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Pathology of building envelopes:
restoration and durability of masonry construction: resources and bibliography

A bibliography and resource guide hosted by A. Sebastian Engineering and Investigation Services

Eternally under construction; not a complete list.

A few thoughts about problems with contemporary masonry
...and some specific ideas about cracking and inspection.

Masonry bibliography


Computer programs (in no particular order):

  • The Brick Institute of America, Brick Construction Technical Notes CD-ROM
  • Spreadsheets for Concrete Design and Construction,1989; 278pp. The nine programs in this book are spreadsheet templates for designing masonry structures, calculating wind forces, proportioning concrete mixtures, estimating concrete costs, designing prestressed beams for flexure and shear, designing prestressed bridge girders, evaluating cylinder strength test results, and calculating deflections in concrete members. Runs on Lotus 1-2-3 and Quattro programs
  • MASRET, National Concrete Masonry Association, 1994: An Interactive program for the design of reinforced concrete masonry cantilever retaining walls
  • PCA's ADOSS is a computer program for the analysis and design of reinforced concrete slab systems. Using the Equivalent Frame Method, an equivalent two-dimensional interior or exterior frame of up to 14 spans can be analyzed and designed. ADOSS is written for the Microsoft Windows environment (version 3.0 or higher). It has a graphical interface that uses pull-down menus, dialog boxes, and icons to simplify the data input and clearly present the output
  • Masonry Canada, Masonry LSD 95, Windows based software for masonry design conforming to CSA S304.1-94
  • Hatzinikolas, M. A., Masonry Details That Work, available in hard copy, as CAD disks or as Mac disks, Canadian Masonry Research Institute
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC-SCHL):

    ACI Publications:

    232.1R Natural Pozzolans in Manual of Concrete Practice
    ACI 530-95/ASCE 5-95/ TMS 402-95 Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures
    ACI 530R-95/ASCE 5-95/TMS 402-95 Commentary on Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures
    ACI 530.1-95/ASCE 6-95/ TMS 602-95 Specification for Masonry Structures
    ACI 530.1R-95/ASCE 6-95/TMS 602-95 Commentary on Specification for Masonry Structures
    Masonry Designers' Guide, 1993, 878pp.
    SP147 Masonry in the Americas, 1994, 360pp.

    ASTM Special Technical Publications (STP):

    169B Significance of tests & properties of concrete and concrete making materials
    589 Masonry: Past and Present (1975)
    691 Durability of Building Materials and Components (1980)
    778 Masonry: Materials, Properties and Performance (1982)
    871 Masonry: Research, Application and Problems (1985)
    935 Cleaning Stone and Masonry (1986)
    992 Masonry: Materials, Design, Construction and Maintenance (1988)
    996 New Stone Technology: Design and Construction for Exterior Wall Systems (1988)
    1063 Masonry: Components to Assemblages (1990)
    1107 Water in Exterior Building Walls: Problems and Solutions (1991)
    1180 Masonry: Design and Construction, Problems and Repairs (1993)

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    IRC (NRC's Institute for Research in Construction) publications

    Building Practice Notes (BPN)
    A survey of some problems with brick masonry buildings. J K Latta and T Ritchie. 1976 (BPN-2)
    Quality control in preparing masonry mortar. J I Davison. 1977 (BPN-5)
    Damage to brick and stone veneer on tall buildings. D E Allen. 1978 (BPN-7)
    Rain penetration and masonry wall systems. J I Davison. 1979 (BPN-12)
    Rain penetration and design detail for masonry walls. J I Davison. 1979 (BPN-13)
    Workmanship and rain penetration of masonry walls. J I Davison. 1980 (BPN-16)
    The difference between a vapour barrier and an air barrier. R L Quirouette. 1985 (BPN-54)

    Building Research Notes (BRN)
    While many of IRC's Building Research Notes are still very much correct and in line with contemporary building pathology knowledge, given their age (they were published between early 1950's and mid 1980's) they are relatively difficult to find, and may require an expert engineering critique as to the full reliability of each individual concept.

