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Old 06-25-2010, 10:47 PM   #1
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Concrete block Homes


I was driving around the neighborhood and I took some pictures of a tract of town houses.Thought I would share with you
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:15 AM   #2
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I was driving around the neighborhood and I took some pictures of a tract of town houses.Thought I would share with you



The picture in this post is on a job site in Cebu.notice the foot wear,and the way the mmason applies the mmud over the concrete blocks.
It's amazing how smooth these guys get the final product.

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Old 06-26-2010, 09:49 AM   #3
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Good grief! That's frightening work. They BETTER be good with the mud to cover up that horrible blockwork.

My wife took one look at this and said, "And they wonder why their buildings colapse in even moderate earthquakes."
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
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Heres a picture of a finished house
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:08 PM   #5
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Most of the world prefers concrete masonry over wood because of strength and performance.

That wall is certainly ugly, but was built to be covered with plaster or stucco. Depending on the location it may be satsfactory without any rebar inside, but most countries put one bar at each side of an opening and a bond beam on the top course.

In seismic areas the walls are reinforced in most countries. The recent earthquake in Haiti was an obvious sign of poor construction and all types of building failed. In contract during the recent earthquake in Chile the forces were greater, but the damage was far less because of the building practices even though many buildings may have looked like the photo provided before they were finished.

Unreinforced masonry buildings are fine in many locations, but personally I like to see a single bar along the openings for continuity. This is especially true for one and two story residential buildings. Structurally it is many times stronger than wood in addition to hurricane resistance (especially the feared prjectiles) and provides the mass for thermal efficiency and comfort.

Some countries to not allow wood in many areas or do everything possible to discourage the use for ecological and safety reasons. China has taken an official position to discourage and in some case ban wood construction. - They have to import wood (from USA, Russia and SE Asia), add fire fighting infrastructure and are left with substandard, short lived structures.

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Old 06-26-2010, 12:55 PM   #6
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Wow, looks like a good baseball throw hitting that wall would make it fall down. I'd be scared to live in that house. Masonry can be very strong, if it's done properly but can be very weak if done badly. The thing wood has over masonry is that it has more flex to it. A house can be shifted around a bit without much damage.

It looks like the structural aspect is not really considered, but they do put more consideration in the aesthetics. Here it seems to be the opposite. Newer houses look like big boxes, but they are stronger and more efficient.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:39 PM   #7
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Anyone that judges the strength of masonry is ignorant on that subject. Granted, the joints are not tooled, but the coursing was maintained but the need for tooling varies for unexposed walls. How do you know what is in the walls?

I have photos of buildings in Brazil that looked very similar except the block aggregate was finer (good? or bad? - it depends). These were 30 year old photos and the buildings (5-10 per site) in Brazil are still standing and doing well - 6" block, not 8" and the top 3 floors of the 22 story buildings were not structurally reinforced. I asked the engineer what codes they used but we use your codes, but use them better for the structural application. These buildings also used plaster on the walls. Similar construction is used now because you cannot sell an apartment at a reasonable price if it is lightweight construction.- People will not buy.

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Old 06-26-2010, 04:07 PM   #8
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Anyone that judges the strength of masonry is ignorant on that subject. Granted, the joints are not tooled, but the coursing was maintained but the need for tooling varies for unexposed walls. How do you know what is in the walls?
Tooling of the mortar is irrelevant. It is an aesthetic function. I see areas with not fully filled joints, a few joints that look like there is possibly no mortar at all but the biggest thing I see is the large joints. It also looks like the mortar might have been quite dry which would lead to a weak joint and poor bonding with the CMUs. Bottom left corner of the wall facing the camera perspective there seems to be no CMU at all but a large area filled (sort of) with mortar. While that wall may be structurally solid, there are some things that would tend to suggest it may not be.





If there is a ton of rebar and grouted cells, what is shown becomes less critical but why do the bar and fill to make a poor wall strong rather than using it to make a good wall even better?
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:21 PM   #9
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I've seen walls built a lot more badly than that on some old Victorian and Regency building when the plaster was removed, and yet they are still standing. Must be the plaster and render holding them together.
Here's an typical example of Regency construction.
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This one's a type of wall known as Bungaroosh, where the Regency and Victorian builders formed the quoins and jambs in brickwork and then put up timber shuttering and filled in the walls with lime mortar, flint, old bricks, bits of wood and anything else lying around. Possibly the worst type of wall around and really difficult to get a fixing to, but buildings of 4 storeys plus a basement are still standing.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:54 PM   #10
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Here's some pics of the foundation
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:12 PM   #11
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Well they're using rebar at least, so that's a good sign. If the OP wall is rebared and filled in, it may not be so bad.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:29 PM   #12
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fishing lines
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:31 PM   #13
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Marbledust -

Thanx for photos that tell much about the construction!!!

The masonry walls are probably not even load bearing after looking at the new photos showing the foundation and the and vertical steel at the columns. Unfortunately, the first photos did not give any clue to the real size of the structure. In general, this called "infill" construction. It may possibly be a combination of infill and loadbearing (depending on what is going above), which would hold much more than I assumed. Considering what I see in the background, this is a more substantial structure than a small residence. At least they had the sense to use 6" thick block instead of wasting space and money on 8" walls. I see some possible full grouting, which is not always good, but it just be a good place to dump extra mortar if it is on the board too long. The second photos show how you can jump too soon on just a peek and not understand what is going on in the total structure.

Granted, the rough appearance is not good but is entirely adequate for a one or two story loadbearing building and the unexposed appearance since it will be coated. It is unfortunate that untooled joints can lead you to thck strange things, but block are laid to the line and and the tooling just fools the eye (thick can be made to look thin and thin can be made to look thicker, but they look uniform).

The vertical rebar on the exterior walls seems to be spaced properly. There, water may be a problem, but I hope they used enough to make a wet, soupy grout for the cores around the rebar and not something that looks like concrete. If you look at the first picture, the mortar on the lower courses was too wet because of the compression of the following courses (I hope the mixer man did not get fired, since the later courses looked adequate, but a little dry.

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Old 06-26-2010, 08:55 PM   #14
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Here's some more pics
this is a tract of town houses in Cebu,Philippines there are 500 units
they sell for 12,000 dollars unfinished.the skilled worker earns 5 bucks aday.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:00 PM   #15
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The strenth comes from post and beam construction,the blocks are non bearing.the roof is framed with 2x3 u-channel,and a tin roof is installed over that

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