufficient experience and confidence in the brick manufacturer to
accept compliance with project specifications based on certification section 1.03.C.
1.02.A. 1.a. To be applied only for engineered brick masonry.
1.02.A. 1.b. To be used only in a case of dispute.
B. Furnish Sample Panel:
1. Approximately 4 ft. (1.2 m) long by 3 ft. (1 m) high, showing the proposed color range,
texture, bond, mortar and workmanship. All brick shipped for the sample shall be included in the
panel.
2. Erect panel in the presence of the Architect/Engineer before installation of materials.
3. When required, provide a separate panel for each type of brick or mortar.
4. Do not start work until Architect/Engineer has accepted sample panel.
5. Use panel as standard of comparison for all masonry work built of same material.
6. Do not destroy or move panel until work is completed and accepted by Owner.
NOTE:
1.02. B. 1. The sample panel, when accepted, shall become the project standard for: bond, mortar, workmanship and
appearance.
1.02.B.3. Brick for sample panels are usually furnished at no cost. If additional panels are needed, care must be exercised not to
burden the supplier with excessive costs.
1.03 SUBMITTALS:
A. Samples: Furnish not less than five individual brick as samples, showing extreme variations in color
and texture.
B. Test Reports:
1. Test reports for each type of building and facing brick are to be submitted to the Architect
Engineer for approval.
2. Testing and reports are to be completed by an independent laboratory.
3. Test reports shall show:
a. Compressive strength.
b. 24 - hr. cold water absorption.
c. 5 - hr. boil absorption.
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11a.htm
2 of 9 9/13/2009 12:43 PM
d. Saturation coefficient.
e. Initial rate of absorption (suction).
C. Certificates: Prior to delivery, submit to Architect/Engineer certificates attesting compliance with the
applicable specifications for grades, types or classes included in these specifications.
NOTE:
1.03.A and B Sections can be deleted if Architect/Engineer has sufficient experience and confidence in the brick manufacturer to
accept compliance with project specifications based on certification section 1.03.C.
1.03.B.3. This section should be altered to meet the requirements of the project. Brick are not required to meet the 5-hr boil
absorption and/or saturation coefficient requirements of ASTM C 216, ASTM C 62 and ASTM C 652 if they meet the physical
property requirements of Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of ASTM C 216, Sections 3A, 3.5 and 3.6 of ASTM C 62 and Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of
ASTM C 652.
No limit is placed on initial rate of absorption (suction). Units having initial rates of absorption exceeding 30 g./min./30 sq. in. (194
cm
2
) should be wetted prior to laying. For cold weather masonry construction, higher suctions may be tolerated (up to 30-40 g.)
than for normal construction. Note Sections 1.05.C.2.a and 3.01.A. 1.
1.03.C. List materials for which certificates of compliance are required.
1.04 PRODUCT DELIVERY, STORAGE AND HANDLING:
A. Store brick off ground to prevent contamination by mud, dust or materials likely to cause staining or
other defects.
B. Cover materials when necessary to protect from elements.
C. Protect reinforcement from elements
1.05 JOB CONDITIONS:
A. Protection of Work:
1. Wall covering:
a. During erection, cover top of wall with strong waterproof membrane at end of each
day or shutdown.
b. Cover partially completed walls when work is not in progress.
c. Extend cover minimum of 24 in. (610 mm) down both sides.
d. Hold cover securely in place.
2. Load application:
a. Do not apply uniform floor or roof loading for at least 12 hr. after building masonry
columns or walls.
b. Do not apply concentrated loads for at least 3 days after building masonry columns or
walls.
B. Staining:
1. Prevent grout or mortar from staining the face of masonry to be left exposed or painted:
a. Remove immediately grout or mortar in contact with face of such masonry.
b. Protect all sills, ledges and projections from droppings of mortar, protect door jambs
and corners from damage during construction.
Protection:
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11a.htm
3 of 9 9/13/2009 12:43 PM
1. Preparation:
a. If ice or snow has formed on masonry bed, remove by carefully applying heat until top
surface is dry to the touch.
b. Remove all masonry deemed frozen or damaged.
2. Products:
a. When brick suction exceeds recommendations of Section 1.03.B.3, sprinkle with
heated water:
(1) When units are above 32
o
F. (0
o
C.), heat water above 70
o
F. (21
o
C.).
(2) When units are below 32
o
F. (0
o
C.), heat water above 130
o
F. (54
o
C.).
b. Use dry masonry units.
c. Do not use wet or frozen units.
3. Construction requirements while work is progressing:
a. Air temperature 40
o
F. (4
o
C.) to 32
o
F. (0
o
C.):
(1) Heat sand or mixing water to produce mortar temperatures between 40
o
F. (4
o
C.) and 120
o
F. (49
o
C.).
b. Air temperature 32
o
F. (0
o
C.) to 25
o
F. (-4
o
C.):
(1) Heat sand and mixing water to produce mortar temperatures between 40
o
F.
(4
o
C.) and 120
o
F. (49
o
C.).
(2) Maintain temperatures of mortar on boards above freezing.
c. Air temperatures 25
o
F. (-4
o
C.) to 20
o
F. (-7
o
C.):
(1) Heat sand and mixing water to produce mortar temperatures between 40
o
F.
(4
o
C.) and 120
o
F. (49
o
C.).
(2) Maintain mortar temperatures on boards above freezing.
(3) Use salamanders or other heat sources on both sides of walls under
construction.
(4) Use windbreaks when wind is in excess of 15 mph.
d. Air temperature 20
o
F. (-7
o
C.) and below:
(1) Heat sand and mixing water to produce mortar temperatures between 40
o
F.
(4
o
C.) and 120
o
F. (49
o
C.).
(2) Provide enclosures and auxiliary heat to maintain air temperature above 32
o
F.
(0
o
C.).
(3) Minimum temperature of units when laid: 20
o
F. (-7
o
C.).
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11a.htm
4 of 9 9/13/2009 12:43 PM
4. Protection requirements for completed masonry and masonry not being worked on:
a. Mean daily air temperature 40
o
F. (4
o
C.) to 32
o
F. (0
o
C.):
(1) Protect masonry from rain or snow for 24 hr. by covering with weather-
resistive membrane.
b. Mean daily air temperature 32
o
F. (0
o
C.) to 25
o
F. (-4
o
C.):
(1) Completely cover masonry with weather-resistive membrane for 24 hr.
c Mean daily air temperature 25
o
F. (-4
o
C.) to 20
o
F. (-7
o
C.):
(1) Completely cover masonry with insulating blankets or equal protection for 24
hr.
d. Mean daily air temperature 20
o
F. (-7
o
C.) and below:
(1) Maintain masonry temperature above 32
o
F. (0
o
C.) for 24 hr. by:
(a) Enclosure and supplementary heat.
**OR**
(a) Electric heating blankets.
**OR**
(a) Infrared lamps.
**OR**
(a) Other approved methods.
NOTE:
1.05.C.3 Ideal mortar temperature is 70
o
F. 10
o
F. (21
o
C. 6
o
C.). The mixing temperature should be maintained within 10
o
F.
(6
o
C.).
1.05.C.4 The following options may be used in cold weather construction:
1. Change to a higher type of mortar required in ASTM C 270. (Example: If ASTM type N mortar is specified for normal
temperature, change to type S or type M.)
2. Increase the protection time where required in Section 1.05.C.4 to 48 hr. with no change being made in the type of
mortar.
3. Without changing the mortar type and maintaining 24-hr. protection in Section 1.05.C.4, replace type I Portland cement
in the mortar with type III, ASTM C 150.
1.05.C.4.d This section may be written to allow the contractor to select means of protection.
PART II-PRODUCTS
2.01 BRICK:
A. Facing Brick:
1. ASTM C 216-__________, Grade__________, Type__________.
2. Dimensions:__________ x __________ x __________.
(t) (h) (l )
3. Minimum compressive strength: _____________.
4. Provide brick similar in texture and physical properties to those available for inspection at the
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11a.htm
5 of 9 9/13/2009 12:43 PM
Architect/Engineer's office.
5. Do not exceed variations in color and texture of samples accepted by the Architect/Engineer.
NOTE:
2.01.A.1 Grade: SW for brick in contact with earth or where weathering index is greater than 50, MW elsewhere. Type: FBS, FBX,
FBA.
2.01.A.2 Determine availability. Typical actual sizes for use with 3/8 - in. mortar joints: 3 5/8 x 2 5/16 x 7 5/8 or 11 5/8 in. (92 x 59 x
194 or 295 mm); 3 5/8 x 2 13/16 x 7 5/8 or 11 5/8 in. (92 x 74 x 194 or 295 mm): 3 5/8 x 3 5/8 x 7 5/8 or 11 5/8 in. (92 x 92 x 194 or
295 mm);3 5/8 x 5 x 7 5/8 or 11 5/8 - in (92x 127x 194 or 295 mm);3 5/8 x 1 5/8 x 11 5/8 in. (92 x 41 x 295 mm); 5 5/8 x 2 5/16 x 11
5/8 in. (143 x 59 x 295 mm); 5 5/8 x 2 13/16 x 11 5/8 in. (l43 x 74 x 295 mm); 5 5/8 x 3 5/8 x 11 5/8 in. (143 x 92 x 295 mm).
2.01.A.3 Required only for structural masonry. Range: 2000 psi to 14,000 psi (13.8 MPa to 96.5 MPa).
**OR**
A. Facing Brick: Provide a cash allowance of__________per thousand.
B. Glazed Brick:
1. ASTM C 126-__________, Grade__________, Type__________.
2. Dimensions:__________ x __________ x __________.
(t) (h) (l )
3. Minimum compressive strength:__________.
NOTE:
2.01.B.1 Grade: S for narrow mortar joints; SS where face dimension variation must be very small. Type: I, II.
2.01.B.2 See 2.01.A.2.
2.01. B.3 See 2.01.A.3.
C. Building Brick:
1. ASTM C 62-__________, Grade__________.
2. Dimensions:__________ x __________ x __________.
(t) (h) (l )
3. Minimum compressive strength:__________.
NOTE:
2.01.C.1 Grade: SW for brick in contact with earth or where weathering index is greater than 50, MW elsewhere, NW in interior
and backup areas.
2.01.C.2 See 2.01.A.2.
2.01.C.3 See 2.01.A.3.
D. Hollow Brick:
1. ASTM C 652-__________, Grade__________, Type__________.
2. Dimensions:__________ x __________ x __________.
(t) (h) (l )
3. Minimum compressive strength:__________.
4. Provide brick similar in texture and physical properties to those available for inspection at the
Architect/Engineer's office.
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11a.htm
6 of 9 9/13/2009 12:43 PM
5. Do not exceed variation in color and texture of samples accepted by the Architect/Engineer.
NOTE:
2.01.D.1 Grade: SW for brick in contact with earth or where weathering index is greater than 50, MW elsewhere. Type: HBS, HBX,
HBA, HBB.
2.01.D.2 See 2.01.A.2.
2.01.D.3 See 2.01.A.3.
2.02 REINFORCEMENT:
A. Cold-drawn steel wire: ASTM A 82-__________.
B. Welded steel wire fabric: ASTM A 185-__________.
C. Billet steel deformed bars: ASTM A 615-_________, Grade__________.
D. Rail steel deformed bars: ASTM A 616-__________, Grade_________.
E. Axle steel deformed bars: ASTM A 617-__________, Grade__________.
NOTE:
2.02.C Grade 40, 50, 60.
2.02.D Grade 50, 60.
2.02.E Grade 40, 60.
2.03 ANCHORS AND TIES:
A. Coated or corrosion-resistant metal meeting or exceeding applicable standard:
1. Zinc-coating flat metal: ASTM A 153-__________, Class__________.
2. Zinc-coating of wire, ASTM A 116-__________, Class 3.
3. Copper-coated wire: ASTM B 227-__________ , Grade 30HS.
4. Stainless steel: ASTM A 167-__________, Type 304.
NOTE:
2.03.A.1 Class B-1, B-2, B-3.
B. Types:
1. Wire mesh:
a. Minimum gage: 20.
b. Mesh: 1/2 in. (12.7 mm).
c. Galvanized wire.
d. Width: 1 in. (25 mm) less than width of masonry.
2. Corrugated veneer ties:
a. Minimum gage: 22.
b. Minimum width: 7/8 in. (22 mm).
c. Length: 6 in. (152 mm)
**OR**
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11a.htm
7 of 9 9/13/2009 12:43 PM
2. Wire ties: Use two 10-gage.
3. Cavity wall ties:
a. Wire diameter: 3/16 in. (4.7 mm).
b. Shape: Rectangular, at least 2 in. (51 mm) wide with ends overlapped or "Z" with 2 -
in. (51 mm) legs.
c. Length: Select length to allow 1 - in. (25 mm) minimum mortar cover of ends or legs.
4. Multi-wythe wall ties:
a. Prefabricated welded joint reinforcement.
b. Longitudinal cross tie wire:
(1) 9 gage.
(2) Spaced 16 in. (406 mm) o.c.
NOTE:
2.03.B.4 Cavity wall ties may be used.
5. Dovetail flat bar or wire anchors:
a. Flat bar:
(1) Minimum gage: 16.
(2) Minimum width: 7/8 in. (22 mm).
(3) Fabrication: Corrugated, turned up 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) at end or with 1/2-in. (12.7
mm) hole within 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) of end of bar.
b. Wire:
(1) Wire gage: 6.
(2) Minimum width: 7/8 in. (22 mm).
(3) Fabrication: Wire looped and closed.
6. Rigid anchors for intersecting bearing walls:
a. Dimensions: 1 1/2 in. (38 mm) wide by 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) thick by minimum 24 in. (610
mm) long.
b. Fabrication: Turn up ends minimum 2 in. (51 mm) or provide cross pins.
7. Wire ties for high-lift grout reinforced brick masonry:
a. Minimum gage: 9.
b. Fabrication:
(1) Bend into stirrups 4 in. (102 mm) wide and 2 in. (51 mm) shorter than overall
wall thickness.
(2) Form so that tie ends meet in center of one embedded end of stirrup.
2.04 CLEANING AGENTS:
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11a.htm
8 of 9 9/13/2009 12:43 PM
A. Do not use cleaning agent other than water on brick, except with concurrence of Architect/Engineer.
B. Acceptable cleaner for dark brick: _____________.
C. Acceptable cleaner for light colored brick: _______________.
NOTE:
2.04.B Specify cleaner recommended by brick manufacturer.
2.04.C Proper cleaning agent is more critical for light colored brick.


http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11a.htm
9 of 9 9/13/2009 12:43 PM

Technical Notes 11B - Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry, Part 3
Rev [Feb. 1972] (Reissued Sept. 1988)

INTRODUCTION
This Technical Notes contains the guide specifications in CSI format for Part III - Execution. Part I - General, and
Part II - Products are in Technical Notes 11A Revised.
Guide Specification and Notes
PART III - EXECUTION
3.01 PREPARATION:
A. Wetting Brick:
1. Wet brick with absorption rates in excess of 30 g./30 sq. in./min. (30 g./194 cm
2
/min.)
determined by ASTM C 67-__________, so that rate of absorption when laid does not exceed
this amount.
2. Recommended procedure to insure that brick are nearly saturated, surface dry when laid is
to place a hose on the pile of brick until the water runs from the pile. This should be done one
day before brick are to be used. In extremely warm weather, place hose on pile several hours
before brick are to be used.
B. Cleaning Reinforcement: Before being placed, remove loose rust, ice and other coatings from
reinforcement.
NOTE:
3.01.A.1 Note requirements for cold weather, section 1.05.C.2.a, and section 1.03.B.3 for testing requirements.
3.02 GENERAL ERECTION REQUIREMENTS:
A. Pattern Bond:
1. Lay exposed masonry in running bond.
2. Bond unexposed masonry units in a wythe by lapping at least 2 in. ( 51 mm).
NOTE:
3.02.A.1 Alter if other than running bond required.
B. Joining of Work:
1. Where fresh masonry joins partially set masonry:
a. Remove loose brick and mortar.
b. Clean and lightly wet exposed surface of set masonry.
2. Stop off horizontal run of masonry by racking back 1/2 length of unit in each course.
3. Toothing is not permitted except upon written acceptance of the Architect/Engineer.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11b.htm
1 of 9 9/13/2009 12:44 PM
C. Tooling and Tuck Pointing:
1. Tooling:
a. Tool exposed joints when "thumb-print" hard with a round jointer, slightly larger than
width of joint.
b. Trowel-point or concave-tool exterior joints below grade.
c. Flush cut all joints not tooled.
2. Tuck pointing:
a. Rake mortar joints to a depth of not less than 1/2 in.(12.7 mm) nor more than 3/4 in.
(19 mm).
b. Saturate joints with clean water.
c. Fill solidly with ______________ pointing mortar.
d. Tool joints.
NOTE:
3.02.C Alter to allow other joints to meet architectural requirements.
3.02.C.2 Delete if not required.
3.02.C.2.c Specify proportions. Pointing mortar should be of same proportions as mortar in main part of wall, if known; if not, type
N.
D. Flashing:
1. Clean surface of masonry smooth and free from projections which might puncture flashing
material.
a. Place through-wall flashing on bed of mortar.
b. Cover flashing with mortar.
E. Weep Holes:
1. Provide weep holes in head joints in first course immediately above all flashing by: (a)
Leaving head joint free and clean of mortar
**OR**
(a) Placing and leaving sash cord in joint.
********
2. Maximum spacing: 24 in. (610 mm) o.c.
3. Keep weep holes and area above flashing free of mortar droppings.
F. Sealant Recesses:
1. Leave joints around outside perimeters of exterior doors, window frames and other wall
openings:
a. Depth: uniform 3/4 in. (19 mm).
b. Width: 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) to 3/8 in. (9.5 mm).
G. Movement Joints:
1. Keep clean from all mortar and debris.
2. Locate as shown on drawings.
H. Cutting Brick:
1. Cut exposed brick with motor-driven saw.
**OR**
1. By other methods which provide cuts that are straight and true.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11b.htm
2 of 9 9/13/2009 12:44 PM
********
I. Mortar Joint Thickness:
1. Lay all brick with__________in. joint.
NOTE:
3.02.I Coordinate joint thickness with brick specified in 2.01.A.2.
3.03 NON-REINFORCED BRICK MASONRY
A. Brick Installation:
1. Lay brick plumb and true to lines.
2. Lay with completely filled mortar joints.
3. Do not furrow bed joints.
4. Butter ends of brick with sufficient mortar to fill head joints.
5. Rock closures into place with head joints thrown against two adjacent brick in place.
6. Fill vertical, longitudinal joints, except in cavity walls:
a. By parging either face of backing or back of facing.
**OR**
a. By pouring the vertical joint full of grout.
**OR**
a. Shoving alone.
7. Do not pound corners and jambs to fit stretcher units after they are set in position. Where an
adjustment must be made after mortar has started to harden, remove mortar and replace with
fresh mortar.
NOTE:
3.03.A If hollow units are specified, alter to conform to requirements of the units.
B. Cavity Walls:
1. Keep cavity in cavity walls clean by:
a. Slightly beveling mortar bed to incline toward cavity.
**OR**
a. Placing wood strips with attached wire pulls on metal ties.
b. Before placing next row of metal ties, remove and clean wood strips.
********
2. As work progresses, trowel protruding mortar fins in cavity flat on to inner face of wythe.
C. Non-Bearing Partitions:
1. Extend from top of structural floor to bottom surface of floor construction above.
2. Wedge with small pieces of tile, slate or metal.
3. Fill topmost joint with mortar.
NOTE:
3.03.C Alter to local code requirements if suspended ceilings are used.
D. Structural Bonding:
1. Bond or anchor corners and intersections of loadbearing brick walls.
2. Structural bond multi-wythe non-reinforced brick walls with__________.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11b.htm
3 of 9 9/13/2009 12:44 PM
a. Extend headers not less than 3 in. (76 mm) into backing.
b. Maximum distance between adjacent headers: 24 in. (610 mm) either vertically or
horizontally.
c. When a single header does not extend through wall, overlap headers from opposite
sides of wall at least 3 in. (76 mm).
d. Minimum headers: 4%.
**OR**
a. Provide minimum of one cavity wall tie for each 4 1/2 sq. ft. (0.42 m
2
) of wall surface.
b. Stagger ties in alternate courses.
c. Maximum distance between adjacent ties:
(1) Vertically: 24 in. (610 mm).
(2) Horizontally: 36 in. (920 mm).
d. Embed ties in horizontal joints of facing and backing.
e. Provide additional ties at openings:
(1) Maximum spacing around perimeter: 36 in. (920 mm).
(2) Install within 12 in. (305 mm) of opening.
**OR**
a. Use continuous prefabricated joint reinforcement to bond multi-wythe walls; spaced
not more than 16 in. (406 mm) vertically.
********
3. Stack bond:
a. Embed continuous No. 2 steel reinforcement or No. 9 gage wire in horizontal joints at
vertical intervals not to exceed 16 in. (406 mm).
b. Provide not less than one longitudinal bar or wire for each 6 in. (152 mm) of wall
thickness or fraction thereof.
NOTE:
3.03.D Note special bonding requirements for high-lift grout, section 3.05.B.
3.03.D.2 Masonry headers, metal ties or continuous joint reinforcement.
E. Anchoring:
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11b.htm
4 of 9 9/13/2009 12:44 PM
1. Anchor exterior brick walls facing or abutting concrete members with dovetail, flat-bar or wire
anchors inserted in slots built into concrete.
a. Maximum anchor spacing:
(1) Vertically: 24 in. (610 mm).
(2) Horizontally: 36 in. (920 mm).
b. Maintain a space not less than 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) wide between masonry wall and
concrete members.
c. Keep space free of mortar or other rigid material to permit differential movement
between concrete and masonry .
2. For intersecting bearing or shear walls carried up separately:
a. Regularly block vertical joint with 8-in. (203 mm) maximum offsets.
b. Provide joints with rigid steel anchors.
c. Space anchors not more than 4 ft. (1.2 m) apart vertically.
**OR**
a. When acceptable to the Architect/Engineer, eliminate blocking and provide rigid steel
anchors spaced not more than 24 in. (610 mm) apart vertically.
********
3. Anchor non-bearing partitions abutting or intersecting other walls or partitions with:
a. Cavity wall ties at vertical intervals of not more than 24 in. ( 610 mm).
**OR**
a. Masonry bonders in alternate courses
********
4. Attach brick veneer to backing with metal veneer ties:
a. Use one tie for each 4 sq. ft. (0.37 m
2
) of wall area.
b. Maximum space between adjacent ties:
(1) Vertically and horizontally: 24 in. (610 mm).
c. Embed ties at least 2 in. (51 mm) in horizontal joint of facing.
d. Provide additional ties at openings:
(1) Maximum spacing around perimeter: 36 in. (914 mm).
(2) Install within 12 in. (305 mm) of opening.
NOTE:
3.03.E 4 Tie spacing is based on a design wind pressure of 20 psf (958 N/m
2
). Maximum spacing should be decreased for higher
wind pressures. Recommended spacing for:
30 psf (1436 N/m2):
Vertically: 24 in. (610 mm)
Horizontally: 16 in. (406 mm)
40 psf (1913 N/m2):
Vertically: 18 in. (457 mm)
Horizontally: 16 in. (406 mm)
3.04 REINFORCED BRICK MASONRY:
A. Brick Installation:
1. Lay brick plumb and true to lines.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11b.htm
5 of 9 9/13/2009 12:44 PM
2. Lay with completely filled mortar joints.
3. Do not furrow bed joints.
4. Butter ends of brick with sufficient mortar to fill head joints.
5. Slightly bevel mortar bed to incline towards cavity.
6. Rock closures into place with head joints thrown against two adjacent brick in place.
7. Do not pound corners and jambs to fit stretcher units after they are set in position. Where an
adjustment must be made after mortar has started to harden, remove mortar and replace with
fresh mortar.
NOTE:
3.04.A If hollow units are specified, alter to conform to requirements of the units.
B. Forms and Shores:
1. Provide substantial and tight forms.
2. Leakage of mortar or grout is not permitted.
3. Brace or tie forms to maintain position and shape.
4. Do not remove forms and shores until masonry has hardened sufficiently to carry its own
weight and other temporary loads that may be placed on it during construction:
a. For girders and beams: Minimum 10 days.
b. Under brick slabs: Minimum 7 days.
C. Placing Reinforcement:
1. Position metal reinforcement accurately.
2. Secure against displacement:
a. Hold vertical reinforcement firmly in place by means of frames or other suitable
devices.
b. Horizontal reinforcement may be placed as brickwork progresses.
3. Spacing:
a. Minimum clear distance between longitudinal bars, except in columns: Nominal
diameter of bar or 1 in. (25 mm).
b. Minimum clear distance between bars in columns: Not less than 1/2 times bar
diameter or 1/2 in. (38 mm). 4
4. Minimum thickness of mortar or grout between brick and reinforcement: 1/4 in. (6.4 mm),
except:
a. 1/4 - in. (6.4 mm) bars may be laid in 1/2-in.(12.7 mm) horizontal mortar joints.
b. No. 6 gage or smaller wires may be laid in 3/8-in. (9.5 mm) mortar joints.
5. Minimum width of collar Joints containing both horizontal and vertical reinforcement: 1/2 in.
(12.7 mm) larger than sum of diameters of horizontal and vertical reinforcement.
6. Splice reinforcement or attach reinforcement to dowels by placing in contact and wiring.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11b.htm
6 of 9 9/13/2009 12:44 PM
7. Do not splice reinforcement at points other than shown on drawings, unless approved by the
structural engineer.
8. Shape and dimension reinforcement as shown on drawings:
a. Cold bend all bars.
b. Do not straighten or repair in a manner that will injure material.
c. Do not use bars with kinks or bends not shown on drawings.
d. Reinforcement can be heated when entire operation is approved by structural
engineer.
3.05 GROUTING:
A. Low-Lift Grouting:
1. Keep grout core clean from mortar and drippings.
2. Grout spaces less than 2 in. (51 mm) in width at intervals of not more than 24 in. (610 mm) in
lifts of 6 to 8 in. (152 to 203 mm) as the wall is built.
3. In grout spaces more than 2 brick in thickness:
a. Place or float brick in grout.
b. Minimum grout between brick: 3/8 in. (9.5 mm).
4. Agitate or puddle grout during and after placement to insure complete filling.
5. Stop grout 1/2 in. (38 mm) below top of masonry:
a. If grouting is stopped for 1 hr. or more.
b. Except when completing grouting of finished wall.
6. If brick headers are used for ties in low-lift grouting space:
a. Maximum: 8% of wall area.
NOTE:
3.05.A.6 Using headers for tying wythes is not recommended; however, if selected, construction should conform to the
requirements of this section.
B. High-Lift Grouting:
1. For running bond, provide one metal tie for each 3 sq. ft. (0.28 ma) of wall with maximum
spacing:
a. Vertically: 16 in. (406 mm).
b. Horizontally: 24 in. (610 mm).
2. For stack bond, provide one metal tie for each 2 sq. ft. (0.19 m2) of wall with maximum
spacing:
a. Vertically: 12 in. (305 mm).
b. Horizontally: 24 in. (610 mm).
3. Keep grout core clean from mortar and droppings.
4. Provide cleanout holes by omitting every other brick in bottom course on one side of wall.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11b.htm
7 of 9 9/13/2009 12:44 PM
5. Prior to closing cleanout holes and pouring grout, use high-pressure jet stream of water or
high-pressure air to remove excess mortar from grout space and to clean reinforcement.
6. Do not plug cleanout holes until condition of area to be grouted has been approved.
7. Before pouring grout, plug cleanout holes with masonry units and brace against grout
pressure.
8. Grout spaces 2 in. (51 mm) or more in width in lifts not exceeding 4 ft. (1.2 m) at intervals:
a. Coarse grout: Not more than 48 times the least clear dimension of grout space.
**OR**
a. Fine grout: Not more than 64 times the least clear dimension of grout space.
********
b. Not to exceed height of 12 ft. (3.7 m).
9. Do not place grout until the entire wall has been in place 3 days.
10. Vibrate or agitate grout during, and after placement to insure complete filling of grout space.
11. Stop grout 1 1/2 in. (38 mm) below top of masonry:
a. If grouting is stopped for 1 hr. or more.
b. Except when completing grouting of finished wall.
12. Provide grout blocks at convenient intervals to meet project requirements.
3.06 CLEANING:
A. Cut out any defective joints and holes in exposed masonry and repoint with mortar.
B. Clean all exposed unglazed masonry:
1. Apply cleaning agent to sample wall area of 20 sq. ft. (2 m2 ) in location acceptable to the
Architect/Engineer.
2. Do not proceed with cleaning until sample area is approved by Architect/Engineer.
3. Clean initially with stiff brushes and water.
4. When cleaning agent is required:
a. Follow brick manufacturer's recommendations.
b. Thoroughly wet surface of masonry on which no green efflorescence appears.
c. Scrub with acceptable cleaning agent.
d. Immediately rinse with clear water.
e. Do small sections at a time.
f. Work from top to bottom.
g. Protect all sash, metal lintels and other corrodible parts when masonry is cleaned with
acid solution.
h. Remove green efflorescence in accordance with brick manufacturer's
recommendations.
NOTE:
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11b.htm
8 of 9 9/13/2009 12:44 PM
3.06 If care is taken during laying and the wall is acceptable, the requirements of this section can be deleted.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11b.htm
9 of 9 9/13/2009 12:44 PM

