On Friday the Construction I class went on a field trip to a local mason(as in brick layer, tile workers, stone workers) training facilitiy. Here we were instructed on how to build a basic brick and concrete block cavity wall. We were then allowed to practice what we were taught on small practice walls. The efficiency of some groups and the craft of others was interesting to see. Certainly it looks easy and inuitive to build a brick or concrete wall but there are many elements, such as the amount of mortar to place or how to ‘butter’ a brick, which are practiced and become second nature to the masons which didn’t come naturally to many of us.
It is also easier to understand how mistakes can be made in construction, particularly if someone is not to aware of all the details or the standard it should replicate. As well it’s important to be aware that each person has their own style, preference, and history of successful completion which needs to be taken into account when deciding who to work with. Understanding and working with all of your construction crew, whatever their speciality, is really important!
Above is a photo of the classroom set up, the reference wall built for instruction, and two walls made by different groups which show different stages of progress.