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Block Masonry: Design to Site concept, Tools for better construction

We have developed a concept called 'Design to Site' along with 'Ace Technologies, Bengaluru'. This methodology helps in better planning resulting in quicker construction with far better quality than normal construction methods.

As part of this Design to Site concept, we have also developed certain tools that help in making construction better, faster and quality oriented.

Quick Links within this page

  1. What is Masonry/Block Masonry?
  2. Ideas Unlimited's role in construction technology
  3. Design to Site concept.
  4. Tools to help improve implementation of new technologies in construction and on site
  5. Key Contacts

About Masonry

Masonry has been one of the popular construction methods available for the ages. Masonry is simply the art of laying brick or block with mortar in between. Traditionally, it has been exploited for beauty and its integrity in construction. Clay bricks and Stone blocks have been used for thousands of years in the construction of monuments, temples, palaces and many other structures. Masonry has proven its durability even in earthquake situations.

Examples of masonry structures are the Qutb Minar, Meenakshi Temple Gopuram, Gol Gumbaz and many other structures all over the world. The modern avatar of the traditional masonry block has been the Concrete Masonry Block, commonly called as EMU (Engineered Masonry Unit). Blocks can be solid or hollow. Both are load bearing.

The block of choice is the Hollow Engineered Load bearing Block which can be used to build upto six storeys without the need of a framed Column and Beam structure. This modern innovation has changed the way of construction in the Western world and now we have the opportunity to present it to you in India. This is especially useful keeping in mind the present situation where labor is expensive and cost of construction is going up everyday.

Ace Technologies have been promoting the adoption of Block Masonry in construction which has many advantages over conventional construction technologies followed in India. The biggest advantages are:

  • Faster Construction
  • Reduced Manpower requirement due to higher efficiency
  • Less costs compared to conventional methods
  • Professional, Tool driven approach. Blocks yield to cutting/drilling tools, provides a very professional and quality finish.
  • Reduces dependence on Skill. Quality of blocks help in doing better work.
  • Structural Flexibility in planning stage
  • No need for plastering of walls
  • Ability to erect pillars (regular/concealed inside wall) at will
  • Beams are also made using blocks! Reduces overall construction, curing time and provides excellent finish.
  • More earthquake proof by design.

Plinth beam readied using blocks!

Plinth beam after casting!

Construction using masonry blocks

Window sills made with Inverted U-blocks. Helps speed up construction, no additional work in covering up hollow blocks.

Blocks yield very well for diamond cutting tools and drilling machines. Jobs like installing window grills or electrical fixtures gets done very professionaly in the site, as long as adequate tools are present.

Even lintels and beams are made using blocks. Special blocks called 'U-Blocks' are used. Reduces effort, curing time, and allows flexibility to use beams at will without wasting time during construction!

Lintel blocks have been setup and made ready for casting.

Lintel being cast. Concrete remains inside the cured concrete 'U-block'. Work need not stop! Next course can start off a day later.

A pair of concealed pillars built within the wall!

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What is Ideas Unlimited doing in construction technology?

Ideas Unlimited works with Ace Technologies, to work towards simplifying the new technologies by working on the following:
  • 'Design to site' concept
  • Develop and build tools that help make implementation better.
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'Design to Site' concept

In this effort, we convert designs into 3D Models and eventually into '3D Block models'. The block model is optimized to block sizes and heights, so it completely eliminates or reduces to a minimum, the block related work on site.

A typical conventional plan!

Conventional Plan turned into 3D Drawing

Blocks Model: 3D Model optimized for masonry block based construction! Color code helps masons and workers understand the concept better.

Bill of Material generated from the Blocks model of the plan. Color coded blocks ensure masons and workers can understand the concept.

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Tools to help improve implementation of new technologies in construction and on site

We have developed some tools along with Ace Technologies, for improving the way things are done in a construction site. We have developed a set of different tools, which greatly improve quality, reduce effort and provide a more consistent, uniform and better bonding between blocks in site. We are working with Ace Technologies on more such technologies to help do construction more professionally and in an easy way.

One such tool is showcased below:

Step 1: Tool sits easily on a course, tool has mechanism to ensure that lateral movement perpendicular to the course is arrested. Mason applies concretes, packs it and wipes it off.

Step 2: Once concrete is applied, mason lifts the tool up.

Step 3: Voila! A very consistent and well compacted layer of conrete in the exact required height! This ensures consistent bonding thereby improving strength, and also reduces effort of the mason to ensure perpendiularity during each course. Further, there is NO WASTAGE of cement as there is no scopre for cement to fall into the hollow portion of block or outside!

Step 4: Mason places next course of blocks easily and completes his work faster! This tool to apply concrete consistenty is developed at Ideas Unlimited with inputs from Ace Technologies, Bengaluru.

Key Contacts

Regarding Block masonry and other interesting construction related technologies, to know more about Design to Site concept and tools:

Ace Technologies, Bengaluru
Mr. Ashok Nadkari
Tel: 98450-36436

Regarding tools that help make your construction better, faster and lower cost:
Ideas Unlimited, Mysore
Nagendra R Setty
Tel: 0821-2402979