Technical Notes 11C - Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry, Part 4
Rev. [July 1972] (Reissued May 1998)
INTRODUCTION
This issue of Technical Notes and the following issue, Technical Notes 11D, contain the required additional sections
and statements to be incorporated into the "Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry", Technical Notes 11A Revised
and 11B Revised. This will make the guide specifications in those Technical Notes suitable for Engineered Brick
Masonry.
The sections contained in these Technical Notes deal primarily with the quality assurance, selection of units, strength
and construction tolerances to provide masonry that meets the minimum design requirements for Engineered Brick
Masonry.
In the construction of Engineered Brick Masonry, quality control may be maintained in either of two ways: (1) by
testing the brick and controlling the mortar which can be done by laboratory tests or by mixing proportions, or (2) by
periodic testing of masonry prisms. This Technical Notes covers quality control by method (1), testing brick and
control of mortar. Technical Notes 11D covers quality control by method (2), testing masonry prisms.
When quality control by materials testing (brick and mortar) is to be used, the design compressive strength (f'm) can
be assumed, using Table 2 of the BIA Standard, "Building Code Requirements for Engineered Brick Masonry", and
the quality control requirements of this Technical Notes should be incorporated into the guide specifications in
Technical Notes 11A Revised and 11B Revised.
All other sections of the Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry (Technical Notes 11A Revised and 11B Revised)
are appropriate for Engineered Brick Masonry.
QUALITY ASSURANCE BASED ON BRICK AND MORTAR TESTS
Guide Specifications and Notes
PART I - GENERAL
1.02 QUALITY ASSURANCE
Delete section and notes for 1.02.A in Technical Notes 11A Revised, and substitute the following quality
control requirements based on brick tests.
A. Brick Tests:
1. Preconstruction Tests:
a. Test five brick for compressive strength to determine acceptability of units for
compliance with specifications.
b. Use brick similar to those selected for use, matching color, texture, raw material,
moisture content and coring.
c. Cost of tests shall be borne by the General Contractor.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11c.htm
1 of 5 9/13/2009 12:45 PM
2. Site Control Tests:
a. Test units selected at random from units delivered to the project.
b. Cost of tests of units after delivery shall be borne by the General Contractor, unless
tests indicate that units do not conform to the requirements of the specifications, in which
case cost shall be borne by the seller.
3. Test in accordance with ASTM C 67-__________, with the following additional requirements:
a. If the coefficient of variation of the compression samples tested exceeds 12%, obtain
compressive strength by multiplying average compressive strength of specimens by
1 - 1.5 ( V - 0.12 )
100
where v is the coefficient of variation of sample tested.
Add the following to Section 1.02 in Technical Notes 11A Revised.
C. Preconstruction Requirements:
1. Prebid conference:
a. A prebid conference, directed by the Architect/Engineer, will be held one week prior to
the bid opening to discuss:
(1) Structural concept.
(2) Method and sequence of masonry construction.
(3) Special masonry details.
(4) Quality control requirements.
(5) Material requirements.
(6) Job organization.
(7) Workmanship.
b. Attendance is mandatory for all prospective:
(1) General contractors.
(2) Masonry subcontractors.
(3) Brick suppliers.
NOTE:
1.02.C This requirement may be deleted if not necessary for the project due to bidders being knowledgeable with engineered brick
masonry.
1.02.C.1.b Invitation to attend should be extended to others, such as the inspectors (local building department and other
government agencies) and Owner.
2. Preconstruction Testing and Certification:
a. After award of the contract, the General Contractor shall:
(1) Within 14 days, submit to the Architect/Engineer for approval the name of the
independent laboratory which will perform the site control tests and provide the
certificates and test reports required in Section 1.03.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11c.htm
2 of 5 9/13/2009 12:45 PM
(2) Upon approval of the laboratory, certificates and test reports, and prior to any
masonry construction, make arrangements for the following tests:
(a) Brick tests in accordance with preconstruction requirements, Section
1.02.A
(b) Mortar tests in accordance with mortar section.
b. Masonry work can begin only after approval of testing.
c. Testing is acceptable if test results indicate that materials meet the minimum
requirements of Part II - Products.
d. Cost of preconstruction testing shall be borne by the General Contractor, unless tests
indicate that units do not conform to the requirements of the specifications, in which case
cost shall be borne by the seller.
NOTE:
1.02.C.2 Inspection, laboratory and testing for quality control can be a responsibility of the Structural Engineer. If so, revise section.
3. Preconstruction Conference:
a. A preconstruction conference, directed by the Architect/Engineer, will be held after the
award of the General Contract, but prior to beginning of masonry work to discuss:
(1) Structural concept.
(2) Method and sequence of masonry construction.
(3) Special masonry details.
(4) Standard of workmanship.
(5) Quality control requirements.
(6) Job organization.
b. Attendance is mandatory for:
(1) General contractor job superintendent.
(2) Masonry subcontractor job superintendent.
(3) Masonry subcontractor foreman.
(4) At least two masons.
(5) Authorized representative of the brick supplier.
(6) Mortar material suppliers.
NOTE:
1.02.C.3.b Invitations to attend should be extended to others, such as inspectors (local building department and other government
agencies) and Owner.
D. Job Site Quality Control:
1. Site control brick and mortar tests:
a. Use compressive strength of brick units and compressive strength of mortar cubes to
control quality.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11c.htm
3 of 5 9/13/2009 12:45 PM
b. Test brick in accordance with site control requirements, Section 1.02.A.
c. Test mortar cubes in accordance with mortar section.
d. Test five brick and three mortar cubes for each 100,000 brick or fraction thereof.
e. Brick and mortar to be selected at random by the Architect/ Engineer.
f. Site control data shall be acceptable if material exceeds specified strength.
g. Cost of tests shall be borne by the General Contractor.
NOTE:
1.02.D.1.c Type M, S or N as specified in the mortar section. More than one mortar type may be specified. If so, provide sections
to cover all requirements. Mortar design compressive strengths should be based on laboratory tests of mortar made from
materials mixed to the proportion specification as required by the mortar section.
1.02.D.1.e As calculated by the Structural Engineer. May vary for different parts of the building. If so, provide sections to cover all
design strengths.
**OR**
1. Site control brick and mortar batching:
a. Use compressive strength of brick units and control on material proportions used in
batching mortar to control quality.
b. Test brick in accordance with site control requirements, Section 1.02.A.
c. Control mortar batches to conform to proportion specification specified in mortar
section.
d. Test five brick for each 100,000 brick or fraction thereof.
e. Site control data shall be acceptable if brick compressive strengths meet the
requirements of Part II and mortar is batched to proportion specification.
f. Cost of tests shall be borne by the General Contractor.
PART II - PRODUCTS
2.01 BRICK
A. Facing Brick:
1. Delete Note and replace with:
NOTE:
2.01.A.1 Grades and Types. Brick subject to the action of weather or soil, but not subject to frost action when permeated with
water, shall be of grade MW or grade SW, and where subject to temperature below freezing while in contact with soil shall be
grade SW. Brick used in loadbearing or shear wall construction shall comply with the dimensional and distortion tolerances
specified for type FBS of ASTM C 216-__________. Where such brick do not comply with these tolerance requirements, the
compressive strength of brick masonry shall be determined by prism tests.
PART Ill - EXECUTION
3.02 GENERAL ERECTION REQUIREMENTS
Delete Section 3.02.I in Technical Notes 11B Revised, and replace with the following Section 3. 02.I and add
Section 3. 02.J.
I. Mortar Joint Thickness
1. Lay brick with __________-in. mortar joints, not to exceed 1/2 in. (12.7 mm).
NOTE:
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11c.htm
4 of 5 9/13/2009 12:45 PM
3.02.I Coordinate joint thickness with brick specified in 2.01.A.2.
J. Construction Tolerances:
1. Maximum variation from plumb in vertical lines and surfaces of columns, walls and arrises:
a. 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) in 10 ft. (3 m).
b. 3/8 in. (9.6 mm) in a story height not to exceed 20 ft. (6 m).
c. 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) in 40 ft. (12 m) or more.
2. Maximum variation from plumb for external corners, expansion joints and other conspicuous
lines:
a. 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) in any story or 20 ft. (6 m) maximum.
b. 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) in 40 ft. (12 m) or more.
3. Maximum variation from level of grades for exposed lintels, sills, parapets, horizontal grooves
and other conspicuous lines:
a. 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) in any bay or 20 ft. (6 m).
b. 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) in 40 ft. (12 m) or more.
4. Maximum variation from plan location of related portions of columns, walls and partitions:
a. 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) in any bay or 20 ft. (6 m).
b. 3/4 in. (19 mm) in 40 ft. (12 m) or more.
5. Maximum variation in cross-sectional dimensions of columns and thicknesses of walls from
dimensions shown on drawings:
a. Minus 1/4 in. (6.4 mm).
b. Plus 1/2 in. (12.7 mm).
NOTE:
3.02.J These construction tolerances are for engineered brick masonry only, and are based on actual dimensions. They are
intended for the sole purpose of protecting the structural integrity of engineered brick masonry elements and may not be adequate
for establishing construction tolerances associated with esthetics or visual requirements.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11c.htm
5 of 5 9/13/2009 12:45 PM

Technical Notes 11D - Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry, Part 4 Continued
[Aug. 1972] (Reissued Sept. 1988)
INTRODUCTION
This issue of Technical Notes is a continuation of Technical Notes 11C Revised and contains additional sections and
statements to be incorporated into the "Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry", Technical Notes 11A Revised and
11B Revised. This will make the guide specifications in those Technical Notes suitable for Engineered Brick
Masonry.
The sections contained in these Technical Notes deal primarily with the quality assurance, selection of units, strength
and construction tolerances to provide masonry that meets the minimum design requirements for Engineered Brick
Masonry.
In the construction of Engineered Brick Masonry, quality control may be maintained in either of two ways: (1) by
testing the brick and controlling the mortar which can be done by laboratory tests or by mixing proportions, or (2) by
periodic testing of masonry prisms. This Technical Notes covers quality control by method (2), prism testing.
Technical Notes 11C covers quality control by method (1), testing brick and control of mortar.
When quality control is maintained by prism tests, the brick masonry strength is determined in accordance with
paragraph 4.2.2.1 of the BIA Standard, "Building Code Requirements for Engineered Brick Masonry". Test prisms
are built as the walls are constructed and tested in compression at 7 days or 28 days. If prism tests are used, the
quality control requirements of this Technical Notes should be incorporated into the guide specifications in Technical
Notes 11A Revised and 11B Revised.
All other sections of the Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry (Technical Notes 11A Revised and 11B Revised)
are appropriate for Engineered Brick Masonry.
QUALITY ASSURANCE BASED ON PRISM TESTS
Guide Specification and Notes
PART I - GENERAL
1.02 QUALITY ASSURANCE
Delete sections and notes for 1.02 in Technical Notes 11A Revised, and substitute the following quality
control requirements based on prism tests.
A. Prism Tests:
1. Preconstruction Prisms:
a. Build ten prisms:
(1) Of site materials insofar as possible.
(2) Use brick units similar as to color, texture, raw materials, moisture content and
coring.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11d.htm
1 of 7 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
(3) Under same conditions, insofar as possible, as the structure.
(4) With same bonding, insofar as possible, as for structure.
(5) With same mortar as for the structure.
(6) With same joint thickness.
(7) With same workmanship.
2. Site Control Prisms:
a. Build prisms as required by Section 1.02.D.1 at the direction of the Architect/Engineer.
(1) Of site materials.
(2) Of brick units selected at random from units delivered to the project.
(3) At the project site.
(4) With same bonding, insofar as possible, as the structure.
(5) With site mortar.
(6) With same joint thickness as for the structure.
(7) With same workmanship.
3. Dimensions
a. Minimum height: 12 in. (305 mm).
b. Height-to-thickness ratio (h/t) range:
(1) Minimum: 2
(2) Maximum: 5
4. Mark each specimen for identification.
5. Store prisms:
a. Preconstruction prisms:
(1) In air at temperatures not less than 65
o
; F. (18.3
o
C.).
b. Site control prisms:
(1) At site for not less than 24 hr.
(2) Thereafter, in air at temperatures not less than 65
o
F.(18.
o
C.).
6. Test prisms:
a. Preconstruction prisms:
(1) Five after aging 7 days.
(2) Five after aging 28 days.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11d.htm
2 of 7 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
b. Site control prisms:
(1) After aging 7 days.
c. Cap each prism with suitable material to provide bearing surfaces on each end:
(1) Plane within 0.003 in. (0.076 mm).
(2) Approximately perpendicular to the axis of the prism.
NOTE:
1.02.A.6.c It is suggested that calcined gypsum be used for the capping material.
7. Test in accordance with relevant provisions of ASTM E 447-__________, with the following
provisions:
a. For h/t less than 5, reduce specimen compressive strength by correction factors as
follows:
alnterpolate to obtain intermediate values.
b. If the coefficient of variation of the sample tested exceeds 10%, obtain the
compressive strength by multiplying the average compressive strength of the specimens
by
1 - 1.5 ( V - 0.10 )
100
where v is the coefficient of variation of the sample tested.
B. Brick Tests:
1. Preconstruction Tests:
a. Test five brick for compressive strength to determine acceptability of units for
compliance with specifications.
b. Use brick similar to those selected for use, matching color, texture, raw material,
moisture content and coring.
c. Cost of tests shall be borne by the General Contractor.
2. Test in accordance with ASTM C 67-__________, with the following additional requirements:
a. If the coefficient of variation of the compression samples tested exceeds 12%, obtain
compressive strength by multiplying average compressive strength of specimens by
1 - 1.5 ( V - 0.12 )
100
where v is the coefficient of variation of sample tested.
C. Preconstruction Requirements:
1. Prebid conference:
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11d.htm
3 of 7 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
a. A prebid conference, directed by the Architect/ Engineer, will be held one week prior
to the bid opening to discuss:
(1) Structural concept.
(2) Method and sequence of masonry construction.
(3) Special masonry details.
(4) Quality control requirements.
(5) Material requirements.
(6) Job organization.
(7) Workmanship.
b. Attendance is mandatory for all prospective:
(1) General contractors.
(2) Masonry subcontractors.
(3) Brick suppliers.
NOTE:
1.02.C This requirement may be deleted if not necessary for the project due to bidders being knowledgeable with engineered brick
masonry.
1.02.C.1.b Invitation to attend should be extended to others, such as the inspectors (local building department and other
government agencies) and Owner.
2. Preconstruction Testing and Certification:
a. After award of the contract, the General Contractor shall:
(1) Within 14 days, submit to the Architect/Engineer for approval the name of the
independent laboratory which will perform the site control tests and provide the
certificates and test reports required in Section 1.03.
(2) Upon approval of the laboratory, certificates and test reports, and prior to any
masonry construction, make arrangements for the following tests for each
combination of brick and mortar:
(a) Tests of ten prisms in accordance with preconstruction requirements,
Section 1.02.A.
(b) Test five brick in accordance with Section 1.02.B.
b. Masonry work can begin only after approval of testing.
c. Testing is acceptable if test results indicate that materials meet the minimum
requirements of Part II - Products, or Section 3.02.K.
d. Cost of preconstruction testing shall be borne by the General Contractor.
NOTE:
1.02.C.2 Inspection, laboratory and testing for quality control can be a responsibility of the Structural Engineer. If so, revise section.
3. Preconstruction Conference:
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11d.htm
4 of 7 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
a. A preconstruction conference, directed by the Architect/Engineer, will be held after the
award of the General Contract, but prior to beginning of masonry work to discuss:
(1) Structural concept.
(2) Method and sequence of masonry construction.
(3) Special masonry details.
(4) Standard of workmanship.
(5) Quality control requirements.
(6) Job organization.
b. Attendance is mandatory for:
(1) General contractor job superintendent.
(2) Masonry subcontractor job superintendent.
(3) Masonry subcontractor foreman.
(4) At least two masons.
(5) Authorized representative of the brick supplier.
(6) Mortar material suppliers.
NOTE:
1.02.C.3.b Invitations to attend should be extended to others, such as inspectors (local building department and other government
agencies) and Owner.
D. Job Site Quality Control:
1. Site control prism tests:
a. Use 7-day compressive strength of brick prisms to control quality.
b. Build, store and test prisms in accordance with site control requirements, Section
1.02.A.
c. Build three prisms for each 5000 sq. ft. (465 m
2
) of wall area as directed by the
Architect/Engineer.
**OR**
c. Provide three prisms for each story height.
d. Site control test data shall be acceptable if the 7-day prism strength indicates that the
28-day strength will be equal to or greater than the required minimum ultimate
compressive strength. See Section 3.02.K.
e. Cost of control prisms to be borne by the General Contractor
NOTE:
1.02.D.1.c Select, depending upon whichever is more frequent.
E. Furnish Sample Panel:
1. 4 ft. (1.2 m) long by 3 ft. (1 m) high, of the proposed color range, texture, bond, mortar and
workmanship.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11d.htm
5 of 7 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
2. Erect panel in the presence of the Architect/Engineer before installation of materials.
3. Provide separate panels for each type of brick or mortar.
4. Do not start work until Architect/Engineer has accepted sample panel.
5. Use panel as standard of comparison for all masonry work built of same material.
6. Do not destroy or move panel until work is completed and accepted by Owner.
1.03 SUBMITTALS
Add the following section to 1.03 in Technical Notes 11A Revised:
D. Prism Test Reports:
1. Test reports are to be submitted to Architect/Engineer for approval.
2. Testing and reports are to be completed by an independent laboratory.
3. Test reports shall show:
a. Age at test.
b. Storage conditions.
c. Dimensions (h/t).
d. Compressive strength of individual prisms.
e. Coefficient of variation (v).
f. Ultimate compressive strength of masonry (f 'm ) which has been corrected for the
coefficient of variation and the hit of the prisms tested.
PART II -PRODUCTS
2.01 BRICK
A. Facing Brick:
1. Delete Note and replace with:
NOTE:
2.01.A.1 Grades and Types. Brick subject to the action of weather or soil, but not subject to frost action when permeated with
water, shall be of grade MW or grade SW and where subject to temperature below freezing while in contact with soil shall be
grade SW. Brick used in loadbearing or shear wall construction shall comply with the dimensional and distortion tolerances
specified for type FBS of ASTM C 216-__________. Where such brick do not comply with these tolerance requirements, the
compressive strength of brick masonry shall be determined by prism tests.
PART III -EXECUTION
3.02 GENERAL ERECTION REQUIREMENTS
Delete Section 3.02.I in Technical Notes 11B Revised, and replace with the following Section 3.02.I and add
Sections 3.02.J And 3.02.K
I. Lay brick with __________-in. mortar joints, not to exceed 1/2 in. (12.7 mm).
J. Construction Tolerances:
1. Maximum variation from plumb in vertical lines and surfaces of columns, walls and arrises:
a. 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) in 10 ft. (3 m).
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11d.htm
6 of 7 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
b. 3/8 in. (9.6 mm) in a story height not to exceed 20 ft. (6 m)
c. 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) in 40 ft. (12 m) or more.
2. Maximum variation from plumb for external corners, expansion joints and other conspicuous
lines:
a. 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) in any story or 20 ft. (6 m) maximum.
b. 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) in 40 ft. (12 m) or more.
3. Maximum variation from level of grades for exposed lintels, sills, parapets, horizontal grooves
and other conspicuous lines:
a. 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) in any bay or 20 ft. (6 m).
b. 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) in 40 ft. (12 m) or more.
4. Maximum variation from plan location of related portions of columns, walls and partitions:
a. 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) in any bay or 20 ft. (6 m).
b. 3/4 in. (19 mm) in 40 ft. (12 m) or more.
5. Maximum variation in cross-sectional dimensions of columns and thicknesses of walls from
dimensions shown on drawings:
a. Minus 1/4 in. (6.4 mm).
b. Plus 1/2 in. (12.7 mm).
K. Minimum Ultimate Compressive Strength of Masonry (f'm)__________psi ( __________kgf/cm2).
NOTE:
3.02.K Ultimate compressive strength as determined by the Structural Engineer may vary for different parts and walls of the
building. If so, provide sections to cover all design requirements.
INTRODUCTION http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11d.htm
7 of 7 9/13/2009 12:46 PM

Technical Notes 11E - Guide Specifications for Brick Masonry, Part 5, Mortar and Grout
September 1991
Abstract: This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grout used in brick masonry. Using this
Technical Notes, a specifier can prepare a job specification for Section 04100. Notes are provided to help the
specifier understand certain decisions that affect the project specifications. The guide specification is in
accordance with the Construction Specifications Institute's (CSI) Masterformat.
Key Words: brick masonry, grout, guide specification, mortar.
INTRODUCTION
This Technical Notes is a continuation of Technical Notes 11 Series on "Guide Specifications for Brick
Masonry" and contains the requirements for mortar and grout for brick masonry. This Technical Notes is
appropriate for both empirically designed and rationally designed brick masonry.
The guide specification in this Technical Notes is in accordance with the Construction Specifications Institute's
Masterformat and is based on the requirements of BIA M1 Standard Specification for Portland Cement-Lime
Mortar for Brick Masonry contained in Technical Notes 8A and ASTM C 270 Mortar for Unit Masonry. Mortar
conforming to the requirements of BIA M1 will meet all of the requirements of portland cement-lime mortars of
ASTM C 270. A complete discussion of mortar properties is contained in Technical Notes 8.

