Title:
MASONRY BLOCK WALL SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A masonry block includes a set of block members each having opposing end faces, an outer face and an inner face opposite of the outer face, a top face and a slot that includes a first portion at least partially coextensive with the top face and a second portion transverse to the first portion which is at least partially coextensive with the opposing end faces of the set of block members. The set of block members are supported on a self-supporting wall frame.



Inventors:
Belsley, Dale J. (South Lyon, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/675906
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
02/16/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/293.3, 52/506.01
International Classes:
E02D27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIGUEROA, LUZ ADRIANA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARLSON, GASKEY & OLDS, P.C. (BIRMINGHAM, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A masonry block, comprising: a set of block members each having opposing end faces, an outer face and an inner face extending between said opposing end faces, a top face and a slot that includes a first portion at least partially coextensive with said top face and a second portion transverse to said first portion which is at least partially coextensive with said opposing end faces.

2. The masonry block as recited in claim 1, wherein each of said slots is continuous and said first portion includes a horizontal portion and said second portion includes a vertical portion, said horizontal portion coextensive with a length of said set of block members and extending along said top face and said vertical portion coextensive with a height of said set of block members and extending along said opposing end faces.

3. The masonry block as recited in claim 2, wherein said vertical portion of each of said slots is offset from said horizontal portion in a direction towards at least one of said outer faces and said inner faces of said set of block members.

4. The masonry block as recited in claim 1, wherein at least one cross member extends between said set of block members.

5. The masonry block as recited in claim 4, wherein said at least one cross member comprises a first material and said set of block members comprise a second material different from said first material.

6. The masonry block as recited in claim 1, comprising at least one depression positioned adjacent to each of said slots and an insert receivable within each of said at least one depression.

7. A wall system, comprising: a bracket assembly which establishes a self-supporting wall frame; and at least one block member supported on said self-supporting wall frame and having an outer face and an inner face, wherein said a least one block member includes a slot cooperative to locate said at least one block member on said self-supporting wall frame, said slot at least partially coextensive with a portion of said at least one block member which is between said outer face and said inner face.

8. The wall system as recited in claim 7, wherein said bracket assembly includes a wall component and a plurality of ledger clips attached to said wall component, wherein said plurality of ledger clips extend horizontally across said wall component to establish a plurality of rows of said self-supporting wall frame.

9. The wall system as recited in claim 8, wherein said ledger clips comprise a z-shape, said ledger clips including at least one leg member for receiving said slot of said at least one block member to secure said at least one block member to said self-supporting wall frame.

10. The wall system as recited in claim 7, comprising a plurality of block members and wherein said bracket assembly includes a plurality of vertical bars positioned between horizontally adjacent block members of said plurality of block members.

11. The wall system as recited in claim 7, wherein said bracket assembly includes a plurality of bracket members, wherein each of said plurality of bracket members includes a first sheet portion, a second sheet portion transverse to said first sheet portion and a third sheet portion transverse to said second sheet portion and parallel to said first sheet portion.

12. The wall system as recited in claim 11, wherein said second sheet portion of each of said plurality of bracket members includes at least one fin received by said slot to secure said at least one block member to said self-supporting wall frame.

13. The wall system as recited in claim 11, wherein said bracket assembly includes at least one horizontal reinforcement member to provide support to said plurality of bracket members.

14. The wall system as recited in claim 7, wherein said bracket assembly comprises a first material and said at least one block member comprises a second material different from said first material.

15. A method of constructing a wall system, comprising: (a) installing bracket members onto a pre-existing wall; and (b) attaching block members to the bracket members.

16. The method as recited in claim 15, comprising performing the following steps prior to said step (a): installing sheathing over the pre-existing wall; and installing building wrap over the sheathing.

17. The method as recited in claim 15, wherein the pre-existing wall includes a plurality of vertically extending stud members and the bracket members include a plurality of ledger clips, said step (a) comprising: attaching the plurality of ledger clips horizontally across the plurality of vertically extending stud members to establish a plurality of rows for positioning the block members.

18. The method as recited in claim 15, wherein said step (b) comprises: positioning a leg member of one of the bracket members within a slot of one of the block members; and positioning a bottom face of the block member which receives the leg member against a portion of an adjacent row of the bracket members; and applying an adhesive adjacent to the bottom face of the block member positioned against the portion of the adjacent row of the bracket members.

19. The method as recited in claim 15, comprising the step of: (c) installing a vertical bar between horizontally adjacent block members subsequent to at least two of the block members being attached to the bracket members.

