Wi System - Masonry Columns and Beams
(EN1996-1-1 2006 + UK N.A. and CERAM's test results of the Wi System by Wembley Innovation)
The Wi System is a unique system for providing structural support to laterally loaded masonry panels. It is a simple system, easy to construct, yet very efficient. It consists of masonry Wi Columns and Beams which incorporate integrally reinforced concrete infill within the hollow or trough shaped block units. This solution improves performance and aesthetics whilst providing uninterrupted homogeneous masonry panels. As a result steel/concrete windposts and lintels can be avoided. This system is patented by Wembley Innovation and is CERAM tested and approved. It has been proven to reduce installation costs by 15% over steel windpost construction. YourSpreadsheets teamed up with Wembley Innovation to provide a spreadsheet for designing this unique and interesting system that over time may supersede steel windposts.
More about the system:
- Wi Column: a stack bonded column of single cell hollow concrete units which are mortared together. Reinforcing bars are placed in the void which is then concreted. This creates structural columns integrally within block walls. Vertical spans up to 7m can be constructed.
- Wi Beam: a course of trough shaped units laid as a single or double course in a wall. Reinforcing bars are placed in the void with shear transfer rods connecting the beam to the masonry courses above and below. The trough units are then concreted. This creates structural beams integrally within block walls. Horizontal spans up to 11m can be achieved.
Design Guide for the Wi System can be found HERE (updated 18.09.2014). It was written by CERAM in conjunction with Buro Happold, Jenkins and Potter Consulting Engineers and Wembley Innovation. The full title is: Design guide for masonry reinforced by bond beams and columns to resist lateral load.
For more information on this system and to order components visit: www.wembleyinnovation.co.uk
The below renders show components of Wi System and demonstrate its simplicity:
This is the official spreadsheet for designing the Wi System. It was developed in conjunction with Wembley Innovation to allow quick and easy design of Wi Beams and Columns. It uses the yield line failure approach for economical design. It also allows to use the conservative approach. For a complete design this spreadsheet should be used together with the Masonry Wall Panel Design Spreadsheet to Eurocode 6.
It should be noted that masonry panels with Wi Columns may be designed as having continuous edge supports, provided continuity ties are provided in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.
- The official spreadsheet for designing the Wi System;
- Covers Wi Columns and Wi Beams;
- A clear and easy to read output (all on a single page);
- Option to select between Standard (45deg yield lines) and Conservative design approach;
- Loading includes: lateral UDL like wind load; barrier infill UDL load, handrail line load;
- Single or Doubled elements for additional strength;
- Various construction types: Free Edge; Free Edge Line Load and Standard;
- Live diagrams that help understand scenario being designed;
- Design is in accordance with Eurocode (EN 1996-1-1: 2005 + UK National Annex).
(Note: macros must be enabled for proper working of the spreadsheet. See this easy step-by-step guide)
Wembley Innovation provides innovative masonry solutions to the construction industry. Their motto is Create, Challenge and Construct. The company originated from a strong drive to overcome the difficulties of installing steel windposts within masonry construction on large projects where hundreds and even thousands of posts were required. In a search for providing an elegant and efficient structural support to laterally loaded blockwork panels a new System was developed without the downsides that steel windposts involve.
The patented Wi System was tested for nine years at the world-renowned CERAM laboratories near Stoke-on-Trent. With the collaboration of respected independent consultants Buro Happold and Jenkins and Potter Consulting Engineers, CERAM and Wembley Innovation have developed a Design Guide for the Wi Columns and Wi Beams, which is compliant with Eurocode 6.