GENERAL
Mortar requirements differ from concrete requirements because the primary function of mortar is to bond
masonry units into an integral element. The basic mortar ingredients include portland cement, hydrated lime,
sand and water. Masonry cements, proprietary mortar mixes, are sometimes used to replace portland
cement and hydrated lime or combined with portland cement to make mortar. BIA M1, ASTM C 270 and
ASTM C 1142 Ready-Mixed Mortar for Unit Masonry are the recommended standards for mortar to be used
with brick masonry.
Grout is different from both concrete and mortar. Grout is a high slump mixture used to fill cells of masonry
units or between wythes of masonry to resist stresses and develop bond with reinforcement. Grout can
consist of portland cement, hydrated lime, fine or coarse aggregate and water. Grout should be specified by
ASTM C 476 Grout for Masonry.

RECOMMENDED MORTAR USES
Selection of a particular mortar type is usually a function of the needs of the finished structural element. For
example, where high wind loads are expected, high lateral strength may be required and, hence, mortar with
high flexural bond strength should be considered. For loadbearing walls and reinforced brick masonry, high
compressive strength may be the governing factor. In some projects considerations of durability, color,
flexibility, etc., may be of most concern. No single type of mortar is best for all purposes. Factors which
improve one property of mortar may do so at the expense of others. For this reason, when selecting a
mortar, evaluate properties of each mortar type and choose that type and materials which will best meet all
requirements. Technical Notes 8B discusses the selection of mortar types in depth. The following sections
Abstract: This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grou... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11e.htm
1 of 8 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
briefly discuss selection of mortar.

Type N Mortar
Type N mortar is suitable for general use in exposed masonry above grade. It is recommended for use in
parapet walls, chimneys and exterior walls when subject to severe exposure.

Type S Mortar
Type S mortar is recommended for use in reinforced and unreinforced masonry where higher flexural
strengths than Type N are required.

Type M Mortar
Type M mortar is recommended for use in masonry in contact with earth such as foundations, retaining walls,
paving, sewers and manholes, and in reinforced masonry.

Type O Mortar
Type O mortar is suitable for interior use in non-loadbearing applications.

SPECIFYING MORTAR
Mortars are specified in one of two ways: proportions or properties, but not both. Mortar prepared by the
proportion requirements should not be compared to mortar prepared by the property requirements.
The proportion specification requires that mortar materials be mixed according to given volumetric proportions
or weight. If mortar is specified by this method, no laboratory testing of the mortar is required.
If mortar is specified by the property specifications, compressive strength, water retention and air content
tests must be performed on mortar mixed in the laboratory. Field mortar is then mixed to the proportions
selected from these laboratory tests.
When neither proportion nor property is specified, the proportion specifications govern.

SPECIFYING GROUT
Grout is specified by proportion using ASTM C 476. Either fine or fine and coarse aggregate can be used in
grout. Experience has shown that grout mixed to the specified proportions performs well with brick masonry
since the grout compressive strength closely matches the compressive strength of the brick masonry. Grout
must have adequate compressive strength, bonding with reinforcement and for embedment of anchor bolts.
There is usually no need to specify compressive strength of grout unless required by design. Grout strength
can be verified by field testing using ASTM C 1019. Slump of the grout is usually specified to be between 8
and 11 in. (203.2 and 279.4 mm).

Abstract: This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grou... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11e.htm
2 of 8 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
CONCLUSION
This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grout for brick masonry. Notes are provided to
assist in editing the specification.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Notes are based on the available data and the
experience of the engineering staff of the Brick Institute of America. The information contained herein must be
used in conjunction with good technical judgment and a basic understanding of the properties of masonry.
Final decisions on the use of information contained in this Technical Notes are not within the purview of the
Brick Institute of America and must rest with the project architect, engineer, owner or all.

04100 MORTAR AND GROUT

Guide Specification & Notes
PART 1 GENERAL
1.01 SECTION INCLUDES
A. Mortar for masonry.
B. Grout for masonry.
C. Repointing mortar.
1.02 RELATED SECTIONS
A Concrete: Section 03__________.
B. Masonry: Section 04__________.
C. Masonry Cleaning: Section 04500.
D. Structural Metal Framing: Section 05100.
E. Rough Carpentry: Section 06100.
F. Waterproofing: Section 07100.

NOTE:
1.02 Some of these broadscope sections may not be included. Other narrow scope sections under these broadscope sections may be
added.

1.03 PRODUCTS INSTALLED BUT NOT FURNISHED UNDER THIS SECTION
A. Reinforcing Steel: Section 03210.
B. Metal Accessories: Section 04150.
C. Masonry Units: Section O4200.
Abstract: This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grou... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11e.htm
3 of 8 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
D. Flashing and Sheet Metal: Section 07600.
1.04 REFERENCES
A. ACI 530.1/ASCE 6-__________ - Specifications for Masonry Structures.
B. ASTM C 91 - __________, [UBC Standard No. 24-16] - Masonry Cement.
C. ASTM C 144 - __________ - Aggregate for Masonry Mortar.
D. ASTM C 150 - __________, [UBC Standard No. 26-1] - Portland Cement.
E. ASTM C 207-__________, [UBC Standard No. 24-18] - Hydrated Lime for Masonry
Purposes.
F. ASTM C 270-__________, [UBC Standard No. 24-20] - Mortar for Unit Masonry.
G. ASTM C 404-__________ - Aggregates for Masonry Grout.
H. ASTM C 476-__________, [UBC Standard No. 24-29] - Grout for Masonry.
I. ASTM C 780-__________ - Preconstruction and Construction Evaluation of Mortars for Plain
and Reinforced Unit Masonry.
J. ASTM C 979-__________ - Pigments for Integrally Colored Concrete.
K. ASTM C 1019-__________, [UBC Standard No. 24-28] - Sampling and Testing Grout.
L. ASTM C 1142-__________ - Ready-Mixed Mortar for Unit Masonry.
M. BIA Technical Notes 8A - "Specifications for Portland Cement-Lime Mortar for Brick
Masonry" BIA M1-88).

NOTE:
1.04 The applicable date for each reference can be given here or in Section 01090-Reference Standards. Alternate standards are
given for Uniform Building Code specifications.

1.05 SUBMITTALS
A. Submit data indicating proportion or property specifications used for mortar.
B. Submit test reports for mortar materials indicating conformance to ASTM C 270 [UBC
Standard No. 24-20] property specifications. Report proportions resulting from laboratory
testing used to select mortar mix.
C. Submit test reports for field sampling and testing mortar in conformance to ASTM C 780.
D. Submit test reports for grout materials indicating conformance to ASTM C 476 [UBC
Standard No. 24-29].
E. Submit test reports for field sampling and testing grout in conformance to ASTM C 1019
[UBC Standard No. 24-28].
F. Samples: Submit two ribbons of mortar for conformance with color.
Abstract: This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grou... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11e.htm
4 of 8 9/13/2009 12:46 PM

NOTE:
1.05.A ASTM C 270 and UBC Standard No. 24-20 require that mortar be specified by proportion or property, not both.
1.05.B ASTM C 270 and UBC Standard No. 24-20 require comparison of laboratory prepared mortars to establish
proportions for field-mixed mortar when the property specifications are used.
1.05.C ASTM C 780 allows preconstruction evaluation of mortar and comparison of field prepared mortars. Mortar
prepared in the field should not be compared to values found in the property specifications of ASTM C 270 or UBC
Standard No. 24-20.
1.05.E ASTM C 1019 or UBC Standard No. 24-28 is used to test uniformity of grout preparation during construction.

1.06 DELIVERY, STORAGE AND HANDLING
A. Store materials in dry location and protected from dampness and freezing.
B. Stockpile and handle aggregates to prevent contamination from foreign materials.
1.07 ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS
A. Follow requirements for cold and hot weather construction in ACI 530.1/ASCE 6 [Uniform
Building Code].
PART 2 PRODUCTS
2.01 MORTAR MATERIALS
A. Cementitious materials:
1. Portland Cement: ASTM C 150 [UBC Standard No. 26-1], Type__________.
2. Hydrated Lime: ASTM C 207 [UBC Standard No. 24-18], Type S__________.
3. Masonry Cements: ASTM C 91 [UBC Standard No. 24-16], Type__________.
B. Sand: ASTM C 144.
C. Admixtures:
1. No air-entraining admixtures or material containing air-entraining admixtures.
2. No antifreeze compounds shall be added to mortar.
3. No admixtures containing chlorides shall be added to mortar.
D. Water: Clean and potable.
E. Mortar pigment:
1. ASTM C 979: Pigment shall not exceed 10% of the weight of portland cement.
2. Carbon black shall not exceed 2% of the weight of portland cement.

NOTE:
2.01.A Allowable flexural tensile stresses for masonry built with air-entrained portland cement-lime mortars, or with
Abstract: This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grou... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11e.htm
5 of 8 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
masonry cement mortars are lower than those built with portland cement-lime mortars.
2.01.A.1 Only Types I, II or III.
2.01.A.3 Types M, S, or N.
2.01.B Sand not conforming to ASTM C 144 must have mortar meet the property specification requirements.
2.01.E Limits on amount of pigments should be halved when using masonry cement mortars.

2.02 GROUT MATERIALS
A. Cementitious materials:
1. Portland Cement: ASTM C 150 [UBC Standard No. 26-1], Type__________.
2. Hydrated Lime: ASTM C 207 [UBC Standard No. 24-18], Type S__________.
B. Aggregates:
1. Fine aggregate: ASTM C404.
2. Coarse aggregate: ASTM C 404.
C. Water: Clean and potable.
D. Admixtures.

NOTE:
2.02.A.1 Only Types 1, II or III.
2.02.D Grout admixtures are used to decrease grout shrinkage, aid in pumping grout, or for other reasons. The use of
such admixtures should not adversely affect the performance of the grout.

2.03 MORTAR AND GROUT MIXES
A. Mortar - ASTM C 270 [UBC Standard No. 24-20] or BIA M1:
1. Type based on proportion specifications.
**OR**
1. Type__________based on property specifications to achieve __________ psi
strength, __________% air content, __________% water retention.

NOTE:
2.03.A Mortar mixes can be specified separately by specifying ASTM C 270, UBC Standard No. 24-20 or BIA
M1; or by specifying ASTM C 1142 alone.
2.03.A.1 Type M, S, N or O depending on design requirements.

Abstract: This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grou... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11e.htm
6 of 8 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
**OR**
A. Mortar - ASTM C 1142: Type__________.

NOTE:
2.03.A Ready mixed mortar can be mixed on-site or off-site. Types RM, RS, RN or RO.

B. Grout: ASTM C 476 [UBC Standard No. 24-29]
1. Fine grout.
2. Coarse grout.
3. Slump: __________inches (__________mm).

NOTE:
2.03.B The use of fine or coarse grout is based on the size of the grout space and the height of the grout pour.
2.03.B.3 Specify desired slump between 8 and 11 inches (203.2 and 279.4 mm). Higher slump is necessary for smaller
dimensioned grout spaces and with higher unit/grout volume ratios.

PART 3 EXECUTION
3.01 FIELD MORTAR MIXING
A. All cementitious materials and aggregate shall be mixed between 3 and 5 min. in a
mechanical batch mixer with the maximum amount of water to produce a workable consistency.
B. Control batching procedure to ensure proper proportions by measuring materials by volume.
Sand measurement by shovel count shall not be permitted.
C. If water is lost by evaporation within 2 1/2 hours after initial mixing, retemper with water.
D. Discard all mortar which is more than 2 1/2 hours old.

NOTE:
3.01 ASTM C 270 or BIA M1 can be referenced for field mortar mixing.
3.01.B Materials can be specified by weight if volume proportions are converted to weight proportions
3.02 FIELD GROUT MIXING
A. Control batching procedure to ensure proper proportions by measuring materials by volume.

NOTE:
3.02 ASTM C 476 can be referenced for field grout mixing.
3.02.A Materials can be measured by weight if volume proportions are converted to weight proportions.
Abstract: This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grou... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11e.htm
7 of 8 9/13/2009 12:46 PM

3.03 INSTALLATION
A. Install mortar and grout in accordance with ACI 530.1/ASCE 6.
3.04 REPOINTING MORTAR
A. Use mortar materials listed in 2.01, Type N.
B. Prehydrate the mortar by the following method. Mix dry ingredients together. Then add only
enough water to make a damp, stiff mix which will retain its form when pressed in a ball. After 1
to 2 hours, add sufficient water to bring it to the proper consistency.

NOTE:
3.04.A If materials and proportions of existing mortar are known, use those instead of Type N mortar if the existing mortar
provided sufficient durability.
Abstract: This Technical Notes is a guide specification for mortar and grou... http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t11e.htm
8 of 8 9/13/2009 12:46 PM
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
13
December
2005
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
INTRODUCTION
Glazed brick can be used in both interior and exterior
applications, as accent brick or as the field brick covering
the entire facade, as shown in Photos 1 and 2. Glazed
units have been integral parts of buildings for decades
and have performed well under all climatic conditions.
Glazed brick are often selected for use because of the
many characteristics that make them distinct among brick
products. One of these is the wide variety of colors that
are not available in standard brick production. These may
be applied to special shapes or brick of different sizes
to further enhance visual interest. It is even possible to
apply multiple glazes to a single brick unit, as shown in
Photo 3. Glazes may be clear, translucent or opaque, and
are available in almost any color with a glossy, satin or
matte finish.
Glazed brick also provide an impervious surface that is
extremely durable and resistant to staining which results
in easy maintenance. Resistance to scratching and abra-
sion, as well as fire resistance of the glaze, also enhance
the durability of glazed brick units.
Successful performance of exterior glazed brick walls can
Page 1 of 6
Photo 1
Glazed Brick Used for Entire Facade
General:
Consult manufacturers for assistance with special shapes
and to determine the property requirements of double-fired
glazed units
Specify surfaces other than stretcher faces to be glazed
Wall System Design:
Use vented drainage walls to ensure the most rapid
removal of moisture that enters the wall
Specify concave, "V", or grapevine mortar joint profiles
Air Space:
2 in. (51 mm) minimum air space recommended, required
to be no less than 1 in. (25.4 mm)
When prescriptive anchor spacings are used, air space
may not exceed 4
1
/2 in. (114 mm)
Flashing:
Extend flashing to the face of the brickwork or beyond
Install at all horizontal interruptions to the air space
Turn flashing ends into head joint a minimum of 1 in. (25.4
mm) to form end dam
Weeps:
Open head joint weeps spaced no more than 24 in. (610
mm) o.c. recommended
Most building codes permit weeps no less than
3
/16 in. (4.8
mm) diameter and spaced no more than 33 in. (838 mm)
o.c.
Wick and tube weep spacing recommended at no more
than 16 in. (406 mm) o.c.
Vents:
Place vents at the tops of walls and below horizontal inter-
ruptions such as shelf angles and flashing locations
Use open head joint weeps as vents; If weeps are not
open head joints, vents are needed one or two courses
above weeps
Space vents 24 to 48 in. (610 mm to 1.22 m) o.c.
Stagger vents in relation to overlying weeps
Ceramic Glazed Brick Exterior Walls
Abstract: Buildings and other structures employ glazed brick in a variety of uses, from decorative bands to entire wall sys-
tems. Due to the imperviousness of its ceramic glazed surface, a vented air space is recommended behind the glazed brick
wythe. Proper wall design, detailing and material selection, along with quality construction will result in attractive glazed brick
applications exhibiting durability, structural stability and virtually maintenance free aesthetics.
Key Words: ceramic, condensation, drainage, expansion joints, flashing, glaze, moisture, movement, vents, weeps.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 13 | Ceramic Glazed Brick Exterior Walls | Page 2 of 6
be ensured through the use of vented drainage wall sys-
tems that allow water to evaporate from the unglazed back
surface of the brick as well as through mortar joints. Other
wall systems utilizing glazed brick exist and are serviceable,
but are outside the scope of this Technical Note.
Attention must be given to proper material selection, detail-
ing and construction practices to ensure successful perfor-
mance. Proper design and installation of exterior glazed
brick walls allows water drainage and minimizes the pos-
sibility of water being trapped behind the glazed surface
which may lead to efflorescence or spalling. As in all brick
construction, stress concentrations due to restrained move-
ment must also be minimized. This Technical Note address-
es these concerns and offers recommendations to ensure
proper performance.
WALL SYSTEM DESIGN
Moisture Resistance
It is recommended that exterior glazed brick walls be
designed to drain water that enters the wall system and
to allow moisture from wind-driven rain or condensation
to evaporate from the behind the brickwork. Therefore, a
vented drainage wall system is recommended. Drainage
walls must be designed, detailed and constructed properly
to accommodate the flow of water collected within the wall.
Common examples of drainage walls include brick and
block cavity walls, brick veneer, and rain screen walls. See
Technical Note 7 for more information on water penetration
resistance.
In drainage wall design, penetrant water is intended to drain
down the back of the brick, which is separated from interior
wall elements by an air space. While a minimum 1 in. (25.4
mm) air space is required, 2 in. (51 mm) is recommended.
Flashing and weeps are needed at horizontal interruptions
in the air space to collect water and direct it out of the wall
system, refer to Figures 1a, 1b and 1c. They are typically
provided above lintels and shelf angles, beneath sills, under
copings and masonry or stone caps, and at the wall base.
Discontinuous flashing, such as at window sills and loose
lintels, should be constructed with end dams to ensure that
collected water is directed out of the brickwork. End dams
are also recommended where stepped flashings are used,
such as at sloped grades, above arches, and above sloped
roofs. Weeps must be provided in head joints directly above
the flashing. Open head joint weeps are recommended
with a spacing of no more than 24 in. (610 mm) on center.
Spacing of wick and tube weeps is recommended at no
more than 16 in. (406 mm) on center. Most building codes
require weeps to have a minimum diameter of
3
/16 in. and
permit weeps to be spaced up to 33 inches (838 mm) on
center.
Mortar joints affect the moisture resistance of brickwork
since they can account for up to twenty percent of the
brickwork surface. Selecting mortar joint profiles that are
Figure 1
Glazed Brick Wall Sections
b) Glazed Brick at Shelf Angle
a) Glazed Brick at Top of Wall
c) Glazed Brick at Foundation
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 13 | Ceramic Glazed Brick Exterior Walls | Page 3 of 6
most resistant to water penetration and cover the bed surface of the brick unit further minimize water intrusion and
the possibility of water being trapped behind the glazed surface. Thus, concave, "V" and grapevine tooled mortar
joints are recommended.
Vents. Vents placed at the top of glazed brick wall segments, as shown in Figures 1a and 1b, encourage air cir-
culation and help to dissipate moisture within the air space. These vents should be located a course or two below
horizontal interruptions of the air space such as shelf angles and flashing locations and be spaced 24 to 48 inches
(610 mm to 1.22 m) on center. The vent should be an open head joint and may include a weep vent or louvered
insert to deter insect access. In multi-story construction, the horizontal placement of vents and weeps should be
staggered, or louvered inserts may be utilized to prevent draining water from entering vents. When wick or tube
weeps are used at the base of a wall, additional vents should be added no more than two courses above weeps
to best assure air movement through the air space.
Caps, Copings and Sills. Glazed brick should not be used in locations where they are likely to be saturated.
Rowlock courses of brick used as caps, copings or sills are vulnerable to water penetration, especially when the
slope is not sufficient to drain water away quickly. Therefore, glazed brick should be avoided in favor of concrete,
stone, or metal elements that reduce the potential for water penetration at these locations. More information about
caps and copings can be found in Technical Note 36A.
Movement
Brick masonry walls expand or contract with changes in temperature and moisture content. Brick expansion and
other building movements are typically accommodated by expansion joints, placed vertically and horizontally,
which divide the wall into rectangular segments and limit cumulative movement. Segment lengths and heights will
vary with the building and wall design; however, expansion joints must be placed beneath all shelf angles.
Expansion joints are typically needed near corners, at changes in wall height, at offsets in the wall plane and
at the ends of elements rigidly anchored to the backing or structure. The segments formed by expansion joints
should be limited to a maximum length of approximately 25 feet (7.62 m). Segment lengths in building parapets
should be limited to approximately 15 feet (4.57 m). The building geometry will also dictate locations for vertical
expansion joints in glazed brick walls. Vertical expansion joints should extend full height from the foundation to the
roof, or between locations of horizontal support.
Brick masonry expansion joints must be formed with
highly compressible materials and be free of mortar
and obstructions. Expansion joints are typically
3
/8 in.
(9.5 mm) or
1
/2 in. (12.7 mm) wide with a foam backer
rod and elastic sealant at the wall face to prevent
air and water penetration from the exterior. See the
Technical Notes 18 Series for more discussion regard-
ing building movements and expansion joints.
Structural Design
Glazed brick can be used in loadbearing, cavity or
veneer walls and should be designed in accordance
with the appropriate chapter of ACI 530/ ASCE 5/
TMS 402, Building Code Requirements for Masonry
Structures, also known as the Masonry Standards
J oint Committee (MSJ C) Code. [Ref. 11] Design can
be based on either the requirements for veneer in
Chapter 6, or the rational design approach of Chapters
2 or 3. In either case, the preferred design should
be based on minimizing the potential for cracking of
the glazed brick wythe under applied loading. More
detailed information on structural design of veneer
walls and cavity walls are included in the Technical
Notes 28 Series and Technical Notes 21 Series,
respectively.
Photo 2
Glazed Brick Used as Accents
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 13 | Ceramic Glazed Brick Exterior Walls | Page 4 of 6
The MSJ C Code and Specification also contain material, size and spacing requirements for wall ties in cavity
walls and anchors in veneer walls. Anchor and wall tie spacing in the MSJ C Code depends on the wall design
method and anchor type. See the Technical Notes 28 Series for anchor spacing in veneer walls and the Technical
Notes 21 Series for spacing of wall ties in cavity walls.
MATERIALS
Glazed Brick
Two methods are used to apply glazes to brick bodies: a
single-firing process and a double-firing process. In the
single-firing process, the glaze is applied to the unfired
brick body and is fused to the body when fired. In the
double-firing process, brick that have been fired previ-
ously have a glaze applied and are fired again to fuse
the glaze onto the brick. For some glazes with certain
compositions or color pigments, double-firing is neces-
sary to ensure the proper firing of the brick body at a
higher temperature and the proper color and finish of
the glaze at a lower temperature. Both methods result
in quality glazed brick. ASTM standards for glazed brick
include requirements for both brick body and the glazes.
Body Properties. The physical properties of brick vary
depending on raw material, method of forming, and the
degree of firing. ASTM standards establish indicators
of durability based only upon physical property require-
ments that correlate with freeze thaw testing.
Single-fired glazed brick must meet the requirements of ASTM C 1405, Standard Specification for Glazed Brick
(Single Fired, Brick Units). This standard establishes minimum criteria for the glaze as well as for solid and hollow
brick bodies. Single-fired glazed brick intended for exterior exposure should meet the property requirements for
Class Exterior. These include prescriptive requirements for minimum compressive strength, maximum cold water
absorption and maximum saturation coefficient as shown in Table 1. The saturation coefficient requirement does
not apply provided the average compressive strength of a random sample of five brick equals or exceeds 8000 psi
(55.2 MPa) with no individual strength less than 7500 psi (51.8 MPa) and the 24 hr cold water absorption of each
unit does not exceed 6.0%. The saturation coefficient and water absorption requirements do not apply if a sample
of five brick pass the freezing and thawing test in ASTM C 67.
Currently, proper specification of double-fired brick units requires the designer to adopt two separate ASTM
standards: ASTM C 126, Standard Specification for Ceramic Glazed Structural Clay Facing Tile, Facing
Brick, and Solid Masonry Units to cover applicable properties of the ceramic glaze finish, and ASTM C 216,
Standard Specification for Facing Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made from Clay or Shale); ASTM C 652, Standard
Specification for Hollow Brick (Hollow Masonry Units Made from Clay or Shale) or ASTM C 1088, Standard
Specification for Thin Veneer Brick Units Made From Clay or Shale to cover requirements for the brick body.
Photo 3
Multiple Glazes, Shapes and Sizes Add Variety
TABLE 1
ASTM C 1405 Physical Requirements of Clay Bodies for Glazed Units
Designation
Maximum
Water
Absorption by
24-hr Cold
1
, %
Average of 5
Brick
Individual Individual Average of 5
Brick
Individual
Class Exterior 6000 (41.4) 5000 (34.8) 7.0 0.78 0.80
Class Interior 3000 (20.7) 2500 (17.2)
2. The saturation coefficient is the ratio of absorption by 24 hr submersion in cold water to that after 5 hr submersion in boiling water.
1. The saturation coefficient and/or cold water absorption requirement(s) may not apply when other criteria are met. See Body Properties text
for more information.
Minimum Compressive Strength,
psi (MPa), Gross Area
Maximum Saturation Coefficient
1,2
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 13 | Ceramic Glazed Brick Exterior Walls | Page 5 of 6
Specifying glazed brick in this manner addresses material concerns necessary for exterior use.
Conformity to the requirements of the appropriate standard is an indication of the ability of the brick to withstand
internal stresses caused by freezing of moisture within its body.
Glaze Properties. Ceramic glazes produce a durable, aesthetically pleasing surface feature on brick. ASTM
standards C 126 and C 1405 set minimum property requirements for glaze finishes. Both standards cover finish
requirements for glazes applied to the body before the brick unit is fired (single-firing). ASTM C 126 also covers
double-fired glazed brick when the glaze is fused to the brick unit at temperatures over 1500 F (816 C).
The ASTM C 126 and C 1405 property requirements for glaze finishes are listed below. One or more of the prop-
erties listed may not be applicable to some special decorative and textured glazes. Manufacturers should be con-
sulted for the property requirements of these.
Imperviousness - A wet cloth and water must be able to remove permanent blue black ink that has been
allowed to dwell on the finish for five minutes, with no stain remaining on or beneath the surface.
Hardness and Abrasion Resistance - Glazes must be rated above five on the Mohs hardness scale and
resist scratching from ordinary glass or steel in addition to being subjected to an abrasion test.
Resistance to Crazing - Glazes may not craze, spall or crack when subjected to one cycle of autoclaving.
Fire Resistance - The brick body and glaze are rated "noncombustible" and must withstand temperatures
up to 1900 F (878 C) without melting, distorting or releasing toxic fumes. They must also measure "0"
flame spread, fuel contribution and smoke density when tested in accordance ASTM E 84.
Resistance to Fading/Chemical Resistance - Glaze colors must not change from the approved sample
after a 3 hr submersion in prescribed acidic and basic solutions.
Opacity - When specified, ink applied to the brick body must not be visible through the glaze.
Appearance. Aesthetic characteristics of glazed brick are specified by grade and type in ASTM C 126 and ASTM
C 1405. The two grades, S and SS, limit dimensional variations, distortion and set squareness criteria of the
exposed face. The requirements of Grade S are utilized in most glazed brick projects. Where a higher degree of
precision is necessary the more precise Grade SS units should be specified.
The type of a glazed brick indicates the number of glazed faces on the brick. Type I units have one glazed face,
and Type II units are glazed on two opposite faces. Unless specified otherwise, the stretcher face (or exposed
face of shapes) is coated with the glaze finish. When glazed surfaces other than those identified by Type I or Type
II are required, the additional surface(s) should be specified. Brick which will be exposed on their ends, or on their
bed surfaces as in recessed courses or quoins, should also be explicitly specified. Consultation with the brick
manufacturer is advised to determine if the proposed glazed brick can be made.
Mortar
Mortar should conform to ASTM C 270 Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry. Type N mortar is typi-
cally recommended for exterior walls above grade. Type S may provide better flexural bond strength to brick hav-
ing initial rates of absorption (IRA) under 5 g/min30 in.
2
(5 g/min194 cm
2
). Use of admixtures and additives is not
usually recommended unless their effect on the masonry, masonry units and items embedded in the brickwork is
known, and they do not detrimentally affect plastic or hardened mortar. ASTM C 1384, Standard Specification for
Admixtures for Masonry Mortars provides methods to evaluate the effect of admixtures on mortar properties. See
Technical Note 8B for more information on mortar selection.
Anchors and Wall Ties
Acceptable connectors for anchored masonry veneer and cavity wall applications include adjustable ties, unit ties,
and ladder-type or tab-type joint reinforcement. Connectors may be of stainless steel conforming to ASTM A 580,
carbon steel protected from corrosion by hot-dipped galvanizing conforming to ASTM A 153 or epoxy coatings
conforming to ASTM A 884, Class A, Type 1, minimum 7 mils (175 m) for joint reinforcement and ASTM A 899,
Class C - 20 mils (508 m) for wire items. For more information on selection of anchors and ties see Technical
Note 44B.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 13 | Ceramic Glazed Brick Exterior Walls | Page 6 of 6
Flashing
Flashing materials should be sufficiently tough and flexible to resist puncture and cracking. In addition, flashing
should not degrade when exposed to ultraviolet light or when placed in contact with metal, mortar or sealants.
Flashing materials are generally formed from sheet metals, bituminous-coated membranes, rubber, or combina-
tions thereof. The selection is largely determined by cost and suitability. Asphalt-impregnated felt is not acceptable
as a flashing material. The cost of flashing materials varies widely. It is suggested, however, that only superior
materials be selected, since replacement in the event of failure is difficult. See Technical Note 7A for a more
detailed discussion of flashing materials.
SUMMARY
As with any brick masonry wall system, performance is the result of successful material selection, design detail-
ing and construction practices. While the recommendations contained in this Technical Note are similar to those
for non-glazed brick, it is important to consider the imperviousness of the glazed brick surface. Consequently,
attention to each aspect of design and construction is essential to obtain the intended service life of the structure.
Therefore, some glazed brick designs may entail more thorough detailing, as they may be less forgiving of detail-
ing and construction deficiencies than non-glazed brick. Ceramic glazed brick can present a bright, bold, colorful
statement with a durable brick surface.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment and a
basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of the informa-
tion contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry Association
and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2005:
Volume 1.03 - A 580/A 580M, Standard Specification for Stainless Steel Wire
A 899, Standard Specification for Steel Wire, Epoxy-Coated
Volume 1.04 - A 884/A 884M, Standard Specification for Epoxy-Coated Steel Wire and Welded Wire
Reinforcement
Volume 1.06 - A 153/A 153M, Standard Specification for Zinc Coating (Hot-Dip) on Iron and Steel
Hardware
Volume 4.05 - C 126, Standard Specification for Ceramic Glazed Structural Clay Facing Tile, Facing
Brick, and Solid Masonry Units
C 216, Standard Specification for Facing Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made from Clay or
Shale)
C 652, Standard Specification for Hollow Brick (Hollow Masonry Units Made From Clay or
Shale)
C 1088, Standard Specification for Thin Veneer Brick Units Made From Clay or Shale
C 1384, Standard Specification for Admixtures for Masonry Mortars
C 1405, Standard Specification for Glazed Brick (Single Fired, Brick Units)
2. Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (ACI 530-05/ASCE 5-05/TMS 402-05), The Masonry
Society, Boulder, CO, 2005.
3. Specification for Masonry Structures (ACI 530.1-05/ASCE 6-05/TMS 602-05), The Masonry Society,
Boulder, CO, 2005.
2007 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 19
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
14
March
2007
Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers
Abstract: This Technical Note presents an overview of paving systems made with clay pavers used in pedestrian and
vehicular, residential and nonresidential projects. Commonly used systems that include clay pavers are discussed, and
guidance is given in selecting the appropriate clay paver, setting bed and base. Site conditions and project requirements that
may affect choice are discussed, including subgrade soil, pedestrian and vehicular traffic, accessibility requirements, drainage,
and appearance.
Key Words: base, design, flexible, mortared paving, mortarless paving, paving, permeable paving, rigid, subbase.
Select Paving System
Use Table 1 to determine paving system based on
application
Use Table 2 to evaluate clay paving systems based on
their general advantages and disadvantages
Use Table 3 to verify choice of the clay paving system for
specific site conditions and project requirements
Design Paving System
Use Technical Note 14 for design considerations and
general specification of clay pavers, base and subbase
Use appropriate Technical Note in this series to provide
design and construction information specific to the setting
bed of the paving system selected as follows:
- Sand Setting Bed Technical Note 14A
- Bituminous Setting Bed Technical Note 14B
- Mortar Setting Bed Technical Note 14C
Use a design professional as necessary to verify
suitability of a paving system design
INTRODUCTION
Technical Note 14 is the first in a series discussing the use of clay pavers for pedestrian and vehicular, residential
and nonresidential applications (see Photo 1). It provides guidance in selecting a paving system (see Figure 1) and
the appropriate clay paver, setting bed and base. Once these are determined, other Technical Notes in this series
provide additional information specific to the setting bed chosen, including common construction for particular
applications, typical details, installation practices and maintenance.
Paving systems exposed to more than 251 daily equivalent single axle loads (ESAL) from trucks or combination
vehicles having three or more loaded axles are considered heavy duty vehicular applications. Such paving
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
Photo 1
Pedestrian Plaza with Clay Pavers
Figure 1
Typical Pavement Section
Geotextile (If Required)
Compacted Subgrade
Compacted Base
Setting Bed
Wearing Course
J oint with Sand or Mortar
Clay Pavers
Specified Edge Restraint
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 2 of 19
systems are beyond the scope of this Technical Note series. For more information on paving systems for heavy
duty vehicular use, refer to Flexible Vehicular Brick Paving A Heavy Duty Applications Guide [Ref. 14].
Table 1 lists acceptable paving systems for typical paving applications. Table 2 is a comparison of paving systems
listing the general advantages and disadvantages for each system. Table 3 indicates which paving systems are
appropriate for specific site conditions and project requirements.
TABLE 1
Acceptable Paving Systems
NOTES: KEY:
1. For a paving system that uses existing asphalt or concrete as base, A =Acceptable
verify that the condition of the base is acceptable. NA =Not Acceptable
2. For a definition of high volume of heavy vehicles, see Introduction.
3. For these applications, a design professional should design the
paving system.
Application
Typical
Examples
Sand Setting Bed
Bituminous
Setting Bed
Mortar Setting Bed
Bonded Unbonded
Aggregate
Base
Asphalt
Base
1
Cement-
Treated
Aggregate
Base
Concrete
Base
1
Asphalt
Base
1
Concrete
Base
1
Concrete
Base
1
Concrete
Base
1
Residential
Patios and
walks on
property of a
one- or two-
family house
or townhouse
A A A A A A A A
Driveways on
property of a
one- or two-
family house
or townhouse
A A A A A A A NA
Commercial/
Pedestrian
Public plazas,
courtyards or
sidewalks
A A A A A A A A
Light Duty
Vehicular
3
Paving with
low volume
2

