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Bricks in brick veneer walls of modern buildings in cold climates are exposed to frequent cycles of freezing and thawing, and may have high moisture content during these cycles. Poor air barriers, humidified buildings, higher insulation levels, and less emphasis on details to guide rainwater away from brick surfaces all contribute to this severe environment. Freezing while wet is a major contributor to spalling and premature failure of bricks. A model has been developed to provide a quantitative estimate of the time to freezing-induced failure of bricks in a veneer wall, given the local climate, the brick characteristics, and building design and operating conditions.
brick veneer, durability, freeze-thaw cycles, condensation, air leakage, capillary action, wetting of bricks, modelling
Senior Project Engineer, MORRISON HERSHFIELD LTD., Nepean, Ontario