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There are many advantages of a masonry building, the main one being its durability. Masonry has been successfully used as a building material for centuries. The numerous ancient structures and monuments that still flourish in many parts of the world are a clear testament to its worthiness.
In more modern times, masonry building has proved as reliable, requiring little maintenance or repair work for a great many years. Masonry walls are structurally sound and have great compressive strength. Together with reinforced concrete, masonry construction is ideal for the ever rising heights of sky-scrapers.
A masonry building can, to a large extent, hold up against the ravages of bad weather, and is generally resistant to fire, mold and pests. The mortar used to bond brick or masonry blocks prevents water and wind seepage into the building. These construction materials are incombustible and, once in place, their surfaces offer little opportunity for mold growth or pest incursions.
Another advantage of a masonry building is its cost-effectiveness. Apart from the money saved in later maintenance work, the initial construction costs are lower compared to other types of building. Construction workers and materials are usually available locally, and the construction can be carried out by a general contractor without too many work delays.
Masonry units such as stone, brick, or masonry blocks are small in size and versatile in application. They can be used to build structures of a wide range of shapes, sizes, styles and functions. These include interior, exterior and compound walls, arches, domes, columns, piers, fire-places and chimneys in residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
The mass of a masonry building is also advantageous as it acts as a barrier and prevents easy sound transmission. It reduces noise pollution and helps in creating a quieter environment. This feature makes masonry construction ideal for homes as well as public buildings where large numbers of people congregate.
Masonry walls also offer excellent thermal insulation. Their slow rate of heat discharge keeps interiors warm in winters, and their high rate of heat absorption makes for cool interiors in summers. Thermal insulation can be further improved by insulating cavity and diaphragm walls.
Such energy-efficient buildings not only lower energy bills, but the manufacture of the masonry materials used in their construction also requires lower energy consumption. There is no depletion of forests and impact on the environment is generally minimal. Masonry building thus promotes sustainable building.
I live in an a large but very old house that is made entirely of stone. It sits on a piece of land that has a number of stone walls and several out buildings. So over the years I have had to hire a number of masonry contractors to perform maintenance.
Its true that masonry holds up very well but nothing lasts forever. If you are going to preserve an old house like that it requires a lot of upkeep. After going through many contractors I found one that I trust and he now performs regular inspections. With problems like these it saves a lot of time and trouble to take care of them early.
One of the first things that people notice when they visit St. Louis is that almost all of the houses are made of brick. Particularly in the neighborhood where I live, South City, you can go blocks and blocks and not see a house that is made of anything but bricks.
Its nice because a lot of these are old houses but they have lasted for so long because of their solid construction. Its possible to get a beautiful apartment with a lot of classical architectural features at a really reasonable price.
If these houses had been made of anything but brick or stone they probably would have been torn down a long time ago.
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