of heavy
vehicles such
as streets,
parking
areas, turn-
arounds or
passenger
drop-offs
A A A A A A A NA
Heavy Duty
Vehicular
3
Paving with a
high volume
2

of heavy
vehicles such
as streets,
commercial
driveways or
crosswalks
across them
Refer to Flexible Vehicular Brick Paving - A Heavy Duty Applications Guide
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 3 of 19
Clay Pavers On: Advantages Disadvantages
Sand Setting Bed
on Aggregate Base
Most durable
Cost-effective
Easy access to repair underground utilities
Good as overlay to existing asphalt or concrete
pavement
Allows use of semi-skilled labor
Can be designed as a permeable pavement
Intensive cleaning may erode joint sand
May require a thicker base
Sand Setting Bed
on Asphalt Base
Good as overlay to existing asphalt pavement Intensive cleaning may erode joint sand
Sand Setting Bed
on Cement-Treated
Aggregate Base
Good over poor soils or in small, confined areas
Good as overlay to existing concrete pavement
Intensive cleaning may erode joint sand
Sand Setting Bed
on Concrete Base
Good over poor soils or in small, confined areas
Good as overlay to existing concrete pavement
Intensive cleaning may erode joint sand
Requires good drainage above base
Susceptible to greater offset with subgrade
movement
Bituminous Setting
Bed on Asphalt
Base
Reduced horizontal movement and uplift
Enhanced water penetration resistance
Repairs are more difficult and expensive
Little tolerance for paver thickness variations
or inaccurate base elevations
Bituminous Setting
Bed on Concrete
Base
Reduced horizontal movement and uplift
Enhanced water penetration resistance
Good over poor soils or in small, confined areas
Repairs are more difficult and expensive
Little tolerance for paver thickness variations
or inaccurate base elevations
Mortar Setting Bed
Bonded to Concrete
Base
Greater tolerance for paver thickness variations
or inaccurate base elevations
Can be used on steeper slopes and greater
vehicle speeds
Drainage occurs on the surface
Movement joints must align through entire
paving system
Least cost-effective
Mortar joint maintenance required
Repairs are most difficult and expensive
Mortar Setting
Bed Unbonded to
Concrete Base
Greater tolerance for paver thickness variations
or inaccurate base elevations
Movement joints in setting bed and base are not
required to align
Preferred when used over elevated structural slab
Bond break must be used to avoid stresses
caused by horizontal movement between
layers
Least cost-effective
Mortar joint maintenance required
Repairs are most difficult and expensive
TABLE 2
Comparison of Pavements Made with Clay Pavers
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 4 of 19
TABLE 3
Selection of Setting Bed and Base
NOTES: KEY:
1. Use stabilized joint sand R =Recommended
2. When snow melt system is in sand setting bed, A =Acceptable
use stabilized sand in setting bed. NA =Not Acceptable
3. Use Application PS or PX pavers
Site Condition
or Project Requirement
Sand Setting Bed
Bituminous
Setting Bed
Mortar Setting Bed
Bonded Unbonded
Aggregate
Base
Asphalt
Base
Cement-
Treated
Aggregate
Base
Concrete
Base
Asphalt
Base
Concrete
Base
Concrete
Base
Concrete
Base
Soft Soil in Subgrade R R A A R A A A
Tree Roots in/near
Subgrade R A NA NA A NA NA NA
Expansive Soil in
Subgrade A
1
R A NA R NA NA NA
Snow Melt System A
2
A
2
A
2
R
2
A
1
NA R R
Suspended Structural Slab A
1
NA A
1
R
1
NA R
1
R R
Good Surface Drainage R R R R R R R R
Poor Surface Drainage R R R R R R NA NA
Permeable Pavement R NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
Deep Frost Line R
1
R
1
R
1
R
1
A
1
A
1
A A
Freeze/Thaw R
1
R
1
R
1
R
1
A
1
A
1
A NA
Minimal Frosts R R R R R R R R
Pressure Washing R
1
R
1
R
1
R
1
R
1
R
1
R R
Vacuuming R
1
R
1
R
1
R
1
R
1
R
1
R R
Minimal Cleaning R R R R R R R R
ADA Compliance R R R R R R A A
Pedestrians Only R R R R R R R R
Light Vehicular Traffic R
3
R
3
R
3
R
3
R
3
R
3
R NA
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
Aesthetics
The relatively small size of clay pavers creates a
pavement surface with a human scale. As many
pavers can be observed simultaneously, the nuances
of different colors, textures and patterns can be clearly
seen when standing on the pavement. Single colors
can present a monolithic appearance. Multiple colors
can break down the scale of the pavement (see
Photo 2). Borders laid in a different color can add
interest to the pavement. In larger areas, it may be
desirable to introduce different colors in the form of
bands or panels. Some highly decorative pavements
have introduced patterns that flow, repeat and
intertwine (see Figure 2).
Color. Clay pavers are available in a wide range of
colors. The most common are red and brown earth
tones, but buff and gray colors also are produced
Photo 2
Multiple Colors Affect Pavement Scale
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 5 of 19
Double Basket Weave Herringbone Running Bond
Single Basket Weave Spanish Bond Stack Bond
Figure 2
Brick Paving Bond Patterns
(see Photo 3). Single colors as well as variegated
pavers can also be mixed together to form blends that
expand the palette of available colors.
The color of clay pavers is typically consistent
through the body of the paver and is highly resistant
to weathering and fading because of its vitrified
composition. Since clay pavers are made from natural
materials, there may be some inherent color variations
between different production runs from the same
manufacturer. This is most evident in large paved
areas of a single color. Using a field panel to establish
acceptable color variations and laying pavers taken
from different cubes of pavers helps avoid this issue.
Texture. Clay pavers are available with a range
of surface textures, such as wire cut and molded.
Viewed at a flat angle from a distance, a variation in
paver texture can be more obvious than a variation
in color. Designers may find it advantageous to
change the surface texture in different areas or bands
to exaggerate the contrast. The texture also has an
impact on slip and skid resistance.
Some pavers are manufactured with a more pronounced texture or surface pattern. Surface features including
a grid of dimples or domes also can be imprinted into the surface of the paver before firing. Pavers also can be
manufactured and installed to provide a tactile/detectable warning surface. In addition, patterns and words can be
engraved or laser etched into the surface of fired pavers.
Photo 3
Clay Paver Colors
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 6 of 19
Edge Treatment. Pavement texture is created not
only by the character of the texture of each paver,
but also by the treatment of the edges. Pavers can
have square edges, rounded edges or beveled edges
formed during the extrusion, molding or pressing
processes. These can be uniform along the entire
edge of the paver, which enhances the uniformity of
the surface, or they can be made to be variable or
irregular to create the feel of a historic pavement.
Additionally, fired pavers can be tumbled to create
distressed edges.
Pavement use and maintenance should be considered
when selecting the edge treatment of pavers, as
they may affect the appearance or smoothness of
the paving surface. When square-edge pavers are
laid with sand joints, care should be taken to ensure
that they do not make direct contact with or lip under
adjacent pavers. A minimum of 1/16 in. sand-filled
joint should separate each clay paver. Maintaining
full sand joints and taking care not to distress paver
edges during snow removal procedures helps minimize
potential chippage of a paver's edges. Using clay
pavers with chamfers enhances drainage by channeling water away from the surface, which can improve skid
resistance.
Bond Patterns. Many installation patterns can be used when laying clay pavers. Some of the most popular are
herringbone bond, running bond, stack bond and basket weave, as shown in Photo 4. When choosing a pattern,
considerations should include the setting bed of the pavement and the horizontal loads. Vehicle loads typically
generate the largest horizontal load on a pavement. Sand and bituminous setting beds are more prone to paver
creep, or horizontal movement. A herringbone bond best distributes horizontal forces across a pavement, reducing
the potential for creep. Running bond and other patterns with continuous joints do not distribute horizontal loads as
well as herringbone bond. If these bond patterns are used, continuous joints should be oriented perpendicular to
the direction of traffic.
In some projects, different-colored pavers are arranged to create a pattern that aligns with adjacent features, such
as building columns or trees. The size of different colored clay pavers may vary within permissible tolerances.
Pavers supplied to a project may be slightly smaller or slightly larger than the specified sizes assumed in design.
As such, the exact number of pavers that can be laid within a set dimension will vary unless the joint widths are
slightly adjustable. Paving systems with sand or bituminous setting beds that are subject to vehicular applications
can have their structural integrity reduced if joints are too wide. Therefore, the paver layout should be designed
with a degree of flexibility to accommodate slight variations in the pattern. As necessary, cutting individual pavers
also may be used to solve alignment and structural integrity issues.
Pedestrian Traffic
Paving systems using clay pavers exposed to pedestrian traffic for residential and nonresidential applications are
common. Many residential patios and walks can be constructed with only a base layer between the subgrade and
the setting bed. For more public pedestrian applications such as sidewalks and plazas, a more substantial paving
system may be required.
Vehicular Traffic
Light vehicular traffic includes general access for cars and for trucks, but in smaller volumes. As stated in ASTM C
1272, high volumes of traffic are considered traffic with over 251 daily equivalent single loads (ESAL), a standard
term used by pavement engineers. For further information about clay pavements subject to heavy vehicular traffic,
refer to Flexible Vehicular Brick Paving A Heavy Duty Applications Guide [Ref. 14].
Photo 4
Clay Paver Sidewalk in Basket Weave Pattern
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 7 of 19
The load capacity of a clay paving system with a sand setting bed and aggregate base is dependent on the total
pavement section rather than just the clay paver layer. Most individual clay pavers have a high compressive
strength and, with sufficient thickness, can develop significant interlock with surrounding pavers to support light
vehicular loads when properly constructed. Sufficient thickness and compaction of subbase, base and paver layers
virtually eliminates pavement deformation under loading.
For light duty vehicular paving systems, a maximum traffic speed of 30 mph (50 kph) is considered appropriate for
pavers in a sand setting bed. As vehicle speeds increase, the horizontal loading caused by accelerating, braking
and turning increases. Light duty vehicular clay paving systems with sand setting beds where a herringbone bond
is used, where joint width is maintained between 1/16 to 3/16 in. (1.6 to 4.8 mm), where an appropriate jointing
sand is properly installed and maintained and where sufficient edge restraint is provided can perform well and
substantially reduce the potential for movement of the pavers from horizontal creep.
Slip Resistance, Skid Resistance and Hydroplaning
Each of these issues relates to the slipperiness of the pavement surface. Slip resistance generally refers to the
slipperiness of a pavement as experienced by pedestrians. Skid resistance and hydroplaning are related to the
slipperiness of a pavement as experienced by vehicles.
The slip resistance is determined as the static coefficient of friction of a surface. A number of test procedures are
available for laboratory and field testing, but they may provide different values. Slip resistance can be measured
in the laboratory and the field using ASTM C 1028, Test Method for Determining the Static Coefficient of Friction
of Ceramic Tile and Other Like Surfaces by the Horizontal Dynamometer Pull-Meter Method [Ref. 4]. For surfaces
in an accessible route, the United States Access Board historically recommended, but did not mandate, a value of
0.6 for level surfaces and 0.8 for ramps when measured by the portable NBS-Brungraber machine using a silastic
sensor shoe. Most clay pavers exceed these values.
Skid resistance is typically determined on the basis of a materials dynamic coefficient of friction, which generally
decreases as speed increases. Testing usually involves either a specialized test vehicle moving at more than
30 mph (50 kph) or a portable British Pendulum Tester used in accordance with ASTM E 303, Test Method for
Measuring Surface Frictional Properties Using the British Pendulum Tester [Ref. 11]. For paving systems exposed
to light duty application pavements covered in this Technical Note 14 series, skid resistance is not an issue.
Hydroplaning also is associated with speed, but in conjunction with standing water on the pavement surface. Due
to the speed restrictions imposed on clay pavements subject to light duty vehicle traffic, hydroplaning should not
be a concern for clay pavements.
Slope
Paving systems can be successfully used on slopes with up to a 10 percent gradient. For projects where site
conditions involve slopes exceeding 10 percent, a design professional and local codes should be consulted.
Drainage
Adequate drainage is important to the performance and durability of any clay paving system. Water should be
drained from the paving system as quickly as possible. A minimum slope of 1/4 in. per ft of slope (2 percent grade)
is recommended. Adequate drainage should be provided to ensure the integrity of all layers in a paving system.
Three types of drainage potentially exist in clay paving systems: surface restricted, subsurface restricted and
unrestricted. Surface restricted drainage occurs on the surface of the paving system. This type of drainage is
typical of clay paving systems with a mortar setting bed. Subsurface restricted drainage occurs when water drains
over the surface and immediately below the paving course. This type of drainage is typical of paving systems
installed with a bituminous setting bed. Unrestricted drainage involves draining water from the surface, the
subsurface and through the subgrade. This type of drainage requires a sand setting bed on an aggregate base.
Drains should be selected and placed to adequately handle anticipated water flow. Drains serving paving systems
should have openings not only on the surface but also on the sides. Such drains should be used for all paving
systems to drain water from adjacent materials and to prevent capillary rise. Side openings should extend below
the top of any impervious layer or membrane in the paving system. Drains placed in pavements with sand setting
beds should have screens to prevent sand from entering the drain. Pavement edges that restrict water flow at the
lowest point in the paving system where water is anticipated should have weeps at 16 in. (406 mm) on center.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 8 of 19
Accessibility
The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility
Guidelines (ADAAG) [Ref. 1] establish minimum
design requirements that cover access for people with
disabilities to public and private buildings and facilities.
The Public Rights-Of-Way Accessibility Guidelines
(Draft PROWAG) [Ref. 13] in draft form cover disability
access provisions for pedestrian areas along public
rights-of-way. Research has documented that clay
paving systems can comply with the accessible
provisions within these guidelines [Ref. 12 and 15].
The ADAAG and Draft PROWAG mandate several
surface profile requirements applicable to all pavement
systems. The designer should be aware of maximum
permissible gradients and other requirements that
often are overlooked (see Photo 5).
In addition to planning and designing in accordance
with these guidelines, it is important to implement
regular maintenance programs to maintain these
routes in a safe and serviceable condition. Specific
requirements especially pertinent to clay pavers
include surface, changes in level, joints and detectable
warning surfaces.
Surface. The ADAAG and Draft PROWAG require
an accessible surface to be firm, stable and slip-
resistant. Smoothness also may be an important
criterion, because a pedestrian in a wheelchair
may be more sensitive to vibration or trip hazards.
Properly designed, installed and maintained clay
paver surfaces achieve these properties. Besides
inadequate design, installation or maintenance, all
pavement systems may be subject to heaving and
settlement of underlying soils that result in changes in
level. Research has shown that the vibration on clay
paver surfaces is comparable to or less than that of
poured concrete and other common paving materials
[Refs. 12 and 15].
Changes in Level. Both the ADAAG and Draft
PROWAG allow a change in level (surface
discontinuity) up to 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) (see Figure 3a).
Both the ADAAG and Draft PROWAG allow a change
in level between 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) minimum and 1/2
in. (12.7 mm) maximum. The ADAAG requires this
change in level to be sloped (beveled) not steeper
than 1:2 (see Figure 3b). The Draft PROWAG also
requires a maximum slope (bevel) of 1:2 for this
change in level, but further mandates that the slope
(bevel) be applied across the entire change in level
(see Figure 3c).
With respect to pavers, sudden changes in level
(differences in elevation of the top surfaces of adjacent
pavers) should be kept to a minimum through careful
a) ADAAG & Draft PROWAG
Change in Level
up to 1/4 in. (6.4 mm)
Max. 1/4 in.
(6.4 mm)
1
2
Max. 1/2 in.
(12.7 mm)
c) Draft PROWAG Vertical Change
between 1/4 and 1/2 in.
(6.4 and 12.7 mm)
b) ADAAG Vertical Change
between 1/4 and 1/2 in.
(6.4 and 12.7 mm)
Max. 1/4 in.
(6.4 mm)
Max. 1/2 in.
(12.7 mm)
1
2
For Vertical Changes Greater Than
1/2 in. (12.7 mm), Use Ramp
Figure 3
Requirements for Making
Changes in Elevation
Photo 5
At Grade Street Crossing with ADA-Compliant
Surface Texture Changes
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 9 of 19
design and installation and should be maintained as part of a regular maintenance program. Changes in level can
result from heaving or settling of the pavement; uneven joints or can occur at frames and manhole covers.
Joints. The ADAAG does not specifically cover joints, but it does have requirements for openings in gratings,
which could be considered as being similar. The Draft PROWAG ADAAG has requirements for horizontal
openings in walkway joints and gratings. Both guidelines allow openings up to 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) wide, more than
twice the typical width of joints between pavers in pavements with sand and bituminous setting beds that are
typically 1/16 in. (1.6 mm) to 3/16 in. (4.7 mm) wide. J oints between pavers in a mortar setting bed are generally
3/8 in. (9.4 mm) to 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) wide, but would not be considered an opening.
Detectable Warning Surfaces. Both the ADAAG and the Draft PROWAG require detectable warning surfaces
consisting of truncated domes sized to have a base diameter of 0.9 in. (23 mm) minimum and 1.4 in. (36 mm)
maximum, a top diameter of a minimum of 50 percent to a maximum of 65 percent of the base diameter, and a
height of 0.2 in. (5.1 mm). Clay pavers can be made with truncated domes.
The ADAAG requires truncated domes to be placed on a square grid with a center-to-center spacing of 1.6 in.
(41 mm) minimum and 2.4 in. (61 mm) maximum, and a base-to-base spacing of 0.65 in. (17 mm) minimum,
measured between the most adjacent domes. The Draft PROWAG requires truncated domes to be placed in
either a square or a radial grid pattern meeting the same dimensional layout requirements as set forth in the
ADAAG.
Both guidelines require detectable warning surfaces to extend 24 in. (610 mm) from rail platform boarding edges.
The Draft PROWAG also covers curb ramps and blended transitions that are not covered in the ADAAG. Curb
ramps and blended transitions require detectable warning surfaces to extend 24 in. (610 mm) minimum in the
direction of travel for their full width. Flares of curb ramps are not required to have a detectable warning surface.
CLAY PAVERS
Manufacturing
Clay pavers are manufactured in much the same
way as face brick, as discussed in Technical Note
9. Extrusion (stiff-mud), molding (soft-mud) or dry-
pressing processes are used to produce pavers (see
Figure 4). Extruded clay pavers have a wire-cut texture
or smooth die-skin wearing surface. Lugs (spacer bars)
and chamfers may be formed on the sides and edges
of the pavers during the extrusion or cutting process.
Clay pavers produced by the molding or dry-pressing
processes have a smooth or textured surface. Lugs
and chamfers also may be formed by the sides and
edges of the molds. Pavers from any of the production
methods may have aesthetic features such as irregular
or textured edges. Clay pavers made by the molding
or dry-pressed process may have frogs or cavities on
one bed surface, although they would not be exposed.
Pavers generally are manufactured with their length equal to a module of their width. Two commonly specified
clay paver sizes are 4 in. wide by 8 in. long (102 mm by 203 mm) and 3
5
/8 in. wide by 7
5
/8 in. (92 mm by
194 mm) long. Other similar sizes are available, such as 3 in. (95 mm) wide by 7 in. (190 mm) long, and
several manufacturers are able to provide custom sizes. Common specified thicknesses are 1 in. (38 mm),
2 in. (57 mm) and 2
5
/8 in. (67 mm).
Standards
Clay pavers can be used as a wearing course in many exterior pavement and interior floors. Most pavers in the
United States are manufactured to comply with consensus standards published by ASTM International (ASTM).
Two ASTM standards define requirements for clay pavers for exterior use: ASTM C 902, Standard Specification
for Pedestrian and Light Traffic Paving Brick [Ref. 3], and ASTM C 1272, Standard Specification for Heavy
Paver with
Square Edges
Paver with
Textured Edges
Extruded or Re-Pressed Paver
with Chamfer and Lugs
Chamfer
Lug
Molded Paver with
Rounded Edges
Figure 4
Clay Pavers
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 10 of 19
Vehicular Paving Brick. [Ref. 5] For light duty applications addressed by the Technical Notes 14 series, clay
pavers complying with ASTM C 902 are normally used. Clay pavers manufactured to meet ASTM C 1272 may
be used in light duty or heavy vehicular applications and may provide longer pavement service life especially
where the pavement is subject to higher volumes of vehicular traffic. Only clay pavers meeting the requirements of
ASTM C 1272 are suitable for heavy vehicular applications, which are covered in Flexible Vehicular Brick Paving
A Heavy Duty Applications Guide.
ASTM C 902. This specification covers clay pavers suitable for patios, walkways, floors, plazas, residential
driveways and commercial driveways (passenger drop-offs). It describes three Classes and three Types of clay
pavers according to severity of their exposure to weather and to traffic, respectively. Three Applications also are
defined, based upon the pavers intended use, and limit their dimensional tolerances, distortion and extent of
chipping.
Class - A pavers Class relates to its resistance to damage from exposure to weather and is based on
compressive strength and absorption properties. Class SX pavers are intended for use where the pavers may
be frozen while saturated with water. Class MX pavers are intended for exterior use where the pavers will not
be exposed to freezing conditions. Class NX pavers are not acceptable for exterior use but may be used for
interior areas where the pavers are protected from freezing when wet. For most exterior residential or light duty
applications, Class SX pavers are used.
Type - A pavers Type relates to its resistance to abrasion. Type I pavers are intended for use where the pavers
are exposed to extensive abrasion, such as sidewalks and driveways in publicly occupied spaces. Type II pavers
are intended for use where the pavers are exposed to intermediate pedestrian traffic, such as heavily traveled
residential walkways and residential driveways. Type III pavers are intended for use in low pedestrian traffic,
residential areas such as floors and patios of single-family homes. For most exterior residential or light duty
applications, Type I or II pavers are used.
Application - A pavers Application relates to its aesthetics and use. Application PS pavers are intended for
general use and can be installed in any bond pattern with mortar or with sand-filled joints when not exposed to
vehicular traffic. When Application PS pavers are installed with sand-filled joints for light duty vehicular applications,
they should be laid in running bond or other bonds not requiring extremely close dimensional tolerances. Any
bond pattern can be used when Application PS pavers are installed with mortar joints. Application PX pavers have
tighter dimensional tolerances that allow consistently narrow joints between pavers. Such uses include pavements
without mortar joints between pavers where exceptionally close dimensional tolerances are required as a result of
special bond patterns or unusual construction requirements. Application PA pavers are characterized by aesthetic
effects such as variability in size, color and texture. Such pavers have performed successfully in many historic clay
paving applications and are generally used where a distinctive architectural character is desired. Such applications
are often installed with mortar joints between pavers, but can be successful in sand-filled joint applications that
are laid by workers with experience installing Application PA pavers in this manner. Using stabilized joint sand or
applying stabilizer to joint sand will help prevent sand loss from wider sand-filled joints.
Pavers complying with ASTM C 902 are not required to have a minimum thickness. However, they are commonly
manufactured to a specified thickness of 2 in. (57 mm) and 1 in. (38 mm). Except for patios or walks for one-
or two-family homes in southern climates with limited frost exposure, clay pavers 1 in. (38 mm) thick are usually
installed only over a rigid base.
ASTM C 1272. This standard addresses heavy vehicular pavers generally used in streets, commercial driveways
and industrial applications. ASTM C 1272 designates two Types of pavers depending on their method of
installation. Three Applications limit dimensional tolerances, distortion and extent of chipping.
The paver Type is based upon the compressive strength, breaking load and absorption properties of the pavers.
Type F pavers are intended to be set in a sand setting bed with sand-filled joints. The minimum paver thickness
is required to be 2
5
/8 in. (67 mm). They also can be installed over flexible or rigid bases. Type R pavers are
intended to be set in a mortar setting bed with mortar joints over a concrete base. Type R pavers also can be set
on a bituminous setting bed with sand-filled joints and supported by an asphalt or concrete base. The minimum
thickness for Type R pavers is required to be 2 in. (57 mm).
Applications PS, PX and PA are common to both ASTM standards and denote similar requirements.
Pavers complying with ASTM C 1272 may contain frogs but must be without cores or perforations.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 11 of 19
ASTM Properties for Clay Pavers. The Class, Type and Application designations within ASTM clay paver
standards are based upon physical properties and characteristics, including compressive strength, breaking
load, absorption, abrasion, dimensional tolerances and extent of chipping. Pavers must be resistant to damage
from the effects of traffic and the environment. In many regions of the United States, clay pavers will be exposed
to severe environmental conditions. Pavers often are in a saturated condition and can experience numerous
freeze/thaw cycles. Application of deicers can cause additional thermal shock to pavers. Compliance with property
requirements of ASTM C 902 and C 1272 provides the required durability.
Compressive Strength, Breaking Load and Absorption - The strength and absorption requirements of pavers
from the ASTM standards are shown in Table 4. Some pavers are durable, but cannot be classified under the
physical requirements shown in Table 4. Using alternatives in the specifications allows pavers that are known to
perform well to meet the durability requirement. It does not signify that the pavers are of a lower quality.
TABLE 5
Maximum Abrasion Requirements
ASTM Standard Abrasion
Index
Volume Abrasion
Loss (cm
3
/cm
2
)
C 902 Type I 0.11 1.7
Type II 0.25 2.7
Type III 0.50 4.0
C 1272 Type R & F 0.11 1.7
For pavers complying with ASTM C 902 or C 1272, several alternatives are allowed. The freezing and thawing
test alternative allows the cold water absorption and the saturation coefficient to be waived if a sample of five brick
that meet all other requirements passes the freezing and thawing test of ASTM C 67 without breaking and with no
greater than 0.5 percent loss in dry weight of any individual unit. The sulfate soundness alternative allows the cold
water absorption and saturation coefficient to be waived if five brick survive 15 cycles of the sulfate soundness test
with no visible damage. The performance alternative allows specifiers to waive all property requirements for pavers
if they are satisfied with information furnished by the manufacturer on the performance of the pavers in a similar
application subject to similar exposure and traffic.
For pavers complying with ASTM C 902, the absorption alternative allows the saturation coefficient to be waived
for pavers that absorb less than 6.0% after 24 hours of submersion in room-temperature water.
Abrasion - The Abrasion Index is the ratio of the absorption divided by the compressive strength, multiplied by
100. The compressive specimen must be half pavers that are without core holes, frogs or other perforations, and
the full height of the paver no less than 2 in. (57 mm). The volume abrasion loss is used if the height requirement
cannot be met. The volume abrasion loss is determined by the loss of material created by sandblasting the surface
of the paver. The abrasion requirements of pavers from the ASTM standards are shown in Table 5.
TABLE 4
Property Requirements
ASTM Standard Minimum Compressive
Strength, psi (Mpa)
Maximum Cold Water
Absorption, %
Maximum Saturation
Coefficient
Minimum Breaking
Load, lb/in. (kN/mm)
Avg of 5
Brick
Individual Avg of 5
Brick
Individual Avg of 5
Brick
Individual Avg of 5
Brick
Individual
C 902 Class SX 8,000 (55.2) 7,000 (48.3) 8.0 11.0 0.78 0.80 ---- ----
Class SX (molded) 4,000 (27.6) 3,500 (24.1) 16.0 18.0 0.78 0.80 ---- ----
Class MX 3,000 (20.7) 2,500 (17.2) 14.0 17.0 No Limit No Limit ---- ----
Class NX 3,000 (20.7) 2,500 (17.2) No Limit No Limit No Limit No Limit ---- ----
C 1272 Type R 8,000 (55.2) 7,000 (48.3) 6.0 7.0 ---- ---- ---- ----
Type F 10,000 (69.0) 8,800 (60.7) 6.0 7.0 ---- ---- 475 (83) 333 (58)
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 12 of 19
Chippage - Clay pavers may chip in transit or during construction. Table 7 shows the extent of chippage allowed
by prescribing the maximum distance that chips may extend into the surface of a paver from an edge or a corner.
The sum of the length of chips on a single paver must not exceed 10 percent of the perimeter of the exposed
face of the paver. Cobbled or tumbled pavers that are intentionally distressed after production are classified as
Application PA pavers.
Distortion - Both ASTM C 902 and C 1272 limit distortion and warpage of surfaces and edges intended to be
exposed in use. The distortion must not exceed the maximum for the Application specified as noted in Table 8.
TABLE 8
Tolerances on Distortion
Specified Dimension, in. (mm) ASTM C 902 & C 1272
1
Maximum Permissable Distortion, in. (mm)
Application PX Application PS Application PA
8 (203) and under 1/16 (1.6) 3/32 (2.4) no limit
Over 8 (203) to 12 (305) 3/32 (2.4) 1/8 (3.2) no limit
Over 12 (305) to 16 (406) 1/8 (3.2) 5/32 (4.0) no limit
1
ASTM C 1272 Type F clay paver required to meet Application PX
Dimensional Tolerances - The dimensional tolerances for pavers are based upon the dimension width, height
or length considered. The actual dimensions may vary from the specified dimension by no more than plus or
minus the dimensional tolerance. The tolerances for both C 902 and C 1272 pavers are shown in Table 6.
TABLE 6
Dimensional Tolerance Requirements
Dimension, in. (mm) ASTM C 902 and C 1272
Application PS,
in. (mm)
Application PX,
in. (mm)
Application PA
3 (76) and under 1/8 (3.2) 1/16 (1.6) no limit
over 3 to 5 (76 to 127) 3/16 (4.7) 3/32 (2.4) no limit
over 5 to 8 (127 to 203) 1/4 (6.4) 1/8 (3.2) no limit
over 8 (203) 5/16 (7.9) 7/32 (5.6) no limit
TABLE 7
Maximum Chippage Requirements
ASTM Standard Edge, in. (mm) Corner, in. (mm)
C 902 Application PS 5/16 (7.9) 1/2 (12.7)
Application PX 1/4 (6.4) 3/8 (9.5)
Application PA As specifed by purchaser As specifed by purchaser
C 1272 Application PS & PX 5/16 (7.9) 1/2 (12.7)
Application PA No Limit No Limit
SETTING BEDS
Setting beds provide a means to adjust for dimensional variations in the height of a paver. They also support the
clay pavers and transfer load to the base.
Sand Setting Bed
Individual pavers in sand setting beds are held in position by the frictional interlock that is developed in each sand-
filled joint between adjacent pavers. The joints transfer vertical and horizontal forces, but can absorb expansion
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 13 of 19
and contraction of the individual pavers. If the pavement deflects slightly, the pavers will realign themselves to the
new profile without significant loss in structural capacity. Interlock is developed by properly sized joints filled with
consolidated joint sand. Sand setting beds may be installed directly on an aggregate base, asphalt base, cement-
treated aggregate base or concrete base. For further information about pavements with sand setting beds, refer to
Technical Note 14A.
Bituminous Setting Bed
