The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario reports that the masonry rate group cost per insurance claim is 2.44 times that if all other construction class rate groups. Manual lifting of concrete masonry units is required for masonry construction, and the pay masons receive is often commensurate with the number of units laid per day. Researchers have shown that, when lifting concrete masonry units, lower back compression forces in masons exceed the specific safe action limit despite the fact that the manual lifting load cutoff is not exceeded.
Climate change is having an affect all aspects of everyday life. In some regions, climate change could also have a negative impact on buildings. To help cope with these expected issues, we will be reviewing the Canadian masonry design standards in order to identify specific aspects of masonry construction that need special attention in their design to ensure our buildings continue to be durable as the local climate in various regions across the country changes.
Despite significant development of various construction materials, masonry is still considered as one of the most cost-effective materials. However, they are often vulnerable to wind-induced lateral loads caused during construction stage (within 1 to 2 days of construction) when the masonry is yet to achieve full strength. Temporary bracing systems are often used to support these structures at construction site to avoid loss of materials and injury to workers. However, design of these temporary bracings is relatively subjective and tend to be very conservative to maintain safety at workplace.
Many office and institutional buildings use concrete masonry walls as their loadbearing elements. They are required to withstand loads coming from their roof structures and also caused by wind and seismic events. This research project will determine the suitability of such masonry walls when subjected to these loads. Further, this project will research to improve the performance of these walls by introducing various new structural and construction details. The goal of this research will be accomplished through experimental and computer modeling techniques.
Low temperatures in cold seasons generate diverse challenges for the construction industry in many northern countries. Construction based on cementitious material suffer from the low hydration rate at low temperatures and the possible damage caused by water to ice transition at below freezing temperatures. The common solution for this problem is to heat and protect the raw and finished material until it reaches an acceptable strength.
A. Overall Project Objective Recent research at the University of Calgary has focused on shear walls and on evaluating the influence of various parameters on in-plane shear capacity. The reason for this is that, for example, while it is recognized by most researchers that compression on walls increases the shear strength of masonry, the quantification of this effect has been reported to vary from 40 to 70% [1,8] and the factors adopted by various design standards range from 0.25 up to 0.4.
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