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Building construction question

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by ClydeG19, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. ClydeG19


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    Oct 5, 2001
    My wife and I were walking around the neighborhood a few days ago looking at houses. I was trying to identify some things about building construction taught to me during the Essentials, namely which buildings had a brick fascade and which buildings had the brick as a load bearing part of the structure. I only found brick walls that were part of the load bearing structure and no fascades, however I just find it hard to believe that the brick in all those houses were load bearing. The trick I was taught is that if every couple of rows there is a row going lengthwise into the structure instead of all of the rows being horizontal, it is a fascade. Is this always true or am I missing something?
  2. sean o'farrell

    sean o'farrell

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    Jan 30, 2005

    You're missing something. The course you're describing is done that way for aesthetics.

    You cannot tell by looking at the exterior of a brick wall on a modern house whether it is loadbearing. It most likely is not.

    Where loadbearing brick is used these days to build houses, it usually is backed by block. In other words, a brick and block wall. The brick is connected to the block with flat strips of corrugated metal called brick ties. These are laid on top of courses of brick and block and then mortared in. There are other ways of tying brick to block using metal. A solid brick wall, two wythe thick, would be tied together the same way. The brick would be sitting on a concrete brick ledge, poured as part of the footer.

    The Brick Industry Assn has a nice technical piece on this, which you can find in its index:

    Happy reading.