In pavements with a bituminous setting bed, less interlock is developed by the joint material than in a pavement
with a sand setting bed. However, additional restraint is provided by the adhesive nature of the tack coat.
Bituminous setting beds can be are set on an asphalt base or concrete base. For further information about
pavements with bituminous setting beds, refer to Technical Note 14B.
Mortar Setting Bed
Pavers in a mortar setting bed are bonded to the underlying mortar bed and transfer most of the vertical load
through direct bearing. Mortar setting beds should be used only with a concrete base and may be bonded or
unbonded to it. The joints between pavers are filled with mortar that transfers horizontal load. However, mortar will
not absorb expansion and contraction of individual pavers. If the pavement deflects significantly, the pavement
may crack along mortar lines or across pavers. For further information about pavements with mortar setting beds,
refer to Technical Note 14C.
BASES
The base layer in the pavement is the primary structural layer. It is subjected to the compressive, tensile and
shearing stresses transmitted through the wearing course. Materials in the base layer need to be capable of
resisting these stresses. Pedestrian loading is sufficiently light that a base thickness of only 4 in. (102 mm) is
required when no specific site conditions dictate a thicker base. Vehicular loading requires a thicker base.
Including a subbase often provides economic benefits when the subgrade is of low strength or is susceptible to
frost. Because it is lower in the pavement section, the subbase is subjected to lower stresses than the base course
(see Figure 1). A subbase also can serve as a working platform to prevent subgrade damage from construction
equipment. Subbase material also may be added to increase the depth of the pavement section in frost-
susceptible soils. A subbase is not usually required for light duty vehicular pavements. Pedestrian-only pavements
generally do not include a subbase.
Aggregate Subbase and Base
Aggregate subbase materials are typically medium-quality graded aggregates or clean sand-and-gravel mixtures.
They should not be susceptible to deterioration from moisture or freezing. Subbase materials are covered by
ASTM D 2940, Specification for Graded Aggregate Material for Bases or Sub-bases for Highways or Airports
[Ref. 9]. Typical gradation envelopes are prescribed, along with other properties such as durability and plasticity.
Aggregate subbase materials generally are graded from 1 in. (38 mm) to No. 200 (0.075 mm) sizes. Aggregate
subbase materials may be used directly over the subgrade soil or on top of a geotextile.
Aggregate base materials are typically high-quality, crushed, dense-graded aggregates. They usually are specified
in ASTM D 2940. Aggregate base materials generally are graded from 3/4 in. (19.1 mm) to No. 200 (0.075 mm)
sizes. An aggregate base may be placed directly on the subgrade or over an aggregate subbase. A sand setting
bed may be installed directly on an aggregate base.
It is important to compact aggregate subbase and base layers. Each layer should be compacted in accordance
with ASTM D 698 to 95 percent maximum density.
Asphalt Base
Asphalt base materials consist of mixtures of aggregates and asphalt cement that are produced at a central hot-
mix plant. The materials are proportioned to comply with a mix design, and the materials usually are specified in
state or local standards and in ASTM D 3515, Specification for Hot-Mixed, Hot-Laid Bituminous Paving Mixtures
[Ref. 10]. Asphalt aggregates usually are blended to achieve a gradation from 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) or 3/8 in. (9.5 mm)
to No. 200 (0.075 mm). An asphalt base may be placed directly on the subgrade but is more commonly laid over
an aggregate subbase or base. It creates a relatively stiff and impermeable base layer.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 14 of 19
Cement-Treated Aggregate Base
A cement-treated aggregate base material is a relatively dry, lean mixture of aggregate and portland cement
that creates a stiff and impermeable base layer. These materials should be mixed at a concrete plant and laid
by machine. Cement contents vary between 5 and 12 percent with sufficient water added to achieve required
compaction and full hydration of cement. Compressive strengths typically are around 750 psi (5.17 MPa). A
cement-treated aggregate base may be placed directly on the subgrade but is more commonly laid over an
aggregate subbase. This type of base does not include reinforcement, and because of the low water and cement
content, can be laid without movement joints.
Concrete Base
The compressive strength of a concrete base should be at least 4,000 psi (27.6 MPa). Concrete bases may be
plain or reinforced, incorporating a grid of movement joints with load transfer devices, such as dowels. Layouts of
movement joints require careful consideration of the overlying pavement system. Movement joints placed more
than 12 ft ( 3.66 m) apart should extend through the entire pavement to prevent damage to the pavers unless
using an unbonded system. A concrete base should be placed over an aggregate subbase or base.
SUBGRADE
The subgrade is classified by the existing soil conditions, the environment and drainage. For vehicular
applications, the existing soil conditions for the project should be determined by a geotechnical engineer before
design of the paving system. For pedestrian and residential applications, a geotechnical engineer should be used
as necessary to verify suitability of existing soil for the proposed paving system.
Environmental conditions and the quality of drainage can affect the support provided by the subgrade. In wet
climates, poorly drained areas or those that experience freezing conditions, the support from the subgrade is
likely to be reduced during certain periods of the paving systems life. Conversely, in arid climates or well-drained
areas, it is likely that a higher degree of subgrade support will be experienced during part of the paving systems
life. Where water can penetrate the subgrade, it is important to drain water quickly to alleviate any potential
fluctuations in soil moisture content.
Soils are typically classified into different groups to represent their engineering properties. In general, soils
consisting primarily of gravel and sand can be used to support most paving systems. In general, soil consisting
of clay can usually be used to support a paving system as long as it is located in a dry environment or is drained.
Soils classified as organic are not suitable for subgrade and should be removed and replaced. For further
guidance regarding soil capacities, refer to Flexible Vehicular Brick Paving A Heavy Duty Applications Guide
[Ref. 14].
GEOTEXTILE
Geotextiles are formed from plastic yarns or filaments such as polypropylene and polyester. They may be woven
or nonwoven fabrics supplied in rolls. A geotextile may be used between fine-grained subgrade materials and
base or subbase layers, particularly where moist conditions are anticipated. This separates the two layers,
preventing the intrusion of fine soil particles into the overlying granular layer and preventing larger aggregates from
punching down into the subgrade. This enables the base to retain its strength over a longer period. Geotextiles
also can provide limited reinforcement to the overlying pavement layer. As the subgrade begins to deform, the
geotextile is put into tension, which reduces the loading on the subgrade, slowing rut development. The geotextile
manufacturers recommendations should be sought during selection of the appropriate geotextile for particular soil
conditions.
PAVEMENT LAYER CONSTRUCTION
Subgrade Preparation
The subgrade should be excavated to achieve a uniform pavement thickness, and any substandard or soft
materials should be undercut and replaced with acceptable backfill. A subsurface drainage system may be
installed as perforated pipes or fin drains if necessary. All utility trenches should be properly backfilled and each
layer thoroughly compacted to prevent settlement. The subgrade should be scarified and moisture conditioned
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 15 of 19
to within 2 percent of optimum moisture content as determined by ASTM D 698, Test Methods for Laboratory
Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Standard Effort (12,400 ft-lbf/ft
3
(600 kN-m/m
3
)) [Ref. 7], to a depth of
6 in. (152 mm). Moisture conditioning clay subgrades can be more complicated, because the clay absorbs water
more slowly. It should then be graded to the appropriate profile and compacted by rolling with appropriate static or
vibratory rollers. The subgrade should be compacted in accordance with ASTM D 698 to 95 percent maximum dry
density for clay and 100 percent maximum dry density for sand/gravel.
Geotextile
When a geotextile is used, it should be placed immediately before spreading the aggregate subbase or aggregate
base. Geotextiles are not used when other base types are constructed directly on the subgrade. Care should be
taken to stretch the material as it is unrolled to remove any wrinkles. A minimum lap of 12 in. (305 mm) should be
provided at the sides and ends of rolls. Construction equipment should not be allowed to operate directly on the
geotextile.
Aggregate Subbase and Base
Aggregate subbase and base courses are spread in layers of up to 6 in. (152 mm) in compacted thickness,
dependent upon the proposed compaction process. Material may be end-dumped from the delivery trucks
and spread by grader spreaders or by hand with care to avoid segregation. The material should be moisture
conditioned to within 2 percent of the optimum moisture content from ASTM D 698. It should then be compacted
by rolling with appropriate static or vibratory rollers, or with a plate vibrator. When using a plate vibrator, the layer
thickness must be 3 in. (76 mm) or less, and more than one layer may be required. The subbase and base
layers should be compacted according to ASTM D 698 to 95 percent maximum dry density. Limited regrading is
permissible to achieve correct surface profile and elevations. The maximum variation under the setting bed should
be +/- 3/16 in. (4.8 mm) when tested with a 10 ft (3.05 m) straightedge laid on the surface. The minimum slope of
the aggregate base should be 1 in. (25.4 mm) in 4 ft (1.22 m) to allow for drainage.
Asphalt Base
Asphalt materials are produced at a hot-mix plant. They are mixed at temperatures up to 300 F (149 C) and
should be installed before they cool to temperatures below 200 F (93 C). Asphalt base layers can be spread
by machine or by hand. Asphalt can be laid in lifts from 1 to 3 in. (38 to 76 mm) in thickness depending on the
aggregate size and compaction equipment. Hand spreading requires adequate compaction of the base. Machine
installation using a paving machine provides initial compaction, enabling more accurate placement and elevations
to be achieved. Compaction of the asphalt is accomplished by an initial breakdown rolling and then by a finish
rolling with steel- or rubber-tired rollers. Compaction is continued until the required density is achieved. This
normally is a minimum of 96 percent of the density of samples of the same material compacted in a laboratory.
Once materials have cooled to the ambient temperature, the layer can receive traffic, although the asphalt
continues to stiffen over several months. The maximum variation under the setting bed should be +/- 3/16 in. (4.8
mm) when a 10 ft (3.05 m) straightedge is laid on the surface. The minimum slope of the asphalt base surface
should be 1 in. (25.4 mm) in 4 ft (1.22 m) to allow for drainage.
Cement-Treated Aggregate Base
Plant-mixed cement-treated aggregate bases are transported to the site for spreading by machine or by hand.
When spread by a paving machine, the base should be compacted to the appropriate thickness. When spread
by a grader or by hand, adequate compaction is required. A cement-treated aggregate base also can be mixed
in place using special equipment. A granular subgrade or imported aggregate is thoroughly mixed with cement
and water to achieve the required thickness. Materials should be placed and compacted within two hours of
adding water and before initial set of the cement. The base should be compacted according to ASTM D 1557,
Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified Effort (56,000 ft-lbf/ft
3
(2,700 kN-
m/m
3
)) [Ref. 8] to at least 95 percent of the maximum dry density. The cement-treated layer should be cured by
water misting or by applying an asphalt emulsion cure coat. Traffic should not be allowed on the base for at least
seven days, but paver installation may commence after three days. The maximum variation under the setting bed
should be +/- 3/16 in. (4.7 mm) when a 10 ft (3.05 m) straightedge is laid on the surface. The minimum slope of
the base surface should be 1 in. (25.4 mm) in 4 ft (1.22 m) to allow for drainage.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 16 of 19
Concrete Base
Concrete usually is plant-mixed and delivered to the site in ready-mix trucks. It is discharged between forms,
where it is spread and consolidated. The formwork is set to the correct elevations, and a vibrating screed is
drawn between the forms to achieve the appropriate surface elevations. Movement joints containing load-transfer
devices may be formed at the edges of each pour, or the devices can be cast into the concrete between forms.
Saw cutting may be undertaken to induce cracking at the desired locations. A concrete base may be finished with
a broom, brush or wood float. A polished surface finish should be avoided. Care should be taken to follow proper
curing procedures for at least 14 days. Vehicular loads should not be permitted for at least 7 days, but paver
installation may commence after 3 days. The maximum variation under the setting bed should be +/- 3/16 in. (4.7
mm) when a 10 ft (3.05 m) straightedge is laid on the surface. The minimum slope of the concrete base surface
should be 1 in. (25.4 mm) in 4 ft (1.22 m) to allow for drainage.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
Clay pavers are highly resistant to absorption of stains and can be kept clean in most environments by regular
sweeping. Otherwise, cleaning of brick pavements essentially is the same as cleaning vertical brickwork, as
discussed in Technical Note 20. Mortar-filled joints generally are more resistant to aggressive cleaning methods
(i.e. pressure washers). Sand-filled joints subjected to aggressive cleaning methods should contain stabilized joint
sand or should be treated with a joint sand stabilizer.
Efflorescence
Efflorescence is a white, powdery substance that may occasionally appear on the surface of pavers. It is the
product of soluble compounds normally found in other pavement components or underlying soils, which are
deposited on the surface of the paver as absorbed water evaporates from the pavement surface. Soluble
compounds absorbed by the pavement from deicing chemicals also may cause efflorescence. Efflorescence often
can be vacuumed or brushed off the surface and removed from dry pavers. Washing downhill with water may
temporarily dissipate soluble compounds by dissolving them. However, care must be taken to ensure that the
contaminated water drains away from and does not re-enter the paving system.
In many cases, efflorescence will be minimal and will wear away naturally with traffic and weathering during
the early life of the pavement. If the salts are the result of groundwater or other more persistent water ingress,
proprietary cleaners are available to assist in their removal. Proper surface and subsurface drainage are critical in
these situations. For further information on efflorescence, refer to Technical Notes 23 and 23A.
Ice Removal
Several proprietary chemical products are available for preventing and removing ice from paved surfaces that
perform well and reduce potential staining of pavers. Among these are calcium magnesium acetate and urea. The
former is preferred because it is more effective at lower temperatures. Deicing of pavements has been undertaken
for many years using rock salt. This material contains calcium chloride and can cause efflorescence. Sand or grit
used to provide traction on ice should be swept up after the freezing cycle to minimize grinding of the pavers.
Snow Removal
Clearing snow from clay pavements can be undertaken using plows, snow blowers, shovels and brushes as used
for other pavements. Care must be taken to ensure that the blades of the equipment do not scrape the pavement
surface in a manner that might cause chipping. Rubber or urethane blade edges can be used, or proper blade
height can be maintained above the pavement surface using guide wheels. Any residual snow can be cleared with
brushes. Some snow-clearing procedures use heavy equipment to stockpile and subsequently remove the snow
from the property. If such equipment is used, the load capacity of the pavement should be adequately designed.
SPECIAL APPLICATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Clay pavers can be used in a number of special applications that require consideration of additional aspects.
The following sections cover the design of clay paver wearing surfaces for suspended decks, permeable paving
systems and hydronic snowmelt systems.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 17 of 19
Suspended Structural Slabs
The design of pavement surfaces on suspended decks presents a special series of challenges, particularly when
constructed over habitable space (see Figure 5). These include prevention of water penetration into the structure,
reduction in heat loss/gain and dealing with elastic deflections.
Waterproofing. A pavement constructed over a structural concrete slab often requires a waterproof membrane.
Several sheet and liquid-applied membranes are available. In most applications, a protection board is required
over the waterproof membrane.
Drainage. Water inevitably will penetrate the paver system, and drainage is required to prevent it from collecting
on top of the waterproof membrane. Horizontal drainage mats consisting of a dimpled three-dimensional plastic
core covered with filter fabric frequently are used. A 2 percent slope should be provided toward drains to assist
drainage of water. Although the core material has a high compressive strength, the filter fabric can be compressed.
Consequently, horizontal drainage mats in pavements subject to vehicular traffic should not be positioned
immediately below the setting bed.
Insulation. When a paved surface is located over a habitable space, it may be necessary to incorporate insulation
into the section. The most common type of insulation is extruded polystyrene, available in boards of various
compressive strengths and thicknesses. However, compressive strength values are measured when the insulation
thickness is compressed 5 percent. As such, the material is resilient under load and should not be placed
immediately under the setting bed when vehicular traffic will use the pavement.
An alternative insulating material that can be used in pavement systems on suspended structural slabs subject to
vehicular traffic is foamed concrete. It is more rigid than extruded polystyrene but is less thermally efficient. This
material also is available in a range of compressive strengths and insulation values.
Loading. Pavers and setting bed materials can be considered to apply a dead load of 10 lb/sq ft per inch (190 Pa
per cm) of thickness.
Deflections. A maximum deflection of 1/360 of the span is recommended for flexible pavement systems installed
over a suspended structural slab. If vehicular loads are anticipated, flexible pavement deflection should be limited
to 1/480. When rigid paving systems are installed, the deflections should be limited to 1/600.
Permeable Pavements
Many urban development regulations require that the surface-water runoff from a new project should not exceed
the original values. This may be expressed as a peak flow rate or as a total quantity of water. Permeable
pavements (see Photo 6) can be used to reduce or delay entry of runoff from a pavement surface into stormwater
systems or environmentally sensitive areas. In pavements with clay pavers, this can be achieved by creating wide
Photo 6
Permeable Clay Pavement
Suspended Structural Deck
Topping Slab
Waterproof Membrane
Drainage Mat
Rigid Insulation
Base
Setting Bed
Clay Pavers
Figure 5
Typical Suspended Deck Paving Section
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 18 of 19
joints that are filled with a permeable aggregate rather
than sand. The pavers are also laid on a permeable
setting bed. This allows the water that falls on a
pavement to filter through the surface into a permeable
base. The water will be temporarily stored in the
base, or it may soak into the subgrade if this is also
permeable (see Figure 6).
Subgrades. If the subgrade is permeable, water that
infiltrates the pavement through the surface voids
can drain away over time, after a rain event. Good
practice usually requires that water completely drains
within three days of entering the pavement. However,
compaction in preparation for placing the base
material may result in significant reduction in subgrade
permeability. As such, there are few permeable
pavements that can rely completely on exfiltration
through the subgrade. If the water will not drain,
provision should be made to release the water stored
in the base material through drainage pipes.
Bases. Permeable bases are constructed using single size or open graded aggregate materials. These materials
typically have a void content of 15 percent to 40 percent to accommodate the water that needs to be detained.
Typical single-number aggregate sizes No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 from ASTM C 33, Specification for Concrete
Aggregate [Ref. 2] or ASTM D 448, Classification for Sizes of Aggregate for Road and Bridge Construction [Ref. 6]
have a high void content and are frequently used. There are several double-number size options such as No. 57
and No. 67. For these aggregate materials, the void content is less because a broader grading envelope is used,
but the material may be more readily available.
Setting Bed and Joints. Similar aggregate is commonly used for the setting bed and joints. Size No. 8, No. 9 or
No. 89 aggregates complying with ASTM C 33 or ASTM D 448 are most frequently used. J oints ranging from 1/4
to 3/8 in. (6.4 to 9.5 mm) are typical. There also are several systems that use plastic spacers to create consistent
width joints of 1/2 to 3/4 in. (12.7 to 19.1 mm). However, the interlock between pavers is greatly reduced when joint
sizes are greater than 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) or when plastic spacers are used.
Hydronic Snow Melt Systems
Hydronic snow melt systems consist of a network of plastic tubing incorporated into the pavement system,
typically at 6 to 8 in. (150 to 200 mm) centers. Heated liquid is pumped around the system during near- and
subfreezing conditions so that the pavement temperature is maintained slightly above freezing, thus preventing the
accumulation of snow or the development of ice on the pavement surface. Continuous loops of 3/4 to 1 in. (19.1
to 25.4 mm) diameter tubing are made from cross-linked polyethylene. Tubing usually is secured to welded wire
fabric during construction to establish and maintain the designed layout.
There are two common approaches to positioning the tubing in the pavement. The first is to cast the tubing into
a concrete subslab, where it will be protected by the concrete. The second is to incorporate it within the bedding
material under the pavers. The latter option is not recommended for pavements with frequent vehicular traffic
but can be used for pavements under pedestrian loading. Adequate cover is required over the tubing, typically a
minimum of 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) after compaction. Bituminous bedding materials are not appropriate for this approach,
in part because of the installation temperature, but also because of the layer thickness. When a sand setting bed
is used, pre-compaction of the sand before screeding is recommended to minimize the occurrence of hard spots
under the pavers. This is achieved by providing approximately 1/2 in. (12.7 mm) additional cover when spreading
the sand, followed by several passes of the plate vibrator to compact the sand. The top surface then is loosened
slightly with a hoe or rake and screeded to the appropriate level, leaving a smaller surcharge than normal.
Permeable Subgrade
Geotextile
Permeable Setting Bed
Wide J oints with Permeable Filling
Perforated Drainage Pipe to Outfall
As Necessary for Impermeable Subgrade
Infiltration
Exfiltration Permeable Base
Outflow
Clay Pavers
Figure 6
Typical Permeable Pavement Section
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14 | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers | Page 19 of 19
SUMMARY
Pedestrian and light duty vehicular pavements made with clay pavers can serve in a wide variety of applications,
including plazas, sidewalks and residential driveways and commercial driveways (passenger drop-offs). Many
paver sizes and colors are available, as are special shapes. Proper design and construction of a pavements base,
setting bed and pavers ensure a structurally stable, durable pavement able to meet site and project requirements.
Lending intrinsic character and sophistication to any space, clay pavers can be a structurally stable, economically
viable pavement option.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of
the information contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
REFERENCES
1. Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, United States Access Board, Washington, D.C., J uly
2004.
2. ASTM C 33, Standard Specification for Concrete Aggregate, Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.02, ASTM
International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
3. ASTM C 902, Standard Specification for Pedestrian and Light Traffic Paving Brick, Annual Book of Standards,
Vol. 04.05, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
4. ASTM C 1028, Standard Test Method for Determining the Static Coefficient of Friction of Ceramic Tile and
Other Like Surfaces by the Horizontal Dynamometer Pull-Meter Method, Annual Book of Standards, Vol.
04.03, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
5. ASTM C1272, Standard Specification for Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick, Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.05,
ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
6. ASTM D 448, Standard Classification for Sizes of Aggregate for Road and Bridge Construction, Annual Book
of Standards, Vol. 04.03, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
7. ASTM D 698, Standard Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Standard
Effort (12,400 ft-lbf/ft
3
(600 kN-m/m
3
)), Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.08, ASTM International, West
Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
8. ASTM D 1557, Standard Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified
Effort (56,000 ft-lbf/ft
3
(2,700 kN-m/m3)), Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.08, ASTM International, West
Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
9. ASTM D 2940, Standard Specification for Graded Aggregate Material for Bases or Sub-bases for Highways or
Airports, Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.03, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
10. ASTM D 3515, Standard Specification for Hot-Mixed, Hot-Laid Bituminous Paving Mixtures, Annual Book of
Standards, Vol. 04.03, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
11. ASTM E 303, Standard Test Method for Measuring Surface Frictional Properties Using the British Pendulum
Tester, Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.03, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
12. Cooper, R.A., Wolf, E., Fitzgerald, S.G., Dobson, A., and Ammer, W., Interaction of Wheelchairs and
Segmental Pavement Surfaces, Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Concrete Block
Paving, Cape Town, South Africa, Concrete Manufacturers Association of South Africa, October 2003.
13. Draft Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines, United States Access Board, Washington, D.C., 2005.
14. Flexible Vehicular Brick Paving A Heavy Duty Applications Guide, Brick Industry Association, Reston, VA,
2004.
15. Wolf, E., Pearlman, J ., Cooper, R.A., Fitzgerald, S.G., Kelleher, A., Collins, D.M., Boninger, M.L., Cooper,
R., Smith, D.R., Vibration Exposure of Individuals using Wheelchairs over Concrete Paver Surfaces,
Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Concrete Block Paving, San Francisco, CA,
International Concrete Pavement Institute, November 2006.
2007 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 13
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
14A
October
2007
Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers
on a Sand Setting Bed
Abstract: This Technical Note describes the proper design and construction of pavements made with clay pavers on a sand
setting bed in pedestrian and vehicular, residential and nonresidential projects.
Key Words: flexible, mortarless paving, paving, rigid, sand setting bed.
General
Determine if application is pedestrian, light duty vehicular
or heavy duty vehicular
Implement regular maintenance program to maintain
pavers in a safe and serviceable condition
Patterns
Use herringbone pattern for pavements subject to
vehicular traffic
Design flexibility into layout to accommodate field
conditions
Drainage
Provide a minimum slope of 1/4 in. per foot (2 percent
grade)
For concrete and impermeable bases, provide weeps
through base
Edge Restraints
For pavements subject to vehicular traffic, use concrete
or stone curbs or steel angles anchored to a concrete
base or foundation or a proprietary system rated for
traffic
For all other pavements, use any of the above or clay
pavers in a concrete foundation, proprietary plastic or
metal edge restraint systems spiked into aggregate
Use edge restraint with vertical face at paver interface
Clay Pavers
For most residential, pedestrian and light duty vehicular
applications, such as driveways, entranceways and
passenger drop-offs, use clay pavers complying with
ASTM C 902
For heavy duty vehicular applications, such as streets,
commercial driveways and industrial applications, use
clay pavers complying with ASTM C 1272.
Refer to Technical Note 14 for additional
recommendations
Joint and Setting Bed Sand
Use concrete sand complying with ASTM C 33
Stabilized Joint Sand
Use where potential sand loss or high water permeability
is anticipated and not desired
Follow paver manufacturers recommendation regarding
the use of stabilized joint sand or joint sand stabilizer
Use performance history as a basis for selection
Concrete Base
For concrete base on ground, provide control joints
spaced a maximum of 12 ft (3.66 m) o.c.
For elevated concrete slab, provide control joints through
concrete slab and expansion joints through pavement
above aligned with control joints
Provide weeps through base for drainage
Base, Subbase and Subgrade
Refer to Technical Note 14
INTRODUCTION
This Technical Note covers the design, detailing and
specification of clay pavers when laid on a sand
setting bed (see Figure 1). Refer to Technical Note
14 for clay paver design considerations, including
traffic, site conditions, drainage and appearance.
Sand-set pavers are the most cost-effective method of
constructing a pavement made with clay pavers. The
system relies upon developing interlock in the paving
course, which is generated by friction between the
pavers and the jointing sand. This enables the pavers
to function as part of the structural pavement system.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
Edge Restraint
Clay Pavers
Setting Bed
Compacted
Base
Compacted
Subgrade or Subbase
Figure 1
Typical Brick Pavement
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 2 of 13
Applications
Clay pavers set on a sand setting bed are
appropriate for virtually any paver application,
ranging from pedestrian to heavy duty vehicular
traffic. At a minimum, the system requires clay brick
pavers and a sand setting bed, compacted after
paver placement. Depending on subgrade conditions,
additional layers, base and subbase may be
required.
Residential Patios and Walkways. These
applications are the most common and handle the
lightest loads. The sand setting bed thickness should
be 1 to 1 in. (25 to 38 mm). The sand setting
bed should be separated from the subgrade by a
compacted aggregate base (see Figure 2). This base
typically consists of coarse aggregate (gravel) of
varying gradation, compacted to a minimum thickness
of 4 in. (102 mm) using mechanical tamping or
vibration.
Residential Driveways. The heavier and more
localized loads of vehicles on driveways serving one-
or two-family houses result in a thicker paving system
requiring a minimum 4 in. (102 mm) compacted
aggregate subbase. The base should consist of a
minimum 4 in. (102 mm) layer of coarse aggregate,
cast-in-place concrete or asphalt (see Figure 3).
The sand setting bed thickness should be 1 to 1 in.
(25 to 38 mm). The base typically consists of coarse
aggregate (gravel) of varying gradation, compacted
to a minimum thickness of 4 in. (102 mm) using
mechanical tamping or vibration.
Commercial/Public Plazas and Walkways. With
increased pedestrian traffic and increased risk of injury
from any localized differential displacements, these
types of applications require a firm pavement, similar
to that of residential driveways. For plazas, however, a
minimum 4 in. (102 mm) compacted aggregate base
and subbase typically are used (see Figure 4). Note
that for these applications on sites consisting of silty
or clayey soils, geotextile should be placed on the
compacted subgrade, below the subbase.
The sand setting bed thickness should be 1 to 1 in.
(25 to 38 mm). The base typically consists of coarse
aggregate (gravel) of varying gradation, compacted
to a minimum thickness of 4 in. (102 mm) using
mechanical tamping or vibration.
Min. 4 in. (102mm) Compacted Aggregate Base
Clay Pavers
Min. 1 to Max.
Sand Setting Bed
1

