BIM MUD for 2018 Update

Words: Jeff Elder

BIM-M continues to expand its reach into the AEC community by supplying its customers access to several new BIM masonry tools.  Building Information Modeling for Masonry's MUD, or masonry unit database completed version 1 to include a modest representation of generic concrete and clay masonry units.  These units are now available for immediate download directly from the MUD website – www.mudb.orgor indirectly from the BIMM website at The database user portal provides a single website and access to the database that contains models of the most commonly used generic shapes, colors and sizes for concrete and clay masonry units. The models contain both geometric and material property data and can be exported from the database to all commonly used BIM and CAD applications.

Upon entering the database, the designer is given two options to access the masonry models. Frequent users can access a unit directly from the home page by entering material type, size and color.  Others can find a product by searching through one of 3 wall system types: Structural Masonry, Anchored Veneer and Adhered Systems. It is recognized that any project can have multiple wall systems and multiple materials.


Structural masonry is comprised of structural clay brick (SCU) and concrete block (CMU) models commonly used in loadbearing and curtainwall systems as walls, columns and beams.  Choose from many different structural units to find the right solution for your structural project here.


Anchored systems are used to provide the classic aesthetics and durability of masonry in applications where other structural systems are used. Masonry veneers protect structural materials that would otherwise be degraded from exposure to the elements. Anchored veneers are attached to structural walls in many ways such as steel shelves and suspensions.  Models are selected by material type:  Concrete, Clay or Stone.  Version 2 of the MUD will add the most commonly available generic shapes of Anchored Stone.


Finally, in Version 2, but not yet included in MUD is addition of Adhered systems.  Currently there are placeholders for modular thin units made up of modular units of clay, concrete and stone which are designed to be lightweight. These materials are typically less than 1.5 inches in thickness and are attached to the system using mastic or mortar.

The Masonry Unit Generator add-in for Autodesk Revit is an application plug-in which connects to the Masonry Unit Database. The add-in can generate accurate models to be used directly in your Revit designs. It features an intuitive interface, graphic representations of units, search capability and can save native Revit families to your library for later use.

Another by-product from the development of the database is BIM-M’s "Masonry Content Pack for Autodesk Revit".   has been updated to include more features and save you more time! Our experts have created such content as bond beams, vertical reinforcement in grouted cells, movement joints, arches, wall types of numerous conditions, various generic unit profiles, wall hatches for bonding patterns, flashing details, and more. The library can be accessed for free at An instructional video accompanies the library to help you get started!

MUD Version 2, currently in development, will provide a means of housing semi-custom and custom masonry shapes that are not easily generated using the shapes generator plugin.  Semi-custom shapes are still considered generic as they are produced by most manufacturers.  Not all masonry units are easily represented as rectangular prisms. In this version, the data model will be expanded and workflows developed that will allow manufacturers to house their units in MUD. Manufactured stone and granite cut stone will also be incorporated in this phase.

Finally, Version 3 is expected to begin development in 2019 and will be a repository of manufacture specific models and material properties.  This phase is intended to be self‐funded through contributions by participating manufacturers.

The software developer, 3DiQ has been selected to develop and maintain the manufacturer specific database and has already developed Masonry iQ, a revolutionary, new masonry modeling plugin for Autodesk REVIT that was released on July 28, 2017. The software was inspired by BIM-M and assists designers in the layout of masonry to eliminate cuts, improve coursing, add bond patterns, change coursing, sizes and colors within a wall, add wall steel, locate bond beams, expansion and control joints. This new software will enhance construction in the field by improving layout and workmanship, improve quantity takeoffs, and reduce overall costs. See a short video that illustrates the power of this software at

BIM-M has released its new guide "BIM for Masonry, Modeling Masonry Buildings in Autodesk Revit" for architects, engineers, contractors and other users of masonry. Developed in cooperation with the TMS BIM Committee, the guide is a free download. Three actual Revit models that accompany the guide are also available (Masonry Office Sample A15Masonry Office Sample S15, and Harrison Prep Model).

The database is only the beginning of the changes you should expect to see in the masonry industry.

BIM-M’s expectation is that once generic data for the models is available and manufacture data is housed, third-party vendors will be motivated to create design software enhancing the use, optimization, ordering, scheduling and installation of masonry units. BIM‐M’s objective is to also decrease contractor costs associated with generating shop drawings, construction scheduling, cost awareness, safety and improved communications between contractors, designers, and owners. This effort will facilitate the expansion of the masonry industry through data sharing, increased safety, productivity, scheduling and lifecycle awareness.  Even with the little progress made to date, great things are happening in the masonry industry.  Check us out at


Development of the Masonry Unit Database is underwritten by the BIM‐M Initiative and it’s sponsors along with support from the Charles Pankow Foundation. Special recognition and thanks goes to the MUD Development Committee:  Wyatt Crane of CTC; Russell Gentry, Georgia Tech; Mark Swanson, IMI; and Nicholas Lang, NCMA.

Jeffrey L Elder, PE, SE, LEED AP, General Sales Manager for Interstate Brick in UT and HC Muddox in CA, is nationally recognized for his role in the design and promotion of hollow clay structural brick for the past 30 years. He is an executive member of BIM-M and project chair of the Unit Masonry Committee responsible for the Masonry Unit Database. He has served for the past 30 years as Technical Chairman for the Western States Clay Products Association, the structural research arm of the brick industry. He is a member of The Masonry Society and has actively participated in The Masonry Standards Joint Committee, Masonry Alliance for Codes and Standards, ASTM, and is listed in TMS Speaker Directory. He has also authored or co-authored numerous magazine articles, technical documents and publications about brick. Elder holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering / Structures from Brigham Young University, Provo UT.| 801.280.5200.

Words: Jeff Elder
Photos: CADBLOX, Masonry iQ
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