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Masonry bricks
Fine Brickwork of bricks with terracotta medallion
Fair-faced masonry with decorative elements
Fair-faced masonry with decorative elements
Masonry with jewelry
Fair-faced masonry with decorative elements and brick stamps

Masonry is made of bricks as masonry gefügtes component . Masonry construction is differentiated from other construction techniques such as wood construction, reinforced concrete construction or steel construction through specific techniques and materials.

The masonry consists of individual pressure-resistant elements (natural stones or artificial stones such as clay bricks , masonry bricks or hollow blocks ) that are connected to one another in a masonry bond with or without mortar . If the flat masonry structure is a wall , it is called a wall . However, other components such as the inner pipes of free-standing chimneys according to DIN EN 13084-4 can also be made of masonry.

Components that only consist of reinforced concrete are by definition not masonry. Masonry is built from individual stones, while monolithic components are poured from concrete . Nevertheless, masonry construction is also used within reinforced concrete construction, in that it is used - possibly in combination with timber construction - to close the gaps in the load-bearing construction, to reinforce or to cover them. Masonry can, depending on the brick used, absorb high compressive forces, but only low tensile forces. In this respect it is very similar to concrete. Therefore, the practice results in increasing the tensile strength by inserting reinforcing steel. Reinforced masonry means the combination of conventional, traditional masonry with vertically or horizontally inserted reinforcement.

Walls are walls that are built from masonry. With the same dimensions, they do not achieve as high a strength and load-bearing effect as concrete or reinforced concrete walls. Since the construction of concrete walls from in-situ concrete usually takes more time due to the necessary shuttering work and curing, non-load-bearing masonry walls are often preferred as a faster and more cost-effective alternative by executing companies and builders. A masonry bond is understood to be the laying of brick according to fixed rules of joining technology , taking into account always offset butt joints. The craftsman trained and active in masonry construction is known as a bricklayer .


Quarry stone masonry
Quarry stone wall unplastered, in the Ore Mountains, (Fürstenau)

The types of masonry are named according to different aspects:

Masonry consists of individual stones that are stacked on top of one another. Different types of stones are used:

To simplify the use of artificial stones whose wall is a stone format regulated normative.

With certain types of masonry, there is also the mortar that can fill the joints between the stones. This connects the stones positively and ensures better stability of the masonry. Chamfer stones visually emphasize the joint.

For height adjustment are Kimmsteine installed.

According to stones used

Natural rock

Natural stone masonry

Natural stone masonry is a generic term for masonry that consists of natural stones and mortar , e.g. B. sedimentary rocks such. B. limestone or sandstone , igneous rocks such. B. granite and rhyolite or from transformation rocks such. B. Marble and Gneiss . Field stone is also part of the natural stone masonry, often reading stones .

Quarry stone wall

Quarry stone masonry

Quarry stone masonry is a natural stone masonry that is made of quarry stones - often locally occurring natural stones - stacked in a bond and with mortar. The quarry stones are only roughly worked or hewn until they have two more or less parallel sides. They are then walled up with mortar, which means that according to DIN 1053-1, which has since been withdrawn, it is a mixed masonry. This is a very simple way of building a wall. In contrast to layered masonry, you do not need to make artificial stones yourself , but use locally occurring rubble. Cyclopean masonry is a special form of quarry stone masonry . For the Staufer period , the humpback ashlar and the bosswork were typical.

To stabilize such walls - especially on slopes - especially long, large stones are set at regular intervals, which extend from the front through the entire wall to the slope on the other side; these stones are called binders or tie- stones . Some of them can even protrude from the front of the wall and serve as steps to climb over the wall.

In southern Jordan , basement masonry made of natural stones was found in today's city of Basta , which was walled with lime mortar and dates back to approx. 6000 BC. To be dated. In the area of ​​the Osterzgebirge, walls were later plastered with "Zinnwälder Sand" (and cement), which was very strong. Quarry stone masonry is rarely used today, mainly in gardening and landscaping, as garden walls or in vineyards.