in. (25 to
38 mm)
1
2 /
Compacted Subgrade
Min. in. (1.6 mm) to Max.
in. (4.8 mm) Sand Filled Joints
1
16
3
16
/
/
Geotextile (If Required)
Figure 2
Typical Residential Patio or Walkway
Min. 4 in. (102 mm) Compacted Aggregate Subbase
Clay Pavers
Compacted Subgrade
Min. 4 in. (102 mm) Concrete, Compacted
Aggregate or Asphalt Base
Min. in. (1.6 mm) to Max.
in. (4.8 mm) Sand Filled Joints
1
16
3
16
/
/
Geotextile (If Required)
Min. 1 to Max.
Sand Setting Bed
1

in. (25 to
38 mm)
1
2 /
Figure 3
Typical Residential Driveway
Geotextile (If Required)
Min. 4 in. (102 mm) Compacted Aggregate Subbase
Clay Pavers
Compacted Subgrade
Min. in. (1.6 mm) to Max.
in. (4.8 mm) Sand Filled Joints
1
16
3
16
/
/
Min. 4 in. (102 mm) Compacted Aggregate Base
Min. 1 to Max.
Sand Setting Bed
1

in. (25 to
38 mm)
1
2 /
Figure 4
Typical Commercial/Pedestrian
Public Plaza/Sidewalk
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 3 of 13
Light Duty Vehicular. For parking areas and
neighborhood streets serving light duty vehicles, the
brick pavement section should be similar to that of
a residential driveway, but with a more substantial
base. A pavement with a concrete base as depicted
in Figure 5 or a thicker aggregate or asphalt base is
required.
Heavy Duty Vehicular. Paving systems exposed
to more than 251 daily equivalent single axle loads
(ESAL) from trucks or combination vehicles having
three or more loaded axles are considered heavy
duty vehicular applications. Such paving systems are
beyond the scope of this Technical Note series. For
further information about heavy vehicular applications,
refer to Flexible Vehicular Brick Paving A Heavy
Duty Applications Guide [Ref. 6].
GENERAL DESIGN AND DETAILING CONSIDERATIONS
Interlock
Sand-set pavers interlock with one another by generating friction across the joints. This is the result of tightly
packing sand into the joints during the vibration process. The interlock improves as the pavement is subjected to
traffic. There are three types of interlock present in a sand-set paver pavement when properly constructed: vertical,
horizontal and rotational interlock. Interlocked pavers cannot be readily extracted from the pavement.
Vertical interlock allows load transfer across joints between pavers. When a load is applied to one paver, a portion
is transferred through sand in the joints to adjacent pavers, as shown in Figure 6, distributing the load to a greater
area and reducing the stress on the sand bed and the underlying layers. Vertical interlock allows a paving layer to
act as a structural layer. Without vertical interlock, the pavers do not act as a structural layer, and localized stress
on the setting bed directly under a loaded paver is increased. Pavers installed on a sand setting bed should not be
laid with 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) joints, because this is too wide to achieve interlock, making the pavers unable to transfer
load to adjacent pavers. The proper joint width is 1/16 to 3/16 in. (1.6 to 4.8 mm).
Rotational interlock is the result of lateral resistance from adjacent pavers and adequate edge restraints, as shown
in Figure 7. It is improved with full joints that support the top of the paver. Without adequate restraint, the pavers
can roll in the direction of lateral loading, which may result in an irregular surface profile.
Min. 4 in. (102 mm) Concrete or 8 in.
(204 mm) Compacted Aggregate Base
Min. 4 in. (102 mm) Compacted Aggregate Subbase
Clay Pavers
Compacted Subgrade
Min. in. (1.6 mm) to Max.
in. (4.8 mm) Sand Filled Joints
1
16
3
16
/
/
Min. 1 to Max.
Sand Setting Bed
1