20. The method as recited in claim 19, comprising the step of: (d) applying mortar to each of a plurality of horizontal joints and vertical joints between the block members of the wall system.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/615,200, filed Dec. 22, 2006.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to building components, and more particularly to masonry block wall systems.

Modern day building construction, including construction of commercial and residential buildings, often includes the construction of concrete block wall systems. A plurality of masonry blocks are stacked in a plurality of rows to construct the wall systems. Typical masonry blocks include masonry face members which are outwardly aligned and parallel and include structural cross members that extend between the parallel faces. Traditional concrete masonry blocks are of unitary construction, with the cross members and face members all formed of a concrete material.

Traditional masonry blocks include a one-piece construction. Therefore, the masonry blocks must be transported, in finished form, from the point of fabrication, storage, and/or sale, and ultimately to the construction site. Utilization of concrete cross members increases the weight of each individual unit. The relatively high weight of the individual masonry block members is undesirable from the viewpoint of an installer who must lift, transport, and possibly re-lift the masonry block members several times during the installation process.

Brick wall systems for commercial and residential buildings are also known. These wall systems utilize studs or furring strips of an existing building frame to construct exterior walls. Wood sheathing or building wrap (such as a plastic moisture barrier) may be installed over the studs and/or furring strips of the building framework. The brick members are then stacked and mortared to one another and galvanized anchors are utilized to attach the brick members to the exterior of the wood sheathing and building wrap.

Attempts have been made to provide wall systems which are less complex, less expensive and of reduced weight. For example, masonry block assemblies are known which include a pair of masonry block members which are bridged by coupling members of a different material. Although masonry block assemblies of this type are lighter than traditional masonry blocks, these masonry block assemblies typically are difficult to assemble and impractical to manufacture. In addition, these masonry block assemblies must be installed using the same basic method as standard masonry blocks and may be difficult to insulate. Further, it may be difficult to assemble known wall systems during periods of cold weather due to the inability of the mortar to harden (i.e., set) during the cold temperatures.

Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a wall system which is simple to manufacture and simple to assemble.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A masonry block includes a set of block members each having opposing end faces, an outer face and an inner face opposite of the outer face, a top face and a slot that includes a first portion at least partially coextensive with the top face and a second portion transverse to the first portion which is at least partially coextensive with the opposing end faces.

A wall system includes a bracket assembly which establishes a self-supporting wall frame and at least one block member received on the self-supporting wall frame. The block member includes an outer face and an inner face. The block member also includes a slot cooperative to locate the block member and which is at least partially coextensive with a portion of the block member between the outer face and the inner face.

A method of constructing a wall system includes installing bracket members onto a preexisting wall frame, and attaching block members to the bracket members.

The various features and advantages of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description. The drawings that accompany the detailed description can be briefly described as follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 schematically illustrates an example masonry block;

FIG. 2 schematically illustrates a second example masonry block;

FIG. 3 illustrates a block member for use with the masonry blocks illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 schematically illustrates example features of the block member shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 illustrates an example wall system;

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of a bracket assembly of the wall system illustrated in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of the example wall system illustrated in FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 illustrates a vertical bar of the bracket assembly illustrated in FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a flowchart of an example method for constructing the wall system illustrated in FIG. 5;

FIG. 10 illustrates a top view of the bracket assembly illustrated in FIG. 6;

FIG. 11 illustrates a second example wall system;

FIG. 12A illustrates a side view of a bracket member of the example wall system of FIG. 11;

FIG. 12B illustrates a top view of the bracket member illustrated in FIG. 12A;

FIG. 12C illustrates an end view of the bracket member shown in FIG. 12A;

FIG. 13 is a flowchart of an example method for constructing the wall system illustrated in FIG. 11;

FIG. 14 illustrates a reinforcement member for the example wall system of FIG. 11; and

FIG. 15 illustrates a drainage path of the example wall systems shown in FIGS. 5 and 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 illustrates an example masonry block 10 that includes a first block member 12, a second block member 14, and a cross member 16. Each block member 12, 14 includes an outer face 18 and an inner face 20 opposite of the outer face 18. The cross member 16 extends between the inner faces 20 of the block members 12, 14. The cross member 16 may include openings 21 to provide an installer of the masonry blocks 10 with the ability to insulate and vertically reinforce the masonry block 10. In the illustrated example, the block members 12, 14 and the cross member 16 are formed of concrete as a single-piece construction. However, the first block member 12, the second block member 14 and the cross member 16 may include any other materials known to be suitable by those skilled in the art having the benefit of this description. The masonry blocks 10 are stacked and positioned in a plurality of rows to construct a free-standing wall system.

