Has traditional masonry had its day? Can it still meet the expectations of house buyers, construction professionals and government? Are bricks and mortar able to step up to the sustainability plate?
Masonry buildings have inherent durability that has been proved over thousands of years. They offer aesthetic appeal, strength, resistance to fire and to the elements, and allow the maintenance of a suitable indoor environment, both acoustically and thermally. The early part of the twenty-first century has seen a significant move away from traditional approaches to building in favour of modern methods of construction, which are sometimes thought to be a means of addressing the chronic need for new housing.
This book counters claims that masonry is an outmoded form of construction. It examines the ways in which the masonry sector can produce sustainable buildings that not only match the environmental targets set by government, but go beyond them. By doing so, masonry buildings can be created with the lowest possible impact on the environment, both now and for future generations, and be a worthy competitor against newer, less established prefabricated construction systems.
List of illustrations. List of tables
Acknowledgements. Acronyms and abbreviations. Chemical formulae. Glossary of terms
2 Masonry construction: a short history
Introduction. Past to present: the last 150 years. What is sustainable masonry? Requirements for the future: quality or quantity? Summary
3 New masonry components
Introduction. Embodied energy. Mortar (Production of hydraulic lime. Production of cement. Magnesium oxide cements. Aggregates. Factory-produced mixes). Masonry units (Functionality. Clay bricks. Calcium silicate bricks. Concrete bricks/blocks. Stone. Insulation. Summary
4 Design considerations
Introduction. Design for deconstruction and reuse. Design for longevity (Durability and adaptability. The consideration of whole life costs. Masonry quality/ craftsmanship: does it still exist? The quest for enduring aesthetic appeal: the new vernacular. Design for climate change). Summary
5 The industry's views
Introduction. Interview data. Summary
6 Sustainable masonry: a diagnosis
Introduction. Quality or quantity? New masonry components. Design considerations (Design for deconstruction. Design for longevity and the consideration of whole life costs. Masonry quality/craftsmanship: does it still exist? Enduring aesthetic appeal. Design for climate change)
7 Looking forward
Introduction. Future needs (Energy consumption during manufacture. Reclamation. Regulation. Quality/craftsmanship. Evolution)
Mark Key, BSc(Hons) MSt(Cantab), has spent over 25 years in the construction industry, first serving an apprenticeship as a bricklayer, then working as a clerk of works, and currently as a building control manager.
Mark is a winner of the York Guild of Buildings silver medal and is currently carrying out research into an interdisciplinary approach to regulation of the built environment through the professional doctorate programme at the University of Salford.
He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Building, the Institution of Fire Engineers, the Association of Building Engineers and the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Other publications that may be of interest
Earth masonry - Design and construction guidelines
Hemp lime construction: A guide to building with hemp lime composites