S10 Masonry

Note: The term contractor is used interchangeably to describe both subcontractors & suppliers


1.0  Scope

  • 1.1 General: Supply and build all the brick and blockwork walls, upstands, parapets, planter boxes, retaining walls etc., as shown on the Drawings or needed to complete the work, including but not limited to the following:
    • 1.1.1 All labour and materials.
    • 1.1.2 Building in of miscellaneous items provided by others.
    • 1.1.3 Staging and scaffolding (limited to bricklayer trestle height). Pricipal responsible for general scaffolding supply & installation.
    • 1.1.4 Cleaning.
    • 1.1.5 Structural Engineers drawings and specifications take precedence over architectural documents with the exception of set-out*

1.2 Related Work

  • 1.2.1 Site preparation (Termite control)
  • 1.2.2 Concrete Structural
  • 1.2.3 Steel Carpenter and
  • 1.2.4 Joiner Windows and
  • 1.2.5 Doors

1.3 Quality Assurance

  • 1.3.1 Visually confirm before laying and provide written confirmation to Principal (with QA Checklist) that bricks/blocks supplied are of the specified type and colour according to the finishes schedule/specification
  • 1.3.2 Reuse of existing or seconds bricks or blocks is to be only on approval of Structural Engineer.

1.4 Reference Standards

  • 1.4.1 Bricks and blocks, masonry durability, wall ties, flashings and damp proof courses to comply with applicable portions of the current relevant Australian Standards.
  • 1.4.2 Only stainless steel brick ties, cavity ties, articulation ties are to be used (as supplied by Principal).

1.5 Building Code of Australia

  • 1.5.1 Class of Building is Class la
  • 1.5.2 Construction shall be carried out in accordance with the “Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions” of the Building Code of Australia.

1.6 Delivery, Storage and Handling

  • 1.6.1 Co-ordination: Reach agreement with the Principal about site provision for storage of sand, cement and other materials and for mixing of mortar.
  • 1.6.2 Mortar is to be placed only on mortar boards and is not to be placed on house slab unless placed atop non-porous protection/slip sheet
  • 1.6.3 House concrete slab is to be scraped and swept clean of mortar/cement droppings after completion of brickwork should it be used as a thoroughfare for mortar loading or brick loading out activities.
  • 1.6.4 Deliver, handle and store products in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and prevent damage, deterioration or loss.


2.1 Bricks and Blocks

  • 2.1.1 Extruded fair face select commons suitable for bagging/render/painting.
  • 2.1.2 Commons to be selected by sub-contractor for approval by Principal.
  • 2.1.3 Machine made precast concrete units with sharp arrises, free from distortion, cracks and other defects, uniform in colour and texture.
  • 2.1.4 Supply hollow blocks except where otherwise specified or required.
  • 2.1.5 Supply solid blocks where core holes would otherwise be visible or where required for other purposes. Supply matching half-blocks, half-height blocks and closers as required. Low pressure steam cured blocks are not acceptable.

2.2 Bagged Finish

  • 2.2.1 Spread the mortar on exposed external surfaces with a brush, sponge float, rough cloth, broom or other suitable device and then rub to achieve a uniform texture.
  • 2.2.2 Bondcrete or similar mortar improver may be added to mix in bagging applications
  • 2.2.3 Protect adjacent surfaces as necessary and promptly remove any bagging mortar spill, splashed or otherwise lodged on them.
  • 2.2.4 Clean mortar splashes/droppings from glazing immediately with hosed water. Do not swipe sponges containing sand/mortar or cement residue on any glazed panels.
  • 2.2.5 Carry out bagging as the works proceeds.
  • 2.2.6 Sample of bagged finish to be prepared for Principal’s approval before proceeding with the work and shall remain the control sample of same.