in. (25 to
38 mm)
1
2 /
Figure 5
Typical Light Duty Vehicular
Narrow Joints
Vertical Interlock
Wide Joints
No Vertical Interlock
Load
Load
Figure 6
Vertical Interlock of Pavers
No Rotational Interlock
Load
Figure 7
Rotational Interlock of Pavers
Load
Rotational Interlock
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 4 of 13
The extent of horizontal interlock depends upon the
laying (bond) pattern of the pavers and the edge
restraint. Patterns that have staggered joint lines allow
the load to be distributed to a larger number of pavers,
as shown in Figure 8. This reduces joint compressive
stress and potential for horizontal creep of pavers.
Continuous joints result in minimal load distribution
and increased joint compressive stress, which may
produce horizontal movement.
Pavement Section
Clay pavers over a sand setting bed can be installed
over a flexible or rigid base, including aggregate,
asphalt, cement-treated aggregate or concrete
bases. For further information on bases, refer to
Technical Note 14.
The design of the base is beyond the scope of this
Technical Note, and the advice of a qualified and
experienced pavement designer should be sought.
For preliminary design, it is reasonable to assume
that a minimum of 4 in. (102 mm) of concrete,
cement-treated aggregate, asphalt or aggregate base
will be needed for sand and gravel subgrades. For
residential driveway, commercial/pedestrian and light
duty vehicular applications with clay or silt subgrades,
an additional 4 in. (102 mm) of aggregate subbase
or base should be added to each option. Additional
thickness may be required when the subgrade is
susceptible to frost heave or when the pavement must
support heavy axle loads from trucks.
Concrete bases should be reinforced with welded wire
fabric or reinforcement bars and should have control
joints spaced at 12 ft (3.66 m) intervals to control
expansion and contraction. To minimize movement of
slabs, detail movement joints as shown in Figure 9.
Control joints in suspended structural slabs should
extend through the entire slab and align with an
expansion joint through the pavement above. Control
joints should have dowels or a keyway to limit vertical
separation across the joint.
Vehicular Traffic
For light duty vehicular paving systems, a maximum
traffic speed of 30 mph (50 kph) is considered
appropriate for pavers in a sand setting bed. When
frequent vehicular traffic is anticipated, additional
attention is required to ensure that joints between
pavers remain filled with sand. Higher speed
applications require more vigilance, as the interlock
between pavers is reduced with sand loss. Paving
systems for vehicular traffic applications usually will
include a compacted subbase to distribute loads (see
Figure 5).
Figure 8
Horizontal Interlock of Pavers
No Horizontal Interlock
Horizontal Interlock
Load
Load
Clay Pavers
Concrete Base
Sand Setting Bed
Control Joint
with Dowels
Compacted Subbase
Compacted Subgrade
Figure 9
Control Joints
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 5 of 13
The designer should consider the bond pattern for vehicular traffic applications. Any pattern may be used under
foot traffic. When vehicles operate on a pavement, patterns that distribute horizontal loads (i.e., loads from turning,
accelerating or braking vehicles) across multiple pavers, such as herringbone, are recommended. Patterns with
continuous joints, such as stack bond or running bond, are more susceptible to creep from horizontal loading.
Where such patterns are used in vehicular pavements, continuous joint lines should be oriented perpendicular to
the direction of vehicle travel.
Bond Patterns/Layout
The size of pavers may influence the selection of a suitable bond pattern. Pavers for use on a sand setting bed
typically are manufactured in sizes that accommodate a joint width of approximately 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) to encourage
optimal interlock.
Bond patterns such as herringbone, basket weave and others make use of the 1:2 or 1:3 ratios between the
pavers length and width to maintain the pattern and joint alignment. Pavers sized to accommodate joint widths
of approximately 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) do not achieve these ratios. Such pavers typically are used in pavements with
mortar joints. When they are laid on a sand setting bed, only a running bond, stack bond or chevron pattern should
be used, since these patterns do not depend on these ratios.
An individual clay pavers dimensions may be slightly different from the dimensions of another clay paver from the
same run. The inherent variability of their dimensions is a result of their manufacturing process. Pavers may be
larger or smaller within allowable tolerances of their specified size. This variability may not be consistent, because
actual dimensions may be greater or smaller than the specified dimensions. As such, the pavers may not be
able to be placed in a standard modular pattern. Blending of pavers from multiple cubes during installation can
overcome this issue. The installer should constantly monitor paver size during installation to ensure that the bond
pattern and joint size are maintained.
When designing an installation pattern with changes in bond and color, incorporating some tolerance in the
placement of certain paver features is recommended. This can be achieved by using saw cut pavers at junctions
of colored areas or by allowing approximate dimensions and realistic tolerances when placing certain paver
features. Two examples are depicted in Figure 10.
Field Pattern Brick
Cut as Necessary
to Ensure Good Fit
6 to 8 in. (152 to 204 mm)
Header Course Cut as
Necessary to Ensure
Good Fit
Edge of Band Aligned with
Building Column +/-
1
2 in.
(12.7 mm) to Ensure Good Fit
/
Figure 10
Pattern Options to Maintain Specified Joint Widths
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 6 of 13
Compacted Aggregate Base
Heavy Plastic or
Metal Edging
Secured with Spikes
Clay Pavers on
Sand Setting Bed
Compacted Subgrade
(a) Proprietary Edge Restraint System
Compacted Aggregate Base
Clay Paver,
Precast Concrete
or Cut Stone
Extend Base Beyond Restraint
Compacted Subgrade
Clay Pavers on
Sand Setting Bed
Concrete or Mortar as Required
Figure 11
Edge Restraints
(b) Clay Paver, Precast Concrete
or Cut Stone Edge Restraint
Edge Restraints
Edge restraints are critical in a pavement with a
sand setting bed to enable consistent interlock and
resist horizontal loads transferred from pavers.
Selection of edge restraint will depend on pavement
section and use. Figure 11 (pages 6 and 7) presents
various options, in increasing order of load capacity.
Concrete curbs or steel angles attached to a concrete
foundation or concrete base layer are the most
robust edge restraints. They are recommended for all
pavements subject to regular vehicular traffic. Edge
restraints for other applications may include pavers
bonded to a concrete foundation, and a range of
proprietary plastic and metal edge restraint systems
that are typically spiked into aggregate bases. Timber
edging and concrete backing poured to restrain edge
pavers may not be effective over the long term. It is
important that all edge restraints have a vertical rather
than inclined face for the pavers to butt against.
Base as Selected
Poured Concrete,
Precast, or Cut
Stone Curb
Clay Pavers on
Sand Setting Bed
Compacted Subgrade
(d) Curb Edge
Base as Selected
Clay Paver Bonded
to Concrete
Concrete Foundation
Compacted Subgrade
Clay Pavers on
Sand Setting Bed
(c) Bonded Clay Paver Edge Restraint
Galvanized Steel or Aluminum Angle
Compacted Subgrade
Concrete Base
Clay Pavers on
Sand Setting Bed
(e) Steel Angle Edge Restraint
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 7 of 13
Compacted Aggregate
Subbase (If Required)
Clay Paver,
Precast Concrete
or Cut Stone
Concrete Foundation
Compacted Subgrade
Concrete or
Asphalt Base
Clay Pavers on
Sand Setting Bed
Min. 1 in. (25.4 mm)
dia. Weep @ 24 in.
(610 mm) o.c.
Screen as
Necessary
(f) Clay Paver, Precast Concrete
or Stone Edge Restraint
Base as Selected
Concrete
Curb & Gutter
Compacted Subgrade
Pavers Set
1
8 in.
(3.2 mm) Higher than
Concrete After
Vibration of Pavers
/
(g) Poured Concrete Curb and Gutter Edge Restraint
Figure 11 (continued)
Edge Restraints
Drainage
Adequate drainage is important to the performance and durability of any clay paving system. Water should be
drained from the paving system as quickly as possible. A minimum slope of 1/4 in. per foot (2 percent grade) is
recommended. Adequate drainage should be provided to ensure the integrity of all layers in a paving system.
A sand setting bed will continue to consolidate slightly after construction is complete. Pavers should be finished
slightly higher than drainage inlets and other low edges of a pavement. This will minimize water puddling at these
locations. Typically 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) will be adequate and will not present a short-term tripping hazard.
Over time, small amounts of water will migrate through sand joints. Consequently, a sand-set paving system with
an impermeable base will require weep openings at low points in the pavement. Weep openings permit moisture
to seep out of the pavement rather than saturating the setting bed. Even a well-compacted aggregate base
may benefit from installing weep openings. Sand is less durable in a saturated state than when dry or slightly
damp.
Several weep opening options are available. A small-diameter (1 to 2 in. [38 to 51 mm]) pipe with ends wrapped
in geotextile may be placed through the side wall of drain inlets or through edge restraints. Such weeps should be
installed at spacings of 2 to 6 ft (0.60 to 1.83 m) depending on pavement geometry and profiles, environmental
conditions and pavement use. As an alternative, a drainage mat may be placed vertically through the base. This
may be used in conjunction with small pipes at drain inlets. For a concrete base, holes may be drilled or formed
through the slab to weep water to the subbase. Locating holes away from the impact of wheel loads is necessary
since subbase materials may be moisture-sensitive.
Penetrations
Large and small features that penetrate through the paver layer should be properly detailed. These features
include utility covers, tree pits, light pole bases, signposts and street furniture. Features may either penetrate the
entire pavement section to an independent structure or foundation, or be anchored to a concrete subslab. Such
features can present some issues in cutting the pavers to form a uniform joint around them.
Some utility covers and other frames are relatively shallow, or have buttresses, inclined faces, anchor bolts
or other features that may interfere with the bottom of a paver. Where possible, features should be specified,
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 8 of 13
Compacted Subgrade
Anchor Bolts
Concrete Plinth
on Foundation
Pole with Base Plate
Sand
Setting Bed
Clay Pavers
Cover Plate
Base as
Selected
Figure 13
Small Penetration
Compacted Subgrade
Soldier Course
in Thinset Mortar
Compacted Base
Concrete Surround
Manhole Wall
Frame with Inclined
Outer Face
Sand Setting Bed
Clay Pavers Set in. (3.2 mm) Higher
than Thinset Pavers After Vibration
1
8 /
Figure 12
Large Penetration
designed and installed deeper than the setting bed. Where this is not possible, casting a concrete collar around
the frame and thin-setting a header course of pavers on the concrete may clear obstructions to the sand setting
bed interface, as shown in Figure 12.
Accurately cutting and placing pavers against small features may prove difficult. An alternative is to construct a
concrete plinth up to the pavement surface and to install a cover plate to conceal the anchorage of the feature, as
shown in Figure 13. This also allows easy access for repairs, without removing pavers.
MATERIALS
Subgrade
For design purposes, the subgrade is considered to be either sand/gravel or clay/silt. The latter are more sensitive
to moisture and frost and may require the use of subbase layers and proper drainage to protect against shrinkage,
swelling and frost heave. The advice of a properly qualified and experienced pavement designer should be sought
in regard to the preparation of the subgrade.
Base and Subbase
Base materials for pavers laid in a sand setting bed may be of aggregate, cement-treated aggregate, asphalt
or concrete. When a subbase is required, aggregate generally is used. Aggregate materials should comply with
ASTM D 2940 and be compacted in accordance with ASTM D 698 to 95 percent maximum density. Asphalt should
meet ASTM D 3515. Concrete should have a minimum compressive strength of 4,000 psi (27.6 MPa) and should
have control joints spaced a maximum of every 12 feet (3.66 m). For a more detailed discussion of base and
subbase materials, refer to Technical Note 14.
Geotextiles
Geotextiles are used on top of silt or clay soils to help stabilize subgrades and under sand setting beds to prevent
loss of sand through weep openings and other gaps in the pavement base or at edge restraints or penetrations.
The preferred type of geotextile is a woven, polypropylene fabric complying with ASTM D 4751, Test Method for
Determining Apparent Opening Size of a Geotextile [Ref. 5], with an approximate opening size from a No. 70 to
No. 100 sieve size opening. Nonwoven geotextiles can be used for light-traffic applications. Geotextiles should
be lapped at the sides and ends of rolls a minimum of 12 in. (305 mm). Care should be taken to not locate laps
directly under anticipated wheel paths. Geotextiles should extend 6 in. (152 mm) beyond potential areas of sand
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 9 of 13
loss. These may be adhered in place, but generally will stay in position once covered by the sand setting bed.
Geotextiles should not be allowed to span over unfilled holes or pits in the surface of the base that are greater
than 1 in. (25.4 mm).
Setting Bed Sand
A sand setting bed provides a strong support layer under pavers and accommodates variations in paver thickness
to produce a smooth surface profile. A portion of setting bed sand penetrates the joints during vibration and
initializes the development of interlock between the pavers. Sand for the setting bed should be clean, naturally
occurring material with angular and subangular shaped particles, with a maximum size of about 3/16 in. (4.8 mm).
Concrete sand conforming to the requirements of ASTM C 33, Specification for Concrete Aggregate [Ref. 1], or
local department of transportation standards is recommended for use as setting bed material. This provides a
more stable and durable setting bed than mason sand or screenings, which have a more rounded shape and
should not be used. Sand rich in silica-based minerals is desirable, because carbonate-based minerals are softer
and can break down when saturated. Manufactured limestone sand usually causes efflorescence and should be
avoided unless it has a proven track record on similar projects.
Clay Pavers
A wide selection of colors and textures is available in clay pavers. Further information on clay pavers can be found
in Technical Note 14.
Pavers generally are manufactured with their length equal to a module of their width. Two commonly specified
clay paver sizes are 4 in. wide by 8 in. long (102 by 203 mm) and 3 in. wide by 7 in. long (95 by 190 mm).
Other similar sizes are available, such as 3 in. wide by 7 in. long (92 by 194 mm), and several manufacturers
are able to provide custom sizes. Common specified thicknesses are 1 in. (38 mm), 2 in. (57 mm) and
2 in. (70 mm) [2 in. (67 mm) excluding chamfered edge].
All clay pavers covered by ASTM C 902, Specification for Pedestrian and Light Traffic Paving Brick [Ref. 3], and
ASTM C 1272, Specification for Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick [Ref. 4], can be installed on a sand setting bed.
The designer should select the appropriate Application, Type and Class of the paver for the project based on
aesthetics, use, abrasion resistance and the required resistance to damage from weather exposure. For more
detailed information on specifying clay pavers, refer to Technical Note 14.
When square-edged pavers or pavers without lugs are laid with sand joints, care should be taken to ensure that
they do not make direct contact with or lip under adjacent pavers. A minimum 1/16 in. (1.6 mm) wide sand-filled
joint should separate each clay paver to minimize potential chipping. However, the maximum joint width should be
no more than 3/16 in. (4.8 mm) to minimize the potential for horizontal movement under vehicular traffic. If pavers
with spacers and/or a rounded or chamfered edge are installed, there is less potential for direct paver contact.
When lugs are used, the potential for creep is reduced.
Jointing Sand
Sand within pavement joints creates interlock between pavers by generating friction across the joint. Larger
particles present in joints reduce the potential for lateral movement. Finer particles act to reduce contact stresses
around the larger particles, reducing the potential of the particles breaking down. The sand also accommodates
the variations in paver size and reduces the potential for contact between pavers that can lead to chipping. ASTM
C 33 concrete sand should be placed in joints before vibration to maximize interlock at the bottom portion of
joints. However, coarse particles that do not fall into joints should be brushed off the pavement surface rather than
worked in. After vibration, finer jointing sand may be placed so that it penetrates to the bottom of the joints and
achieves better filling. When the typical joint dimension exceeds 3/16 in. (4.8 mm), stabilized sand or joint sand
stabilizer should be used.
Joint Sand Stabilizers
In conditions where potential sand loss or high joint permeability may not be desirable, a joint sand stabilizer is
recommended. These conditions include intensive cleaning practices, high surface water flows and flat areas with
moisture-sensitive subgrades. There are several different types of joint sand stabilizers. These include breathable
polymeric liquids that can be sprayed onto the pavement surface and squeezed into the joints with a squeegee, as
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 10 of 13
well as dry products that can be mixed with the joint sand before installation. Pretreated sands also are available
for joint filling. Strict adherence to the stabilizer manufacturers recommendations is required to achieve successful
installations. When selecting a stabilizer, it is important to choose one with a proven history that does not discolor
the surface or peel over time. The paver manufacturer's recommendation regarding joint sand stabilizers should
be followed. Joint sand stabilizers should be applied to the completed paver surface. Stabilizers should be applied
to the pavement surface before the application of other coatings to enhance the appearance of the pavers or to
protect against staining. For further guidance on selecting coatings for use on brick pavements, refer to Technical
Note 6A.
INSTALLATION AND WORKMANSHIP
Subgrade
The subgrade should be brought to the proper level and cleared of organic material. Compaction should comply
with ASTM D 698 to 95 percent maximum dry density for clay and 100 percent maximum dry density for
sand/gravel. For a more detailed discussion of subgrade preparation, refer to Technical Note 14.
Base and Subbase
Base and subbase materials should be placed per the design. Aggregate should be compacted in accordance with
ASTM D 698 to 95 percent maximum density. The maximum variation under the setting bed should be +/- 3/16
in. (4.8 mm) when a 10 ft (3.05 m) straightedge is laid on the surface. The minimum slope of the concrete base
surface should be 1 in. (25.4 mm) in 4 ft (1.22 m) to allow for drainage. For a more detailed discussion on the
installation of base and subbase materials, refer to Technical Note 14.
Setting Bed
Whenever possible, the direction of installation should be planned to protect the paving against premature use or
damage by rain or other construction activities. The surface of the underlying base material should be thoroughly
clean and dry before installation of the bedding sand. Elevations should be verified to ensure that the sand setting
bed will be a consistent thickness after compaction. The setting bed should not be used to bring the pavement
to the correct grade. Isolated high and low spots should be corrected before sand placement to avoid an uneven
pavement surface resulting from variable sand setting bed thicknesses. Lines should be established for setting out
the pattern. The contractor should become aware of size variations in the pavers to maintain the pattern without
localized opening or closing of joints to meet a fixed edge. All areas of potential sand loss should be covered with
geotextile.
Screed rails should be set on the surface of the base to proper line and level. They are typically placed 8 to 12 ft
(2.44 to 3.66 m) apart, or closer when working on a grade. An allowance should be made in the thickness of the
setting bed for compaction of bedding sand as pavers are installed, as well as additional consolidation in service.
An experienced contractor will be aware of the proper thickness for different conditions to achieve the correct long-
term surface profiles. The bed thickness should be established so that when the pavers are compacted, their top
surface will be 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) above the required grades to allow for limited settling in service.
To prevent disturbance, setting bed sand should not be spread too far ahead of the paver laying face. Voids left
after removing the screed rails should be filled. The screeded bedding sand may be affected by wind or rain as
well as by wayward construction operations. If sand is disturbed, it should be loosened and rescreeded. Extensive
areas of screeded sand should not be left overnight unless they are properly protected from disturbance and
moisture. Moisture content of setting bed sand should be kept as uniform as possible to minimize undulations in
the pavement surface. The sand should be kept in a damp condition conducive to packing. Water should not be
applied except by very light misting. Stockpiled sand should be covered to protect it from wind and rain.
Paver Installation
The pavers are laid on the setting bed working away from an edge restraint or the existing laying face while
following the pattern lines that have been established. Full pavers should be laid to the required pattern with
1/16 to 3/16 in. (1.6 to 4.8 mm) wide joints. The optimum joint width for vehicular traffic is between 1/16 and
1/8 in. (1.6 and 3.2 mm), but some wider joints may be required with Application PS pavers, and particularly with
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 11 of 13
Application PA pavers. Lugs enable the correct joint width to be achieved when the pavers are placed in contact
with one another. Pavers should not be forced together, resulting in excessive contact, because this may cause the
pavers to chip during installation or compaction. At least two cubes of each color of pavers should be drawn from
at one time, and the manufacturers recommendations on color blending should be followed. The pavers should be
adjusted to form straight pattern lines while maintaining the correct joint widths.
Several feet of pavers should be installed before beginning to add cut pavers as infill against edge conditions.
Bench-mounted masonry saws are the best means of cutting the pavers to achieve a neat edge and a vertical cut
face. Use of a wet saw or dust collection system is recommended to control dust. Guillotine cutters also may be
used, but their cuts typically are not as straight and neat. Convex curves can be formed using multiple cuts, but
this requires a skilled craftsman to meet allowable joint tolerances. Concave curves are very difficult to form and
should be avoided when possible.
Pavers should be compacted at the end of each day to prevent any damage while left unattended. The pavement
surface should be compacted using a plate compactor. These typically have a plate area of 2 to 3 sq ft (0.23 to
0.28 sq m) and operate at a frequency of 80 to 100 Hz. To prevent pavers from chipping during vibration, a little
bedding sand material can be swept into the joints, or the underside of the plate compactor can be fitted with
a rubber mat. Pavers also can be covered with a sheet of geotextile or sheets of plywood during vibration For
molded pavers, vibration is especially important since irregularities and dimensional variations on the underside
could lead to air gaps or improper support if not properly compacted into the sand setting bed. Compaction should
not be carried out within 4 ft (1.2 m) of unfinished edges.
The vibrated surface should be slightly above adjacent pavement surfaces, drainage inlets and channels to allow
for secondary compaction of the bedding layer under traffic. The maximum variation in surface profile should be
less than 3/16 in. (4.8 mm) in 10 ft (3.05 m). Water should drain freely from the surface and not form puddles.
Lipping between adjacent pavers should not be greater than 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) if the pavers have chamfers, or
1/16 in. (1.59 mm) if they have square edges.
After vibration of the pavers to finished elevations, dry fine-grained jointing sand is brushed over the surface of
the pavement and additional vibration is undertaken until all of the joints are completely filled with sand. Surplus
jointing sand should be maintained on the surface to enhance the process of joint filling. Typically the sand should
be level with the bottom of the chamfer or approximately 1/8 in. (3.2 mm) below the top of square edge pavers.
Joint Sand Stabilizers
The paver manufacturer's recommendation regarding joint sand stabilizers should be followed. Jointing sand that
is pretreated with a stabilizer product should be brushed or blown off the pavement surface as soon as possible
and not be allowed to become stuck in the surface texture of the pavers. If pretreated sand or a joint sand additive
is used, the stabilizer should be activated by lightly misting the surface with water. If a liquid joint sand stabilizer
is used, it should be sprayed onto the pavement surface and forced into the joints with squeegees. It may be
necessary to fill the tops of the joints with the liquid several times before it sets to achieve adequate penetration.
The stabilizer manufacturers instructions should be followed closely, because each stabilizer is slightly different.
Probing several joints to verify that the sand is stabilized to an adequate depth of approximately two times the joint
width rather than just forming a crust is recommended.
MAINTENANCE
Cleaning
Sand-set pavers can be kept clean in most environments by regular sweeping. In situations that lead to a greater
degree of buildup of grease, tire marks or other stains, the pavers can be cleaned by pressure-washing. The sand-
filled joints generally are resistant to this treatment if the nozzle surface is clear and the water jet is not directed
along the joints. Aggressive pressure-washing can cause localized removal of the joint filling material and can
even undermine the pavers. More stubborn stains, including paint and gum, can be cleaned by scraping off the
hard residue and then scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush and a proprietary cleaner or scouring powder. In damp
or shady areas where moss and lichen have grown in the joints, these can be killed with a bleach-water mixture or
with proprietary treatments.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 12 of 13
Snow Removal
Snow prevention and removal can be carried out by hand, by machine or by chemicals. Hand methods include
shovels and brooms. Mechanical methods include snow blowers, snowplows, and buckets or brushes attached to
tractors. Shovel and machine removal methods can chip the edges of the pavers, particularly if excessive lipping is
present. This equipment should be properly adjusted so that it does not damage the pavement surface.
Skid-steer snow removal equipment also may move pavers, causing distortion of pattern lines and some chipping
of the pavers if the equipment is driven aggressively. When tractor and particularly skid-steer mounted equipment
is used, the pavement must be able to support the wheel loads without damage.
A range of anti-icing and deicing chemicals are used for pavements. Deicing chemicals can cause thermal shock
in a pavement by supercooling the pavement surface. This can lead to spalling or surface damage on pavers
of Class NX or MX pavers. Deicing agents should be used with care, as chemical residue left on the surface can
penetrate into the joints and result in staining and efflorescence. Class NX should not be used where subject to
freezing.
Resanding
Over time, due to wind, rain and other means, the sand within the top portions of joints can be eroded. Therefore,
the joints should be periodically resanded using the same methods described above for applying jointing sand after
vibration of the pavers.
Repairs
Underground utilities frequently pass beneath paved areas on congested sites. Access to these utilities frequently
is required for repair or to install new lines. Sand set pavers readily accommodate such work, as they can be
removed and reinstated with little evidence of the work having been carried out. Repairs to the paving also can be
made if they are overloaded or otherwise damaged.
Removal can be undertaken by prying or breaking out the initial paver so that it can be removed without damaging
adjacent units. It is then possible to work the adjacent pavers loose using a hammer and chisel or pry bars in
the joints and under the paver. Some chipping of the pavers should be expected, and a few spare pavers will be
required for reinstatement. The bedding sand can be removed as necessary. Traffic should be kept at least 4 ft
(1.2 m) from the unrestrained edge. If a trench is open for a significant amount of time, the adjacent pavers should
be temporarily restrained to stop them from moving laterally. Trenches should be filled with proper care paid to
compaction of the backfill. The base should be replaced to match the original section.
To reinstall the pavers, the bedding sand should be replaced with an adequate pressure to allow for compaction.
The pavers should be replaced in the appropriate pattern and fresh sand spread into the joints. The repair area
should be leveled by hammering on a wooden pack if the area is small or with a plate vibrator if it is large enough.
The joints should be refilled with sand and new stabilizer applied if necessary.
SUMMARY
Pedestrian and light duty vehicular pavements of clay pavers laid on a sand setting bed provide the most cost-
effective system for pedestrian and light duty vehicular pavement. When properly constructed, the interlock of the
pavers provides the necessary stability for the desired service life of the pavement. This Technical Note provides
the basic information required to properly select materials, design, detail and construct brick pavements over sand
setting beds. Further information about the properties of other brick pavements and concepts not unique to sand
setting beds is discussed in the Technical Note 14 series.
The information and suggestions contained in this Technical Note are based on the available data
and the combined experience of engineering staff and members of the Brick Industry Association.
The information contained herein must be used in conjunction with good technical judgment
and a basic understanding of the properties of brick masonry. Final decisions on the use of
the information contained in this Technical Note are not within the purview of the Brick Industry
Association and must rest with the project architect, engineer and owner.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 14A | Paving Systems Using Clay Pavers on a Sand Setting Bed | Page 13 of 13
REFERENCES
1. ASTM C 33, Standard Specification for Concrete Aggregate, Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.02,
ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.
2. ASTM C 144, Standard Specification for Aggregate for Masonry Mortar, Annual Book of Standards, Vol.
04.05, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2007.
3. ASTM C 902, Standard Specification for Pedestrian and Light Traffic Paving Brick, Annual Book of
Standards, Vol. 04.05, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2007.
4. ASTM C 1272, Standard Specification for Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick, Annual Book of Standards, Vol.
04.05, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2007.
5. ASTM D 4751, Standard Test Method for Determining Apparent Opening Size of a Geotextile, Annual
Book of Standards, Vol. 04.13, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2007.
6. Flexible Vehicular Brick Paving A Heavy Duty Applications Guide, Brick Industry Association, Reston,
VA, 2004.

