Building Screen walls
Screen walls require a similar bricklaying technique to that of ornamental brick laying, but must be supported at intervals, usually of eight screen blocks, by brick or concrete piers. These blocks, made of concrete, are bedded in mortar and built up to a string line, but without the need to ‘rack back’.
The pillars can either be built from brick or consist of pilasters – hollow blocks which when filled with concrete provide strength and reinforcement. Over longer sections of wall, some manufacturers suggest reinforcement with mild steel rods, inserted into the concrete.
To tie in the blocks to the pillars, ‘butterfly’ brick ties or expanded metal strip can be used. These are located halfway into the joints between bricks and halfway into the joints of pilasters or walls.
Some blocks are laid with galvanized wire bedded between the joints, to give strength.
Walls of up to 910mm in height and of any length should have piers at the ends and also at 3.05m intervals. Walls up to l.85m high and of any length need piers at each end and at 2.15m intervals. Screen-block walls over this height need to be of double thickness.
Joints can be pointed and brushed in the same way as conventional bricks. Avoid building above three to four courses in height without allowing the mortar to ‘go off, or the blocks may bulge and topple.
10. November 2011 by admin
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