    Building Science Insight (BSI)
    Cracks, movements and joints in buildings. 1976 (NRCC-15477)
    Construction details for air tightness. 1980 (NRCC-18291)
    Exterior walls: understanding the problems. 1983 (BSI-82; NRCC-21203)
    Humidity, condensation and ventilation in houses. 1984 (BSI-83; NRCC-23293)
    Performance of materials in use. 1986 (BSI-84; NRCC-24968)
    Noise control in buildings. 1987 (BSI-85; NRCC-27844)
    An air barrier for the building envelope. 1989 (BSI-86; NRCC-29943)
    Designing for fire safety. 1987 (BSI-87; NRCC-28277)
    Small buildings - technology in transition. 1990 (BSI-90; NRCC-32333)

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    Canadian Building Digests (CBD)
    The CBD collection is one of the greatest feats of hands-on construction technology information ever produced on this continent.
    Efflorescence. T Ritchie. 1960 (CBD-2)
    Rain penetration of walls of unit masonry. T Ritchie. 1960 (CBD-6)
    Winter construction. C R Crocker. 1960 (CBD-7)
    Corrosion in buildings. P J Sereda. 1961 (CBD-20)
    Cavity walls. T Ritchie. 1961 (CBD-21)
    Air leakage in buildings. A G Wilson. 1961 (CBD-23)
    Water and building materials. J K Latta. 1962 (CBD-30)
    Rain penetration and its control. G K Garden. 1963 (CBD-40)
    Requirements for exterior walls. N B Hutcheon. 1963 (CBD-48)
    Principles applied to an insulated masonry wall. N B Hutcheon. 1964 (CBD-50)
    Fire performance ratings. M Galbreath. 1965 (CBD-71)
    Control of air leakage is important. G K Garden. 1965 (CBD-72)
    Cold weather masonry construction. J I Davison. 1970 (CBD-123)
    Cladding problems due to frame movement. W G Plewes. 1970 (CBD-125)
    Influence of orientation on exterior cladding. C R Crocker. 1970 (CBD-126)
    The structure of porous building materials. P J Sereda. 1970 (CBD-127)
    Adfreezing and frost heaving of foundations. E Penner & K N Burn. 1970 (CBD-128)
    Wetting and drying of porous materials. P J Sereda & R F Feldman. 1970 (CBD-130)
    Coatings for masonry surfaces. H E Ashton. 1970 (CBD-131)
    On using old bricks in new buildings T Ritchie. 1971 (CBD-138)
    Thermal performance of concrete masonry walls in fire. T Z Harmathy & L W Allen. 1971 (CBD-140)
    Portland cements in building construction. E G Swenson. 1972 (CBD-145)
    Joint movement and sealant selection. G O Handegord & K K Karpati. 1973 (CBD-155)
    Silicone water repellents for masonry. T Ritchie. 1974 (CBD-162)
    Masonry mortar. J I Davison. 1974 (CBD-163)
    Bricks. T Ritchie. 1974 (CBD-169)
    Failure of brick facing on high-rise buildings. W G Plewes. 1977 (CBD-185)
    Cleaning of brickwork. T Ritchie. 1978 (CBD-194)
    Quarry tile and other ceramic floor tiles. T Ritchie. 1979 (CBD-206)
    Earthquakes and buildings in Canada. J H Rainer & T D Northwood. 1979 (CBD-208)
    Domestic chimneys and gas vents. F Steel. 1981 (CBD-217)
    Vibrations in buildings. J H Rainer. 1984 (CBD-232)
    Factors affecting sound transmission loss. A C C Warnock. 1985 (CBD-239)

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    Construction Technology Updates (collection started in 1998)
    No. 8 Six Axioms for Building Durable Concrete Structures
    No. 9 Evolution of Wall Design for Controlling Rain Penetration
    No. 13 Controlling Sound Transmission through Concrete Block Walls
    No. 17 Pressure Equalization in Rainscreen Wall Systems

    National Park Service (NPS)

