Masonry Columns: A Structural Marvel

In the realm of construction, masonry columns stand tall as essential load-bearing elements within masonry structures. Their role in supporting vertical and compression forces is pivotal, making them a cornerstone in architectural design. In this comprehensive blog post, we delve into the fascinating world of masonry columns, exploring their construction processes, features, and design concepts.

Features of Brick Masonry Columns

Brick masonry columns offer an opportunity to elevate architectural aesthetics. These versatile columns can take on various shapes, such as round, rectangular, square, or elliptical, catering to the specific design requirements. They find their place as corner pillars, porch columns, boundary gate pillars, or even as standalone columns. One significant advantage of brick columns lies in their ease of construction, requiring fewer tools and labor compared to concrete columns. What’s more, brick column construction proves to be a cost-effective choice when compared to its reinforced concrete counterpart.

The Construction Process of a Brick Column

Unreinforced Brick Column Construction

  1. Preparing Layout on the Ground The first step in constructing an unreinforced brick column involves marking the column’s location on the ground using a temporary rod. This marking serves as a reference point for maintaining both vertical and horizontal alignment with adjacent pillars.
  2. Excavation and Foundation Excavation is carried out to create a foundation support. The depth of excavation depends on the foundation’s thickness and the type of masonry construction. If no reinforcement is needed, a simple concrete bed with a suitable mix is poured into the excavated area. The center marker rod is projected above the foundation. Unreinforced Brick Column Construction
  3. Brickwork for Masonry Column Once the foundation layer sets, brickwork begins using first-class bricks and a cement mortar mix of 1:4 ratio. The bricks must be wetted by dipping them in water before laying. In some cases, a damp-proof layer may be required for added protection against moisture. Bricks are laid vertically, ensuring both verticality and horizontal alignment with the help of a plumb bob and compass.
  4. Curing Works Proper curing of the brickwork is essential and typically takes 7 to 10 days, depending on the specific construction.
  5. Plastering, Finishing, and Painting While most brick column constructions have a pleasing appearance without plastering, it can be done if desired. Finishing touches and painting can further enhance the aesthetic appeal.

Reinforced Brick Columns

Brick columns can also be reinforced to increase their load-bearing capacity. This approach involves incorporating reinforcement within the brick masonry. Special grooved bricks are employed to accommodate the reinforcement. The resulting structure is monolithic, thanks to grout or mortar filling the cavities through which the reinforcement is threaded.

Reinforced masonry, including columns, finds applications in retaining walls, lintels, loadbearing columns, and structures built on soils susceptible to settlement. The reinforcement is anchored in the bottom concrete foundation block, adding strength and stability to the structure.

In conclusion, masonry columns, whether unreinforced or reinforced, play a pivotal role in architectural design. Their construction combines functionality and aesthetics, offering architects and builders versatile options for creating enduring and visually appealing structures. From the simplicity of unreinforced brick columns to the enhanced load-bearing capacity of reinforced counterparts, these structural elements remain a fundamental part of the construction industry’s repertoire.

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