2.3 Mortar and Grout Materials and Types

  • 2.3.1 Materials: Comply with current relevant Australian Standard.
  • 2.3.2 Mortar: Restrict the amount of fine aggregate passing a 75 micron test sieve to 5% maximum.
  • 2.3.3 Type: Conform to BCA

2.4 Miscellaneous Materials

  • 2.4.1 Comply with current relevant Australian Standard.
    • Ties and Accessories
    • Reinforcement
    • Lintels and Other Steel in Brickwork
      • Extend lintels 110mm minimum past each jamb of openings or as detailed on the Engineer’s drawings.
    • Generally: Caulking: Elastomeric sealing compound, coloured to match mortar; for general caulking including movement control joints:
      • Approved liquid polysulphide polymer.
      • Approved neutral silicone.
      • Caulking to be completed by caulking contractor separate to bricklaying contractor
  • 2.4.2 Damp-proof Courses: To standard building practice Flashings: To standard building practice
  • 2.4.3 NOTE: Both to comply with current relevant Australian Standard.

2.5 Steel Lintels

  • 2.5.1 Install to all brickwork openings, unless otherwise detailed, approved/Principal supplied pre-stressed standard and roof bearing lintels as required in full compliance with manufacturer’s recommendations. Provide bond beams over blockwork openings to Engineer’s detail.
  • 2.5.2 Where brickwork is to be supported over openings detailed in mild steel lintels, build in accordance with the following schedule.
    • To each 110mm (or 76mm) thickness of brickwork, support over all openings not otherwise specified:
    • Up to 1200mm 1 no. (one)  76 x 10mm m.s. flat bar
    • Above 1200mm up to
      • 1650mm wide 1 no. (one)   MS angle 76 x76 x 10mm
      • Above 1650mm up to 2400mm wide
        • 1 no. (one) MS angle 125 x 76 x 10mm
    • Note: Provide a minimum of 110mm bearing each end for all lintels listed above or as detailed on the Engineer’s drawings.
    • Above 2400mm  To engineer’s details
    • Set all angles with the first dimension vertical.
  • 2.5.3 Hot dip galvanize all steel lintels in exterior openings.

2.6 Weepholes

  • 2.6.1 By: BHP, Type: Weepa.


3.1 Mortar Mixing

  • 3.1.1 Measure materials to ensure that the specified mix proportions are maintained.
  • 3.1.2 Mix in a suitable mixing machine until a uniform blending of the components is achieved. Add water to create a mix that is as wet as can be conveniently used by the bricklayer.
  • 3.1.3 Use no chemical to affect the plastic or other properties of mortar or as a substitute for lime without the Principal’s permission.

3.2 Mortar Life

  • 3.2.1 Re-tempering to replace water lost by evaporation is encouraged until initial set begins. Mortar which has begun its initial set must be rejected and may not be re-tempered.

3.3 Preparation

  • 3.3.1 Review the project with all other trades in relation to ducts, piping, conduits, thimbles, sleeves, etc. or other item penetrating or to be built into brickwork and coordinate their installation.
  • 3.3.2 Obtain all built-in items from their suppliers/Principal prior to starting brickwork.
  • 3.3.3 Advise the Principal immediately once checking over site the absence of any materials previously advised as delivered to site
  • 3.3.4 NOTE: If service pipes obstruct bricklaying works, pipes are to be neatly cut parallel with ground level and capped off or securely taped to prevent soil or rubble, rubbish ingress.