Example: Quarry stone wall at Hauptstraße 133 (Lendersdorf)

Cyclops masonry

Cyclops masonry in Stockholm
Cyclops masonry in Mallorca

The Cyclops masonry is a special form of quarry stone masonry made of very large, irregular stones that are carefully layered on top of one another. In the case of material in stock and a more or less rectangular appearance of the visible side of the bricks, one speaks of quarry stone masonry. With an irregular, polygonal face of a Cyclops masonry. The joint pattern is irregular and without horizontal horizontal joints. Often it is a shell built wall with an inner filling made of stones and clay.

(Lime) sandstone masonry

Masonry consisting of sandstones or sand-lime bricks and mortar . Mostly used as load-bearing masonry . Sand-lime bricks can be used for slim partition walls because of their high density class and high stone compressive strength class and thus good sound insulation with high load-bearing capacity.

Field stone masonry

Field stone buildings are built using the two-shell technique, a very early technique. There is an inner and an outer wall that were laid with mortar. In the very rare examples of dry stone masonry (chapels in Ireland) there is no clamshell technique. In the older buildings, the outer shell is made from larger, the inner from smaller field stones or natural stone blocks . The space between these walls, about one meter and more thick, was filled with mortar, uncut field stones and rubble from stone processing. In many medieval churches, the outer wall shell is exposed to stone, while the inner shell was mostly plastered. An experienced medieval foreman usually built optimally according to empirically derived rules. The greatest problems are likely to have caused different subsidence of the subsoil, as the tower area was heavier due to its greater mass and therefore caused higher ground pressure. This resulted in settlement cracks between the tower and the nave, which can often be seen in field stone village churches.

Artificial stones

Clinker masonry

Aesculapian staff and cross
Aesculapian staff and cross

Masonry made of clinker and mortar . See also article Masonry Association .

Field stone wall in Wriezen- Haselberg

Brick masonry

Consists of bricks and mortar , today mostly used as back masonry (i.e. as a load-bearing wall) or as facing masonry. See also article Masonry Association .

Expanded clay masonry

Masonry blocks made of clay and cement, used as a load-bearing wall. The expanded clay beads are granulated from 150 million year old Lias clay. All biological components burn and thus create small air pockets. The spheres with the most varied of dimensions are mixed with aggregates (sand, water, cement etc.) and pressed and then have to set for several days. It is not necessary to burn the stones.

According to composition

Mixed masonry

A distinction is made between homogeneous and inhomogeneous masonry. Homogeneous masonry consists only of sandstone, limestone, quarry stone, field stone or bricks. Inhomogeneous masonry, for example from the Middle Ages and the early modern period , consists of two previously masonry shells and a core inserted between them. Medieval mixed masonry consists of field stones and bricks; the field stones are often only split. They are only carved at right angles as corner stones. Mixed masonry made of bricks consists of (partly inferior) bricks, broken bricks and sometimes boulders . The shells are mostly built in a Gothic bond and are only connected to the core by a few binders. Due to the low level of binding, the shell can therefore detach from the core. The reason for this construction method was the immature firing process, which produced a few good and many badly fired bricks. The good qualities therefore had to be concentrated on the outside. The corners in the medieval masonry were mostly made of particularly large field stones; the compensation for the usual overlap of 1/4 stone length took place within the bond.

Mortar masonry

Composite material made of bricks and mortar joints: inaccuracies in the dimensions of the individual bricks can be compensated for by the mortar joints. Rapid production and an accurate result can thus be achieved. Mortar masonry is more malleable than dry masonry. In addition, this is the only way to create airtight masonry walls.


Dry masonry is masonry that is made from natural stone without the aid of mortar.

Einstein masonry

With the development of larger stone formats, single stone masonry is the masonry usually used in new buildings. The wall thickness corresponds to the stone thickness. The bricks are moved in a bond. The overlap dimension (according to DIN-1053-1: at least 0.4 times the stone height) only has to be adhered to in the longitudinal direction of the wall.

