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High performance building products for sustainable construction: Structural masonry design


The main aim of the project was the development of a solution for unreinforced masonry walls based on clay brick units with thermal added value to be used both for loadbearing and non-loadbearing masonry walls. The main challenge is to combine mechanical and thermal efficiency so that the unit can be applied in different climatic regions and seismic hazards.

The idea is the replacement of the typical reinforced concrete frames and masonry non loadbearing cavity walls by structural masonry in low to medium rise residential buildings. The developed masonry unit intends also to be used in non loadbearing masonry walls by replacing the traditional cavity walls and avoiding the use of additional insulation materials. The development of the new solution requires technical and mechanical validation. To accomplish this, the conception of the new clay unit and details of the integrated building system are performed and the mechanical validation of the solution of unreinforced brick masonry walls by means of compressive tests and in-plane static cyclic tests is carried out. Finally, a manual for the design of masonry walls under seismic loading based on simplified approach is provided.

Reference: ADI-IDEIA “cBLOCO:DE”

Date: 2007-2008

Promoting Institution(s): Cerâmica Vale da Gândara, SA
University of Minho