The Ultimate Guide to AS 3700: Understanding Masonry Structures Standards
russell from wa building inspections perth
  • Ensure Compliance: Follow AS 3700 standards for safe and reliable bricks and masonry systems.
  • Key Guidelines: Detailed requirements for masonry structures including brick.

Hey Everyone, I’m Russell McCarthy, founder and lead building inspector at WA Building Inspections. If you’re involved in construction or masonry work, you’ve likely heard of AS 3700. This australian standard is critical for ensuring the safety, durability, and performance of masonry structures in Australia. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the key aspects of AS 3700 and its importance in the construction industry. Check out a recent article where I uncovered a dodgy builder that we entered into our bad builders register that broke every rule in AS 3700. Enjoy the shocking video.

What is AS 3700?


Overview of AS 3700

AS 3700, also known as the Masonry Structures Standard, is a comprehensive set of guidelines that outline the design and construction requirements for masonry structures. These standards ensure that masonry structures are built to withstand various environmental and load conditions, ensuring their longevity and safety.


Importance of AS 3700 Masonry Structures

The AS 3700 masonry structures standard is crucial for architects, engineers, builders, and inspectors. It provides a framework for designing and constructing masonry buildings that are safe, durable, and compliant with Australian standards and regulations.



AS 3700 Masonry Code Summary

The AS 3700 masonry code covers various aspects of masonry construction, including:

  • Materials and Properties: Specifications for bricks, blocks, mortar, and other materials used in masonry construction.
  • Design Requirements: Guidelines for the structural design of masonry elements to ensure they can withstand expected loads.
  • Construction Practices: Best practices for constructing masonry structures, including laying techniques, jointing, and curing.

AS 3700 Versions and Updates

AS3700 has been updated throughout the years to keep up with best practises and ensure overall building quality improves. Here is a list of the updates to the standard:


AS 3700 2001

The 2001 edition of AS 3700 introduced significant updates to the masonry code, reflecting advancements in materials and construction techniques.


AS 3700 2011

The 2011 revision of AS 3700 incorporated further improvements and clarifications to enhance the usability and comprehensiveness of the standard.


AS 3700 2018

The latest edition, AS 3700 2018, includes the most up-to-date guidelines for masonry structures. This version addresses modern construction challenges and incorporates the latest research and technology in masonry construction.




AS 3700 Free Download Options

If you’re looking to access the AS 3700 standard, there are several ways to obtain it. Many industry websites and educational institutions offer AS 3700 free download options. Ensure you download from reputable sources to get the most accurate and up-to-date version.




Practical Applications


Implementing AS 3700 in New Builds

When constructing new masonry buildings, adhering to AS 3700 ensures that all elements are designed and built to withstand the required loads and environmental conditions. This reduces the risk of structural failures and increases the building’s lifespan.


Retrofitting Existing Structures

For existing masonry structures, retrofitting to comply with AS 3700 can enhance safety and performance. This might involve reinforcing existing elements, improving materials, or upgrading construction techniques.


New Construction Inspections

When we perform stage inspections in new constructions in perth, we rely on this standard heavily, especially at the brick inspection stage (plate height inspection). This is the most common building stage that we detect seriously defective workmanship, just like this dodgy builder we uncovered in this Butler building inspection.




Common Issues and Solutions


Identifying Compliance Issues

During inspections, common compliance issues include the use of substandard materials, improper construction techniques, and non-compliance with design specifications. Identifying and addressing these issues early is vital to ensure structural integrity.


Solutions for Non-Compliance

If you encounter non-compliance with AS 3700, the best approach is to consult the standard and make necessary adjustments. This may involve replacing materials, modifying construction methods, or redesigning structural elements.




Benefits of Adhering to AS 3700


Safety and Durability

Following AS 3700 ensures that masonry structures are safe and durable, capable of withstanding various stresses and environmental conditions.


Regulatory Compliance

Adhering to AS 3700 helps builders and developers comply with Australian building regulations, avoiding legal issues and potential fines.


Improved Quality

Implementing the standards set out in AS 3700 leads to higher quality construction, which can enhance the reputation of builders and developers.



My Wrap Up of AS 3700

Understanding and adhering to AS 3700 is essential for anyone involved in masonry construction in Australia. By following this standard, you ensure that your structures are safe, durable, and compliant with regulations. Whether you’re working on new builds or retrofitting existing structures, AS 3700 is something you need to understand and implement precisely.