of Note


Social Responsibility

The Flavian Amphitheater, better known today as the Roman Colosseum, is undergoing a $31 million restoration to clean and strengthen the 1933 year old structure. Shoe company Tod’s founder and CEO, Diego Della Valle has donated the money to the Italian government as an act of social responsibility.

The outer wall, pillars and ground floor of the Colosseum were constructed of more than 3.5 million cubic ft of locally-quarried travertine limestone, set without mortar. Brick, marble, concrete and tiles were also used throughout the structure. Holes visible in the remaining walls show where cladding was anchored to the backup wall. Over the years, stone from the historic landmark has been removed and used in the construction of other important Roman buildings, including Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Palazzo di Venezia.

The current restoration project will not rebuild fallen sections or replace the dismantled façade, but rather will remove hundreds of years of grime from exhaust and pollution and shore up internal and subterranean areas, making it safer and more accessible to the public.

While no building is built to last 2000 years, it is heartening to think that this architectural masonry link back to another civilization may remain, in some form, to reach that milestone.

Thirty-five years at the Masonry Advisory Council

Chuck Ostrander left his mark before retiring

He loved it. He breathed it. He stood up for it. He looked for new ways to promote it. Including his license plate “BLOCK”. And the memorable siren cards he used to create excitement among masonry executives as he explained his promotional campaign to fire chiefs and municipal decision makers that masonry does not burn.

One day he called me. Chuck wanted to promote masonry throughout the state of Illinois and the Greater Chicago area with a magazine similar to that of the Masonry Institute of Michigan, which promoted masonry to architects and others in the built environment. The MasonryEdge became that tool in 2006. Chuck invested in 13,500 copies of that educational quarterly publication to saturate his market with solid masonry technical information.

Chuck has always been about Pushing the industry Forward. He cares about Best Practices, wanting to improve how masonry is constructed. Chuck kept a camera in his car and was known for spotting problems as he drove. He would stop and capture yet another situation where his high standards for design or installation had not been met. Chuck also noted occasions when architects or general contractors could have used more education. These became documented issues that Chuck addressed in his best practice articles. He felt strongly about keeping the industry educated so it could perform to expectations.

Since his retirement, we miss his GREAT MIND, his myriad contributions. We wish him well in new adventures and quality time with family including that precious little granddaughter.

– Betty Stansbury Young PublisherSMART |dynamics of masonry where industry leaders gather and speak

Effective Communicator

Over the years, I have come to realize, as I look across the country and remember all of the masonry association and institute executive directors, I conclude that we all promote the many advantages and benefits of masonry from various perspectives. Even though Chuck is an engineer, I believe, he has a knack for promoting through advertising. He once told me, he always had two fax machines going because eventually one of them would burn out. Chuck was an effective communicator, always delivering passionate presentations on behalf of the masonry industry. He wasn’t shy or afraid to stand up in the middle of a crowd to speak his mind defending the industry.

Chuck told me once about his encounter with representatives of a competing building industry. The Illinois Masonry Institute had to respond to a complaint about information that the Institute was disseminating regarding the relative merits of steel stud versus concrete block construction as a backing for brick veneer in buildings. The Institute was alleged in disseminating untrue statements to the public about certain testing, costs and performance of steel stud and brick veneer wall systems. Chuck stood his ground and won.

To me, Chuck is as dedicated an individual as they come, with outstanding presentation skills, a burning passion and masonry knowledge, constantly striving for the success of the industry. I congratulate him on his retirement and wish him and his family well. He was a thirty-five year employee of the Illinois Masonry Institute. That’s a long time! I wonder how many fax machines he purchased?

– Dan Zechmeister, Executive Director Masonry Institute of Michigan

True Friend and Trusted Resource

From the very first time I met Chuck, I gained a great deal of respect for his vast knowledge of masonry. Chuck was always so willing to spend time with me, which really helped me better understand masonry construction. He was a tremendous resource. I would walk in his office and he could always find the pertinent article that would help me; often one he authored, a TEK Note, or information on his neat desk. (You know what they say about one who has a messy desk – that person has an active mind!) He would encourage me to gather as much information about a particular project as possible, and not be shy about asking questions. Through years of meeting with Chuck, and his helping me through masonry dilemmas, he became a true friend and trusted resource.

