Over the last 30 years, brick walls built in Spain have mainly been enclosure walls to concrete framed structures. However, due to a "loose" interpretation of the MV-201 Code "Resisting brick walls" (1972) and its subsequent adaptation in code NBE FL-90, it has always been assumed that, because these enclosure walls were not loaded, it was unnecessary to allow for this as there were no standards demanding it. Since then, hundreds of buildings have been built with brick enclosure walls and, throughout this time, subtle but fundamental changes in building have been made which reveal the true resisting characteristics of Spanish enclosure walls. These changes are: the outer leaf of the enclosure walls has passed from one brick (24 cm) thickness to that of a half brick thickness (11.5 cm), the outer leaf is no longer supported in all its breadth, but overhangs 4 cm of its 11.5 cm breadth, the framed structure of 4 to 5 m span has been changed to one of 6 to 8 m span, the edge beams of the structure have been replaced by flat beams, and the recommendation to tie the walls to the foundations to obtain better stability. The effect of these larger spans, particularly in more slender brickwork, as is the case of public buildings, has sometimes led to spalling and, occasionally, to the collapse of complete brickwork panels onto the street. These reported incidents were completely predictable and avoidable, and may well entail irreparable damage. 1 ref.
Primary author(s): Adell J M
Source: 12th IB2MaC. Twelfth Int.Brick/Block Masonry Conf. Proc.
Madrid,25-28 June 2000,p.47-60