Association masonry

In contrast to the Einstein masonry, the union masonry consists of two or more rows of stones that are placed next to each other. A classic example is the 30 cm thick wall. Bricks in the formats 2 DF (thickness = 11.5 cm) and 3 DF (thickness = 17.5 cm) are alternately offset against each other with 1 cm shell joint. The overbinding dimension must be observed in both the longitudinal and transverse directions of the wall. Due to the high expenditure, this type of masonry can no longer be found in new buildings and is only used in the area of ​​renovation and facing masonry (e.g. terrace walls).

According to visibility

View (main)

The term main is a traditional craft term used by masons and stonemasons , which is still quite common today.

The single-sided masonry hits the ground with one side and only has one visible side. The two-sided masonry is free and has two visible sides. The visible sides of a natural stone masonry are mostly raw. In masonry, the term main refers to the visible sides; in contrast to the bearing of the masonry on which the bricks rest, which is not visible. The front of the masonry, and a wall sheet will end or Vorhaupt and the back occipital mentioned.

Exposed brickwork

Fair-faced brickwork made of bricks ( Friedenshütte O / S )

Fair-faced masonry is masonry that is not plastered or clad and is permanently visible in the finished structure outside or inside. In modern exterior wall constructions , exposed masonry can only be implemented with a double-shell structure with a facing made of facing masonry , as otherwise no adequate insulation effect can be achieved.

Facing masonry

Historic facing brickwork

Facing masonry is masonry which, as the outermost layer of a masonry structure, has a primarily decorative function. It also has a protective function against driving rain .

In the past, the facing masonry was the outermost, sizable layer of monolithic masonry. Today, facing brickwork is used as a facing of a multi-layer wall structure and usually has no load-bearing function. If done correctly, this is a long-term, easy-care solution for facades. This facing masonry must consist of frost-resistant stones ( facing bricks ). That is why clinker bricks or facing bricks are mostly used.

Rising masonry

In archeology, rising masonry refers to the vertical or slightly inwardly inclined parts of the structural masonry of cultural monuments, specifically the visible part above the foundations.

According to static function

Non-load-bearing masonry

Non-load-bearing masonry does not take on loads from other components compared to load-bearing masonry, but only absorbs loads that act directly on the masonry, such as B. Wind, loads from the facility o. Ä. And its own weight. It is used as a non-load-bearing room closure, as infill masonry between columns, or as facing masonry. When creating walls as non-load-bearing masonry, it is important to ensure that no unplanned loads cause damage to the wall. The joint between the non-load-bearing partition and the ceiling can be filled with an elastic material (e.g. mineral wool ) or - as late as possible - with mortar.

Load-bearing masonry

Load-bearing masonry takes on loads from the overlying components ( ceilings , roof ) and from its own weight. The load-bearing masonry is usually also used to stiffen the building (wind, stability, etc.). The creation or modification of load-bearing masonry usually has to be verified by a static calculation . The load-bearing capacity of masonry is determined by the strength of the stone and the quality of the mortar . Since the joint between stone and mortar only has a low adhesive tensile strength , the stones must be laid in the masonry bond .

Economical meaning

In 2015, brick turnover in Austria was 140 million euros.


The minimum requirements for mechanical properties, quality and quality control of the building materials stone and mortar to be observed when creating masonry are regulated in numerous European and national standards. While natural stones are only regulated in the masonry design standards of DIN EN 1996 Eurocode 6: Dimensioning and construction of masonry structures , the requirements for artificially produced masonry stones are described in various building material standards.

In Germany u. a. the following standards must be observed:

  • DIN 105 (all parts), masonry bricks
  • DIN 4108-3, Thermal insulation and energy saving in buildings - Part 3: Climate-related moisture protection - Requirements, calculation methods and instructions for planning and implementation
  • DIN 4159, bricks for brick ceilings and grouting panels, statically active
  • DIN 18516 (all parts), exterior wall cladding, rear-ventilated
  • DIN 18330, VOB procurement and contract regulations for construction works - Part C : General technical contract conditions for construction works (ATV) - masonry work
  • DIN 20000-401, Use of construction products in buildings - Part 401: Rules for the use of masonry bricks according to DIN EN 771-1
  • DIN 20000-403, Use of construction products in buildings - Part 403: Rules for the use of concrete bricks according to DIN EN 771-3
  • DIN 20000-412, Use of construction products in structures - Part 412: Rules for the use of masonry mortar according to DIN EN 998-2
  • DIN EN 413 (all parts), plaster and wall ties
  • DIN EN 771 (all parts), specifications for bricks
  • DIN EN 772 (all parts), test method for bricks
  • DIN EN 845 (all parts), specifications for supplementary components for masonry
  • DIN EN 934-3, admixtures for concrete, mortar and grout - Part 3: admixtures for masonry mortar
  • DIN EN 998-2, Specifications for mortar in masonry construction - Part 2: Masonry mortar
  • DIN EN 1015 (all parts), test method for mortar for masonry
  • DIN EN 1052 (all parts), test method for masonry
  • DIN EN 1745, Masonry and masonry products - Method for determining thermal insulation properties
  • DIN EN 1996, Eurocode 6: Dimensioning and construction of masonry structures in 3 parts and the associated national annexes (replaced the withdrawn DIN 1053)
  • DIN EN 13084-4, Free-standing chimneys - Part 4: Inner pipes made of masonry - Design, dimensioning and execution
  • DIN EN 16572, Conservation of cultural heritage - Glossary for masonry and plastering mortar
  • DIN V 18580, masonry mortar with special properties
  • DIN V 18153-100, Bricks made of concrete (normal concrete) - Part 100: Bricks with special properties

The Eurocode 6 represents u. A. Two calculation methods (simplified according to DIN EN 1996-3 / NA and precise method according to DIN EN 1996-1 / NA) are available for the calculation and dimensioning of unreinforced masonry. The exact procedure is carried out taking into account the component stiffness of walls and ceilings and involves a correspondingly high computing effort. In contrast to the exact calculation method, in the simplified method, for example, the influences of the frame effect between wall and ceiling and the buckling problem are taken into account through reduction coefficients. This method is therefore only a rough approximation and may therefore only be used under certain conditions.

See also


  • Volker Friedrich: Walls made of natural stone . Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3266-4 .
  • Josef Maier: Handbook of historical masonry: investigation methods and repair procedures . 2nd edition, Springer, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-642-25467-3 .
  • Günter Pfeifer,: Masonry Atlas . In: Detail . Institute for International Architecture Documentation GmbH, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7643-6478-5 .
  • Alfred Stoller: The construction with natural stone, worked from practice for practice. Manual for civil engineers, cultural engineers, architects, structural and civil engineering masters, site managers, forest staff, stone cutters , gardeners, etc. Bern 1949.
  • Series: Masonry Calendar . Published annually by Ernst & Sohn Verlag.

Web links

Wiktionary: masonry  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Masonry  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. masonry. In: Angela Weyer et al. (Ed.): EwaGlos. European Illustrated Glossary Of Conservation Terms For Wall Paintings And Architectural Surfaces . English Definitions with translations into Bulgarian, Croatian, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish and Turkish. Michael Imhof, Petersberg 2015, ISBN 978-3-7319-0260-7 , p. 26 , doi : 10.5165 / hawk-hhg / 233 ( download ).
  2. ^ Günter Pfeifer,: Masonry Atlas . In: Detail . Institute for International Architecture Documentation GmbH, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7643-6478-5 , p. 29 .
  3. ^ Günter Pfeifer,: Masonry Atlas . In: Detail . Institute for International Architecture Documentation GmbH, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7643-6478-5 , p. 113 .
  4. ^ Ansgar Beuth, Martin Beuth: Lexikon Bauwesen . 1st edition. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart Munich 2001, ISBN 3-421-03242-4 , pp. 105 .
  5. ^
  6. ↑ The market for bricks in Austria is growing, fenster-tueren-technik , March 24, 2016.
  7. ^ Günter Pfeifer,: Masonry Atlas . In: Detail . Institute for International Architecture Documentation GmbH, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7643-6478-5 , p. 55 .
  8. ^ Peter Schubert, Klaus-Jürgen Schneider: Masonry construction practice according to Eurocode . Beuth, 2014, ISBN 3-410-22739-3 , pp. 261 .