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Re: Brick Dome Design

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A couple of ideas:

Build the brick ceiling on a form-surface over centering.  As the bricks are
placed, use backer-rod [as used with joint sealants] between the bricks
directly against the form in order to leave space for pointing the mortar
joints from below after the structure is completed and the forms are
removed.  Place a reinforced concrete dome structure over the brick ceiling.
The tension ring at the perimeter may be a post-tensioned strand, or
continuous reinforcing steel.  If you model the dome on SAP 2000 or other
structural software, you can compare the effects of a passive tension ring
with those of a post-tensioned ring of various tension loads.  Before
proceeding with this approach, do some testing to be sure that the adhesion
of the brick to the concrete can be made to comply with UBC Section
1403.4.2.  There should be no difficulty with this, but it will be prudent
to be sure.

Build a reinforced concrete dome as above.  Apply the brick ceiling as a
veneer after the forms are removed; again, after testing the adhesion as
above.  If the lowest course of bricks is set on a concrete ledge, the
shell-configuration of the brick dome will tend to be self-supporting [by
masonry bond and dome-action] without adhesion -- but it's overhead and it's
important to be sure that bricks will not fall during strong earth-shaking,
so go for the adhesion too.


Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA

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