VII INTRODUCTION TO MASONRY STRUCTURES
Masonry structures are those structures which are built from individual units laid in and bound together by
mortar. The term „masonry‟ can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry
construction are bricks, stones, marble, granite, travertine, limestone, cast stone, concrete block, glass block, stucco and tile. Constructing with building stones is the simplest and one of the oldest building methods in the world. Today masonry is still the most used building material. The earliest masonry structures were constructed using primitive form of raw materials such as stone units, rammed earth and adobe. The structures often were built by placing blocks together without any bonding. The evolution of masonry structures has resulted in development of not only more robust materials over the years but also more robust technology. The masonry structures are well known for their simplicity in construction and economy compared to steel and reinforced concrete structures.
7.1 Use of Masonry Structures
Masonry is commonly used building material for structural and non-structural purposes. Additionally, there is growing interest for masonry structures because of its
in production phase, in construction phase and in operation phase. Masonry structures provide more comfortable living environment inside which will ultimately reduce the amount of energy spent to improve comfort condition of houses built with other materials such as steel. The masonry structures are again gaining currency owing to the growing environmental concern. Moreover, the appeal of masonry structures for their user comfortability, aesthetic beauty and closeness to the nature has attracted many for masonry buildings.
Other uses of masonry structures are in arches, partition walls, retaining walls, dams, coffer dams, etc.
Masonry is also used for finishing works in buildings and also for cladding and roofing.
The Hanging Garden, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is a typical example of masonry structure.
The Great Wall of China, the largest man-made object on earth; the Hagia Sophia, one of the most beautiful churches ever built; The Great Medieval Castle of Marlboro, Portland, which is the size of a small town; the Taj Mahal, India; and the 1200 miles of sewers which the Victorians built under the city of London are some other examples of masonry structures.
The oldest serving masonry structure is said to be an arch bridge over Meles River at Smyrna, Turkey.
Advantages of Masonry Structures
The use of materials such as bricks and stones can increase the thermal mass of the buildings. ii.
Most types of masonry typically will not require painting and so can provide a structure with reduced life-cycle costs. iii.
Masonry structures are heat resistant and thus provide good fire protection. iv.
Masonry walls are more resistant to projectiles, such as debris from hurricanes or tornadoes. v.
Masonry structures built in compression preferably with lime mortars can have a useful life of more than 500 years as compared to 30 to 100 for structures of steel or reinforced concrete.
Disadvantages of Masonry Structures
Extreme weather causes degradation of masonry wall surfaces due to frost damage. This type of damage is common with certain types of bricks, though rare with concrete blocks. ii.
Masonry tends to be heavy and must be built upon a strong foundation, such as reinforced concrete, to avoid settlement and cracking.