Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, building stone such as marble, granite, and limestone, cast stone, concrete block, glass block, and adobe. Masonry is generally a highly durable form of construction. However, the materials used, the quality of the mortar and workmanship, and the pattern in which the units are assembled can substantially affect the durability of the overall masonry construction. A person who constructs masonry is called a mason or bricklayer. These are both classified as construction trades.
Earlier gabions were often cylindrical wicker baskets, open at both ends, used usually for temporary, often military, construction.
Similar work can be done with finer aggregates using cellular confinement.
Masonry walls have an endothermic effect of its hydrates, as in chemically bound water, unbound moisture from the concrete block, and the poured concrete if the hollow cores inside the blocks are filled. Masonry can withstand temperatures up to 1,000ºF and it can withstand direct exposure to fire for up to 4 hours. In addition to that, concrete masonry keeps fires contained to their room of origin 93% of the time. For those reasons, concrete masonry units hold the highest fire class flame spread classification, a Class A.
Masonry buildings can also be built to increase safety by reducing fire damage, such as the use of fire cuts during construction.