Architecture

Structural Masonry: Advantages and Disadvantages

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Imagine this situation: you have just purchased land to build a house, business or warehouse. Or you already have a residence and decide to expand it, adding a building to the existing structure, for example.

Possibly one of the first questions you will have will be something like this: “but now, what is the most recommended, quick and economical way to build?

And I wouldn't think otherwise either. Finally, when starting an endeavor like this we always try to anticipate all possible factors that allow us to see the positive and negative points of the choices that will be made.

It is a very simple way of building where, literally, bricks are stacked on top of bricks. One of the advantages is precisely this: allowing the building's construction system to be entirely made with just one element, without the need to rely on steel and concrete pillars and beams (the famous reinforced concrete).

Photograph: Masonry Magazine

Furthermore, a second positive factor is the cost. As there are no reinforced concrete pillars and beams, the use of hardware (which is one of the most expensive items on site) is minimized, making construction cheaper, which makes the structural masonry system one of the most accessible and economical on the market. national and one of the best known for local labor.

Building in structural masonry, however, requires some care.

Although it is simple to lay one brick over another, once the house is built, it is practically impossible to remove a wall (because it is structural), if you think of environments with
future integration.

If this is your case, make this demolition forecast, while the project is still developing.
project, could be an alternative.

Still on this, it is always recommended to follow the structural design guidelines of a civil engineer, as the layout of the walls and all the necessary ties between the bricks will be defined.

“But what is this, exactly? You said it was simple!” Yes, and it is. Imagine that hiring a professional specialized in the subject will save you time, money and bring you fewer headaches.

By this I mean that you can even draw something on paper and take it to a builder who tells you they know how to do it, without hiring a specialized professional.

But, having the projects in hand and a workforce that is minimally experienced and responsible to execute it, following the construction guidelines is what will guarantee your safety. In general, this applies to any project, construction system and work.

There are several companies on the market that produce bricks for structural masonry and, basically, they are products made from concrete or ceramics. The difference between them is in weight and resistance.

Photograph: Full Distributor

Lighter, the ceramic block tends to bring greater productivity in the assembly of parts, while the concrete block guarantees greater resistance. Even so, both are widely used in different situations, and the choice is generally made considering assembly productivity, the location where it will be used and the desired finish.

Furthermore, another factor that can enhance the use of structural masonry is an appropriate and assertive architectural design, which defines spaces according to the modulation and materiality of the bricks.

When it comes to the design of walls, bricks are modular elements that, if foreseen in the development of the project, can allow the workforce to carry out the work more quickly, especially by avoiding unwanted cuts in the brick blocks, saving material, time and generating less waste.

Photograph: Cicerone Arquitetura

In addition to this idea, one of the possible characteristics of the use of structural masonry, especially when using concrete brick, is the possibility of maintaining its real appearance, without coatings or plaster and paint finishes, for example.

Furthermore, if most of the planned electrical and hydraulic installations are also kept visible, and which are normally embedded in the masonry, it is possible to guarantee even more agility in construction and considerable savings in relation to the financial resources used. If the aesthetic is to your taste, believe me, it’s definitely a saving.

Photograph: Terra+Tuma

Therefore, opting for the structural masonry construction system is a decision that reflects the correct interpretation of the characteristics of the terrain, the project constraints and the intentions for using the built space.

If building a building may seem like a complex and difficult matter, imagine having to deal with the consequences of bad decisions that could have been made before starting your work?

Fortunately, structural masonry is a very simple method compared to other existing construction systems and can help you find the solution that makes it viable, both from an aesthetic point of view, as well as the deadline and financial investment necessary to consolidate your dream.

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