Construction Joint

What does Construction Joint Mean?

Definition of Construction Joint in Construction
A construction joint is any joint that is constructed within a structure to be built, to limit the amount of cracking that could occur, or to facilitate the construction process. A construction joint is a planned point of control for cracks and movement, or is required to actually construct the project. All material expands and contracts, therefore, without construction joints, a structure would incur cracks and distortions within itself. In addition, the proper engineering regarding the placement of construction joints, allows the construction of the project to be accomplished without procedures and techniques that will add money and time to the project.

The proper spacing of construction joints is paramount in the limitation of cracks and failures. Dependent upon the material, construction joints could be as close as 4 feet apart, or as long as 20 feet apart, all dependent upon the specific material and design. In most cases, a construction joint, if in a wall or sidewalk, is caulked to prevent the intrusion of water into the joint, and to decrease its ability to accumulate dirt and sediment. Construction joint placement in structural components is important, due to the stresses supported within structural component, and must be located at points that have a minimum of internal stresses due to structural loading. On complicated structures, the proper location of construction joints is an extremely important calculation.

Structural engineers use stress calculations that are now performed by computers to analyze the placement of joints within the structural components. The proper placement of construction joints is a critical design element that will influence the strength and durability of the entire project.