What is CMU?
In the construction industry, a concrete masonry unit or shortened word as CMU in layman’s term is otherwise known as common cement block, or hollow block. It has rectangular shape and is being made of Portland cement combined with sand or filtered gravel wherein the end-result is a high compact hollow or concrete block that are ideally used for building construction. Because CMUs or cement blocks have the capacity to control moisture, they are usually chosen to be used for constructing dining areas, shower rooms, and car washes.
The Concrete Masonry unit or ordinarily called cement block could also be made with lower density such as cinder blocks which consists of fly or bottom ash. On the other hand, clinker blocks are usually made of smelting wastes such as coal, coke, slag, or grit. Another kind of CMU or hollow block is called aerated concreted block that are sturdy but lightweight. They are ideally used for wall panels, commercial buildings, factories, and residential housing.
Cement block or hollow blocks (CMUs) come in different sizes. The most common dimension is 8 x 8 x 16 inches. That is, 20cm. x20 cm. x 41 cm. To allow insertion of mortar between blocks, they are built smaller in size; they are shaped or built one centimeter smaller than actual size. In other countries like the United Kingdom, cmu’s are also known as the breeze block. The word breeze is similar to ash. In Australia, the concrete masonry unit is called besser blocks or bricks.
For construction builders, concrete masonry unit or cement block has outstanding features such as energy efficiency, less maintenance, cost-efficient, and fire-resistant. Aside from these, using cmu does promote architectural aesthetics and flexibility. As such, they are commonly used for small and big building construction especially wall panels, chimneys, fireplace, elevator shafts, storage vaults, and fire-safe enclosures for stairwells.
Who takes masonry work? The person who takes care of cement blocks is called a mason. He is in charge of working with the cmu’s that is usually done outside the building structures.
It is required that a mason should be physically fit and capable of heavy lifting and working on scaffolding. However, the position requires only less educational attainment because the masonry is usually learned through practical skill or experience. The one that is looked for in a mason is his ability to do variety of jobs from a simple bricklaying or cement block laying to a more difficult or complicated designing intricate surface. Most of the masons are self- employed as the work is more of a skill than any other job. Other kinds of masons are called brick masons, block masons, and stonemasons.
On the whole, Concrete Masonry Units are those building materials that we usually encounter when we need to build our own home. They are the commonly called hollow blocks that are mainly used for walls in building and residences. A bit of information about concrete masonry unit could be a lot of help for every builder ‘“ whether it is a big structure or just an ordinary home.