Each block member 12, 14 of the masonry block 10 includes a depression 44, for example. In another example, each block member 12, 14 includes a plurality of depressions 44. An insert 17 is receivable within the depressions 44. In one example, the insert 17 includes a porous material. In another example, the insert 17 is a Styrofoam rope. The inserts 17 reduce the build up of mortar or other substances within the depressions 44 during installation of the masonry blocks 10, thereby improving water drainage of the masonry blocks.

FIG. 2 illustrates a second example masonry block 24. The masonry block 24 also includes a first block member 26, a second block member 28 and a cross-member 30. The first block member 26 and the second member block member 28 are substantially identical to the first block member 12 and second block member 14 of the masonry block 10. In one example, the cross member 30 is a bracket member 32 which comprises a material different from that of the block members 26, 28. In one example, the bracket member 32 is metal, such as 25 gauge galvanized sheet metal, for example. In another example, the bracket member 32 is plastic. The example block members 12, 14, 26 or 28 of the masonry blocks 10, 24 may be utilized to construct various wall systems, as is further discussed below.

FIG. 3 illustrates the example block member 12. The block member 12 is shown and described as substantially typical of each of the block members 12, 14, 26 and 28. The example block member 12 includes a length L1. In one example, the length L1 of the block member 12 is approximately 16 inches. In another example, length L1 is approximately 8 inches. However, the block member 12 may be manufactured to the specifications of any desired length.

The length L1 extends between opposing end faces 34, 36. In one example, the block member 12 includes a slot 38. The slot 38 is positioned between the outer face 18 and the inner face 20 of the block member 12.

The slot 38 includes a horizontal portion 40 and a vertical portion 42. The vertical portion 42 is transverse to the horizontal portion 40, in one example. In another example, the vertical portions 42 of the slot 38 are perpendicular to the horizontal portion 40. The horizontal portion 40 of the slot 38 is coextensive with the length L1 of the block member 12. The horizontal portion 40 of the slot 38 extends along a top face 41 (which extends between the end faces 34, 36 and the inner face 20 and the outer face 18) of the block member 12, for example. The vertical portion 42 is coextensive with a height H of the block member 12 and extends along each of the first end face 34 and the second end face 36 of the block member 12. Therefore, the slot 38 extends along each of the first and second end faces 34, 36 and along the entire length L1 of the block member 12. That is, the slot 38 of the block members 12 is continuous and uninterrupted along the height H and length L1 of the block member 12.

The slot 38 is positioned within a plane of the block member 12 which is offset from each plane defined by the outer face 18 and the inner face 20 of the block member 12. That is, no portion of the slot 38 extends into the outer face 18 or the inner face 20. In one example, the outer face 18 is positioned within a first plane 43, the inner face 20 is positioned within a second plane 45 different from the first plane 43, and the slot 38 is positioned within a third plane 47 which is different from both the first plane 43 and the second plane 45 (See FIG. 4).

In one example, the horizontal portion 40 and the vertical portions 42 of the slot 38 are positioned within the same plane. In another example, the vertical portions 42 of the slot 38 are offset from the horizontal portion 40 of the slot 38. The vertical portions 42 may be offset in either direction relative to the horizontal portion 40 (i.e., either towards the outer face 18 or towards the inner face 20 of the block member 12). A person of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure would understand how to design the slot 38 of the block member 12, including the various dimensions associated with the slot 38 such as the offset distance between the vertical portions 42 and the horizontal portion 40 of the slot, the slot depth, and numerous other dimensions.

The block member 12 may also include a plurality of depressions 44 disposed along the length of the block member 12 adjacent to the horizontal portion 40 of the slot 38. The depressions 44 are utilized to divert water into the horizontal portion 40 of the slot 38, which may enter through the joints (i.e., the horizontal and vertical gaps between adjacent block members 12 in a wall system) of a wall system from adjacent block members 12. The horizontal portion 40 communicates the water to the vertical portions 42 of the slot 38. The vertical portions 42 then communicate the water downwardly until the water escapes the wall system. Therefore, the depressions 44 and the slot 38 reduce water penetration and water build-up within the block members 12, as is further discussed below.

The block members 12 may include a beveled edge 35. The beveled edge 35 extends along both the top face 41 and the end faces 34, 36 of the block member 12 (See FIGS. 7 and 10). The beveled edges 35 allow adjacent block members 12 of a wall system to be positioned closer to one another thereby reducing the size of the mortar joints between the block members 12.

