Construction using concrete masonry blocks or units (CMU) is ubiquitous in the United States today, and in fact in the whole modern world. CMU blockwork is a very versatile and relatively economical building material. It is naturally strong in compression, but with reinforced, grout-filled cells, it can also withstand large shear, bending, and tensile loads imparted by lateral wind or seismic events. In this article, I will discuss the various types of CMU designs, as well as terminology, construction techniques, and application uses.
The design of CMU is typically comprised of hollow concrete “face shells” with (more…)