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CHB Walls-Blocks In Line Or Staggered?


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cebubird

Yesterday workers began exterior walls of our house and I was shocked to see the blocks in perfect lines instead of being staggered. Both of the "masons" said that is "just the way" they preferred. Checked with our engineer and he said there was 2 schools of thought on that, but he said studies had shown that the walls were same in strength no matter which way the blocks were laid. He said that personally he thought that due to the fact that here since all the holes in the blocks are filled with cement, that the "in-line" way might be stronger since this would be like small columns going all the way up.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?

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CMU's Concrete Masonry Units, are quite different to "Hollow Blocks"!     I can't understand why you would hire an engineer and then not follow his advise.     cebubird, I understand that buil

It would seem that the engineer's reasoning on strength would be correct with normal Philippine CHB (which has no structural strength on its own anyway). Normal Philippine CHB is used for nothing more

Never seen a block wall made like the here in Austraila before,, my thinking is that there is only morter holding the columns to eachother and they could move independent of eachother and crack along

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Never seen a block wall made like the here in Austraila before,, my thinking is that there is only morter holding the columns to eachother and they could move independent of eachother and crack along the join. When layed in a staggered aragement the blocks interlock holding the entire structure together...

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shadow

Yesterday workers began exterior walls of our house and I was shocked to see the blocks in perfect lines instead of being staggered. Both of the "masons" said that is "just the way" they preferred. Checked with our engineer and he said there was 2 schools of thought on that, but he said studies had shown that the walls were same in strength no matter which way the blocks were laid. He said that personally he thought that due to the fact that here since all the holes in the blocks are filled with cement, that the "in-line" way might be stronger since this would be like small columns going all the way up.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?

 

 

I have never seen anyone here do them inline, all staggered. In countering his train of thought regarding columns, this would only work if it was done in a continuous pour type situation, so the concrete in the block below is still wet when the block above it is laid, and the concrete well mixed between the two. Otherwise there will be a break in the concrete so not a true solid "column".

 

Were it my house, I would want them staggered.

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It would seem that the engineer's reasoning on strength would be correct with normal Philippine CHB (which has no structural strength on its own anyway). Normal Philippine CHB is used for nothing more than filler material here...with any wall strength coming from concrete cores (filling the voids in the blocks with cement) and surface mortar (which has very little strength either). Therefore, either way, you have almost no wall strength.

 

If you are using higher quality blocks (higher psi strength) and higher quality grout (more cement), then staggered construction will definitely give you more wall strength, since the staggering will prevent the wall from breaking in straight lines. Staggered construction with horizontal and vertical rebar is definitely the way to go...if you are going to use CHB.

 

NEVER EVER let workers do things in the Philippines just because that is the way they prefer. That just means they like it because it is easier and cheaper...and that seldom also means it is better. Regardless of how many Philippine engineers you have working on your project, you will have to use a hands-on approach to managing your home construction here if you don't want the structure to fall down on you at some point. In way too many cases, they rely on local tradition instead of sound engineering practices.

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cebubird

Well I see all 3 of you agreed with me.I think it is probably easier for the maso since my blocks don't break easy. I have full 6" blocks made 30 per bag so they are heavy and strong.Drove around this morning to see if I might find any other walls laid in line and didn't find one.

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If it was my house It would be staggered. If there is crack in grout it will stop at next block. If in straight line it will go all the way up wall.

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Were it my house, I would want them staggered.

 

 

I agree.

The only way to lay bricks or blocks is staggering them, whether blocks filled or not, unless looking for single column in 6 inch blocks. Core filling 4 inch blocks to me is a bit of a waste of time too coz of very small hole in block that can be very easily blocked by mortar when blocks are layed and this will then prevent any amount of fill concrete to fall in to lower courses

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USMC-Retired

I am a long ways from being an engineer or even a construction guy. However the logic is wrong if they are in a straight line then an entire line of blocks could over time fall out. As there is nothing locking them to the blocks next to it. Hence if you overlap them or stagger them then there is 4 blocks holding each block vice 2 blocks. Pouring concrete down the middle would not solve this delima and actually could create further issue with weight, gravity and sink-age of the column of bricks.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that either way there is still a continuous fill of concrete from top to bottom. Even staggered the holes still line up, only the blocks themselves are staggered. If the blocks have no strength of their own then it really doesn't matter.

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On a similar subject, what do load bearing chb's cost relative to the cheapy ones?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that either way there is still a continuous fill of concrete from top to bottom. Even staggered the holes still line up, only the blocks themselves are staggered. If the blocks have no strength of their own then it really doesn't matter.

If he was using normal Filipino CHB, that would be true, but he isn't. Thirty blocks to the bag of cement is much stronger than the normal 70-75 blocks per bag you generally see here. Those blocks are nothing more than filler. The blocks he is using are actually structural.

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shadow

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that either way there is still a continuous fill of concrete from top to bottom. Even staggered the holes still line up, only the blocks themselves are staggered. If the blocks have no strength of their own then it really doesn't matter.

 

Although it may be a continuous fill, it is most likely not a continuous pour, meaning in all likelihood the lower block the cement had at least partially hardened prior to the block on top being set and filled. This creates a weak spot in the column. In order for a column to be at it's maximum strength, it must be one continuous pour.

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Davaoeno

If he was using normal Filipino CHB, that would be true, but he isn't. Thirty blocks to the bag of cement is much stronger than the normal 70-75 blocks per bag you generally see here. Those blocks are nothing more than filler. The blocks he is using are actually structural.

 

when you are calculating blocks per bag dont forget that usually the calculation is for 4" blocks- he is using 6" blocks,

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when you are calculating blocks per bag dont forget that usually the calculation is for 4" blocks- he is using 6" blocks,

True...so it's only the difference between thirty and sixty blocks per bag of cement. The normal blocks they make here are crap. They have the structural integrity of a sand castle.

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True...so it's only the difference between thirty and sixty blocks per bag of cement. The normal blocks they make here are crap. They have the structural integrity of a sand castle.

 

Structural integrity for what purpose? They are simply a rebar reinforced space filler. End of story.

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