3.4 Laying

  • 3.4.1 General: Comply with all applicable provisions of current relevant Australian Standard.
  • 3.4.2 Set out all brickwork so as to reduce cutting to a minimum and, in facework, to avoid irregular or broken bond.
  • 3.4.3 Build in accordance with the dimensions, thicknesses and heights shown on Drawings, plumb, level and in the designated position within the tolerances of applicable current relevant Australian Standard.
  • 3.4.4 Allow no part to rise more than 1000mm above adjacent unfinished work. Rake back advanced work, build all brickwork in bond and avoid toothing wherever possible.
  • 3.4.5 Build in as necessary all reinforcements, arch bars, lintels, frames, straps, bolts, lugs, wall ties, metalwork, damp-proof courses and flashings, etc.
  • 3.4.6 Re-lay, in fresh mortar, bricks accidentally moved after initial laying.
  • 3.4.7 Keep mortar stains to a minimum and protect horizontal ledges, finished sills and the like from mortar droppings as work proceeds.
  • 3.4.8 Clean out cavities in brickwork progressively as work proceeds.
  • 3.4.9 Before mortar sets hard, remove excess mortar.
  • 3.4.10 Protect new and incomplete brickwork with coverings, temporary bracing or the like.

3.5 Sub-floor work bearer piers

  • 3.5.1 Provide engaged or free standing unreinforced masonry piers to support bearers at 1800 mm maximum centres or as indicated on the Engineer’s drawings.
  • 3.5.2 Access openings
    • General: In internal walls, leave door-width openings beneath doorways to give access to underfloor areas.
  • 3.5.3 Air vent location
    • General: Provide/install air vents to give adequate cross ventilation to the space under suspended ground floors.
  • 3.5.4 Cavity walls: Install matching vents in the internal leaves located as near as practicable to the air vents in the external leaves.
    • Location: Below damp-proof course to internal and external walls.
    • Minimum provision: 6000 sq m net ventilation area per linear metre of wall.
    • Provide Eco Vent or, as scheduled.

3.6 Underpinning (if required)

  • 3.6.1 Requirement: Install underpinning while maintaining the building undamaged and in accordance with Engineer’s details.
  • 3.6.2 Grouting: Pack dry mix M4 mortar between underpinning and existing structure within 24 and 28 hours of completion of each panel of underpinning.

3.7 Jointing and Finishing

  • 3.7.1 Joint thickness: 10mm within the tolerances given in current relevant Australian Standard Joint finish: flush
  • 3.7.2 Joint Colour: as specified in material finishes schedule

3.8 Bonding and Tying

  • 3.8.1 Build all work in stretcher bond gauged generally vertically seven courses equal to 600mm and horizontally 2.5 bricks equal to 600mm.
  • 3.8.2 Space wall ties in accordance with current relevant Australian Standard.
  • 3.8.3 Keep all cavities clean and free from mortar droppings.

3.9 Wall Chasing

  • 3.9.1 Holes and chases: Make holes and chases required in masonry walls so that the structural integrity of the wall is maintained.
  • 3.9.2 Do not chase walls nominated as fire rated or acoustic.
  • 3.9.3 Parallel chases or recesses on opposite faces of a wall shall not be closer than 600 mm to each other.
  • 3.9.4 Chasing of blockwork: Only in core-filled hollow blocks or in solid blocks which are not designated as structural and shall be to the Concrete blockwork chasing table.
  • 3.9.5 Concrete Blockwork Chasing Table
Block Thickness in (mm)

Maximum depth of chase (mm)

190 35
140 25
90 20
  • Where chasing is required to an existing wall (e.g. Alterations and Additions) allow to reinstate the wall finish such that the chasing is not visible and equivalent to existing.

3.10 Cleaning of Facework

  • 3.10.1 Take care to keep internal faces walls dean at all times.
  • 3.10.2 Should further cleaning be necessary, use hydrochloric acid not stronger than 5%, treating only a small area at any one time.
  • 3.10.3 Wet the wall prior to applying the acid, work from the top down and thoroughly wash off after brushing.
  • 3.10.4 Do not leave acid solution on wall at any stoppage of work.

3.11 Completion

  • 3.11.1 Complete all contracted work in accordance with contract documents and written instructions issued by the Principal.
  • 3.11.2 On completion clean up all mortar droppings, debris, etc., remove all scaffolding, make good all put-log holes and blemishes and leave all work in a first class condition.
  • 3.11.3 Protect all facework surfaces where necessary to avoid damage during other building operations.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles