Sunday, June 22, 2014


Construction of brickwall seems to be an easy component of construction work. However as usual any construction work shall come with their construction method statement. Below is a general method statement for construction of brickwall.


Construction material.
Red clay brick, Exmet, Sand, Ordinary Portland Cement(OPC), Clean Water

Scalfolding, Brick cutter, Trowel, spirit level, Guiding tread, Plumbob, Hammer, Hand drill and etc.

Safety Equipment.
Personal Protective Equipment, Safety Tape, Rubbish Chute, Safety Baricade, Safety Railing any practical safety equipment for the purpose of the construction of brickwall.

Construction Procedure.
1. Obtain approval for construction material.
2. Upon approval, Setting out of the wall location shall be done, inspect and approved prior to construction work.
3. Safety and health shall be submitted and approved by Superintending Officer(S.O) or his representative(S.O.R).
4. Submit request for start work to S.O, once steps above already complied.

Construction work.
1. Ensure that the working environment is safe and bricklayer is wearing PPE.
2. make sure that the guiding tread or line is visible.
3. lay a layer of damp proof sheet at the bottom of the first layer of the brick.
4. On top of the damp proof sheet spread a layer of mortar. The mortar shall be mix by hand or mixer and the composition is according to requirement specified in the construction drawing or contract specification.
5. Red brick then shall be lay according to the construction drawing position. 
6. Exmet reinforcement shall be introduce after forth course of the brick. If required a dowel bar shall be install to strengthen the ties between column and the brickwall.
7. At any time during the work, all debris shall be clean especially the excess mortar to avoid it from harden on the floor surface.
8. Upon completion of the brickwall, leave it to dry and bonded before proceed with the plastering work.
9. Upon completion a request for inspection shall be submitted to S.O or S.O.R for acceptance of the work.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Red clay masonry works

Building work consist of numbers of major work component. Four(4)  major components of building work are Structure work, Architectural Work, Mechanical Work and Electrical Work.

In this article we will discuss on building the building wall which is another small component of work which fall under Architectural work. Building Wall can be describe as External wall and Internal wall. Both of this wall can be build using various building material. Among the material used is Red clay brick. Building wall that was constructed with Red Clay brick, commonly known as common brick is a type of wall that being design not to carry any loading apart of its own weight.

What is common brick? Definition of common brick is " acceptable burned clay brick for the purpose of general usage of brickwork with no special claim for attractive value". Walls built with common brick required rendering or plastering for a fine finishing prior to any painting work or introducing of wall paper. Wall that required tiling as it finish surface usually required plastering to ensure that the built wall have a flushing surface in order to properly fixed the tiles.

*Standard size for masonry or Red clay Brick according to BS: 3921: 1985 or MS 7.6 : 1972 are as follows;
Length = 215 + 3 mm
Width  = 102.5 + 1.875 mm
Height = 65 + 1.875 mm
(* quoted from )

In building a brick wall for any building we often heard of this terminology.
1. Half brick thick wall
2. One brick thick wall
3. One and a half brick thick wall.

All of those terminology is base on the measurement or the length of a standard brick. 
- Half brick thick wall = 1/2 x length of the brick,
- One brick thick wall = 1 x length of brick 
- One and a half brick thick wall = 1 length + 1/2 x brick length. 

Apart form the thickness of the wall another important part of the brick wall construction is the bond type between the brick. This bonding is to provide integrity between each of single piece of Red clay brick. Some of the type of bond are;

1. Stretcher Bond.

2. English bond

The application of those type of bond can be seen base on the wall thickness requirement. 

Half brick thick wall : stretcher bond

One brick thick wall : English bond

One and half brick thick wall : English bond and Stretcher bond.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Setting out for building wall construction.

Building wall construction required bricklayer to do a simple setting Out. How to do this setting out?
Below are steps that needed.

