There are two main field testing methods used for water repellency of concrete masonry units (CMUs), for quality assurance before being placed in a wall: droplet and RILEM tube testing. Completed assemblies can also be tested with RILEM tubes or other standard water spray tests.
A single-wythe concrete masonry wall may be a cost-effective structural element, but it can present challenges for waterproofing. The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) recommends redundancy to keep concrete masonry walls dry through techniques at the surface of the wall, within the wall, and through adequate drainage systems.
A material’s thermal mass denotes its ability to store heat within a cycle of time. K-values, generally calculated on a 24-hour cycle, are important because they give general references to a material’s capabilities for storing heat.
The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will bring tremendous change to the way buildings are designed, constructed, and renovated. For example, the insulation requirements for masonry construction have been written to higher performance levels.
In a time of increasing complex walls, the masonry industry is striving to rediscover the simplistic principles that made it the material choice of the greatest civilizations in history. The principle “less is more” holds true when it comes to selecting wire reinforcement for reinforced masonry wall systems.