Masonry Diaphragm Walls are an efficient structural solution which combine the attractive appearance of masonry with the need for efficient on site construction. Their use enables elegant and imaginative structures to be constructed using simple foundations and the continuity and speed of a single trade operation. They are ideally suited to applications which require an attractive high quality finish allied to robustness, low maintenance, good sound insulation and inherently good fire resistance. Very high standards of thermal performance can be achieved by incorporating insulation within the cavities of the wall.
The objective of this project was to achieve greater use of masonry diaphragm wall construction by producing updated, relevant and authoritative design guidance. Nine recent projects were considered and interviews conducted with representatives of the design teams for each. The projects are briefly described in the report but any design issues raised are presented independently to preserve confidentiality. The range of projects considered confirms the variety and flexibility achievable with masonry diaphragm walls.
All the published design methods have been reviewed and are summarised in the report. The implications of the recent revision to BS5628 Part 1 are considered and a revised structural design approach developed. Guidance is also given on other aspects of design.