– Steve Hunt, Architectural Sales Northfield an Oldcastle Company


Chuck was a perfect fit for a market like Chicago. He was bold and aggressive in his promotion of a building system that he believed in to his very soul. There has been no one in our industry that could replicate his style or the level of his outreach. It was easy to tell when NCMA created a piece that met his standard, as our national print order would suddenly double after his call. And while he has such a flair for the dramatic, he also has such a great understanding about the nature of the performance of the building envelope and the factors that should influence both design and material selection. I have great admiration and appreciation of the body of work that has encompassed his masonry promotion career in his capacity at the Masonry Advisory Council. He challenges us all and makes us all better. That is why I wish him well in retirement, but am also personally hoping that he dis covers new ways to recharge and engage with us again.

– Bob Thomas, President National Concrete Masonry Association

Winners of the 10th Annual SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 celebrate their accomplishments and their trade! Combined, they take home cash and prizes valued at more than $120,000, including a new Ford F250 XLT 4×4 for the winner.

Peter Zwolak (left) of Phoenix Contractors in Media PA and fellow competitors race to learn who will be the Fastest Trowel on the Block

Masonry Madness Showcases Skill, Dedication of the Trade’s Finest

Masonry competitions of all sorts are gaining popularity within the industry as a way to encourage participation by younger generations in choosing masonry as a career path and/or as a building material of choice. While most of these events are local or regional, Masonry Madness culminates these into a day of international competition in which the best-of-the-best masons, from first-year apprentices to life-long bricklayers, assemble to showcase their skills at the centuries-old craft of building a wall laying masonry units one over two.

Six competitions were held outdoors, under the warm Las Vegas sun as part of the weeklong World of Concrete/ World of Masonry Convention and Tradeshow. Sponsored by the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) first-, second- and third-year masonry apprentices competed in the Masonry Skills Challenge, a three-hour contest in which they had to build a wall from plans they received only moments before the event commenced. Wall design complexity increased with apprenticeship year.

Across the lot, competitors in the National Concrete Masonry Association-sponsored Fastest Trowel on the Block had only 20 minutes to erect a wall of 100 to 125 8″x8″x16″, 30lb CMU. Truly a team event, masons were supported by two tenders who ensured the materials were well stocked and easily accessible for maximum production and efficiency as they laid as many block as possible in an 18-block long wall.

Organizers know that they can make even hard work fun by turning the setup of each mason’s work area for the day’s main event, the SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500, into a competition for the tenders: The Toughest Tender. Tenders staged the work area according to a predefined plan, providing an organized, clean and efficient work space in which the mason worked. Tenders raced against the clock and each other for a chance to win a little money – $2500 in cash and sponsor prizes – them selves, and ensure optimal conditions for their partners in the next event!

Drawing some of the best bricklayers from around the globe, the SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 also drew the largest crowd. More than 1000 spectators cheered the 20 bricklayers and their tenders through the hour-long competition of building the biggest wall. Brick count is important, so speed is a key ingredient to success, but, over the event’s 10-year history, the rules and guidelines continually change to increase the overall quality of the finished product, further emphasizing craftsmanship of the masons and value of hand-laid masonry.

The SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500’s theme of Keeping the Trade Strong was introduced in 2010 and continues to be the focus of the event and, this year, carried over to all the day’s events.

Masonry has long been, and continues to be, a multigenerational business. Father passes his craft to son, generation after generation. Many competitors of Masonry Madness events demonstrated this, as they had family members as teammates and/or represented family businesses. The family spirit is instilled deeply in the industry as young bricklayers are embraced by veterans and mentored along the way. Competitors pointed to coworkers who encourage and inspire them and it was clear to all the sincere pride and appreciation they have for their craft and industry. Masonry makes a wall like no other.

Success of Masonry Madness doesn’t rest only with the competitors, but with the organizers, sponsors and partners who work year-around to keep the trade strong. Regional qualifying events are held, materials and prizes donated, promotional materials developed, judges and mudslingers enlisted and excitement built! Masons know that if they are focused on quality, speed will follow and they just might walk away a winner!

Contact MCAA or your local masonry institute or labor organization to get involved in upcoming events.

Second year apprentice, Aaron Micheilas from New Dimension Masonry in San Diego CA completes his project during the Masonry Skills Challenge.

