Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies University of York
The most significant error in recent years is the use of masonry in a semblance of its natural and traditional ways, but for non-traditional and illogical purposes to clad the facades of high rise framed buildings. Masonry, while often the most suitable, as well as the most visually attractive and useful, material for use as cladding and loadbearing for low rise buildings is inappropriate for use as a cladding hung onto a framed building. A sizeable industry has grown up to provide systems and components to cope with the problems and difficulties of differential movement resulting from the application of masonry in this way. It is sensible to use masonry as a cladding tn the lower floors of a high multistorey structure with, at least the self load of the masonry being taken down to a loadbearing foundation or ringbeam, using the frame only as a wind-load restraint. The complexities and complications which are the consequence of the need to achieve questionable objectives should give concern to those who wit! have to maintain some of the recent building stock. The time is ripe to stand back a little and look again at what we are doing and why.