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CIVIL & STRUCTURAL DESIGNERS DATA PACK

SECTION 7: MASONRY

7.1

INITIAL SIZING
Wall thicknesses for compressive loading only:
Supported top and bottom

Supported at base only

Solid

H/16

H/8

Cavity*

H/11

H/5.5

H is wall height Min. leaf thickness 100mm


*Wall thickness is sum of leaf thickness
Wall thickness for lateral loading:

7.2

Solid walls

Height = 1/40 distance between supports

Cavity walls

Height = 1/30 distance between supports

MOVEMENT JOINTS
Movement joints should be considered at the locations shown in figure 7.1.

At regular spacings
in long runs of walling

Above and below openings.

At changes in wall height

At changes in wall thickness

At junctions with dissimilar materials

To coincide with movement


joints in other parts of the
structure.

Figure 7.1. Movement joint locations in masonry walls


Movement joint spacings are given in table 7.1. Where end restraint is
provided, such as at bonded corners, the recommended spacings should be
halved. Long low panels those with length to height ratios greater than 3:1 should have joints at reduced spacings. In such cases, bed joint reinforcement
may be a better solution as it will avoid an excessive number of movement
joints.

Material

Wall Thickness 140 mm

Wall Thickness > 140 mm

Not
Reinforced

Reinforced
every
450 mm

Reinforced
every
225 mm

Not
Reinforced

Reinforced
every
450 mm

Reinforced
every
225 mm

Clay Bricks

15m

20m

24m

15m

20m

24m

Calcium-silicate
bricks
dense concrete
blocks

8m

12m

14m

8m

14m

16m

Lightweight
concrete blocks
AAC blocks

6m

10m

12m

6m

12m

14m

Note: The minimum diameter of longitudinal wires to be not less than 4mm.
Table 7.1. Recommended distance between movement joints in masonry
panels.
7.3

HORIZONTAL JOINTS IN NON-LOADBEARING MASONRY (BS 5628


PART 1 CI 29.2.2)
Uninterrupted wall height

Joint spacing (m)

Joint width (m)

Multi storey

9m or every third storey


(whichever is less), but can omit if
building is less than 12m with four
or fewer storeys

Allow 1mm per metre between


masonry support and top of
masonry below; minimum 10mm

Storey high

At head of wall

Allow 1mm per metre

Consider also other requirements for joint (acoustic and thermal insulation,
weathertightness, fire separation, etc) when selecting joint filler

7.4

FREE-STANDING WALLS
Guidance on the design of free-standing walls is given in Design of freestanding walls, Design Guide 12 by the Brick Development Association
(available on Barbour).
Wind loads acting on free-standing walls should be determined in accordance
with BS 6399:Part 2.
Guidance on materials and construction of free-standing walls is given in BRE
Good Building Guide 14 - building brick or blockwork free-standing walls
(available on Barbour).
A thickness of H / 10 may be taken as an approximate guide but satisfactory
performance will depend on wind speed, exposure, brick type, etc. The
thickness should be verified by calculation.

7.5

INTERNAL PARTITIONS
Unless it is designed as a free-standing wall (see 7.4), an internal wall or
partition should be laterally restrained by horizontal or vertical continuous or
intermittent supports. The length and height of the wall in relation to its
thickness should be within the limits given in figure 7.2.

Figure 7.2. Limiting dimensions of internal walls for stability


Extracts from BS 5628:Part 3:2001 are reproduced with the permission of BSI under licence number PD\1999
1504. Complete copies of the standard can be obtained by post from BSI Customer Services, 389 Chiswick
High Road, London W4 4AL

7.6

BRICK BONDING

Figure 7.3. Typical brick bonding

Figure 7.4 Typical brick bonding at junction end piers.


7.7

WATCH IT NOTES
C&S 43 - BED-JOINT REINFORCEMENT IN CAVITY WALLS

Issued January 1999

When bed-joint reinforcement in cavity walls is required WSP's masonry


specification permits the use of galvanized reinforcement in the inner leaf but
specifies the use of stainless steel reinforcement for the outer leaf.
However suppliers have advised that the 940 g/sq m minimum mass of zinc
coating required by BS 5628: Part 2 clause 6.1.2.1 and table 13 for galvanized
reinforcement cannot be achieved. There is also a concern about potential bimetallic action between stainless steel wall ties and galvanized reinforcement.
In view of this it is WSP South policy to specify stainless steel bed-joint
reinforcement for both inner and outer leaves of cavity walls. (WSPs masonry
specification was withdrawn in January 1999 and replaced by National Building
Specification.)
C&S 3 - Recessed joints in masonry walls
Issued March 1997

When designing masonry walls to resist lateral loads using bed joint reinforcement,
the effective depth of the wall must be reduced if recessed joints have been
specified by the architect. These joints are generally only specified on 'fair faced'
walls.
The minimum cover to bed joint reinforcement is 15 mm (BS 5628: Part 2) but it is
usual when designing walls to use 20 mm. This will allow for (omit) raked joints
and give the bricklayer 5 mm tolerance when laying the reinforcement
7.8

FURTHER READING
1.
2.

3.

IStruct E. Manual for the design of plain masonry in building structures.


The institution of Structural Engineers.
BS 5628: Code of Practice for use of masonry
Part 1: Structural use of unreinforced masonry
Part 2: Structural use of reinforced and pre-stressed masonry
Part 3: Materials and components, design and workmanship.
B.A.Haseltine, J.F.A. Moore, Handbook to BS 5628: Structural use of
masonry, Part 1: Unreinforced Masonry. The Brick Development
Association.