Above: 2012 Craftsmanship Award winner Scott Tuttle from Quik Trowel Masonry in Clearfield UT, cleans and checks his wall before judging begins.

Below: Heidi Albea sets up the work area for her father, mason Jerry Goodman of Jerry Goodman & Sons Masonry in Blythewood SC, as she competes in the Toughest Tender.

Thermal Performance Research Compares Wall Systems

The Masonry Association of Florida, in partnership with the National Concrete Masonry Association has contracted with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a major Department of Energy (DoE) research lab, to a detailed study of the thermal performance of various common residential wall systems. The research is based on computer modeling using EnergyPlus, the most sophisticated energy software available. EnergyPlus is also regarded as the premier software for accurately predicting the performance of thermal mass.

This study compares the yearly energy use of one- and two-story residences with masonry walls, ICF walls and wood walls. Various insulation strategies are analyzed with each wall system and all configurations are analyzed across 18 different climate zones covering all 50 States. Totaled, the number of configurations analyzed will be approximately 16,500. A simple look-up function will allow users to compare the yearly energy use of virtually any possible wall system against any other wall system.

This matrix of energy uses will allow users to see exactly how masonry homes compare to competitive wall systems in an accurate analysis that is NOT based exclusively on R-value. The analysis will be based on the overall yearly performance, including the performance of thermal mass. Results of the study are expected to be available late summer.

University of Hawaii Center for Microbial Oceanography building winner of 2012 Design Award of Excellence - Commercial. Designed by Charles Kaneshiro architect of Group 70 International in Honolulu

Military Advised to Continue Building Green

A recent independent report on energy efficiency and sustainability standards produced by the National Research Council concludes that the Department of Defense is benefiting from its use of green building rating program for buildings, such as LEED, and advised that it continue to be used for new construction and major renovation.

The policy that Department of Defense projects be certified LEED-Silver or equivalent was established in 2010. In 2012, Congress requested a report from the DoD that included cost-benefit analysis, return on investment and longterm payback as related to energy use for certified buildings. While the report states that the DoD’s policy is sound, it states that energy and water savings vary as a result of factors including, but not limited to, building type and technologies employed within.

It is recommended that the DoD establish practices of building performance evaluation after construction to ensure that objectives are met, operations are implemented as expected, performance is improving and measures of reducing energy and water use are cost-effective.

The full report may be accessed at nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18282

Oldcastle Architectural acquires CEMEX block and building material assets

Oldcastle Architectural acquired concrete block and paver production facilities and associated building material stores from CEMEX Construction Materials Atlantic, LLC to fill a gap in its geographic footprint in western North and South Carolina. Oldcastle acquired plants in Asheville, Colfax, Charlotte, Hickory and Franklin NC, as well as in Anderson, Greenville and Holly Hill SC Oldcastle is also continuing to operate CEMEX’s concrete block facility in Spartanburg SC. The plants have been integrated into Adams, which has six manufacturing plants and ten storefronts across the eastern Carolinas. The combined company will be led by the president of Adams, Colin Clampett.

Concrete Masonry Design Awards of Excellence

Showcasing design excellence using concrete masonry products for commercial, residential and landscape applications.

Entry form due June 28, 2013 Full project binder due August, 31, 2013

For more information visit ncma.org. 703.713.1900

Best Practice


Comprehensive Resource at the click of a mouse


Elizabeth Young, LEED Green Associate

Users are immediately drawn into MasonrySystems.org by rotating images of dramatic masonry projects. Tabs identifying site sections across the bottom of the screen remain visible from every page. Image seen is Indian Wells Clubhouse, Indian Wells CA. Douglas Fredrickson Architects, Phoenix AZ. New Dimension Masonry, San Diego CA.

You already know masonry is the most beautiful material for your next building project, but do you know why a masonry wall outlasts and out performs all other wall systems? MasonrySystems.org makes it easy for designers and contractors to find the answers they need when it comes to choosing masonry.

Possibility and Performance

Design inspiration is there. Big, beautiful images of brick, block and stone structures from areas across the US rotate on the home screen, demonstrating the scope of possibility masonry offers. Featured projects are searchable by building type in the Gallery. Written descriptions accompany photos with details about why masonry was selected and how it is used, along with links to architects, mason contractors and masonry material suppliers, when possible.

