Author: The Institution of Structural Engineers
1 May 2013
Members/Subscribers, log in to access
An IStructE account gives you access to a world of knowledge. Create a profile to receive details of our unique range of resources, events and training.
The Institution of Structural Engineers
This Technical Guidance Note describes the causes of cracking in concrete.
Until relatively recently, masonry was the major load bearing component in a building structure. With the advent of steel and concrete frame technologies, masonry has become a part of a building’s cladding envelope and as such is more prone to being exposed to lateral loads than vertical ones. This Technical Guidance Note concerns the design of masonry walls that are subject to lateral loads i.e. they are being used as a cladding element. It will discuss the way in which the material is assessed against how it is being restrained and its geometry. All of these factors have an impact on the design of masonry walls as well as the mortar within them and the exposure conditions. This is discussed in Technical Guidance Note 27 (Level 1) and should be read in conjunction with this guide. (This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)
This Technical Guidance Note is intended to act as an aide to those seeking to design an unreinforced masonry retaining wall. Following this guidance will prevent cracking and ensure that the wall performs as originally intended. The note will not cover the design of reinforced masonry retaining walls and variants of that form. Such reinforcement typically strengthens the wall itself against induced bending stresses and the wall’s geometry will therefore be somewhat different to that of an unreinforced retaining wall. The note will also not discuss the applied actions that a retaining wall will be subjected to, nor the construction of retaining walls. These subjects have previously been covered in the following Technical Guidance Notes: Level 1, No. 8: Derivation of loading to retaining structures and Level 1, No. 33: Retaining wall construction. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the content of both these notes.