The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) has developed an economical masonry footing system that is now available throughout most of the United States. The NCMA system consists of interlocking solid concrete blocks that are slotted on the top to receive reinforcing. CONSTRUCTING A MASONRY FOOTING To build a masonry footing, first excavate below the frost line to solid, undisturbed soil. Using gravel, sand, or even mortar, provide a level bearing surface for the footing blocks. The blocks are placed dry without mortar--or formwork. HOW MUCH LOAD CAN MASONRY FOOTINGS CARRY? The NCMA masonry footing system was tested by the Department of Civil Engineering at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Its test results show that concrete masonry footings settle less than monolithic concrete footings on both loose and moderately dense sand. BENEFITS OF MASONRY FOOTINGS With block footings, work doesn't have to be scheduled around a concrete subcontractor. The footing system eliminates waiting time; the contractor can lay up the foundation wall right after the block footing is built. Cracked sidewalks and rutted lawns from heavy concrete trucks are eliminated. The footing blocks can be moved from the truck to the excavation on brick carts.