Data on the design, engineering, inherent product attributes and system performance behind the aesthetic beauty is there, too. Additional MasonrySystem.org sections are divided into Wall Systems, Details, Benefits, Knowledge, Communication and Resources. Each section allows the user to locate information specifically being sought.

Wall Systems Comply with Current Codes

What types of masonry wall systems are there? How does an insulated CMU and brick cavity wall compare to a steel stud wall with brick veneer as far as R-value or sound transmission? For which type of building is one system a better choice than another? What components does a particular wall system include and what, exactly, does that look like? Answers to these questions are found in the Wall Systems section.

Tim O’Toole, Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) director of Marketing, Education, and Information Technology, says wall system specifics will continually be updated to comply with current codes and other industry standards so users can rely on up-to-date information.

Collection of Conceptual Details

Once a wall system has been chosen, correct detailing will ensure best performance. MasonrySystems.org partnered with the International Masonry Institute (IMI) for Details on an ever-growing catalog of items from projecting soldier coursing for visual interest, to block clean out for optimum bonding of grout to rebar and CMU, to flashing systems for protection against water infiltration. Details are conceptual to aid designers in decision-making.

Masonry Institute of Washington (MIW) has shared its broad collection of details on MasonrySystems.org, too. Other institutes are invited to contribute details particular to their region. It is helpful to architects who design in various regions of the country to reference one site for all masonry details.

Masonry’s Expansive Impact

Benefits of masonry design and construction are plentiful. A short introduction to the Benefits section refers to speed of construction, cost-benefit analysis, local economics, insurance premiums, structure as enclosure, single-contractor responsibility, thermal mass and design flexibility!

Articles, videos, technical papers and Power Point presentations provide evidence and know-how into masonry materials and systems.

Need to know more about masonry’s fire safeness? Click a link to purchase the TMS 216-07, the standard on Determining Fire Resistance. Or link to NCMA’s TEK 2-6 to read about how CMU’s density affects its fire resistance. Or read an article about how real-life fires spread—or were contained—by building materials and how masonry wall systems can help minimize loss of life and subsequent expense.

Information found in the Knowledge tab may also be cross-referenced in other sections of the website. The goal is to make all resources user-friendly and easy to access, reminds O’Toole. So one person may search for “fire safe” and another may be in need of “presentation” materials and both may end up with the same fire safe presentation, but will have found it their own way.

An extensive technical glossary of essential terms of a masonry wall system is valuable in communication with others.

Dynamic and Interactive

Looking for more information? Try a forum. MasonrySystems.org’s Communication section offers forums for discussing masonry topics, asking questions, posting announcements and sharing experience. Divided into Design, Structural, Construction and Materials, there is a forum for everyone.

Ready to build? Want to learn more? The Resources section of the site has links to contractors, designers, suppliers, associations and instructors around the US, Canada and places beyond.

Wall system isometrics are available for various masonry wall system types including the Cavity Wall: Brick/Veneer/Reinforced Concrete Block shown in this screen capture.

When exploring MasonrySystems.org, become familiar with one section at a time so you won’t become overwhelmed. You will, no doubt, plan to return for more information — over and over again — until you become an expert in the cost-effective, high-performance, resilient and sustainable structural masonry wall system.

Industry Impact

MasonrySystems.org was the brainchild of the Masonry Executives Council (MEC), a coalition of professionals from masonry organizations around the US and Canada. The site was created thanks to the contributions of MEC members and other industry leaders who contributed time, content, IT, masonry expertise and financial support. An MCAA committee includes O’Toole and MEC members and is responsible for reviewing and updating all content on the site, its recent redesign and ongoing maintenance.

Unselfish collaboration of many individuals and organizations contributing content and reviewing data demonstrates the masonry industry’s belief that a unified industry is good for the future of masonry as the evolution of the built environment continues and addresses emerging needs, such as energy efficiency, material and resource conservation, affordable housing and community connectivity. Sharing materials and knowledge in one location on the internet is valuable as it makes access to masonry information readily-available to designers and owners. That, in turn, should boost the masonry industry in developing greater market share.

Designed to be search engine optimized and user-friendly, site sections can all be accessed directly from the homepage. Early statistics indicate that the effort is paying off. Since the site’s relaunch at the MCAA Annual Meeting at World of Masonry in early February, unique visitors per month are averaging more than 100,000, five times what the site had been generating prior.

