Masonry support- the pillar for exciting new adventures in brickwork and installation

Brick is one of our most traditional and cherished building materials thanks to its resilience, low maintenance and fire-safe properties. But the evolution of brick slip units, for example, means brick is increasingly finding favour with architects as much for its versatility, as its reliability. Priya Rai, Senior Project Engineer at IG Masonry Support looks at how masonry support products have been used to elevate brickwork design to exciting and imaginative new levels on buildings throughout the UK.

Brickwork enables a wealth of intricate detailing opportunities and can ensure a brick-based building sits perfectly within its surrounding environment. Feature details such as brick soffits, deep reveals and flying beams continually make for stunning exteriors, enabling truly unique designs to be created. 

To meet this growing demand, offsite manufactured brick slip units fill a huge gap in the market. Intricate designs are no longer only in the domain of skilled craftspeople; they can be created in the quality-controlled, efficient environment of a factory, without the need for any lengthy and costly fabrication onsite.

Offsite manufactured solutions excel in creating intricate brickwork detailing that would be costly and complicated to fabricate onsite. Traditional brickwork methods  require time and expertise to achieve complex and uniform brickwork detailing to a project’s brief, yet with prefabricated solutions this level of detail and replication simply isn’t an issue. Taking the construction of complex brick features offsite into factory-controlled conditions drives the level of quality and consistency that is needed to achieve excellence and long-term value across all construction projects that may wish to create brickwork detailing to add personality or identity to their exterior structure.

Brickwork comes to life

A vibrant and modern mixed use development in London’ Royal Albert Docks is testament to what can be achieved when using offsite manufactured solutions to create intricate brickwork detailing. Completed in Spring 2023, the Gallions Place development features 127 new homes built across three blocks, ranging from five to 11 storeys and includes mixed tenure housing, retail and commercial accommodation for local people and businesses.

PRP Architects design on Gallions Place includes a number of intricate brickwork details throughout the development to enhance the façade visually and provide depth and shade. Countryside Partnerships approached IG Masonry Support to help with solutions to these details particularly with the brick soffit requirements including a deep corbelled soffit at the main entrance to one of the blocks.

Using B.O.S.S. A1 (Brick on Soffit System) and Welded Masonry Support, IG’s technical team came up with solutions to each detail, providing ease of installation as well as a precise quality finish in keeping with the original visual concept.  Following a number of collaborative design meetings, the technical team identified early on that they had to design a highly bespoke masonry support, corbelled brick soffit systems, balcony floors, and handrails that would cohesively integrate and avoid clashing with drainage on the building.

Corbelled units were also a significant requirement of the project. The team designed a solution using IG’s B.O.S.S. A1 (Brick on Soffit System) where the gusset could be folded into steps while being manufactured to the correct size. This resulted in splitting the units to keep the corbelled detail all in one piece while considering the weight of the units to ensure ease of installation for the client. 

At the time of the project, B.O.S.S. A1 had just launched and this was one of the first projects to benefit from this technically advanced soffit solution which was used to create the corbelled units as well as the other brick soffit features across the build. 

Manufactured offsite, the prefabricated components were delivered to site complete with brick slips adhesively bonded and mechanically secured to the brick carrier unit. B.O.S.S. A1 is 70% lighter than equivalent concrete units, thus facilitating fast and efficient installation, reducing installation times by up to 90%, and negating the need for mechanical lifting.

Additionally, IG Masonry Support provided brick cutting, and supported the brickwork contractor by collecting bricks from site and cutting them before they were bonded to the units. Supplementary brick cutting was also carried out for pistol bricks required onsite which were all carried out within its Brick Cutting Facilities in Overseal, South Derbyshire.


An additional and final benefit to the client was the quoting and design collaboration between IG Masonry Support and sister company Keyfix. IG Masonry Support supplied a full package of B.O.S.S. A1, Masonry Support, and Brick Cutting Services. In addition, Keyfix supplied 3,801 metres of its Non-combustible Cavity Tray (NCCT), 953 metres of its Non-combustible Cavity Tray Lintels, 4,055 preformed Corner Units, and 18,674 weep vents, exceeding and futureproofing the building in accordance with updated building regulations.


The external design team was very accommodating in terms of the level of detail provided from an early stage which greatly helped the two companies to minimise variations in costs, who together provided full technical support from conception stage, to approval and installation.


The timeless appeal of traditional brickwork for architects remains a constant. Couple this with modern engineering, stunning prefabricated brick facades can be produced offsite in the quality controlled, efficient factory environment whilst ensuring the ever-elusive grade A finish is translated onsite each and every time.