R. J. M. SUTHERLAND Harris and Sutherland, Consulting Engineers

One effect of the current need for higher levels of insulation, combined with a fear of cold bridges, is to divorce the outer skins of masonry walls more and more completely from their original function as load-bearing elements. At the same lime architectural fashion is demanding articulated walls with step-backs and simulated arches with the whole facade supported on complex stainless steel brackets. This shift in style of construction is imposing requirements for workmanship and accuracy. This paper reviews briefly the nature of these developments and asks whether the benefits are all positive.