Masonry consists of building structures by laying individual masonry units (brick, concrete block, stone, etc). Normally the masonry units are laid with cement mortar, which binds them together to create a structure. Masonry construction can provide beautiful walls and floors at economical prices. Due to the individual masonry units, masonry construction tends to be quite labor intensive. Because of the cement, clay or stone nature of the masonry materials, masonry construction tends to be durable and often requires little maintenance. An excellent introduction to the basics skills and concepts of masonry work is found in the US Navy Builder Training Course Volume #1.
Similar to concrete, masonry tends to be high in compressive strength but low in tension strength. To get a better understanding of the structural advantages and challenges of masonry, see the section on Structural Basics for Concrete. Crack control tends to be a major concern in masonry structures and normally is addressed by Design Professionals on the Plans.
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