The paper refers briefly to the antiquity of masonry construction and traces the effect of modern trends on masonry buildings. The function and the peculiar problems of building regulations are touched upon, and the alternative methods of controlling masonry construction discussed. Reference is made to the various factors affecting the strength of masonry, as well as to the possible methods of controlling these factors. The approach to the determination of the permissible stresses for masonry adopted by the South African Bureau of Standards is set out, and a method of evaluating critical stresses in masonry walls given. Attention is drawn to an important factor hitherto neglected in building by-laws and examples are given of a method of reconciling critical stresses with permissible stresses.
With admirable economy of words the Author brought us some valuable notes on how engineers in other parts of the world were tackling a wide variety of problems, most of which were of direct concern to us in South Africa - not only to our harbour engineers but to civil engineers in other fields of activity. Many of the problems referred to were still far from satisfactory solution and called for intensified study both in the laboratory and in the field.