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The authors and their colleagues have investigated over 500 buildings with distressed masonry and stone facades in the last five years. This work has included investigations of distressed conditions in building facades made of brick, concrete block, terracotta, granite, limestone, and marble.
Masonry and stone facades are frequently chosen by designers and building owners for their inherent durability to resist weathering and for their inherent low maintenance costs. When properly designed in accordance with available standards, their performance is normally excellent. However, their performance can be affected by insufficient care in the design of joints and by insufficient care in the design of attachment and flashing systems.
Based upon architectural design principles, knowledge of masonry and stone materials, and experience gained from investigating numerous masonry and stone facade failures, the authors discuss design factors and details that could help designers avoid failures in new masonry and stone facades. The authors also present information that can assist architects, engineers, and building owners rehabilitate and preserve existing facades on buildings.
moisture expansion, thermal expansion, shrinkage, expansion joints, relief joints, control joints, differential movements, frame shortening, crazing, spalling, water penetration, cavity walls, single wythe walls, composite walls, flashing, weep holes
President, Kellermeyer Godfryt Hart, P. C., Chicago, IL
Senior consultant, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Northbrook, IL