Brick homes now can be built more economically than they could be before. A single-wythe, load-bearing brick home just built in a Chicago suburb proves it. The 2,370-square-foot, two-story house has comparable or better features than a new wood-frame tract home nearby.
THE REINFORCED BRICK WALLS
Workers placed and grouted #4 vertical steel rebar into the cores of the 4-inch brick at 3-foot intervals on the first floor and at 4-foot intervals on the second floor. The hollow 4-inch brick that was used met the requirements of ASTM C 652, Standard Specification for Hollow Brick.
WALL-FLOOR AND WALL-ROOF CONNECTIONS
For lateral bracing, workers connected the floors and the roof to the walls. For floors, 1/2-inch-diameter anchor bolts were grouted into a bond beam every 12 inches in bearing walls and every 36 inches in nonbearing walls. After the grout had set, carpenters fastened 2x10 ledger joists onto the anchor bolts. Then they set the floor joists in metal hangers attached to the ledger joists.
Window and door openings in the load-bearing brick walls required special attention. Lintels had to be designed to carry structural loads as well as the dead load of brick above the lintels. Steel angle lintels were used on this project.
INSTALLING DRYWALL AND INSULATION
Drywall and insulation can be installed in two ways: with Z-shaped channels or with hat-shaped channels. Hat-shaped channels are installed over the insulation, and Z-shaped channels are installed between sections of insulation.