Tag Archives: Masonry

From the Editor: After the Storms

Harvey. Irma. Jose. Katia. No, these are not random names. They are the hurricanes on record while we were preparing this issue of Masonry Design. Most, if not all, of you are familiar with Harvey and Irma, two large hurricanes which brought about incredible destruction in the Southeast United States in August and September — destruction to the tune of tens of billions of dollars in Houston, Texas, and all across the state of Florida.…

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The Greenest Buildings: What Architects Should Know About Masonry Restoration and Preservation

Nothing says sustainability more than preserving, restoring and repurposing existing buildings. The greenest buildings today are those already built. Masonry is a sustainable, resilient material that can survive floods and fires. It is the oldest and most permanent building material, exuding a sense of permanence, longevity, quality, reliability and familiarity, yet it is forgiving and flexible. Many brick buildings that were built more than 100 years ago are continuing to fulfill their original purposes, while others have been adapted for new purposes.…

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Comfort Block: 90-Year-Old Maine Company Creates High-Performing Green Masonry Product

Masonry, one of the oldest and most beautiful trades, has been on a steady decline since the 1960s. Due to dramatic changes in the way today’s homes, chimneys, foundations and steps are being constructed, the industry is at its lowest point in 80 years. The average age of masonry professionals is increasing and the number entering apprenticeships is declining. In the northeast corner of the U.S., a Maine-based masonry company is quietly working to revive the declining industry through new product development and innovation.…

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Bricks Incorporated: Reclaiming Chicago Common Brick

Bricks Incorporated got its start in the late 1960s as a demolition and salvage company in Chicago. When an old factory or home was scheduled for demolition, the company salvaged any desirable materials, including brick, steel, terra cotta and copper, then packaged and sold it for reuse. In the 1970s, the company scrapped the demolition business while continuing to salvage materials, and diversified into the manufacture of new brick and stone.…

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Seismic Retrofitting of Masonry Buildings: Why It’s Needed

Shortly before 1 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand, started to shake. Ten seconds are all it took to change the landscape and the lives of residents: 185 dead, several thousand injured, and 45 percent of buildings deemed unsafe to enter. While many of the deaths in the earthquake occurred in a small number of building collapses, unreinforced masonry (URM) construction suffered widespread damage. However, while the Royal Commission Report identified that 97 percent of the unstrengthened URM buildings in the Central Business District were either seriously damaged or collapsed, only 20 percent of buildings that had been retrofit to a high level experienced serious damage.…

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Tornado Season Underscores the Importance of Reinforced Masonry Wall Systems

Although peak tornado season typically occurs April through June, violent outbursts struck early this year and featured one of the largest tornado events to ever occur in winter. The January 21–23 spate of storms produced 79 confirmed tornadoes across the Deep South from Texas to South Carolina, resulting in the second-deadliest January outbreak on record. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. averages more than 1,000 tornadoes per year — more than any other country. Annual insurance losses from U.S. tornadoes and thunderstorms range in the billions, with the costliest event occurring in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and nearby areas in April 2011, resulting in $7.8 billion in insured damages.…

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Acme Brick Introduces TC Cladding

www.brick.com A new “green” cladding product from Acme Brick Co. combines all the benefits of masonry in new sizes and uses a fast method of application. Acme TC (terra cotta) Cladding is manufactured to strict tolerances in an ISO9001-certified plant, ensuring trouble-free installation. These panels combine light weight, durability and low maintenance with a fresh,…

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Echelon Offers a Half-High CMU Option

Echelon Masonry has expanded its InsulTech Insulated Concrete Masonry Unit (ICMU) System to include Half-High unit options. Featuring more than a dozen profiles — in finished nominal dimensions of 12 1/4 x 4 x 16 inches — InsulTech offers more flexibility and options for architects designing hospitals, schools and other institutions, while meeting building codes.…

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Call for Entries: Joan B. Calambokidis Innovation in Masonry Design Competition

Imagine the Future of Masonry Design and Construction $30,000 in Prizes • Open to architects, engineers, A/E firms and students Register by November 15, 2017 • Enter by November 30, 2017 The inaugural Joan B. Calambokidis Innovation in Masonry Design Competition challenges architects, engineers, students, and firms to imagine the future of masonry design. Participants should…

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Register Now for the Strength Design of Masonry Webinar

The Masonry Society (TMS) will present “Strength Design of Masonry,” the first of its webinar series, on Thursday, October 12, 2017, 1–2 p.m. ET. The series will include a new webinar on the second Thursday of each month. Strength design was added to the TMS 402 Building Code for Masonry Structures in 2002. However, most masonry…

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