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Masonry Support – The unsung hero

Masonry Support plays a vital role in the construction of brick, block & stone cladding buildings worldwide. It is responsible for the structural integrity, and load distribution of the external leaf masonry wall, particularly in multi-story buildings, which will support the structure of the building.

The most frequently used type of masonry support is a Shelf Angle Bracket. This commonly utilised masonry support system comprises two primary components: the first being the ‘angle,’ which is firmly embedded into the external masonry leaf. Subsequently, this ‘angle’ is securely joined to multiple ‘brackets’ that are further linked to the internal structure of the building. This configuration establishes a seamless pathway for effectively transferring the external load back to the main structure of the building. It can be fixed with bolts, screws, or welding, depending on the design and load requirements.

Differential Movement Accommodation: Masonry Support is essential to allow for differential movement between the masonry panels and the building structure typically in buildings which exceed 4 stories high.

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It is commonly located at horizontal movement joints, and areas without support below such as window heads, soffits, or large openings. The placement of supports at these critical points helps manage movement and prevent potential damage or stresses.

Masonry support emerges as an unsung hero, bearing the responsibility of safeguarding both the physical integrity and visual appeal of a building. Its role in effectively distributing loads, mitigating stress concentrations, and preventing potential structural failures cannot be understated. As architectural designs continue to evolve and buildings reach new heights, the significance of masonry support remains steadfast, serving as a critical link between functionality and aesthetics in the world of construction.

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Contact one of the team to find out more about how to specify masonry support systems. FIRMA provides a complete design and manufacture service - all made in Britain.