Fair-faced blockwork and masonry
The specification and detailing of concrete blockwork masonry is more akin to brickwork than other concrete products, and focuses on product selection rather than custom design. Choosing the right block is critical. A wide range of colours and textures are available, and while block dimensions are standardised, it is possible to commission bespoke shapes for special elements in a design. New products are also constantly evolving.
Architectural facing masonry is blockwork specifically designed and manufactured to be left exposed, combining structure and surface finish. Its uses range from landscaping features and robust internal partitions to the external or inner leaf of cavity wall construction. An assortment of natural stone colours and textures, such as split-faced or shot-blasted, are available, providing a cost-effective alternative to stone, but the aesthetic options extend much further to include a range of bold solid colours and polished and honed surfaces.
The typical grey blocks used for internal structural walls can also be left exposed without detriment to structural performance, but a more appropriate aesthetic solution is to specify paint-grade or fairfaced blocks, which have a smooth, more closed texture.
CQ Winter 2017
View 'Block Beauty' article on exposed blockwork from Concrete Quarterly winter 2017