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I?m a 5th year student currently reading architecture (engineering stream) at the University of Malta. For the 5th year dissertation I am doing a dissertation regarding Load paths in buildings. I was going to analyse a terraced house using strain gauges. The houses consist of a basement garage that is roofed by precast planks overlying which there are 2 floors.  The loads that are going to be investigated consist of dead loading during construction. The process of taking readings is going to span the time of construction.

 Since the introduction of precast planks in Malta we introduced a custom to build load bearing masonry walls on precast slabs that overlies a basement garage.  

 The main issue that regarding this type of construction is weather there is the wall-beam action between the precast slabs and the overlying masonry wall which arises due to arching / corbelling action in the masonry wall. Another issue is regarding the load distribution between the precast slabs taking in to consideration the issue of the arching action in the walls, which results in a series of point loads on the slabs instead of line loads. Codes such as FIP and others, which deal with load distribution between the precast elements, only deal with point loads and UDLs.  Other issue, which I was interested in investigating, is the angle at which arching occurs in masonry.

I have done a lot of research on this topic regarding load distribution in masonry walls but I have not found much.  I am writing this e-mail in order to ask weather you know of any relevant literature regarding this topic.

 Whilst thanking you in anticipation


James Mifsud

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