Tag Archives: Masonry

Creating better masonry with material compatibility

The walls of today’s masonry buildings are becoming more complex than ever, with designs modified to meet new energy code requirements. This evolution means more components in walls than ever before, and they can all come from different manufacturers. One of a designer’s biggest challenges is deciding which materials will both meet the building’s needs and be compatible with one another.

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Canadian masonry for sound buildings

The effects of noise have been well-documented in studies by the World Health Organization (WHO).1 It can increase blood pressure or be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.2 It is known to cause stress and hostility, interfere with sleep, speech, and tasks, and to affect the body’s physical reactions and our relations with other people.

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Designing buildings for climate change

Canada’s building codes have historically been formulated, at least in part, based on accumulated historic climate data that ultimately provides the essential criteria for most key building component performance characteristics. However, there are indications climate may be beginning to change. If buildings do, in fact, experience different environmental conditions over the next 40 years, these changes could potentially have a significant impact on our building stock.

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Insulating solid masonry for heritage projects

Many buildings with solid or load-bearing masonry walls employ interior insulation retrofit strategies as heritage significance precludes work from the exterior. However, adding insulation on the interior side of these solid walls may result in accelerated masonry freeze-thaw deterioration in addition to embedded metal corrosion (of lateral ties and supporting angles/structure) or wood joist rot.

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Getting to the bottom of moisture management

Both gravity and temperature can create misunderstandings resulting in improper or inadequate moisture management design for the exterior building envelope. The lowest point of a building envelope is the wettest because of gravity’s influence (Figure 1). The low point of a building’s exterior wall system does not necessarily have to be the top of the footing (Figure 2) or the top of the stem wall (Figure 3).

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The effectiveness of different drip edge designs

Control of rainwater is a primary function of the building enclosure. Water penetrating the roof, wall, and foundation can cause deterioration of the building’s structure, damage to property, and mould growth. Water on the surface or penetrating the building enclosure’s outer layers can cause corrosion and decay of sheathing and cladding attachment systems, staining and discoloration of cladding systems, and freeze-thaw damage to masonry materials.

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