Take a look! You can most likely find what you’re looking for!

The goal is to make all resources user-friendly, easy to access.

Universities Teach

Structural Masonry Design | Engineering Education: University Offers Classroom & Online!

Darrell W McMillian


Left: Jason Thompson of NCMA leads a seminar for professionals during a Masonry Institute of St Louis program.

Above: Typical building type used for analysis during Missouri S&T’s masonry design course.

The discussion about why more structural masonry is not taught at the university level is an interesting one.

I certainly have my theories. For one, until the 1960s, masonry building design fell almost completely to the architect. Empirical rule of thumb masonry wall design was the norm and needed little input from the structural engineer. This is not the case today with more stringent seismic and wind code provisions that typically require analysis by a structural engineer.

This history partially caused structural masonry education to arrive late at the university curriculum table, where concrete and steel were already seated and had placed their orders. Another factor could be due to one of masonry’s greatest strengths, its diversity. Numerous masonry materials and installation options are great for design flexibility, but require many industry stakeholders. In the past, this diversity may have hampered the type of industry-wide initiative and funding needed to secure masonry a place among the other material types at the university level.

The demand for masonry education among designers and building officials is especially true for structural engineers. Institutes across the country provide monthly continuing education opportunities for local architects, engineers, building officials and others. Those provided by the Masonry Institute of St Louis have been very well received with an average annual seminar attendance of more than 3,000.

Practicing engineers attend seminars to satisfy continuing education requirements for state licensure, but for many newly graduated engineers, our seminars represent their first exposure to formal masonry education.

Slides of material covered in Structural Masonry Design, a masonry engineering course offered by Missouri S&T.

Top: Lateral loads applied to a masonry building. Bottom: A particular wall being analyzed for in-plane and out-of-plane wind loads.

There are some very good university-level masonry courses available. But masonry education certainly hasn’t come close to saturating the university system as have concrete and steel. Ironically, in spite of not having the opportunity to take a structural masonry course at the university level, the first project newly hired structural engineers are given is often masonry related.

Industry Collaboration

Things are changing. The masonry industry has recently come together successfully to form the National Building Information Modeling for Masonry Initiative (BIM–M). This important effort is working to accomplish more masonry information being implemented into current and future building information modeling processes and software. This level of industry cooperation will hopefully carry over into other areas such as university level structural masonry education. What is being done here locally in Missouri could have exciting industry-wide implications.

Structuring the Course

The Missouri University of Science and Technology, my alma mater, has long been recognized as one of the top engineering schools in the country. However, when I attended Missouri S&T (then known as University of Missouri – Rolla), no structural masonry design courses were offered. This is not too surprising given that it was the early 1980s. Like my fellow classmates, I happily took steel and concrete design and gave little thought to masonry. My early structural engineering career experience was with wood and steel design so I didn’t miss the masonry training at first. This changed in 1995 when I began teaching construction technology at a local community college and then, in 2001, transitioned to technical director of the Masonry Institute of St Louis. Both my teaching and masonry institute experience showed me that there is a structural masonry education void at the university level.

In 2002, I had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know Dr John J Myers, structural engineering professor at Missouri S&T. He and I attended The Masonry Society’s (TMS) University Professors’ Masonry Workshop (UPMW) held at The Ohio State University that year. The UPMW is a week long boot camp for those interested in teaching masonry at the university level (I highly recommend it). At the time, Myers was heavily involved with the development of an architectural engineering program at Missouri S&T, which became a reality in 2004.

There is demand for masonry education among designers and building officials

At the time, Myers was heavily involved with the development of an architectural engineering program at Missouri S&T, which became a reality in 2004.

Although this new program included coverage of masonry materials, Myers and I often discussed the need for a dedicated structural masonry design course. Myers shared my belief that there would be student interest, but he advised making the course as flexible as possible to maximize actual enrollment, which is critical for a new offering. It should be an elective for both civil and architectural engineering programs and available to both undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, the course should utilize Missouri S&T’s great distance education technology. This would open it to not only students at the main campus, but also at satellite locations, as well as off-campus students, such as practicing engineers, who could take the course remotely, allowing for more flexibility with their schedules.

