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    Problems and Solutions to Masonry Buildings

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    The authors have been actively investigating masonry buildings for over 25 years and have documented problems associated with differential movement within masonry systems and between systems and their supporting structures. While they have found many buildings and components which perform well, it has been their experience that masonry buildings with problems have often been brought to the attention of the public without full and in-depth understanding of the source of the trouble.

    One cannot analyze a building's problems by a quick visual inspection and a first reading of the drawings and specifications. It is necessary to document all signs of distress as an overlay upon the structural frame. Materials must be sampled and tested for quality and compatibility. Walls must be probed with fiber optic instruments to determine the quality of assemblages and their attachments to the structure. Architectural details, such as drainage, flashing, movement joints, bonding, etc., are important to the well-being of masonry walls and must be examined. Structural support of masonry and its interaction with the supporting structural component and with the structural frame as a whole is also critical in terms of differential movements. The authors have documented this experience by means of photography computer graphics instrumentation, and this paper will share with you the knowledge gained by this work effort.


    masonry, prefabricated panels, rigid connections, deflection, differential movement, interaction, movement joints

    Author Information:

    Gensert, RM
    Principals, Gensert Bretnall Associates, Cleveland, OH

    Bretnall, WC
    Principals, Gensert Bretnall Associates, Cleveland, OH

    Committee/Subcommittee: C15.03

    DOI: 10.1520/STP27261S