R.C.deVEKEY Building Research Establishment

In a collaborative programme involving BRE and the brick and AAC block industries, the performance of a full scale masonry house is being investigated at the laboratory of the British Ceramic Research Association (BCRA).
The aim of the investigation is to establish the ‘robustness’ and the factors of safety present in a typical brick/block cavity wall dwelling built in accordance with Schedule 7 of the Building Regulations 1976. The full programme will include vertical, lateral and accidental load states on the most critical elements of the structure. The first phase of the work {on vertical load capacity) has been completed and reported elsewhere. In this paper these results are analysed in the context of the Schedule 7 rules and it is demonstrated that such structures are reasonably robust in relation to vertical loads in terms of the ultimate load state. The experiment also demonstrates that there is, as suspected, a great deal of load sharing and redistribution in such small structures between walls, return walls, floors and roof. However this does not necessaily lead to proportionate gains in strength but may just change the mode of failure.