The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 97 (2019) > Issue 1 > Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 19): Design and detailing of windposts to masonry walls
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Technical Guidance Note (Level 2, No. 19): Design and detailing of windposts to masonry walls

Historically, masonry walls were designed as principal loadbearing elements of a structure. They were very thick and were able to withstand lateral loads due to their stocky geometry. Today, however, the status of brick walls within large buildings has been reduced to that of simple single-skin rainscreens that are little more than large thin panels of masonry.

These panels are quite slender to the point where they usually require additional horizontal support to make them stable. The same can also apply to cavity walls, where both skins are incapable of resisting lateral loads.

The element that provides this support to masonry panels is a vertical prop known as a ‘windpost’. Its principal role is to provide lateral support against destabilising horizontal forces that typically originate from wind pressure – hence, the name.

Windposts are typically steel elements – either open sections, such as channels or angles, or closed sections, such as rolled hollow rectangular sections. This Technical Guidance Note provides guidance on the design and detailing of windposts relating to their incorporation into building structures.

Author(s): C. O'Regan (AECOM)