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masonry . It is the art of constructing buildings or works that are used, depending on the case, brick , stone , lime , sand , plaster , cement or other similar materials. Structural material made up of masonry units settled with mortar .


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  • 1 Materials and tools
  • 2 Types of masonry
    • 1 Plain masonry
    • 2 Reinforced masonry
    • 3 Reinforced masonry
  • 3 Masonry Components
    • 1 Proportions
    • 2 Conventional concrete
  • 4 Masonry Units
    • 1 Labor
    • 2 Requirements
    • 3 Non-bearing walls
  • 5 Foundation
    • 1 Bearing Wall
    • 2Techos
    • 3 Confined masonry
  • 6 External links
  • 7 sources

materials and tools

For masonry works (also known simply as masonry) stone materials are mainly used, such as: Clay bricks, cement mortar blocks, stones and other similar ones of the same or similar origin to those already mentioned. The person who performs masonry works is known as a bricklayer. The mason, to carry out his work, uses as tools a container in which he prepares the mortar mixture, another in which he cures the bricks in order to use them saturated with water, a wooden plane, a set of teachers, canvas and nails.

types of masonry

We can find three types of masonry, the use of which is determined by the destination of the building and the respective calculation and architecture projects. These types are: simple masonry, reinforced masonry and reinforced masonry.

plain masonry

Traditionally used and developed through experimentation. It is in which the masonry does not have more elements than brick and mortar or mortar, these being the structural elements in charge of resisting all the potential loads that affect the construction. This is achieved by arranging the elements of the structure so that the acting forces are preferably compression.

reinforced masonry

Masonry in which steel is used as reinforcement in the walls that are built is known by this name.

Mainly these reinforcements consist of turnbuckles (as vertical reinforcements) and stirrups (as horizontal reinforcements), reinforcements that are embedded in the foundations or in the pillars of the construction, respectively.

The use of mechanized bricks is usually preferred, whose structural design facilitates the insertion of the tensioners to give the structure greater flexibility.

reinforced masonry

Reinforced masonry with horizontal and vertical reinforcing elements, whose function is to improve the durability of the assembly.

masonry components

  • Mortar: It is a mixture of cement, sandwater and technically formulated additives that allow the product to be kept fresh for hours or days, under adequate storage conditions. Adhesive used to glue masonry units. Constructed from a mixture of binders, such as Portland cement and hydrated lime.
  • Fluid Mortar: Lime and cement mortar, of liquid consistency, used to fill cavities of masonry units. It is made up of a mixture of 1 part Portland cement, 1 ½ hydrated lime and 3 parts fine sand (natural sand), mixed with water.


  • Type I Portland cement and hydrated lime:

Type Cement Cal Arena

– P1 – C 1 1 4

– P2 – C 1 1 5

– NP – C 1 1 6

  • Portland cement type 1:

Type Cement Arena

– P1 1 4

– P1 1 5

– NP 1 6

conventional concrete

Specification resistances Not applicable Kg/cm². Resistance verification ages f’c Not applicable Days. Maximum size of aggregate ¼ Inches. Work time 1.5 Hours. Design Consistency 6 – 8 Inches. Initial setting times from plant exit 2.5 hours. Density 2,000 Kg/m³. Air content Maximum 10%.

masonry units

They are the following: clay brick, block or calcareous silito brick and concrete block. Masonry units can be solid, hollow, or tubular. All masonry units must not have any defects in the case of concrete units, they must have a minimum age of 28 days before being used.

Manpower of labour

Persons in charge of labor must be capable and qualified persons.


The walls are built plumb and in line. All joints, horizontal and vertical, must be filled with mortar. The weight of mortar must be a minimum of 10mm. Masonry units should settle with clean units. Do not settle more than 1.20m of wall height in a working day. The reinforced masonry, reinforced with steel , must be filled with mortar.

non load-bearing walls

Designed and built in such a way that it only carries loads from its own weight.

  • The following: Parapets, partitions and fences. All these must be braced at intervals, except parapets of less than 1m in height that are set back from the outer plane of the façade. The foundations of the fences must be designed by rational calculation methods.
  • Reinforcement elements, horizontal or vertical or bracing wall, which fulfills the function of providing stability and resistance to load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls for loads perpendicular to the plane of the wall.
  • It is considered braced: When there is sufficient adherence, mooring and/or anchorage between the walls and their braces to guarantee the adequate transfer of efforts. When using roofs for lateral stability, precautions are taken so that the lateral forces acting on them are adequately transferred to the ground.


It is the structural part of the building, in charge of transmitting the loads to the ground, which is the only element that cannot be chosen, so the foundation will be made based on it. At the same time, this is not all at the same depth, so this will be another reason that influences us in the decision to choose the appropriate foundation. The foundations are classified:

  • shallow foundations
  • deep foundations
  • special foundations

The foundation for the load-bearing walls must be made of concrete. The foundation must transmit the load from the walls to the ground according to the permissible stress on it and with differential settlements that do not cause cracks in the masonry.

Bearing Wall

Wall designed and built in such a way that it can transmit horizontal and/or vertical loads from one level to the lower level and/or to the foundation. – They may be solid or hollow units settled with mortars with or without lime. – The minimum weight will be: Reinforced masonry: t = h/26. Unreinforced masonry: t = h/20 t: thickness of the wall; h: effective height.


Horizontal element that is at the top of a construction that serves as protection. They will be made up of light slabs when they fulfill the function of distributing the horizontal forces in proportion to the rigidity of the walls. If the diaphragm action is not fulfilled in wooden , steel or prefabricated roofs, the distribution of the horizontal forces will be made in proportion to their tributary area.

confined masonry

They are a set of horizontal and vertical reinforcement elements, whose function is to provide ductility to a load-bearing wall. The requirements are: – In seismic zones: 1 and 2, any wall that carries 10% of the seismic force and a set of walls that carry 70% of the total seismic force will be confined, including within this the perimeter walls of closure, and in zone 3 the perimeter closure walls will be confined as a minimum. – That it is framed on its four sides by horizontal and vertical elements


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