Leeds Metropolitan University


BINGEL and BOWN [1] presented information on the maintenance and repair carried out on brick masonry walling in low rise residential and commercial buildings.

This paper follows that work and combines the environmental impacts of maintenance and repair with other effects to determine the whole life environmental performance (profiles) of a range of masonry walls. As masonry has the potential to last centuries, profiles are evaluated at ages ranging from 60 to 500 years.

The analysis showed that while the bricks were responsible for most of the installed environmental impacts, internal painting was often the main source of additional impacts over the life of the wall. The environmental impacts of maintaining the masonry, on the other hand, were relatively low. The effect on the environment of following a good rather than a poor maintenance regime was also relatively minor, irrespective of wall type.

Published 60 year environmental profiles for masonry walling were found to be 20% to 30% higher than those developed in this investigation. To obtain a better understanding of masonry’s true environmental performance, there is a need to develop additional profiles at other ages e.g. 150 and 300 years.

The difficulties with quantifying environmental performance are also discussed in relation to masonry walling.

Key words
masonry, environmental impacts, environmental profiles, whole life performance