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HJ_AJS

Durability and Longevity

Question

How can we measure the durability of Concrete Masonry, and what are the factors that contribute to the longevity of Concrete Masonry systems?

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As with any construction material/system, there are laboratory procedures and test methods that can simulate the effects of weathering and durability - but none can predict actual service life given the highly complex and varying exposure conditions systems and materials are exposed to. Instead, these tests are intended to provide a measure of relative performance under a given set of prescribed conditions. 

The only true measure of durability is in-service performance. Given that there are 1000's of concrete masonry structures that have been successfully performing for over 100 years in a wide array of environmental conditions, there is little better litmus. The key to longevity is: 1) using high quality materials, 2) good design practices; 3) proper construction techniques; and 4) appropriate maintenance over the lift of the structure.

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