Installing brick ties in garage boundary walls

Thursday December 15 2016

The VBA Pro-Active Inspection team have recently identified issues with brick veneer garage boundary walls that have been constructed prior to the timber framework (stud wall). The site inspections have found that retrospectively installed brick ties have been screwed into the mortar adjacent to the timber studs, which is not in accordance with Australian Standard AS3700 Masonry structures.

What should be done?

Where there is a need to construct the garage boundary brickwork first due to difficult access and adjacent structures, the brick ties are to be imbedded 50mm into the mortar and spaced in accordance with Australian Standard AS3700. The timber frame should then be constructed so the studs line up with the embedded wall ties.

It is important that the builder ensures that the single skin brickwork will be adequately braced and supported during construction until such time as it is tied and supported by the timber (or other) framework.

If planning to construct the wall in this manner, it needs to be approved by the relevant building surveyor prior to work commencing. The relevant building surveyor may require a structural engineer to provide a procedure / design for this method.

What can you, as a Practitioner do?

The VBA recommends that building practitioner speak with the relevant building surveyor and structural engineer prior to carrying out any building work that falls outside of the Building Code of Australia (Deem-to-Satisfy Provisions) and Australian Standards.

Building Inspectors are advised to report to the relevant building surveyor any Alternative Solutions used in the construction process that do not form part of the approved documentation, or are non-compliant with the Building Code of Australia (deemed-to-satisfy Provisions) and Australian Standards.

During the inspection process it is not the role of the building inspector to approve Alternative Solutions that have not been considered and approved by the relevant building surveyor.

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