    Preservation Tech Notes:
    Masonry No. 1, Substitute Materials: Replacing Deteriorated Serpentine Stone with Pre-Cast Concrete
    Masonry No. 2: Stabilization and Repair of a Historic Terra Cotta Cornice
    Masonry No. 3: Water Soak Cleaning of Limestone
    Masonry No. 4: Non-Destructive Evaluation Techniques for Masonry Construction
    Preservation Briefs:
    01: The Cleaning and Waterproof Coating of Masonry Buildings
    02: Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings
    05: The Preservation of Historic Adobe Buildings
    06: Dangers of Abrasive Cleaning to Historic Buildings
    07: The Preservation of Historic Glazed Architectural Terra-Cotta
    30: The Preservation and Repair of Historic Clay Tile Roofs
    31: Mothballing Historic Buildings
    30: The Preservation and Repair of Historic Clay Tile Roofs
    31: Mothballing Historic Buildings
    35: Understanding Old Buildings: The Process of Architectural Investigation
    38: Removing Graffiti from Historic Masonry
    39: Holding the Line: Controlling Unwanted Moisture in Historic Buildings
    40: Preserving Historic Ceramic Tile Floors

    Portland Cement Association

    Besides hundreds of mostly excellent publications, the PCA has staff specialists to contact for information or assistance on the cement- and concrete-related subjects, but also on issues such as seismic design, grout, and masonry. While PCA is a great organization, their interest in supporting practitioners diminished over the years and their web page is technically sloppy (as of my last visit). Should you be lucky, their newsletters may be available on-line at

    Compressive Strength of Masonry: explains model building code requirements for verification of the compressive strength of masonry and examines how materials, properties, workmanship, and testing affect prism test results for the compressive strength of masonry.
    Selecting and Specifying Mortar and Grout for Unit Masonry: Provides a guide specification for mortar and grout, prefaced by discussion of mortar and grout materials and properties. Explains the proper use of related ASTM or UBC standards in project specifications. Includes information about coordinating project specifications with ACI 530/ASCE 5 or Uniform Building Code requirements.
    Flexural Bond Strength Testing of Masonry
    Factors Affecting Bond Strength of Masonry
    Quality Assurance for Masonry Mortar
    Field Testing Masonry Mortar
    Concrete Masonry Handbook for Architects, Engineers, Builders
    Workmanship Part I, Preparing for Quality & Part II, Imparting Quality to Masonry
    Factors Affecting Water Penetration of Masonry Walls
    The Other Properties of Mortar: examines how mortar properties such as freeze-thaw durability, sulfate resistance, water absorption, drying shrinkage, workability, and board life (often overlooked in evaluating performance of mortar materials) can be of greater importance than compressive strength and bond strength.
    Recommended Practices for Laying Concrete Block
    The Guide to Concrete Masonry Residential Construction in High-Wind Areas: Recommendations for Design and Construction
    Assessing the Condition and Repair Alternatives of Fire-Exposed Concrete and Masonry Members
    Stabilization of Heavy Metals in Portland Cement, Silica Fume/Portland Cement and Masonry Cement Matrices
    Air Content and Water Penetration of Masonry Walls
    Water Penetration Tests of Masonry Walls
    Cementitious Grouts and Grouting
    Masonry Mortars
    Thermal Performance of Masonry Walls
    Specifications and Selection of Materials for Masonry Mortars and Grouts
    Building Movements and Joints
    Cementitious Grouts and Grouting
    Improved Method of Testing Tensile Bond Strength of Masonry Mortars
    Fallacies in the Current Percent of Total Absorption Method for Determining and Limiting the Moisture Content of Concrete Block
    Masonry Cement Mortars: A Laboratory Investigation
    Investigation of the Moisture-Volume Stability of Concrete Masonry Units
    Tensile Testing of Concrete Block and Wall Elements
    Influence of Mortar and Block Properties on Shrinkage Cracking of Masonry Walls
    Plant Drying and Carbonation of Concrete Block NCMA-PCA Cooperative Program
    Carbonation Shrinkage of Concrete Masonry Units
    Effect of Variations in Curing and Drying on the Physical Properties of Concrete Masonry Units
    Lightweight Aggregates for Concrete Masonry Units
    General Considerations of Cracking in Concrete Masonry Walls and Means for Minimizing It

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    Books and Reports:

    Recommended practice for engineered brick masonry. Maclean, Virginia: Brick Institute of America, 1969
    Masonry: Materials, Design, Construction. R C Smith, T L Honkala and C K Andres. Reston, Virginia: Reston Pub. Co., 1979
    Masonry Information Manual. M A Hatzinikolas. Edmonton, Alberta: Prairie Masonry Research Institute, 1980
    Chimney Retrofits Due to Fuel Changeover. R J Primeau & H Morstead. Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Toronto, 1981
    Insulation Retrofit of Masonry Basements. J Timusk. Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Toronto, 1981
    Guide to Energy Efficiency in Masonry and Concrete Buildings. Masonry Council of Canada, Downsview, Ontario. 1982
    Building Science for a Cold Climate. N B Hutcheon & G O P Handegord. 1983. Reprinted 1995. Available from Institute for Research in Construction, NRCC
    Engineered Masonry Design. J I Glanville & M A Hatzinikolas. Winston House Enterprises, Winnipeg. 1989
    Architectural Details for Insulated Buildings. R G Brand. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990
    Exterior Wall Construction in High-Rise Buildings: Brick Veneer on Concrete Masonry or Steel Stud Wall Systems. R G Drysdale & G T Suter. Ottawa: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 1991
    Reinforced Masonry Engineering Handbook, Amrhein, J.E., Masonry Institute of America, 5th Ed, 1992
    Review of non-destructive test methods for assessing strength, serviceability and deterioration in buildings. A H P Maurenbrecher & G Pernica. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Ottawa. 1993
    Conserving Buildings. A guide to techniques and materials. M E Weaver. John Wiley & Sons, 1993
    Concrete Masonry Design Tables. National Concrete Masonry Association, 1993; 655pp.
    Masonry Structures (Behavior and design) R G Drysdale, A A Hamid & L R Baker.Prentice Hall, 1994
    Recycling of Demolished Concrete and Masonry, T.C. Hansen - Editor, 1994; 316pp.
    TEK Manual for Concrete Masonry Design and Construction, National Concrete Masonry Association, 1994; 500pp.
    Nondestructive Evaluation & Testing of Masonry Structures, The Aberdeen Group, 1994; 194pp.
    Modern Stone Cladding: Design and Installation of Exterior Dimension Stone Systems. M D Lewis. Manual 21, ASTM, 1995
    Part 5 (1998): Masonry; Precast Concrete; Special Processes, ACI, 1998; 607pp.
    Lea's Chemistry of Cement and Concrete, 4th ed. Published by the Chemical Publishing Co., Inc.
    Concrete Construction Engineering Handbook. Edited by E.G. Nawy and published by CRC Press.

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    Magazines / Journals

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    Vital items shown in bold letters:

    C5 Quicklime for structural purposes
    C55 Spec. for Concrete Building Brick
    Properties of Masonry Units: ASTM C 67, Standard Method of Sampling and Testing Brick and Structural Clay Tile
    C88 Test Method for Soundness of Aggregates by Use of Sodium Sulfate: gives optional test for the freeze and thaw procedure
    C90 Spec. for Hollow Load-Bearing Concrete Masonry Units
    C91 Standard Specification for Masonry Cement
    C97 Test methods for absorption and bulk specific gravity of dimension stone
    C99 Test method for modulus of rupture of dimension stone
    C109 Test method for compressive strength of hydraulic cement mortars (including 2" and 50 mm cube specimens)
    C110 Test methods for physical testing of quicklime, hydrated lime and limestone
    C119 Terminology relating to dimension stone
    C126 Ceramic glazed structural clay facing tile, facing brick, and solid masonry units
    C140 Sampling and testing concrete masonry units
    C144 Sand ...

    C150 Cement ...

    C170 Test method for compressive strength of natural building stone
    C207 Hydrated lime for masonry purposes
    C216 Specification for Facing Brick (Solid Masonry Units Made from Clay or Shale)
    C241 Test method for abrasion resistance of stone subjected to foot traffic
    Mortar: C270 Mortar for Unit Masonry
    C331 Lightweight aggregates for concrete masonry units
    C404 Aggregates for masonry grout
    C418 Test Method for Abrasion Resistance of Concrete by Sandblasting
    C426 Test method for drying shrinkage of concrete block
    C457 Practice for microscopical determination of air-void content and parameters of the air-void system in hardened concrete
    C466 Chemically setting silicate and silica chemical-resistant mortars
    Grout: C 476, Standard Specification for Grout for Masonry C503 Marble dimension stone
    C531 Test method for linear shrinkage and coefficient of thermal expansion of chemical-resistant mortars, grouts, and monolithic surfacings
    C568 Limestone dimension stone
    C615 Granite dimension stone
    C616 Quartz-based dimension stone
    C629 Slate dimension stone
    C652 Hollow Brick
    C666 Test method for resistance of concrete to rapid freezing and thawing
    C778 Standard specification for standard sand
    Mortar: C780 Standard Method for Preconstruction and Construction Evaluation of Mortars for Plain and Reinforced Unit Masonry
    C794 Test Method for Adhesion-in-Peel of Elastomeric Joint Sealants
    C880 Test method for flexural strength of dimensional stone
    C887 Packaged, dry, combined materials for surface bonded mortar
    C901 Prefabricated masonry panels
    C902 Pedestrian and light traffic paving brick
    C946 Practice for construction of dry-stacked, surface bonded walls
    C979 Specification for pigments for integrally colored concrete
    C980 Specification for industrial chimney lining brick
    C1006 Test method for splitting tensile strength of masonry units
    C1019 Standard Specification for Sampling and Testing ...