Over the next year, we developed course content, materials and lecture sequence. The main goal was to provide up-to-date information for design of low-rise concrete masonry buildings. This information would allow newly-hired graduates to immediately participate in the design of such structures, as well as give engineers already working an opportunity to add masonry design to their knowledge bases or advanced structural degree efforts. Myers skillfully shepherded the course through the academic approval process. Structural Masonry Design was first offered in fall of 2011. Myers and I co-taught the course. He participated with students on campus, while I joined the class remotely from Missouri S&T’s Engineering Education Center (EEC) in St Louis. Enrollment that first semester was strong with 25 students: 12 on campus and 13 accessing remotely using Missouri S&T’s distance education technology. Enrollment included under graduate and graduate students, architectural engineering students, civil engineering students and practicing engineers.

This information would allow newly-hired graduates to immediately participate in design of masonry structures

Structural Masonry Design needs to be offered three times with adequate enrollment in order to be given a permanent listing in the university catalog. To that end, it was offered a second time in the fall of 2012, and I served as sole instructor. Although the total student enrollment of 12 was less than the first offering, it was consider ed adequate by the university. Once again, student distribution was evenly split bet ween on-campus and distance education. Since it is important for continuing strong enrollment to strike a balance between student demand and the course frequency, the course will not be offered again until the spring of 2014. Currently, Structural Masonry Design is the only dedicated masonry course offered at Missouri S&T, but if student interest remains strong, an additional masonry course may be developed to expand the coverage to advanced design topics such as prestress ed masonry, auto claved aerated concrete (AAC) and fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) strengthening of existing masonry structures. This progression of introductory to advanced course work is comparable to what already exists at the university for concrete and steel design.

Reflecting back on the process, I had not expected to take on the role of instructor, but was happy to do so. My main goal was to serve by rallying industry support for the course in terms of reduced-cost text books, masonry codes and design soft ware for the students. Industry response was tremendous, and in particular, the help from the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada and Midwest Block & Brick in St Louis was instrumental in providing student-related materials. Fortunately, time spent as instructor for the course has been a great education to the possibilities of online distance education and, to me, is the most exciting part of the story.

Students from other universities can transfer credit back to their own programs

Distance Education Technology Current distance education technology really does get us beyond the brick and mortar constraints of the past. Instructors can be on one campus, students on another. Off-campus students with internet access can participate real time with instructors and on-campus students. Students from other universities can take distance courses, and when completed, transfer the credit back to their own engineering programs. The flexibility provided by distance education technology greatly increases the distribution potential of technical information, especially for courses without widespread offerings such as structural masonry.

Although the need for technical education through local promotion groups such as the Masonry Institute of St Louis will continue, distance education may very well be the future of structural masonry education at the university level. The success of the new masonry design course at Missouri S&T indicates that structural masonry education is online and on target!

Darrell W McMillian, PE, is an associate adjunct professor at Missouri S&T’s Engineering Education Center located in St Louis. He is a registered professional engineer with the state of Missouri and is a past St Louis chapter president of the Structural Engineers Association of Kansas and Missouri. McMillian is a member of The Masonry Society (TMS) technical advisory committee and currently serves as TMS secretary/treasurer. He also holds member - ships with the American Society of Civil Engineers, Structural Engineering Institute, American Society of Testing and Materials, Masonry Standards Joint Code Committee and the Masonry Alliance for Codes and Standards. McMillian has served as the technical director for the Masonry Institute of St Louis since 2001. [email protected] | 314.645.5888

Course Description

University: Missouri S&T strong text Course No: CivE 301, ArchE 301

Title: Structural Masonry Design

Credit Hours: 3

Description | Review of the theory and practice of analyzing low-rise masonry structures. Materials and assembly types, constructability considerations, structural masonry components, and model code requirements to ensure adequate load-resisting buildings.

Topic Sequence | Masonry materials and construction; masonry codes and standards; loads and analysis; design of masonry beams, columns, walls, anchorages; masonry design class project.

University Website | mst.edu

Knowledge Edge

To the Limit| Alternative Design Approach for Earthquake-Resistant Masonry

Steve Dill & Andres Lepage


Representative Limit Design example of perforated masonry wall.

The introduction of Limit Design for structural masonry expands the possibilities of masonry in earthquake country.

Strong earthquakes generate ground motions that can induce large shaking forces in buildings. When subjected to reversed cyclic lateral loads, safe, well-proportioned and detailed structures have the capacity to deform without losing their integrity; they are tough. Toughness, in engineering jargon, is the ability to withstand displacement reversals without distress.

