Brick Briefs are short discussions on specific topics related primarily to the design, construction, and maintenance of residential brick masonry. Formerly known as Engineering and Research Digests, these are written in a format that is friendlier to non-technical users than the Technical Notes series.
Brick Brief - Clay Pavers for Fire Lanes and H20 Loadings
Specifications on using clay pavers for fire lanes and H20 loadings.
Brick Brief Arches
The arch has long been used in masonry structures. In fact, a brick masonry arch found in the ruins of Ur in Mesopotamia dates back to 1400 B.C. Today, the brick arch is used in construction to span over wall openings and add aesthetics, as the arch is the consummate definition of form and function. This Brick Brief addresses design considerations for brick arches in veneer construction.
Brick Brief Recycled Content Certification Credit
Most brick manufacturers have incorporated recycled materials into their brick production in one form or another for years. However, with the advent of various green building rating systems, determining the exact amount and type of recycled content material has become more crucial. This Brick Brief describes a third-party certification program to verify recycled content, clarifies how credits are awarded for recycled content by green building rating systems and gives an example of how to determine recycled content for a typical building project.
Brick Brief Regional Materials Calculating Credit
This Brick Brief describes how points are accrued under LEED 2009 for New Construction for regional materials (MR Credit 5). With proper understanding of how this is done, the points can be earned with the selection of any brick desired for a project.
In cases where there is a need or desire to modify the color of brickwork, many people are not aware of staining as an option. Even though many designers and owners are not familiar with this option, staining brickwork is a widely accepted practice within the brick industry that has been employed since at least 1960. It is a viable, timetested, practical solution that has been used successfully to change the color of brick or brick-and-mortar surfaces where maintaining the appearance of natural or unaltered brickwork is desired.
Brick Veneer Above 30 Feet with Wood Framing
This Brick Brief reviews alternative design and detailing options for anchored brick veneer with a proposed height exceeding 30 feet and a backing of wood framing that serves as the main force resisting system for the building. Included are typical approaches to alternative design, differential movement calculations, and typical designs and detailing considerations.
Curved Brick Walls
Curved brick walls are often used by designers to add interest to a brick project. Curved walls may be constructed of specially-shaped brick, or of cut or uncut standard brick. Specially-shaped brick are used when a tight radius is specified or when a smooth appearance is desired. Standard brick are an economical choice for slightly larger radii, when cutting is permissible, or when a textured appearance is acceptable. This Brick Brief gives some of the sizes of brick and radii which can be used when detailing curved brick walls with standard brick.
Efflorescence Prevention and Control
Efflorescence is a white, crystalline deposit on the surface of concrete or clay masonry that is comprised of water-soluble salts. Efflorescence begins when soluble salts and other compounds are dissolved in water, which becomes a salt solution. This salt solution migrates to the surface of masonry through the masonry units or the mortar. The water evaporates and leaves the salts on the surface of the masonry as efflorescence.
Flashing is an important element in brick masonry's line of defense against water penetration. Flashing may either direct moisture out of a cavity or prevent moisture from entering. Without flashing, any intersection or interruption of materials becomes an avenue for moisture to enter the construction. Several specific areas of potential moisture penetration must be addressed in the flashing of chimneys. This Brick Brief addresses these areas of concern and provides details for optimum performance. The Brick Brief" Proper Chimney Crowns" may also be of interest.
Ivy on Brickwork
Ivy growth on brickwork in some locales is common especially on older brick masonry. Some would say that ivy and brickwork naturally go together. But while allowing ivy to grow on brickwork does impart some benefits, it can also be detrimental. This Brick Brief addresses the advantages and disadvantages of ivy growth and how to remove it if desired.
LEED V4 Building Product Disclosure Credits For Brick
This Brick Brief is not intended to address all the changes in LEED v4, but focuses on changes in the category of Materials and Resources (MR) that impact the brick industry most directly.
The use of brick shapes is a popular architectural feature on many projects. The proper manufacture and use of these special shapes is crucial to their intended performance. This Brick Brief discusses some of the important points to consider for lipped brick shapes and their applications. Brick manufacturers should be consulted for specific information regarding their products.
Manganese stain is a brown or tan-colored deposit that remains on the surface of clay masonry after being dissolved by an acid and transported through the brick pores. Such deposits appear on the face of the brick (as shown in Photo 1) or in the mortar joints (as shown in Photo 2). Manganese stains on brick masonry primarily occur when an unbuffered acid such as hydrochloric (muriatic) acid is used to clean the brick, an incorrect cleaning agent is applied, or the cleaning manufacturer’s instructions are not followed. These stains can be prevented by adhering to proper brick cleaning methods and are usually removed through the use of a proprietary cleaning product.
Queen Size Brick
Queen size brick - typically 2 ¾” wide by 2 ¾” tall by 7 5/8” long - are being used by builders in markets all over the country and in areas where their use has been limited in the past. Learn more about installation and coursing in this Brick Brief.
Quoins are visually appealing ornamental accents to corners in masonry construction. Quoins can be formed by a series of masonry units near and at a corner differing in size, color, finish or material from the adjacent masonry. Quoins may be flush with the wall surface or project slightly from the surrounding masonry. This brick Brick Brief addresses how quoins are incorporated in brickwork.
RILEM Tube Testing and Brick Masonry
In some cases, a design professional or consultant may recommend RILEM tube testing of installed brick masonry when water leakage is occurring and/or the absorption characteristics of the brick are in question. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive test; however, its use and findings are often misunderstood and inappropriately applied. The intent of this document is to explain these misunderstandings and recommend more appropriate methods to evaluate brick veneer wall performance.
Surveys indicate that more and more construction projects are additions, rehabilitations, or maintenance of existing or historic brick masonry buildings. As a result, the demand for brick to match continues to increase significantly. This Brick Brief addresses the key brick properties to consider when selecting matching and replacement brick.
Repointing Brick Masonry
The terms pointing, repointing and tuckpointing are often used interchangeably, which has led to confusion within the masonry industry. For years, the Brick Industry Association has used the term "tuck-pointing" to describe one form of maintenance of brick masonry. However, the meaning of tuckpointing may vary by geographical region, leading to conflicts regarding job specifications and expected repairs.
Stepped or "waterfall" flashing is typically used when brick masonry intersects an adjacent sloping surface or when it surrounds a curved or sloped wall opening. Common examples are at bay window locations, at second story walls over lower roofs and at arch wall openings. This Brick Brief provides isometric details for stepped flashing installation at these and similar locations. Information on the selection of flashing materials can be found in Technical Notes 7A.
Supporting Brick Masonry
Adequate support of brick masonry is vital for proper and long-term performance of wall assemblies. To ensure proper masonry support, the designer must consider structural, safety and construction tolerance issues. This Brick Brief addresses some of the common problems and solutions of brick masonry support.