G.J. EDGELL (1); A. BEST (2)

(1) PhD, Director, Lucideon Limited (formerly Ceram),

(2) Group Director, Buro Happold,


In 2009 the Design Guide for Masonry Reinforced by Bond Beams to resist Lateral Loads was published. This represented the culmination of a series of tests on full size walls, small beams and low height walls. The tests demonstrated that large walls could be subdivided into smaller panels by the use of bond beams and that the lateral load resistance was considerable and comparable to walls subdivided by wind posts. The system has now been further developed to include the use of reinforced hollow blockwork columns, which enables walls to be subdivided by both horizontal and vertical reinforced elements. This paper describes the column tests and the development of a revised and extended design guide. A major application of the system is at the Aquatic Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In this iconic structure the internal blockwork walls are up to 7m high and are required to accommodate numerous openings for services. The system enables this to be done in an elegant and efficient way and the paper describes how this was achieved.

Key words

blockwork, lateral loading, bond beams, columns