Prestressing is commonly used in concrete construction, primarily in long span slabs, such as parking garages and building floors. The design provisions for prestressed masonry were developed in part based on the experience designers had with prestressed concrete. The provisions of the Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC) Code also drew from the experience of designers in the United Kingdom who first codified prestressed masonry provision in 1985.
MSJC Code defines prestressed masonry as "masonry in which internal stresses have been introduced to counteract stresses resulting from applied loads."
Some designers are looking for ways to optimize the benefits of prestressed masonry, such as dry-stacked, post-tensioned masonry; post-tensioned panels to span horizontally between supports manufactured off-site and installed with a crane; and post-tensioned masonry floors for use as slabs-on-grade where expansive soils are concerned.
As familiarity with prestressed masonry grows, so will it use.