Daily Archives: 01/12/2011

Architectural Technologist – Corbeled Brick Bay Window

Corbled brick bay detail
Image by Scays via Flickr

It’s not often you see this style of corbling, a complete bay window hanging at first floor, I noticed it as I walked about Cambridge early on the Sat morning, before the main CIAT AGM meeting, walking of the nights beer. Its one of those details you look at and think why. Who would design like this, well the answer is farley simple, who ever owned and built the house, wanted more space and saw a bay window over the street as an easy way to get it, and as he could not build into the pavement, it was started at forst floor, and as that was well away from predestrians and traffic I don’t suppose any one minded, and as most houses of this nature were  occupied by the owners on the first floor, leaving the ground floor to the staff, again no one thought much of it I supposee.

But technically, its a detail that requires some further investigation, have a look at the other photos on my flickr site, you will see a reasonable crack running vertically uo the left returning side, were the natural forces , I think, have pulled the bay away from the main structure, now it looks like this happened some time ago and its not going anywhere now, but it show the problems that faced the bricky, building up the corbel and then loading it with all that brickwork, now we would go straight to an engineer and he would more than likely want to install steel to hold  and support it, but this was not the cae here, I might also want to see a metal lath laid into the bedding mortar to help tie it together, I might also want to allow the bottom corbel to cure a little, but as this will almost certainly be made with a lime mortar, that would have no benefit, so hats of to the old builder, he did a good job, with only one small crack it a structure thats not going anywhere now and is a delight to see. Notice also the variety of bricks that have been used to give a defined line to each course.

Go to the ibstock web site to see more on this subject, or just put in a google search for the subject, there are loads of good photos and article to enhance your CPD. There is loads to pull in, from basic brickwork detailing to structure, loading, and materials, did they use lime, and how was it built, did as I said earler, wait until the forst lift was cured a little, or did they support with a form work, my bet is on the latter, but all these points would make a good hour or so CPD.


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