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Masonry Articles

Stabilizing, Repairing & Strengthening Cracked Traditional Masonry ~ Case Studies Paul Jeffs ~ PJ Materials Consultants Limited

Case Study One – Hart Hall

Completed in two stages during 1910 and 1920, Mount Allison University’s Hart Hall is one of several historic buildings located on its Sackville, N.B campus.In keeping with most of the campus’ structures, the masonry was constructed using red and buff sandstone units predominantly fabricated from a locally sourced quarried stone. Over time, it became obvious Hart Hall’s masonry was having difficulty accommodating its imposed loads due to natural movement of the building. As a result, considerable cracking became progressively evident. Prior to the author’s involvement, several attempts had been made at restoration, but damage continued to occur.

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Single Wythe Concrete Masonry – Jason Yana, Staff Architect, Masonry Advisory Council

Single wythe concrete masonry construction is a durable, cost effective and aesthetically versatile form of masonry construction that is used successfully all over the world.  Single wythe walls, unlike cavity walls and veneered walls, require additional special attention regarding moisture penetration prevention.  The following 3 items make up what is the industry standard for how to properly use concrete masonry for single wythe walls.

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Restoring a Solid Foundation1 Paul Jeffs ~ PJ Materials Consultants Limited

Traditional Masonry

The methods and materials used to build masonry in the 19th and early parts of the 20th century were very different to those used for modern buildings. Traditionally, until concrete block or reinforced concrete became economically available, at least the foundations were constructed using natural building stone to form thick masonry walls. The thickness was considered essential not only for structural considerations but also to provide effective insulation value and limit the potential for moisture ingress to the interior.  Natural stone was most often selected because of its proven durability, since clay brick was well known to be susceptible to rapid deterioration when saturated. Whether the foundation stone masonry units were fabricated to be square cut and coursed (ashlar) or random coursed rubblestone depended on the price the owner was prepared to pay. The selection of the source of stone depended upon local availability or again the price the owner was prepared to pay. However, the above grade masonry was typically selected to be brick or fabricated dressed dimension stone. (Sometimes the front elevation was built using more expensive masonry materials, while the rear and side elevations were built using cheaper units.)

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