The block member 12 (which is typical of block members 12, 14, 26 and 28) may be utilized to construct numerous types of wall systems. In one example, the block members 12 are utilized to assembly a plurality of the masonry blocks 10, which are stacked and positioned in a plurality of rows to build a wall system. In another example, the block members 12 may be utilized with a preexisting wall 46 to establish a block veneer wall system 48, as is illustrated in FIG. 5. The preexisting wall 46 includes a plurality of stud members 50 which extend adjacent to one another in a vertical manner, in one example. Although the preexisting wall 46 is illustrated as including stud members 50, it should be understood that the preexisting wall may include any type of wall having any type of wall components. The stud members 50 may include metal studs, for example. In another example, the stud members 50 include wooden studs. A person of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure would understand that the block veneer wall system 48 may be utilized with any preexisting wall 46.

The block veneer wall system 48 includes a plurality of ledger clips 52 and a plurality of the block members 12. As is known, the stud members 50 are positioned horizontally adjacent to one another along a length X to establish the pre-existing wall 46. The stud members 50 extend vertically to a desired height Z of the wall system 48.

The ledger clips 52 extend horizontally across the stud members 50 to form a wall frame including a plurality of rows 54A-54n. The wall system 48 may include any number of rows 54. The example ledger clips 52 are manufactured in strips of approximately 10 to 12 feet in length, in one example. However, the ledger clips 52 may be manufactured to any specification. In one example, the stud members 50 are spaced apart a distance of approximately 16 inches and each ledger clip 52 is spaced apart a distance of approximately 8 inches. It should be understood that the spacing and other dimensional relationships that exist between the stud members 50 and the ledger clips 52 may vary to provide a block veneer wall system 48 of any size.

FIG. 6 illustrates a portion of the bracket assembly 51 of the block veneer wall system 48 which includes a ledger clip 52 attached to a stud member 50. In one example, the ledger clip 52 is attached to the stud member 50 with a threaded fastener 56. However, other attachment methods are contemplated as within the scope of this invention.

Each ledger clip 52 generally includes a Z-shaped body having a top face 58 and leg members 60, 62 extending transversely from the top face 58. The leg members 60, 62 extend away from the top face 58 in opposite directions relative to the top face 58. The leg member 60 is received against the stud member 50 and is attached to the stud member 50 with the threaded fastener 56, for example. The leg member 62 extends in a downward direction relative to the top face 58 and receives a slot 38 of the block member 12 to hang the block member 12 on the block veneer wall system 48. Therefore, the block veneer wall system 48 establishes a wall framework independent of the block members 12. That is, placement of the block members 12 is dictated by the ledger clips 52.

The leg member 62 of each ledger clip 52 includes a flange portion 63. The flange portions 63 push the leg member 62 against a back wall 61 of the horizontal portion 40 of the slot 38 (See FIG. 7) to reduce the amount of “slop” in the wall. That is, the flange portions 63 secure the block members 12 to the ledger clips 52.

The top face 58 of each ledger clip 52 includes a plurality of teeth 64. The teeth 64 grip a bottom surface of a block member 12 from a vertically adjacent row 54 of the block veneer wall system 48 (see FIG. 7). The top face 58 also includes a plurality of openings 66 for receiving a vertical bar (see FIG. 8) installed between horizontally adjacent block members 12 once positioned onto the block veneer wall system 48. The example ledger clip 52 includes a second set of openings 68 provided on the leg members 62. The openings 68 receive shims to adequately secure the block members 12 to the ledger clips 52 and ensure that the top face 58 is level relative to the ground as the block members 12 are received onto the leg member 62 of the ledger clip 52.

FIG. 9, with continuing reference to FIGS. 1-8, illustrates an example method 100 of constructing a wall system, such as the block veneer wall system 48, for example. At step block 102, the ledger clips 52 are horizontally positioned across the stud members 50 of a pre-existing wall 46 to establish a wall frame including a plurality of rows 54. In one example, wood sheathing, such as plywood for example, is installed over top of the existing stud members 50. In another example, building wrap may be installed to cover the wood sheathing and provide a moisture barrier.

