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Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

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Old 10-06-2016, 12:19 PM   #1
davem
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Traditional Masonary

This is somewhat tangent to my thesis I've begun working on, but the argument is that traditional, load bearing masonry can be cost competitive with modern systems even now, when the entire cost is factored in. I'm thinking in an urban context this could do a lot to offset the abysmal quality of most of the new plywood palace midrises going up.

I thought this could be a fun doacussion here, andbif im oucky you guys kight have aome fact checked sourcesnuo your sleve, although anocdotal evidence is fine too. I've just stumbled upon a few heavily biased sources to get the ball rolling:

First, the Masonry Contractors of NJ has this little pdf:
http://www.mcofnj.org/pdf/Traditiona...t%20Choice.pdf


Then there's Clay Chapman, who is determined to build a traditional masonry home for $80/PSF
http://www.placemakers.com/2012/04/0...a-square-foot/
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:27 PM   #2
tysmith95
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Re: Traditional Masonary

Load bearing brick holds up very badly during earthquakes. I'm not sure that's a huge deal in Boston but it is always something to consider.
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:03 PM   #3
WormtownNative
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Re: Traditional Masonary

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Load bearing brick holds up very badly during earthquakes. I'm not sure that's a huge deal in Boston but it is always something to consider.
And plywood and engineered lumber holds up very badly in fires.....
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:12 PM   #4
Scalziand
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Re: Traditional Masonary

Traditional masonry is still moderately popular in London, so it's not like a cost issue prevents it from being more wide spread.
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:51 PM   #5
West
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Re: Traditional Masonary

Davem,

while considering traditional masonry, also take a look at autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) block. Very lightweight, great sound/thermal insulation as compared to traditional masonry, better seismic performance, all sorts of exterior finishes (including non-load-bearing masonry veneers) can be applied, just as fire-proof as traditional masonry.

It has a multi-decade track record in Europe, I'm mystified why it hasn't caught on better here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autocl...rated_concrete

one company:

http://www.hebel-usa.com/en/content/...lido_hebel.php
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:13 PM   #6
Deetroyt
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Re: Traditional Masonary

Maybe a lack of true experienced masons in the area drives up cost for this specific labor enough to make the project as a whole less profitable versus other uglier options?
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Old 10-07-2016, 08:10 AM   #7
Arlington
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Re: Traditional Masonary

Between the Richter ~6+ Cape Ann earthquake (1755) and the New Madrid quakes (1811-1812) (we are coming due) and the amount of stuff built on landfill in the 200 years since, load-bearing masonry ends up needing a steel structure to catch the upper floors lest they pancake, which I think is why we end up with steel, wood, or concrete as primary framing.

Article from 2012 about towns struggling with unreinforced masonry.
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Last edited by Arlington; 10-07-2016 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:01 AM   #8
JeffDowntown
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Re: Traditional Masonary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlington View Post
Between the Richter ~6+ Cape Ann earthquake (1755) and the New Madrid quakes (1811-1812) (we are coming due) and the amount of stuff built on landfill in the 200 years since, load-bearing masonry ends up needing a steel structure to catch the upper floors lest they pancake, which I think is why we end up with steel, wood, or concrete as primary framing.

Article from 2012 about towns struggling with unreinforced masonry.
In the landfill areas of Boston and Cambridge, I am not sure it much matters what the construction method is when a big earthquake hits. Soil liquefaction pretty much wipes out the foundation of anything not anchored to bedrock.

See figure 8-7 in:
http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/mema/...earthquake.pdf
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