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Prefabricated panels

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Where repetitious detail exists, making the use of a number of identical masonry elements desirable, prefabrication will allow a continuous production process.There will be less wastage, better quality control and consistency. Also, production programming can be monitored so that building elements are delivered to site precisely as required.Erection of the finished elements requires far less time on site than the equivalent manual bricklaying operation, and weather ceases to be a problem - either in terms of use of labour or in consistency of product quality.

Prefabrication has been around for many years, particularly for brick/concrete composite panels.Masonry adhesive technology will, however, allow fabrication of brickwork elements from whole bricks, eliminating the need to cut bricks into slips. Composite concrete panels with brick slips also demand a high dimensional tolerance of the clay products for accurate assembly in the formwork. Prefabricated masonry panels, on the other hand, use bricks in the form in which they were manufactured.

This is a great advantage when an architect demands all of the features of stock (handmade) bricks - but to zero dimensional tolerance!

A major benefit of prefabrication is its compliance with the Egan recommendations. It is only a matter of time before the technique grows in popularity.

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