    C1072 Measurement of masonry flexural bond strength
    C1088 Specification for thin veneer brick units made from clay or shale
    C1148 Test method for measuring the drying shrinkage of masonry mortar
    C1196 In situ compressive stress within solid unit masonry estimated using the flatjack measurement
    C1197 In situ measurement of masonry deformability properties using the flatjack method
    C1201Test method for structural performance of exterior dimension stone cladding systems by uniform static air pressure difference
    C1242 Guide for design, selection and installation of exterior dimension stone anchors and anchoring systems
    C1262 Evaluating the compressive strength of concrete masonry units and related concrete units
    C1298 Guide for the design and construction of brick liners for industrial chimneys
    D2203 Test method for staining from sealants
    D4261 Practice for surface cleaning concrete unit masonry for coating
    D5107 Practice for preparatory surface cleaning of architectural sandstone
    Flexural Tensile Strength: E72 Conducting strength tests of panels for building construction
    E96 Test methods for water vapor transmission of materials
    E283 Test Method for Rate of Air Leakage Through Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, and Doors Under Specified Pressure Differences Across the Specimen
    E330 Test Method for structural Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, and Doors by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference
    Compressive Strength and Modulus of Elasticity: E447 Test Methods for Compressive Strength of Masonry Prisms
    E488 Test method for strength of anchors in concrete and masonry elements
    E514 Test Method for Water Penetration and Leakage Through Masonry
    E518 Test methods for flexural bond strength of masonry
    Diagonal Tension (Shear) and Modulus of Rigidity: E519 Test method for diagonal tension (shear) in masonry assemblages
    E1512 Test methods for testing bond performance of adhesive-bonded anchors

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    Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

    A5-93 Portland cements
    A82.1-M87 Burned clay brick (solid masonry units made from clay of shale)
    A82.2-78 (R1984) Methods of sampling & testing brick
    A82.3-M1978 (R1984) Calcium silicate (sand-lime) building brick
    A82.4/A82.5/A82.6-M1978 (R1984) Structural clay load-bearing wall tile; Structural clay non-loadbearing tile; Standard methods for sampling and testing structural clay tile
    A82.8-M78 (R1984) Hollow clay brick
    A165 Series-94 CSA Standards on concrete masonry units
    A179-94 Mortar and grout for unit masonry
    A231.2-M85 Precast concrete pavers
    A324-M88 Clay flue liners
    A369.1-M90 Method of test for compressive strength of masonry prisms
    A370-M94 Connectors for masonry
    A371-M94 Masonry construction for buildings
    A405-M87 Design and construction of masonry chimneys and fireplaces
    A443-1989 Terms and definitions for use in CSA masonry standards
    S304-M84 Masonry design for buildings
    S304.1-94 Masonry design for buildings (Limit States Design)
    S478-95 Guideline on durability in buildings


    CAN/CGSB-19.0-M77 Methods of Testing Putty, Caulking and Sealing Compounds
    CAN/ CGSB-149.10-M86 Determination of the Airtightness of Building Envelopes by the Fan Depressurization Method


    CMHC Report No. CR5855.1, "Establishing the Protocols for Measuring Air Leakage and Air Flow Patterns in High-rise Apartment Buildings"

    Uniform Building Code (UBC) 1994

    21-6 In-place masonry shear tests
    21-20 Test method for flexural bond strength of mortar cement

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    Created 1994. Updated 1999 and counting.

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