CERAM Publishes Extended Guidance on the Use of Bond Beams and Columns to Resist Lateral Load

CERAM, a global expert in materials testing, analysis and consultancy, has published the Design Guide for Masonry Reinforced by Bond Beams and Columns to Resist Lateral Load; a supersede of the original which covered the use of bond beams only.

Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom, July 29, 2010 --(PR.com)-- The Guide is the result of a four-year research and test programme to evaluate reinforced, full-size walls strengthened against lateral load and provides guidance and recommendations for the design of masonry walls incorporating bond beams and columns.

The Guide expands upon the guidance in BS 5628 and EC6, and was validated through the extensive testing and analysis performed at the CERAM laboratories; the results have been published internationally.

Traditionally, large span single leaf concrete blockwork walls that are subjected to significant wind loads are subdivided by the use of wind posts. However, a new more state-of-the-art system has been devised for masonry walls. In the new system, the vertical span is split through the introduction of horizontal reinforced bond beams that span between the main structural columns at intervals up the wall height. Shear transfer rods, an innovative method of providing additional support for walls, ensure the courses above and below the bond beams act compositely. Horizontal spans are similarly subdivided by vertically reinforced hollow blocks which are concreted to form bond columns.

Dr. Geoff Edgell, Principal Consultant of Construction at CERAM commented: “In a period when newly introduced Eurocodes for design will not be amended for a few years whilst they ‘bed in’, it is encouraging to see that an innovative development can gain acceptance in the market place through the publication of an independent Design Guide. The original Guide provided a basis for the wall designs of the East London Goods Terminal at the Kings Cross Railway Station development, while the extended Guide has supplied the basis for the walls of the 2012 Olympic Games Aquatics Centre.”

As one of the leading testing facilities in the UK, CERAM provides testing of raw materials, finished products and full scale structures both in the laboratory and on-site. CERAM’s experts have developed new and bespoke testing solutions for the most intractable construction and materials problems.

The Design Guide is available as a free download from www.ceram.com/structures.


CERAM is a global expert in materials testing, analysis and consultancy, providing customised solutions that help clients to measurably improve performance and profitability through safer, regulatory-compliant and better-engineered products. Setting new standards in materials testing, CERAM works as an extension of customers’ teams, applying its expertise and capabilities to a wide range of sectors, including aerospace & defence; automotive & transport; construction; consumer and retail; semiconductor & electronics; energy & environment; healthcare; materials manufacturing; minerals; and refractories.

Headquartered in Staffordshire (UK), CERAM was founded in 1920 and employs a team of research and product development professionals who are involved in physical and chemical materials testing, research, process engineering, product design and failure analysis.
Katie Armitt
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