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Empirical rules
Walls forming the structural system must be placed centrally on foundation, and soils
should be not heaving, clay or collapsing.
Concrete use must have a compressive of not less than 10MPa at 28 days, which is mixed
1 part cement, 4 parts sand and 5 parts aggregate
With continuous Strip foundation the diameter must not be less than 200 mm, and the
width is to be not less than 600 mm with masonry walls, and 400 mm with timber framed
When strip foundations are at more than one level, the upper portion and must extend
over the lower portion to at least the thickness of the foundation, using the same strength
of concrete
Where the floor slab is thickened to form the foundation, the thickness must be not be les
than the thickness required for a strip foundation, width of the thickened portion must not
be less than required thickness of a strip foundation
Where piers are used built into the wall, the thickness of the foundation must be the same
for the wall. The foundation must project at least 200 mm beyond the pier

Rational rules
When foundations are required for heaving, heaving clay or collapsing soils a
professional engineer

To determine the compressive strength, test must be carried out


The floor must be supported by well compacted ground or on suitable filling and to be
constructed from an imperious layer not more than 40 mm thick composed of slate, rock
or brick or concrete slab with a compressive strength of not less 10mPA at 28 days,
composed of 1 part concrete, 5 parts arrogate and 4 parts sand

concrete must be used in the construction of water resistant floors

in the construction of Timber Suspended floor, the boards must be places at least no less
than 550 mm from the ground, providing an area for ventilation.

under floor membrane

should not be less than 0.25 mm thick and paved on a surface free from sharp objects
It must be turned up on the at least the thickness of the slab on the perimeter
Joints must be sealed by overlapping sheets by at least 150 mm

Empirical rules for walls

Complies to walls that are internal, external , structural, non structural, parapet, free
standing or retaining

Masonry walls, that are load bearing must transfer resist loads and transfer these to the
ground, via the foundations
A non structural wall is where the masonry is used a sinfill or classing and does not
exceed 25 m in height. In the case of a parapert wall, its thickness should not be less than
one fifth its height. . Non structural walls may be exposed to forces other than their own
weight, such as wind impact on a parapet wall. , its it’s strength is still of importance.

strength (MPa)

Wall type position Solid units Hollow units Class of mortar


Structural Single storey 7 3.5 II

(other than (internal or
foundation or external)

Double storey 10.5 or 14 ** 7 II

(Internal or

Non structural External 7 3.5 II

(other than
balustrade and

Internal 7 3.5 II

Free-standing External or 10.5 7 II


Foundation Supporting a 7 3.5 II

single storey

Foundation Supporting a
double storey

Parapet - 7 3.5 II

Balustrade - 7 3.5 II

Retaining _ 10.5 7 II

Wall Use of Max Max Max Unit Minimum

thickness wall in height height, unsupporte strength class of
(mm) building of ground d length MPa mortar
storey to floor (m)
(m) to top
of gable

Solid Hollow
unit unit

90 Non 3 NA 6 7 3.5 III

l internal

External 3.3 NA
infill or
to a

intersecting walls on plan, must stabilise the structure against horizontal forces
the distance between walls supporting a timber or metal truss cannot exceed 10 meters,
and distance between Walls supporting a roof slab cannot exceed 6 meters
The deal load supported by the roof not more than 800 N/m
Concrete roofs must not exceed 175mm in thickness when soild, or equivalent mass when

wall dimensions

In regards intersecting walls form the lateral support,

● must be constructed from masonry units and mortar of the same quality and
● Its height must not be less than 80% of the height of the wall it supports,
● its width must not be less than 45% (or 90 mm, whichever is greater) of the wall it
● Its length must at least one fifth the length of the wall it supports, or one eighth
the distance between intersecting walls
● Walls must intersect supporting walls between 60 and 120 degrees

Where a masonry pier is used for lateral support
● its perpendicular length must be 3 times the thickness of the wall
● its width along the length of the wall must at least twice the thickness of the wall
● must be at least 80% the length of the wall it is supporting

Cavity walls
An external masonry cavity will be between 50 and 110 mm wide
Wall ties must be evenly spaces at a 2.5 ties per meter sqaured, if the cavity is not more
than 75 mm, if the cavity is more than 75 mm, 3 ties are required per meter square

foundation walls
functions as a retaining wall, must not exceed 1.5m
The level between the ground and the backfill should not be more than 1m
The thickness of the walls can’t be less than the they carry

ballustarde walls

Solid masonry ballustrade wall, must be

• tied to reinforced concrete, brick columns or bonded into return walls or reinforced
brick piers
• expansion joints are to be used when neccesary, no further than 8 m apartwhere a wall
is supportred by comulum and pier (both reinforced)
Where the structural beams are bonded to the return walls. The return walls must not be
spaced more than 6m part when 230 thickness wall, 5m for 190 mm walls and 4m for 110
Brick ballustrade walls
Reinforced, consisting od galvanised steel wire not less than 3.5 mm in diameter, in the
highest 4 bed joints. these must overlap at least 150 mm with the supporting column
Except for buildings containing more than 2 dwelligs (H3 classified), but no empirical
rules govern ballustrades except for materials

Ballustrade walls must be designed by an engineer or comptetnt person

Free standing walls

wall thickness Max height of wall above groud Pier

(mm) level
Without piers with piers Min dimensions max spacing
(centre to
centre) m
90 0.8 1.2 290 x 290 1.9
110 1.0 1.5 350 x 350 2.1
140 1.3 1.8 340 x 340 2.5
190 1.5 2.2 390 x 390 2.7
230 1.8 2.4 470 x 470 3.7
230 1.8 2.6 470 x 470
290 2.2 2.6 490 x 490
340 2.4


Empirical rules
Where the roof is supported by a wall the following apply:

Miniun height requirements

In regards to a double pitched roof (Howe, single or douyble pitch – span not exceeding
10m, and bays no more than 1.5m apart)

roof truss nominal max span (m)

covering member timber size
metal and rafter 38 x 114 3.1 4.6 5.8
fiber-cement 38 x 152 4.0 5.8 7.2
sheets 38 x 228 6.1 8.5 10.0
tie beam 38 x 114 3.1 4.5 6.2
38 x 152 4.5 6.4 8.3
38 x 228 7.1 10.0 10.0
Concrete rafter 38 x 114 6.0 9.0 10.0
tiles, clay 38 x 152 8.2 10.0 10.0
tiles and 38 x 228 10.0 10.0 10.0
thatch tie beam 38 x 114 4.7 6.7 9.4
38 x 152 5.9 8.5 10.0
38 x 228 7.2 10.0 10.0
metal roof rafter 38 x 114 6.2 9.0 10.0
tiles 38 x 152 8.0 10.0 10.0
38 x 228 10.0 10.0 10.0
tie beam 38 x 114 4.5 6.7 9.0
38 x 152 5.9 8.7 10.0
38 x 228 8.7 10.0 10.0

all web members need to be at leat 38 x 114