1) PhD, Professor, Federal University of São Carlos, Department of Civil Engineering,


Since the 1970s, Masonry Structures have been a major success story in Brazil. In a country that has no relevant seismic activity, masonry buildings have proved to be an excellent solution to meet housing demands. Thousands of residential units are produced with millions of blocks every year. Most of them consist of hollow concrete and ceramic blocks, although calcium-silicate, compressed earth and other types of blocks are also available on a smaller production scale. The country has organized and hosted two major masonry conferences. This paper describes some of this experience: the common practice of using structural masonry in the construction of buildings, and design details, including partition walls in framed RC buildings. The development of research and education at universities and industries is presented. The discussions of future challenges involve new performance requirements, thin polymeric mortar joints and sustainability issues. Other major challenge for the future is to maintain the same demand and to understand the limits of masonry.


Keywords: Brazil, masonry structures, research, practice, education, challenges