If you are involved in designing and constructing buildings, the materials you use can make people notice your concept. Masonry is particularly effective at making a structure stand out and withstand the test of time.
Your project can greatly benefit from masonry. It is often selected for structural purposes, but it can also add interest, texture, and even prestige to your space. Plus, masonry is sustainable, mold resistant, and durable.
In construction, a load-bearing wall is any exterior wall that sits on the foundation sill, with additional walls standing perpendicular to the joists. Not only does the presence of a load-bearing wall guide the implementation of certain designs, it might also determine whether you may alter existing walls during a remodel. Although having to shift one won’t necessarily be a deal-breaker, it can significantly increase the cost of construction in order to maintain the integrity of your building structure.
When using masonry for a load-bearing wall, it is generally best to reinforce it with embedded steel in the metal and grout. The metal serves as a stabilizing and strengthening force for the wall, which empowers it to withstand greater compression forces. Otherwise, the wall will be more prone to stress and cracking.
The specifications in local regulations will help you to determine whether you should reinforce a masonry wall. It may qualify as load bearing, but cannot support any greater load other than that of its own weight. That said, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and easier to reinforce a masonry wall while you are building it, not after.
A non-load bearing wall supports only its own weight, and if it were to be removed from the structure, that would have no impact on the building’s structural integrity. These typically run parallel to the joists, and can also be used to enclose reinforced walls, such as steel or concrete frames. Non-load bearing walls are usually regarded as decorative, as they help beautify the building.
Brick masonry can be used as a decorative outer layer of an already existing reinforced wall.
Many types of masonry can serve to beautify your construction and provide structural support. From the foundations of a large building to the construction of a dam, masonry is an essential component in strong and durable construction.
The recipe for most concrete consists of 1 part cement, 2 parts sand, and 3 parts aggregate (typically small rocks or gravel). These are combined with water and air and left to dry. Concrete masonry is a mainstay of many builders, often in the form of blocks or large pour foundations, to act as the base for various commercial structures. Concrete is also appealing because it is energy efficient.
There are three types of brick masonry walls:
- Veneer Wall: This is a single layer of brick attached to a wall. The inner or non-brick wall bears the load, and is therefore structural.
- Solid Wall: This one has multiple layers of brick that are attached and reinforced with steel, metal ties, and header bricks.
- Cavity Wall: These consist of brick on either side but enclose a few inches of air space between them. They also require additional reinforcement from concrete or metal interior support systems.
Not only is masonry structurally beneficial, it is often visually appealing. If you apply masonry to the outside of your company’s building, you can give the impression to your customers that you run a durable, stable, and timeless operation.
First impressions are everything for a business, and a well-designed and constructed exterior space can make or break the opinion of a prospective customer. If the exterior of your space is visually interesting, you will draw more possible clients into your place of business.
Brick is extremely versatile. When you use it in the design of your business, it can deliver many messages. Due to the longevity of masonry across history, brick not only has a traditional appeal, but it’s also trendy, modern, and urban. Using brick in your design will ensure it stands the test of time, not only in durability, but in appearance as well.
There are many different resources you can use in the design and build of your business, and masonry is one that can add a special touch. When you choose to design with Ironclad Services, the construction and materials of your project will also stand the test of time.
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Ironclad Services is a full-service commercial construction contractor headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts. We bring the same level of precision, safety, craftsmanship, and quality to private sector projects large and small as we do the federal contracting work that our reputation was built on.