From the Editor: After the Storms

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

Editor Karen HickeyKaren Hickey, editor

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.

The resilience of communities against natural disasters begins with sound buildings and infrastructure. In this issue, we explore the need for reinforcing masonry structures to protect against such events as earthquakes and tornadoes. David Sommer and Cale Ash have written an informative article on why retrofitting of unreinforced masonry buildings is needed and why up-to-date seismic building codes are important.

Natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes, wreak havoc on buildings. Up-to-date building codes and standards are vital to maintaining our communities and the buildings in them.

Also in this issue, the focus is on green building. From new products to best practices, manufacturers and builders understand that “sustainable” yields numerous benefits. But green building is not just obtaining a LEED certification, and it’s not just for new construction. It’s also using what already exists, restoring and repurposing the buildings already standing. I have transformed a PowerPoint presentation about preserving old buildings into an article, which can be found on page 18.

I’m pleased to bring you the story of Bricks Incorporated, a Chicago-area company devoted to salvaging and reusing brick. It doesn’t get much more “green” than recycling masonry!

Last but not least, we’re introducing our 2018 editorial calendar in the coming weeks. If you want to be part of Masonry Design’s coverage in the coming year, write to me at I look forward to working with you!

To make comments or suggestions, send e-mail to

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