Technical Notes 15 - Salvaged Brick
May 1988
Abstract: The use of salvaged brick in new building construction is discussed. Factors affecting the selection include
altered physical properties (durability), esthetics, economics, building code requirements and experimental testing.
Key Words: brick, masonry, mortar bond, salmon brick, salvaged brick.
INTRODUCTION
Selecting building material requires the consideration of four factors: esthetics, design properties, economics and
required level of performance. Salvaged brick are occasionally selected for their "rugged appearance" and
sometimes for their low initial cost. Rare is the case when salvaged brick are chosen for their design properties. In
general, walls using salvaged brick are weaker and less durable than walls constructed of new brick masonry units.
Most salvaged brick are obtained from demolished buildings which stood 40 to 50 yr, or more. In fact, it may be next
to impossible to salvage brick from modern structures which use brick set in portland cement mortars. When brick
are initially placed in contact with mortar, they absorb some particles of the cementitious materials. It is virtually
impossible to completely clean these absorbed particles from the surfaces of the brick units. This may greatly affect
the bond between brick and mortar when reused.
MANUFACTURING METHODS
In the early 1900's, manufacturing methods were markedly different from those of today. De-aired brick were
unknown; coal- and wood-fired periodic and scove kilns were commonplace. The modern solid, liquid or gas-fired
tunnel kilns with accurate temperature controls throughout were also unknown. Manufacturing conditions years ago
were generally such that large volumes of brick were fired under greater kiln-temperature variations than could be
tolerated today. These conditions resulted in a wide variance in finished products. Brick from the high-temperature
zones were hard-burned, high-strength, durable products; those from low-temperature zones were under-burned,
low-strength products of low durability. These temperature variations also resulted in a wide range in absorption
properties and color. The under-burned brick were more porous, slightly larger, and lighter colored than the harder-
burned brick. (It is the nature of ceramic products to shrink during firing. Generally, for a given raw clay, the greater
the firing temperature, the greater the shrinkage and the darker the color.) Their usual pinkish-orange color resulted
in the name salmon brick.
During these bygone years, prevalent methods of construction made production of both hard-burned and salmon
brick economically feasible. Most masonry buildings had loadbearing brick walls which were a minimum of 12 in. in
thickness. The hardest, most durable units were used in exterior wythes; the salmons (and others) were used for the
interior wythes and were not exposed to the exterior elements. Much sorting and grading of brick was performed at
the construction site by the mason, although the brick manufacturers eventually assumed this responsibility.
The advent of skeleton frames marked the beginning of high-rise construction and the gradual demise of thick
loadbearing masonry wall construction. (Despite the reduction in its use, loadbearing remains a very economical
method for constructing low- and mid-rise buildings). Architects and engineers began to design non-loadbearing
walls, and gradually decreased wall thicknesses. This evolution in design and construction techniques necessitated a
change in brick manufacturing procedures. Slowly but surely, the demand for salmon brick dwindled. After the use of
hollow backup units became prevalent, the need for salmon brick became practically non-existent. At the same time,
having invented the thinner, lighter weight panel wall, designers focused their attention on wall strength which they
equated to compressive strength of the individual brick.
Because the principal demand was for high compressive strength and durability, manufacturers had to produce a
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t15.htm
1 of 6 9/13/2009 12:50 PM
high proportion of well-burned brick. This demand necessitated a change in manufacturing methods. Thus, an
evolution in design and construction techniques brought on a significant and beneficial evolution in the production of
brick. (For a synopsis of present day manufacturing methods, see Technical Notes 9 Revised, "Manufacturing,
Classification and Selection of Brick; Manufacturing - Part 1").
MATERIAL SELECTION
Physical Properties. Several arguments are often advanced in favor of the use of salvaged brick. Among these are:
1. Because brick are extremely durable, they can be salvaged and used again.
2. If the brick were satisfactory at the time they were first used, they are satisfactory at present.
Both arguments are fallacious.
When brick are initially placed in contact with mortar, they absorb some water and some particles of cementitious
materials. The initial rate of absorption (suction) is an important factor which greatly affects the bond between brick
and mortar. Brick with extremely high or extremely low suctions do not develop good bond. (For discussion of bond
strength between mortar and new clay masonry units, see Technical Notes 8 Revised, "Mortars for Brick Masonry").
With salvaged brick, more factors influence bond. Pores in brick are filled with particles of lime, dirt and other
deleterious matter. Many bedding surfaces of salvaged brick will not be thoroughly clean, but will instead be covered
with mortar. The bond between new mortar and old mortar is not very strong. If the original mortar bond was weak,
the new bond will be adversely affected. The bond to salvaged brick is considerably less than to similar new brick
and has been demonstrated many times by comparative tests (see Experimental Tests Section in this Technical
Notes).
Most authorities agree that water penetration through masonry results from incompletely filled joints and incomplete
bond between brick and mortar. That is, water penetrates through flaws at joints rather than directly through the
brick and mortar. Thus, masonry walls of salvaged brick, with their inferior mortar bond, are likely to be more
susceptible to water penetration and weaker under lateral loading than similar masonry of walls constructed of new
units. The ultimate compressive strength of the walls will also be lower if salmon brick are present.
The durability of masonry depends upon the quality of materials and mortar bond. Generally, salmon brick do not
provide the same durability as new brick when exposed to weathering. With the thinner masonry walls of today, brick
are used primarily as a facing material to provide a weather resistant barrier of protection. Thus, many salmon brick
are eventually placed in exposed faces of walls constructed of salvaged brick. Even where solid brick walls are
used, many salmons are likely to be exposed to weathering, because it is impossible to accurately sort and grade
salvaged brick. With soft, highly absorptive salmon brick exposed to the weather, and with poor mortar bond
permitting excessive water penetration, it is quite likely that masonry of salvaged brick will spall, flake, pit, and crack
due to freezing and thawing in the presence of excessive moisture.
One common characteristic of most manufactured building materials is a reasonable degree of uniformity within a
particular grade or within a given manufactured lot. Salvaged brick lack this distinction. Hard-burned and soft-burned
brick, hopelessly mixed during wrecking operations, effectively create a material stockpile of two widely differing
grades of materials (see Figure 1). A sample of the material will contain specimens of each grade. If tested for
absorption or compression strength properties, the sample will show widely diversified characteristics. The average
absorption or strength will not approximate the true values for either grade, but will lie somewhere between. In
effect, it is difficult to determine whether salvaged brick will meet present day material specifications or building code
requirements.

http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t15.htm
2 of 6 9/13/2009 12:50 PM

When existing walls are demolished, hard-burned brick and salmons are hopelessly mixed. It is virtually
impossible to distinguish between durable and non-durable units.
FIG. 1

Esthetics. Salvaged brick may satisfy the desire for a rugged, colorful masonry surface. Architects often desire the
extreme range of colors from dark-red to the whites and grays of units still partially covered with mortar. But most
frequently the light pink color of the salmon creates the desired effect. Unfortunately, the pink in salmons results
from under-burning which produces units that must not be exposed to weathering. Excessive disintegration due to
weathering can soon drastically alter the appearance originally desired (See Figs. 2 - 4).


A chimney of salvaged brick which has spalled considerably
within a relatively short time after construction (Knoxville, Tennessee).
FIG. 2

http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t15.htm
3 of 6 9/13/2009 12:50 PM

A close-up of a wall indicating the excessive spalling that is likely to occur
where salvaged brick are exposed to weathering.
FIG. 3



Because of the greater likelihood that moisture will be present,
salvaged brick should not be used for exterior patios, walks, pavements, etc.
FIG. 4

All pink brick are not necessarily under-burned. During recent years the architectural demand for a variety in colors
has led to the extensive use of raw clays which burn other than dark red when fired to maturity. Today, among other
colors, many hard-burned, pink brick are available. These units may conform to the requirements for highest quality
under applicable ASTM specifications. (Many pink brick conform to Grades SW or MW (severe or moderate
weathering) under ASTM C 216 or C 62.
Many manufacturers blend different colored brick to provide a rustic appearance similar to salvaged brick. There are
advantages to using new brick: the architect may specify any desired color blending and may specify the desired
grade under ASTM specifications. Thus, he can obtain the desired esthetic effect without sacrificing durability or
strength, a feat which is nearly impossible to accomplish when using salvaged brick.
Economics. Although in many instances salvaged brick have sold for more money than new brick, a principal reason
for their use is their low prevailing initial cost. But initial economy often proves to be false economy. For example,
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t15.htm
4 of 6 9/13/2009 12:50 PM
labor costs are usually higher for salvaged brick due to the required sorting and cleaning of the units. Maintenance
costs for salvaged-brick masonry are very likely to exceed this initial cost considering: 1) cutting out and replacing
disintegrated units; 2) tuck pointing mortar joints to reduce leaks and repair cracks; and 3) repeated attempts at
waterproofing. (The dangers of coating masonry of under-burned units are discussed in Technical Notes 6A,
"Colorless Coatings For Brick Masonry". Under-burned units may undergo accelerated disintegration if impermeable
coatings are applied to the exterior wall face). In many cases, the initial economics of salvaged brick prove false and
result in higher total expenditures.
BUILDING CODE REQUIREMENTS (See references)
American Standard Building Code Requirements for Masonry, ANSI A41.1, Section 2.1.1 (appendix
commentary):
"Irrespective of the original grading of masonry units, compliance with code requirements of material which has been
exposed to weather for a term of years cannot be assumed in the absence of test. Much salvaged brick comes from
the demolition of old buildings constructed of solid brick masonry in which hard-burned bricks were used on the
exterior and salmon brick as back-up, and, since the color differences which guided the original brick masons in their
sorting and selecting of bricks become obscured with exposure and contact with mortar, there is a definite danger
that these salmon bricks may be used for exterior exposure with consequent rapid and excessive disintegration.
Before permitting their use, the building official should satisfy himself that second-hand materials are suitable for the
proposed location and conditions of use. The use of masonry units salvaged from chimneys is not recommended,
since such units may be impregnated with oils or tarry material."
National Building Code, Section 1401.2:
"Second-hand units: Brick and other second-hand masonry units which are to be reused, shall be approved as to
quality, condition and compliance with the requirements for new masonry units. The unit shall be of whole, sound
material, free from cracks and other defects that would interfere with its proper laying or use, and shall be cleaned
free from old mortar before reuse."
Standard Building Code, Section 1401.2:
"1401.2.1 Masonry units may be reused when clean, whole and conforming to the other requirements of this
chapter, except that the allowable working stresses shall be 50% of those permitted for new masonry units.
1401.2.2 Masonry units to be reused as structural units in areas subject to the action of the weather or soil shall not
be permitted unless representative samples are tested for compliance with the applicable requirements of 1402."
Uniform Building Code, Section 2406 (k):
"Reuse of Masonry Units. Masonry units may be reused when clean, whole and conforming to the other
requirements of this section. All structural properties of masonry of reclaimed units, especially adhesion bond, shall
be determined by approved test. The allowable working stresses shall not exceed 50 percent of that permitted for
new masonry units of the same properties."
EXPERIMENTAL TESTS
At various times interested parties have conducted tests to compare salvaged-brick masonry to masonry of similar
new brick. One of the more comprehensive series of tests was conducted many years ago by the Engineering
Experiment Station, University of New Hampshire. The following statements are from this test report: (Project No.
98, "Relative Adhesion of Mortars to New and Used Brick", for Star Brick Yard, Epping, NY (1934-1935)).
"The object of this study was to determine by laboratory methods the relative adhesion of different standard mortars
to new and used or reclaimed brick . . . (using only) those materials . . . that would generally be employed . . .
". . . as far as materials are concerned . . . a wall laid up with used or reclaimed bricks . . . differ(s) from one laid up
with new bricks . . . (only) in the adhesion of the mortar to the brick surfaces. It is this quality with which this study is
concerned."
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t15.htm
5 of 6 9/13/2009 12:50 PM
Four types of used brick were tested and compared to the same four types of new brick (a total of eight types).
(The report describes the eight brick types tested as including hard and soft, water-struck and sand-struck, new and
old brick). Seven different standard mortars were employed. In describing the testing procedures, the report states,
in part:
"The brick to be tested were selected and were cleaned of all loose particles of mortar which could be removed by
means of a hammer and wire brush. No attempt, however, was made to remove any particle of mortar, etc. which
adhered so firmly to the brick surface that pounding and wire brushing would not release it."
The bulk of the report is too large to reproduce in its entirety. However, the following excerpts from the conclusions
to the tests are of interest:
" . . . The adhesion of mortar to new (hard) bricks was materially greater than to second hand bricks."
"With but few exceptions the adhesion of mortar to hard bricks was far greater than . . . to soft bricks of the same
type."
"Without exception . . . failure of the mortar to adhere to the surface of used brick far exceeded the failures of the
joint between mortars and new brick. In other words, it appears that the capillary pores of the second hand brick
were so plugged . . . that the new mortar could not gain any appreciable hold on the surface of the brick."
" . . . (The tests indicate) that the adhesive strength of mortar to the hard brick exceeded its cohesive strength..."
"With (all) used brick . . . cohesive strength of the mortars exceeded many times the adhesive strength of the same
mortars to the surfaces of the brick."
" . . . within the limits of the test . . . relative adhesion of mortars to . . . reclaimed brick . . . (is) less than half what
can be expected if the same mortars are used with new brick of the same type and degree of hardness."
SUMMARY
This Technical Notes has discussed the use of salvaged brick in new brick masonry wall construction. The
considerations are based on existing knowledge and experience. No effort is made or implied that this is a total
discussion of the subject matter, since conditions vary widely throughout the country. However, it is a basis from
which the designer can decide on the use of salvaged brick in new masonry structures.
Final decisions on the use of the information and suggestions discussed in this Technical Notes are not within the
purview of the Brick Institute of America and must rest with the project designer, owner or both.
REFERENCES (Building codes undergo continual revision. The editions listed are those current as the publication
date of this Technical Notes).
1. American Standard Building Code Requirements for Masonry; ANSI A41.1; National Bureau of Standards
(Miscellaneous Publications 211); Washington, D.C.; July 15, 1954 (Reaffirmed 1970).
2. National Building Code, 1987 Edition; Building Officials and Code Administrators International; 4051 W.
Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, Illinois.
3. Standard Building Code, 1985 Edition; Southern Building Code Congress International; 900 Montclair Road,
Birmingham, Alabama.
4. Uniform Building Code, 1985 Edition; International Conference of Building Officials; 5360 South Workman
Mill Road, Wittier, California.
http://www.gobrick.com/BIA/technotes/t15.htm
6 of 6 9/13/2009 12:50 PM
2008 Brick Industry Association, Reston, Virginia Page 1 of 16
TECHNICAL NOTES on Brick Construction
1850 Centennial Park Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191 | www.gobrick.com | 703-620-0010
16
March
2008
Fire Resistance of Brick Masonry
Abstract: This Technical Note presents information about the fire resistance of brick masonry assemblies in loadbearing and
veneer applications. Fire resistance ratings of several brick masonry wall assemblies tested using ASTM E119 procedures are
listed. For untested wall assemblies, procedures are presented for calculating a fire resistance rating.
Key Words: balanced design, building codes, equivalent thickness, fire, fire resistance period, fire resistance rating, fire test.
Fire Resistance Requirements
Use the building code to determine the fire resistance
rating required for separations, corridors, exterior walls
and other building features
Use fire control systems, compartmentalization of space
or other balanced design approaches to lower required
fire resistance ratings
Determine whether fire resistance is needed for one side
or two sides of fire exposure
Assembly with Tested Fire Resistance Rating
Use wall construction prescribed by the building code or
testing agency to achieve fire resistance rating
For wall construction not prescribed by the building code,
include reference for test results in design documents
Assembly with Calculated Fire Resistance Rating
Determine minimum equivalent thickness required of
brick unit from tables in the building code or ACI 216.1/
TMS 0216 [Ref. 5]
Specify brick standard, brick size and void area to meet
the minimum equivalent thickness requirements
For multi-wythe masonry walls, determine contributions
from other wall components such as concrete, concrete
masonry, air spaces and plaster
Construction Details
Where assemblies with a fire resistance rating are
supported by other assemblies, specify that the support
assembly have an equal or greater fire resistance rating
Seal penetrations through assemblies with a fire
resistance rating with appropriate sealants or details to
maintain fire resistance rating
INTRODUCTION
Building codes and other local ordinances require critical building components to have a certain level of fire
resistance to protect occupants and to allow a means of escape. Several factors contribute to the level of fire
resistance required of a wall, floor or roof assembly, including whether combustible (wood) or noncombustible
(steel, concrete and masonry) construction is used. Other factors include the buildings use, floor area and height,
the location of the assembly, and whether a fire suppression system such as stand pipes or sprinklers is installed.
Definitions
Fire Resistance. The property of a building element, component or assembly that prevents or retards the passage
of excessive heat, hot gases or flames under conditions of use.
Fire Resistance Period. A duration of time determined by a fire test or method based on a fire test that a building
element, component or assembly maintains the ability to confine a fire, continues to perform a given structural
function or both.
Fire Resistance Rating. A duration of time not exceeding 4 hours (as established by the building code) that a
building element, component or assembly maintains the ability to confine a fire, continues to perform a given
structural function or both. A legal term defined in building codes for various types of construction and occupancies.
A fire resistance rating is based on a fire resistance period and usually given in half-hour or hourly increments. As
an example, a wall with a fire resistance period of 2 hours and 25 minutes may only attain a fire resistance rating
of 2 hours. It is also referred to as a fire rating, fire resistance classification or hourly rating.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS:
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 16 | Fire Resistance of Brick Masonry | Page 2 of 16
Determining a Fire Resistance Rating
Traditionally, a fire resistance rating has been established by testing. The most common test method used is ASTM
E119, Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials [Ref. 3]. In this test, a sample of
the wall must perform successfully during exposure to a controlled fire for the specified period of time, followed by
the impact of a stream of water from a hose.
This standard test, along with other ASTM fire test standards, is used to measure and describe the response of
materials, products or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled conditions, but does not by itself replicate
actual fire conditions in a building. Rather, the intent of the test is to provide comparative performance to specific
fire-test conditions during the period of exposure. Further, the test is valid only for the specific assembly tested.
Fire testing is expensive because each specific assembly must be tested by constructing a large specimen,
placing multiple monitoring devices on that specimen and subjecting the specimen to both a fire and a hose
stream. As a result, a calculated fire resistance method developed jointly by The Masonry Society and the
American Concrete Institute and based on past ASTM E119 tests has largely replaced further fire resistance
testing for masonry and concrete materials [Ref. 5].
FIRE RESISTANCE TESTING
ASTM E119 Test Method
The test methods described in ASTM E119 are
applicable to assemblies of masonry units and to
composite assemblies of structural materials for
buildings, including bearing and other walls and
partitions, columns, girders, beams, slabs and
composite slab and beam assemblies for floors and
roofs.
When fire testing a wall assembly according to ASTM
E119, a sample of the wall is built using the materials
and details of the assembly to be used in construction.
The specimen is then subjected to a controlled fire
until a failure occurs (termination point is reached) or a designated extent of time passes. ASTM E119 requires that
the air temperature at a distance of 6 in. (152 mm) from the exposed (fire) side of the specimen conform to the
standard time-temperature curve, as shown in Figure 1.
Wall Specimens. The area exposed to the fire must be at least 100 sq ft (9.3 m
2
) with no dimension less than 9 ft
(2.7 m). Non-bearing walls and partitions are restrained at all four sides, but bearing walls and partitions are not
restrained at the vertical edges. Nine thermocouples are placed on the side of the wall unexposed to the fire to
measure temperature rise.
Protected Steel Column Specimens. If the fire resistant material protecting the column is structural, the column
specimen must be at least 9 ft (2.7 m) tall, and acceptance is based on its ability to carry an axial load for the
duration of the fire test. If the fire resistant material is not structural, the minimum column height is 8 ft (2.4 m), and
acceptance is based on temperature rise on the surface of the column. Temperature rise is measured by placing a
minimum of three thermocouples on the column surface (behind the fire resistant material) at each of four levels.
Hose Stream Test. For most fire resistance ratings ASTM E119 requires that walls be subjected to both a fire
endurance test and a hose stream test. The hose stream test subjects a specimen to impact, erosion and cooling
effects over the entire surface area that has been exposed to the fire. The procedure stipulates nozzle size,
distance, duration of application and water pressure at the base of the nozzle. Some of these requirements vary
with the fire resistance rating. The hose stream test may be performed on a duplicate wall specimen that has
been subjected to a fire endurance test for one-half of the period determined by the fire test (but not more than 1
hour); or the hose stream test may be performed on the wall specimen immediately after the full duration of fire
exposure. The latter option is typically used to test brick walls because the test termination point is almost always a
temperature rise rather than a failure by passage of hot gases or collapse where there is a degradation of the brick
wythe from the hose stream test. Some other materials rely on the duplicate specimen to meet certain fire ratings.
0
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
,

D
e
g
.

F
400
800
1200
1600
2000
2400
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
,

D
e
g
.

C
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
Figure 1
Time-Temperature Curve for ASTM Standard E119
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Time, hours
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 16 | Fire Resistance of Brick Masonry | Page 3 of 16
Loading. Throughout the fire endurance and hose stream tests, a superimposed load is applied to bearing
specimens. The applied load is required to be the maximum load condition allowed by nationally recognized
structural design criteria or by limited design criteria for a reduced load.
Columns are loaded to simulate the maximum load condition allowed by nationally recognized structural design
criteria or by limited design criteria for a reduced load. The column is then subjected to the standard fire on all
sides. Where the fire protection is not designed to carry loads, an alternate test method in which the column is not
loaded may be used.
Conditions of Acceptance
The number of criteria considered as termination points for a fire test on an assembly depends on whether the
assembly is loadbearing or not.
Non-Bearing Walls and Partitions. The test is successful and a fire resistance rating is assigned to the
construction if all of the following criteria are met:
1. The assembly withstands the fire endurance test without passage of flame or gases hot enough to
ignite cotton waste for a period equal to that for which classification is desired.
2. The assembly withstands the fire endurance test without passage of flame and the hose stream test
without passage of water from the hose stream. If an opening develops in the wall specimen that
permits a projection of water beyond the surface of the unexposed side during the hose stream test,
the assembly is considered to have failed the test.
3. The average rise in temperature of nine thermocouples on the unexposed surface is not more
than 250 F (139 C) above their average initial temperature, and the temperature rise of a single
thermocouple is not more than 325 F (181 C) above its initial temperature.
Bearing Walls. The conditions of acceptance for bearing walls are the same as for non-bearing walls and
partitions (above), with the following addition:
4. The specimen must also sustain the applied load during the fire endurance and hose stream tests.
The first three criteria relate to providing a barrier against the spread of fire by penetration of the assembly; the
fourth relates to structural integrity. The termination point for fire tests of brick masonry walls is almost invariably
due to temperature rise (heat transmission) of the unexposed surface. Brick masonry walls successfully withstand
the load during the fire endurance test and the hose stream test conducted immediately after the wall has been
subjected to the fire exposure. This structural integrity of brick masonry walls is attested to in many fires where the
masonry walls have remained standing when other parts of the building have been destroyed or consumed during
the fire.
Columns. Columns with integral structural fireproofing are assigned a fire resistance rating when they support
the superimposed load during the fire endurance test. For columns with fireproofing not designed to carry loads,
a fire resistance rating is assigned when the average temperature rise does not exceed 1000 F (556 C) or the
maximum temperature rise does not exceed 1200 F (667 C) at any one point.
FIRE RESISTANCE RATINGS OF WALLS
There are several sources of fire resistance ratings for brick masonry assemblies that will typically satisfy
the requirements of the local building official. Model building codes contain results based on testing. Private
laboratories report fire test results. Individual associations and companies sponsor fire tests and make the results
available.
www.gobrick.com | Brick Industry Association | TN 16 | Fire Resistance of Brick Masonry | Page 4 of 16
Building Codes
Table 1 presents fire resistance ratings for various masonry wall assemblies, as taken from the 2006 International
Building Code Table 720.1(2) [Ref. 1]. Note that for item numbers 1.1-1 through 1.1-3, 1-2.1, and 2-1.1 through
2-1.2, the required thickness of clay brick masonry is the equivalent thickness, i.e. the thickness is the volume
of clay in a unit divided by the face area. Table 2 presents fire resistance ratings for brick veneer/steel stud wall
assemblies as taken from Table 721.4.1(2) of the same code.
TABLE 1
Fire Resistance Ratings (Periods) for Various Walls and Partitions
Material
Item
Number
Construction
Minimum Finished
Thickness,
Face-to-Face,

in. (mm)
4 hr 3 hr 2 hr 1 hr
1. Brick of clay
or shale
2
1-1.1 Solid brick of clay or shale
1
6.0
(152)
4.9
(124)
3.8
(97)
2.7
(69)
1-1.2 Hollow brick, not filled
5.0
(127)
4.3
(109)
3.4
(86)
2.3
(58)
1-1.3
Hollow brick unit wall, grouted solid or filled with perlite vermiculite
or expanded shale aggregate
6.6
(168)
5.5
(140)
4.4
(112)
3.0
(76)
1-2.1
4 in. (102 mm) nominal thick units at least 75 percent solid backed
with hat-shaped metal furring channel in. (76 mm) thick formed
from 0.021 in. (0.53 mm) sheet metal attached to the brick wall at
24 in. (610 mm) o.c. with approved fasteners, and in. (12.7 mm)
Type X gypsum wallboard attached to the metal furring strips with
1 in. (25.4 mm) long Type S screws spaced at 8 in. (203 mm) o.c.

5
3
(127)

2. Combination
of clay brick
and loadbearing
hollow clay tile
2
2-1.1
4 in. (102 mm) solid brick and 4 in. (102 mm) tile (at least
40 percent solid)

8
(203)

2-1.2
4 in. (102 mm) solid brick and 8 in. (203 mm) tile (at least
40 percent solid)
12
(305)

15. Exterior or
interior walls
4,5,6
15-1.5
7
2 3 in. (57 95 mm) clay face brick with cored holes over
in. (12.7 mm) gypsum sheathing on exterior surface of 2 4 in.
(51 102 mm) wood studs at 16 in. (406 mm) o.c. and two layers
in. (15.9 mm) Type X gypsum wallboard on interior surface.
Sheathing placed horizontally or vertically with vertical joints over
studs nailed 6 in. (152 mm) on center with 1 in. (44 mm) by
No. 11 gage by
7
16 in. (11.1 mm) head galvanized nails. Inner
layer of wallboard placed horizontally or vertically and nailed
8 in. (203 mm) on center with 6d cooler