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RIBA Core Curriculum
- Design, construction and technology

Knowledge level
- General Awareness

This CPD looks at situations where problems have arisen from movement in brickwork. The course also covers the basic British Standard requirements for designing as well as how to recognise issues and minimise the risk of damage.

In this section
- The general principles of movement joints
- Guidance for designing with movement
- Examples of movement in brickwork

            
                    
Navigate through each step of the CPD using the left and right arrows to review the content. At the end of each section are some questions, these are required if you wish to obtain a certificate upon completing the course.                     
                                     
            
    

Movement Joints

Movement_18
We can see the provision of a vertical joint between the house and boundary wall (although not finished).
Movement_17
Different wall profiles will experience different stressing, and it is prudent to consider incorporating movement joints between walls of different height and thickness.

General Principles

  • Normal spacing 10-12 metres
  • Return elements
  • Change of Height and Thickness
  • Short Returns

In addition to overall guidance, we need to consider the plan form of the building, particularly with regard to short returns.

 

In the illustration, both long walls are expanding causing a rotational effect to the return element – a longer return can accommodate a natural ‘flexing’ of the wall.
In the illustration, both long walls are expanding causing a rotational effect to the return element – a longer return can accommodate a natural ‘flexing’ of the wall.

By short return, we mean a wall of less than 3 bricks long generally.

The forces of movement can be significant, and for this short return, sufficient to crack bricks and mortar joints as the rotation takes place.  This could have been avoided by a discreet movement joint within the internal corner (as a slip plane).
The forces of movement can be significant, and for this short return, sufficient to crack bricks and mortar joints as the rotation takes place.  This could have been avoided by a discreet movement joint within the internal corner (as a slip plane).
Movement_21
Movement_23
The designer wanted to avoid a vertical joint in this example, perhaps fashionable in the 60s or 70s, but this is difficult to achieve, both technically and aesthetically.
Movement_66
Vertical movement joints can easily be incorporated, with various bonding patterns (in this case Flemish bond).
Movement_67
Vertical movement joints can easily be incorporated, with various bonding patterns (in this case Flemish bond).

Movement Joints

Movement_24
A rather bizarre bond pattern… provision has been made however for movement – although this is ineffective with the mortar within the joint!
Movement_25
Movement joints can be concealed, at piers, or behind rainwater goods, or can be emphasised with building features including special shaped units.
Movement joints incorporated into the design
Movement joints incorporated into the design
Movement_1
With longer walls, movement joints are a necessity and this has been recognised by symmetrical detailing.
Movement_27
The joint is emphasised by the plinth stretchers, stacked vertically for decorative effect.

As indicated earlier, it is necessary to consider more movement joints in less restrained walls, including parapets and garden walls.

General Principles

  • Normal Spacing 10-12 metres
  • Return Elements
  • Change in Height and Thickness
  • Short Returns
  • Location of Joints
  • Freestanding walls (5-6 metres)

Movement in Brickwork

Movement_28
In this example, the lack of suitable joints has caused the wall to both arch its back, and move sideways.
Movement_29
Quite a dramatic effect…
Movement_30
This was a case study which initially caused some alarm, originally claimed to be differential movement between two brick types.
Movement_31
Obviously distinctive cracking, even before the building was complete… but this helped the investigation…
Movement_32
We were able to establish that the inner leaf of the ‘solid’ outer wall had been built in concrete blocks – an example of differential movement.

Movement in Brickwork

Picture2
Where movement does cause cracking, it is possible to repair walls, although not always successfully
Picture1
Where movement does cause cracking, it is possible to repair walls, although not always successfully
Picture3
Where movement does cause cracking, it is possible to repair walls, although not always successfully
Picture4
Where movement does cause cracking, it is possible to repair walls, although not always successfully

Ask a Question about this CPD




CPD Q&A

You’ve reached the end of the CPD. To make sure you’ve taken on board the key learnings of this course, please fill out the quick multiple choice Q&A below. This will certify that you have completed the CPD and provide you with an email certificate, which, if the course is accredited, you can share with RIBA.

Question

Generally a short return refers to a wall of less than how many bricks long?

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next CPD question.

INCORRECT

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Question

Which of these is not suitable for movement joints

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next CPD question.

INCORRECT

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