At step block 104, a block member 12 is positioned on the block veneer wall system 48. The top face 41 of the block member 12 is tilted toward the ledger clip 52 and pushed upward such that the horizontal portion 40 of the slot 38 of the block member 12 is received by the lower leg member 62 of the ledger clip 52. The bottom of the block member 12 is next pushed in an inward direction (i.e., toward the stud members 50) until the inner face 20 of the block member 12 rests against the upper leg member 60 of the ledger clip 52 (except for block members 12 of the first row 54A). The block member 12 is then eased slightly downward until a bottom face of the block member 12 is seated on the top face 58 of the ledger clip 52 (or a starting strip where installing the block members 12 of the first row 54A).

Next, at step block 106, a liquid adhesive is applied to the top face 58 of a lowest exposed ledger clip 52 along the portion of the block member 12 which rests against the top face 58. That is, the adhesive is applied to the ledger clip 52 of the first row 54A of the block veneer wall system 48. Any known adhesive may be utilized at this step.

Shims may be inserted into the openings 68 of the bottom leg member 62 to improve the attachment of the block member 12 to the ledger clip 52 and to ensure that the block member 12 is level relative to the ground at step block 108. At step block 110, an additional block member 12 is positioned horizontally adjacent to the block member 12 positioned at step blocks 102 through 108.

At step block 112, and after the block members 12 are positioned side by side, the vertical bar 70 (FIG. 8) is installed downwardly through openings 66 of the ledger clips 52 to maintain the positioning of the adjacent block members 12. The vertical bars 70 are at least partially received within the vertical portions 42 of the slots 38 of the block members 12 (See FIG. 10). Next, at step block 114, step blocks 102 through 112 are repeated to construct the block veneer wall system 48 having a desired width and height. Finally, at step block 116, mortar is applied to each of a plurality of horizontal joints 72 (See FIG. 7) and vertical joints 74 (See FIG. 10) between the block members 12 after a desired number of block member 12 are attached to the ledger clips 52.

Another example wall system 80 which utilizes the example block member 12 (which is typical of block members 12, 14, 26 and 28) is illustrated with respect to FIG. 11. The wall system 80 is a free standing wall system. The wall system 80 includes a plurality of masonry blocks 24.

In one example, the masonry blocks 24 are pre-assembled at a fabrication facility. In another example, masonry blocks 24 are assembled on-site (i.e., at the construction site). Where assembled on-site, the bracket members 32 establish a wall framework 81 independently of the block members 12 (shown in phantom view in FIG. 11 for clarity). That is, the bracket members 32 dictate both the horizontal and vertical spacing the block members 12.

The bracket members 32 which establish the wall framework 81 are illustrated in FIGS. 12A-12C. Each bracket member 32 is a single sheet member and is connected between the first block member 26 and the second block member 28. The bracket member 32 has a width W that establishes spacing between the block members 26, 28. The bracket member 32 may be manufactured having different widths to obtain masonry blocks 24 of various sizes while utilizing standard sized block members 12. That is, the actual width of the masonry block 24 is controlled by the width W of the bracket member 32. The actual width W of the bracket member 32 will depend upon design specific parameters including, but not limited to, the desired size and strength of the masonry block 24.

The bracket member 32 has a generally planar body. The bracket member 32 has a length L2 which is in one example coextensive with the length L1 of the block members 12. In another example, the length L2 of the bracket member 32 is 75% of the length L1 of the block member 12. The length L2 of the bracket member 32 may be scaled to any size in proportion to the length L1 of the block members 12. A worker of ordinary skill in the art would understand how to design the bracket member 32 and the block members 12 to provide masonry blocks 24 of multiple sizes and strengths.

The bracket member 32 includes a bottom face 82 and opposing side faces 84. The bottom face 82 of the bracket member 32 includes a plurality of openings 86. The openings 86 provide an installer of the masonry blocks 24 with the ability to insulate and reinforce the composite masonry block 24. Optionally, the opposing side faces 84 may include at least one opening where necessary to provide insulation and reinforcement during specific installation criterion. In addition, a slot 97 is provided on the bottom face 82 between the openings 86. The slot 97 receives vertical reinforcement members where necessary to reinforce the wall framework 81 during installation of the wall system 80.

The bottom face 82 of the bracket member 32 has at least two fins 88 which extend along its length. The fins 88 extend transversely from the bottom face 82 in a direction away from the bottom face 82. The fins 88 of the bottom face 82 are received within the horizontal portion 40 of the slot 38 of the block member 12 to assemble the wall system 80.

The fins 88 of the bottom face 82 include a flange portion 90. The flange portions 90 push the fins 88 against a back wall of the horizontal portion 40 of the slot 38 to reduce the amount of “slop” in the wall system 80. That is, the flange portions 90 adequately secure the block members 12 to the bracket members 32.