1. Study the Architectural construction drawing.

2. Do the measurement as specified on the drawing and mark every single point  (Both Upper and Lower Point).

3. On the lower ground Mark Continuous line from one end (earlier mark done at step 2) of the proposed wall to the other end of Proposed wall (earlier mark done at step 2).

4. By using Plumbob, Hang two (2) vertical tread for each end of the proposed wall. Make sure the tip of plumbob hang straight on top of the lower mark which is on the ground floor or lower floor where the proposed wall going to be build.

5. Tie a horizontal tread on both vertical tread. make sure that this horizontal tread is moveable and not too loose until it cannot stay on position when it is moved up and down to a new desire possition along the vertical tread.

4. Start lay your wall when all of this guide line/tread is fixed and practically working.

The tread is useful to ensure that the wall is build with a vertically Straight and horizontally straight unless the wall is designed to certain pattern.

When doing Setting out for a wall you will need this basic hand tool and consumable Material
a) Hammer 

b) Tread

c) Measuring Tape

4) Maker ( Pencil / Pen )
5) Nail

6) Chalk liner

 7) Plumbob.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Safety and Health Costing in Construction

Safety and health is an important field by itself. The term safety and health do not only applied for certain industry but in everyday task that we undertook. Safety and health issue need and have to be emphasised even if we are at home.

May be we do come across in our construction contract especially in our bill of quantity there is no specific item that mentioned on safety and health. However sometimes it is clearly spell  out in our general condition of contract or standard condition of contract that we need to provide safety and health precaution or equipment for the whole duration of the contract. Hence we are also required to fulfilled this term and condition of the contract once we signed and agreed to undertake the project. Even though it is not spell out in the bill of quantity we still need to allow some cost to cover this area.

Another clause that will always relate back to this safety and health issue is, we are required to adhere to all statutory and regulatory requirement and also local authority requirement. This statement seems to be very general but it might have the same impact as the item listed under our bill of quantity and contract drawing. Let say local authority required us to do protective measure to public safety and health when we are working within their jurisdiction, hence we need to comply to that requirement. However this does not appear as an item inside the bill of quantity. Hence, how are we going to cope with this cost?.What we can do is either to insert it elsewhere inside any item inside the bill of quantity or sometime there is always an item that is spell out as ..." Others:........." which I believe this can be use to insert the cost for Safety and Health.

Let we take a glimpse of how much could this safety and health could cost us. For example we had been awarded a construction project of worth of $30 Million ( Thirty million) with the construction duration of 12 months. According to our Board of construction Industry, all project that cost $20 million and above, a Safety and Health Officer must be appointed. Therefore we need to fulfil this requirement. Hence part of the cost in safety and health is the Safety and health Officer salary. By ordinary man terms, Salary is inclusive of any benefit that must be provided for an employee.In total how much will be the salary. let assume that salary for a Safety and health officer is $7000 per month inclusive of all benefit that he is entitle for under the law. Hence in total, salary alone will cost $84,000.00. how about other safety equipment that we need to provide. The most basic is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). How about others equipments or signages that we need to install or erect throughout the construction period? In the end, the safety and health will cost us more than $84,000.00.

Why do we need to allow the safety and health cost inside our construction cost? By doing so our construction cost that we going to offer will not going to be competitive. Lets ask back to ourselves. If  I do not allow any cost for this and incident or accident at work place happened, where will I find the money to cover the damages cost? The second question is how about, if the accident happened to myself due to my own negligence for taking lightly the issue of safety and health, will i be able to continue with my work? let we keep the answer closed to out heart. Safety and health is not about making money but it is about our very own daily survivor. Therefore be careful of this safety and health at work place issue. It can happen to any of us.

If it still occurred at our construction site and we already take all necessary action that deem practical and fit to our working environment, than we have to accept is as our fate. But the rules is always about who's fault is it?. Do not let the expert telling us it is our fault and we are liable for this negligence.

Each country or state have their own set of rules that we need to adhere with. Hence for our own good, comply to it.

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