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Brick wind-shielding

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As part of its contribution towards the pilot six-storey brick-clad timberframed building at the BRE Cardington Large Building Test Facility, BDA has recently completed a Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions Partners in Innovation contract investigating the wind-shielding effect of brickwork cladding on timberframed buildings.

The current codified design practice for timber-framed building structures accepts the principle of wind load shielding to walling elevations afforded by the brick cladding, but practical use of this wind-shielding effect to afford economies and improvements in overall design efficiency is currently limited.

Completion of this project work will help to fill gaps in knowledge and should allow the full effect of brickwork wind-shielding to be taken into account in future design code revisions as well as in other design guidance documentation.

In measurements taken from the project work, the brickwork cladding was found to be shielding the timber frame by an amount in excess of onethird of the total lateral load applied to the walling of the test buildings.

Another finding was that the out-ofplane stiffness of brick-clad timberframed walls is considerably higher than current structural calculation procedures would indicate.

The project was carried out jointly by BDA and Ceram Building Technology.

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