- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 19 Nov 2020
Why do buildings crack? (DG 361)
Why do buildings crack? (DG 361) was first published by BRE in May 1991, and the original content largely remains valid. The current edition was published on 21 August 2014 and includes updated references. It was written by Roger Sadgrove.
Most buildings develop cracks in their fabric, often soon after construction when materials are drying out, but sometimes later. Most early cracking is not structurally significant and is easily repaired. Only rarely does cracking indicate a reduction in structural capacity.
However, diagnosis can be difficult, as every building is unique and several factors may combine to produce a defect. DG 361 examines the causes of cracking in buildings, describes a wide range of potential problems and offers complete solutions to every cracking problem. It is intended to broaden the reader’s understanding of the factors that contribute to cracking and so increase the likelihood of correct diagnosis and remediation.
It provides guidance about how to avoid pitfalls and how to reduce the likelihood of future problems in new buildings.
The contents of the 12 page digest are:
- Extent of movement.
- The effect of movements: how do cracks occur?
- Temperature changes.
- Initial drying out of moisture and wetting and drying.
- Loss of volatiles.
- Freezing and thawing of absorbed water.
- Subsurface crystallisation of soluble salts.
- Sulfate attack.
- Corrosion or oxidation of steel.
- Moisture expansion of fired clay products.
- Alkali silica reaction.
- Hydration of oxides and unstable clinker aggregates.
- Imposed load effects.
- Foundation movement.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- BRE articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE Buzz articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE Buzz.
- Building Research Establishment.
- Burland scale
- Cracking and building movement.
- Cracking in buildings.
- Defects in brickwork.
- Defects in construction.
- Defects in dot and dab.
- Defects in stonework.
- Ground heave.
- Latent defects.
- Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- Preventing wall collapse.
Featured articles and news
Standard will help employers foster wellbeing and manage psychosocial risks.
Global fire standards for safety of people and property.
An introduction to the 5 core principles of lean.
Can the profession use its skills to save the world from climate change?
How faulty science resulted in sanitation reform.
Improving facilities, accessibility and overall appearance.
Free download of TG 12/2021 available.
TESP works with The Youth Group to form skill sharing network.
Big tech collaborates on platform for the built environment.
Letter signed by 21 organisations sent to MHCLG.
A look at the Government's strategic approach.
Steps to help reduce the spread of infection inside buildings.
This social media-centred hobby can be both dangerous and illegal.
Millwork wall treatment with a long and illustrious history.
Click the button to subscribe.