The bottom face 82 further includes a plurality of holes 91 to permit an adhesive to penetrate and fixedly attach the block members 12 to the bracket member 32. A second set of holes 95 are formed on the fins 88 of the bottom face 82 to allow for the addition of brick ties and to allow mortar to penetrate and fixedly attach the block members 12 to the bracket member 32 during installation. Each corner 99 of the bottom face 82 includes a drainage hole 98 to reduce the amount of water which settles on the bracket member 32.

The opposing side faces 84 each include side fins 92 positioned on each side of the opposing side faces 84 and extending transversely from the side faces 84 in a direction toward the opposite side face 84. The side fins 92 are received within the vertical portions 42 of the slot 38 of the block member 12 when a block member 12 is attached to the wall framework 81. Each side fin 92 and each side face 84 includes a plurality of flute members 93, in one example. The flute members 93 provide a friction surface between the block members 12 and the bracket member 32 and secure the slots 38 of the block members 12 to the bracket member 32. Each side face 84 also includes at least two slots 94 for receiving a reinforcement member 96 (See FIG. 14) to assemble the wall framework 81 of the wall system 80, as is further discussed below.

FIG. 13, with continuing reference to FIGS. 11-12, illustrates an example method 200 of constructing a wall system, such as the wall system 80, for example. The bracket members 32 are preferably positioned in a plurality of rows and form the wall framework 81 (See FIG. 11). At step block 202, a plurality of the bracket members 32 are positioned at a first row. For example, the first row 102 of bracket members 32 is affixed to a starting strip 104, for example, which may be bolted or glued to a footing. In one example, the bracket members 32 of the first row 102 are attached to the starting strip 104 with an adhesive. However, the bracket members 32 may be attached to the starting strip 104 in any known manner.

The bracket members 32 are positioned end-to-end such that one of the side faces 84 of each horizontally adjacent bracket member 32 are directly adjacent to one another to assemble the first row 102. The bottom faces 82 of the bracket members 32 of the first row 102 are received against the starting strip 104 such that the side faces 84 extend in a direction away from the starting strip 104.

The block members 12 attach to the bracket members 32 of the first row 102 at step block 204. The wall framework 81 established by the bracket members 32 is a self-supporting wall frame. The side fins 92 of the side faces 84 receive the vertical portions 42 of the slot 38 of the block members 12 to position the block members 12. A block member 12 is positioned on each side of the bracket member 32 (i.e., each bracket member 32 includes two block members 12).

Next, at step block 206, reinforcement members 96 are received within the slots 94 of the bracket members 32 to reinforce the first row 102 (See FIG. 14). In one example, the reinforcement members 96 include slits 110 which receive the slots 94 of the bracket members 32 (See FIG. 14).

Next, at step block 208, an adhesive is applied along the top faces 41 of each block member 12 of the first row 102. In one example, the adhesive is polyurethane glue. However, any adhesive may be utilized.

A second row 106 of bracket members 32 is positioned relative to the first row 102 at step block 210. The bracket members 32 of the second row 106 are received onto the top faces 41 of the block members 12 of the first row 102. The adhesive at least partially affixes the bracket members 32 of the second row 106 to the block members 12 of the first row 102.

At step block 212, step blocks 204-208 are repeated to assemble the second row 106. Additional rows are added by repeating step blocks 202-210 as required by design specific parameters including the size of the wall system 80 desired.

Finally, at step block 214, mortar is applied to both the horizontal and vertical joints of the wall system 80. In periods of cold weather, the wall system 80 may be assembled and step block 214 may be performed at a later time during a period of warmer temperatures, for example.

FIG. 15 illustrates an example drainage path P provided by the wall systems 48, 80. Water, or any other liquid, may seep through the horizontal mortar joints 72 and the vertical mortar joints 74 and enter the depressions 44 (not shown in FIG. 15) of the block members 12. The mortar joints 72, 74 are not shown to the scale they would be in practice. The mortar joints 72, 74 are shown enlarged to better illustrate the function of the drainage path P.

The depressions 44 divert water into the horizontal portions 40 of the slots 38 of the wall system 48, 80 from adjacent block members 12. The horizontal portions 40 communicate the water to the vertical portions 42 of the slots 38. The vertical portions 42 then communicate the water downwardly. The water is communicated downwardly through the wall system 48, 80 until the water escapes the wall system 48, 80 at ground level. The depressions 44 and the slots 38 of the block members 12 reduce water penetration and water build-up within the wall system 48, 80.

The foregoing description shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in any limiting sense. A worker of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.





 
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