Construction Series 2: Wall Construction Materials

This is the second seminar concerning wall construction with HLM interiors, however this concentrates on specific wall construction materials

Types of walls 

Masonry Facing Brick

This is the most basic type of wall layout we see commonly within architecture. Image of the tram waiting shelter at Beamish Museum in County Durham. Image available on:

Concrete common blocks

Concrete common blocks. Image available on:


Natural Stone

Image available on:


Benefits of using masonry brick for construction

There are many benefits and drawbacks of brick and block construction. One benefit being that masonry bricks are very durable and once cemented into position they are very strong and hard to break down. It would take the necessary force of a bulldozer or a vehicle to break down a masonry wall.

Another benefit is that construction using masonry brick can be, and is always done on site. This means fewer journeys are needed to pick up materials, keeping transport costs very low which means construction using concrete blocks is very environmentally friendly.

Brick and block constructions have a high thermal mass, they provide much natural thermal insulation as opposed to other construction materials such as timber which would require additional insulation, costing more money.

Masonry blocks are fire resistant and block out acoustics which is an obvious factor wanted in construction materials.

Drawbacks of using masonry brick for construction

Although masonry brick can be constructed on site, this can be quite a long process and bad weather can make the process even slower. Masonry needs enough time to dry in order for the blocks to bond together.

There is also a limit to how much insulation masonry can actually hold. The cavity containing the insulation should ideally be lower than 10cm to avoid structural issues.

Masonry wall details

Masonry wall layout and details in construction. Image available on:




Image available on:


Concrete – Tiles

Image available on:

Concrete – Precast

Image available on:

Precast concrete panels and easy and efficient to install as they are pre-constructed off site and then transported to the site ready to be installed.

Precast concrete walls being used for construction. Image available on:–pc

Precast concrete is a very comfortable material to use for construction, it is highly thermal which means it allows a constant temperature during hot and cold seasons; the material also has acoustic insulation.

It is highly versatile so the client can decide on a variety of colours they would like the concrete to be and this can easily be done. Precast concrete can be moulded and modified to mimic classic finishes and designs.

Precast concrete is ecological, durable, and fast to erect. It is made solely of stones, gravel, cement and cement which are materials heavily available locally to most areas. These are natural materials, as they are readily available this would cut out transport costs to collect them.

Concrete – In-situ

Image available on:

In-situ concrete is the most traditional form of concrete construction. It is a form of fabricating reinforced concrete by pouring liquid material into forms on site.

The process of working with in-situ concrete on site. Image available on:

Working with in-situ concrete is much lower cost than using precast concrete, the construction can also usually be performed by local contractors using local labour and materials.

Some disadvantages however are that the construction using this method is normally slower than precast of course, it is incredibly difficult to work with in-situ in cold weather especially in northern regions.

The quality of construction using in-situ, otherwise known as Cast-in place, is usually low in quality compared to pre-cast concrete.

  • metals – stainless steel – profiled steel – lead – copper – zinc

pros and cons

  • glass – structural glazing details
  • Framed systems details
  • blocks details

pros and cons

  • Metal stud wall constructions
  • Metal stud wall types
  • Metal stud wall details
  • Environment – Re-cycled – green
  • Hi-tech – lighting walls – information walls – heating – ventilation and coding



2 Replies to “Construction Series 2: Wall Construction Materials”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s