Masonry construction is one of the oldest building technologies. Modern masonry veneer wall systems are by far the most common; however, single-wythe and multi-wythe wall structures are sometimes utilized. Masonry materials consist of brick, concrete block, and stone, although precast concrete elements are also frequently used in lieu of stone features. Design elements of the building façade can provide visual interest; proper detailing is critical to reduce the risk of efflorescence, staining, cracking, and premature deterioration. This detailing is even more important if continuous insulation is used within the drainage cavity, particularly at window and door openings where potential problems with water leakage and heat transfer are amplified.
While BC&E personnel have experience in evaluating the condition of and designing appropriate repairs for historic and older stone and brick masonry structures, many newer buildings with masonry facades exhibit problems with cracking, staining, water leakage, and premature deterioration, which can be evaluated and repaired utilizing BC&E’s expertise. BC&E also provides consulting services related to the design and construction of masonry systems for new buildings, to reduce the risk of potential future problems.