Historically, in building codes, toughness is considered through the assignment of numerical ratings (R-values, not to be confused with thermal resistance) to each common seismic system. Structural systems with high assigned R-values are designed for smaller lateral forces than those structural systems assigned low Rvalues. Toughness is achieved by providing redundancy, continuity and strength in the structural system and proper detailing in structural components.

For seismic systems with well-established proportioning rules, this is a fairly straight forward and appropriate exercise.

With masonry, however, the configuration of the structural system is often determined by aesthetic and functional envelope requirements — not structural requirements. In other words, the need for adequate seismic performance must be balanced with the need for accommodating windows, doors, canopies, garage openings, etc.

Need for adequate seismic performance must be balanced with the need for accommodating openings

For many masonry walls, those with well defined load-paths and excess strength, this is easy. For others, those with elaborate load-paths due to the presence of significant openings, the solution is more complex. For masonry walls with openings, conventional linear-elastic analysis methods produce less useful design information. And further, for those walls, current code provisions frequently lead to impractical solutions or designs with subpar seismic performance.

2013 MSJC Appendix C: Limit Design of Masonry

Pending final revisions in June and with expected publication this fall, the 2013 version of Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures, commonly known as the MSJC, will have a new appendix chapter, Appendix C: Limit Design of Masonry. Provisions described in this appendix create code requirements that allow engineers to determine the usable strength and deformation capacity of perforated walls in a more rigorous way. Limit Design generally leads to masonry walls requiring less reinforcement than those obtained using conventional methods of Strength or Allowable Stress design. Combined with creative detailing and connections, the Limit Design approach offers promising opportunities in a variety of building markets including multi-family residential, commercial office buildings, warehouses and schools, among others.

Limit Design generally leads to masonry walls requiring less reinforcement

Thanks to the contributions of many within the masonry industry, a number of related projects have helped to make Limit Design possible. They will facilitate adoption and use of the design provisions after their introduction with the 2013 MSJC. Those projects include:

  • KPFF Consulting Engineers and Penn State University developed trials comparing design outcomes using draft Limit Design provisions to existing code design approaches.
  • Penn State University, with funding from the NCMA Foundation, evaluated modeling methods1 using commercially available software to provide guidance to design engineers applying Limit Design to wall configurations that are not easily evaluated using hand calculations.
  • KPFF Consulting Engineers and Penn State University, through funding provided by the NCMA Foundation and other industry partners, are currently developing a manual with design examples to provide assistance to engineers in applying Limit Design provisions to their projects.
  • Preliminary findings of a research project on performancebased seismic design for reinforced masonry shear-wall structures, funded by National Institute of Standards and Technology and conducted by University of California at San Diego, Washington State University and University of Texas at Austin, indicate that usable strengths and deformation capacities of masonry walls with code compliant detailing exceed those assumed by the new Limit Design provisions.

Limit Design provisions of the 2013 MSJC use design flexibility for high performance seismic systems

Through its long and remarkable history, masonry has always offered designers a unique combination of beauty, durability and design flexibility. With the anticipated introduction of the Limit Design provisions of the 2013 MSJC, using that design flexibility for the purpose of producing high performance seismic systems becomes a little easier.


  1. Lepage, A and Sanchez, RE (2012). “Practical Nonlinear Analysis for Limit Design of Reinforced Masonry Walls”, The Open Civil Engineering Journal, Bentham Science Publishers, 2012(6), 107-118.

Steve Dill, SE, is a licensed structural engineer and principal with KPFF Consulting Engineers in Seattle WA. He is a member of the Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC) and of the MSJC Seismic Subcommittee. He is a long-time member of The Masonry Society (TMS) and a past member of the TMS Board. He has been responsible for numerous masonry projects and has authored several papers on topics related to masonry design. Dill earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and an MBA from the University of Washington. [email protected] |206.622.5822

Andres Lepage, PhD, SE, is a faculty member in the Department of Architectural Enginee ring at The Pennsylvania State University, where he teaches and conducts research. Prior to Penn State, he worked as a project engineer in the Seattle area. Lepage has authored many articles on structural design. He participates in technical committees of ACI, AEI, AISC and TMS. He is a corresponding member of the Seismic Subcommittee of the Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC). Lepage earned his doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. [email protected] |814.865.3013

Masonry Planning Policies Take Hold in Texas

Communities Strengthened with Beauty, Resilience, Sustainability, Enhancing Tax Base

Rudy Garza


Cedar Park TX, minutes from Austin, is one of the fastest growing suburbs in America. Masonry standards were revised in 2012, citing safety as driver for increased minimum requirements on commercial buildings to 100%, exclusive of windows and doors. Cedar Park Center, designed by Sink Combs Dethlefs, Sports Architecture, carries the Sedona red flagstone façade from the exterior into the exquisite interior as backdrop for its grand multi-story atrium. Locally quarried cavestone in hues of dark and light rust and mustard clad the remaining of the building. The uniquely textured stone has a high level of quartz encouraging its glisten.

Sustainable Growth Frisco, 35 minutes north of downtown Dallas, stands out as a shining example of planning for sustainable growth. It has grown from a small town of 6,000 to a bustling city of more than 100,000 in two decades as more and more people migrate south. In 1997, Frisco passed a masonry ordinance to ensure its growth continues with the components of safety, durability and aesthetics. Commercial districts require up to 100% masonry.

City leaders studied other cities and how they were affected by population growth and aging. Mayor Maher Mason explains the decision to require masonry, “The more you do to keep the city sustain able, keep a lid on maintenance costs, and enhance the general appearance of all areas of the city, the better it is for the tax base. It’s a chain reaction that keeps the city in good shape.”

Masonry can protect against lethal flying debris with wind speeds exceeding 80 mph

Fifteen years ago, Frisco TX passed design guidelines requiring up to 100% masonry in commercial districts and 75% masonry in residential districts. Today, Frisco is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities and has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Move and Best Places to Live by Forbes and Money magazines. The George A Purefoy Municipal Center, designed by SMART GREAT MIND Malcolm Holzman, Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture, New York, houses both the City Hall and Public Library in Frisco. Wings are faced with locally quarried light beige Hadrian limestone textured with inclusions and shells. Clock tower and main entrance fluted columns are clad with locally quarried granite.

Right now, the Texas Masonry Planning Policy (MPP) program operates in the Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Dallas Metroplexes. As it continues to evolve, it will likely expand to other areas. The Texas Masonry Council sponsors all the state’s major conferences attended by municipal decision makers. TMC has been the title sponsor of the Texas Municipal League Annual Conference and Texas Chapter of the American Planners Association, an investment in the future of the Texas masonry industry. The MPP program is well-known across the state by thousands of locally-elected officials and municipal staffers with whom we work to pass masonry policies.

Custom to Fit Within Texas, there are now more than 200 communities with Masonry Planning Policies in effect requiring the use of true masonry products on all new construction. The percentage of masonry required and list of allowable products varies from city to city. There is no one-size-fits-all MPP, but rather it is the communities themselves that determine what fits them best. Some communities in the Texas Hill Country have a preference for natural stone, while others in the Houston area are open to all types of masonry products, including split face block, clay brick, concrete brick or cast stone.

But two things remain constant throughout Texas cities with a masonry policy: EIFS is not defined as masonry and neither is fiber cement siding.

The greatest concentration of masonry planning policies is in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex where approximately 85 cities have a MPP. Residential requirements average 70% masonry on all four sides of a home. Commercial and multi-family requirements average 80% masonry for four sides. Masonry is typically defined as products laid unit upon unit and joined together by mortar. Anyone visiting the Dallas/Fort Worth area is quick to notice the tremendous amount of masonry. It’s every place you look! Although the number of policies and percentages may be less in other regions, there is no doubt that the masonry industry has made great strides in educating city leaders and growing market share.

City Leaders Understand Masonry’s Benefits In operation since 2003, the Texas Masonry Council Masonry Planning Policy program is the result of a professionally designed initiative with measurable goals and objectives. The first nine years of the program were overseen by the Brick Industry Association Southwest Region, funded solely by brick manufacturers. Now the program is under the auspices of the Texas Masonry Council (TMC) with all segments of the masonry industry financially contributing to the proven program.

Left : Recognizing deterioration of multifamily housing units not subject to masonry guidelines, City of Bellaire, near Houston, has required masonry be the primary exterior building material (85%) for redevelopment of its Urban Village district.

Right: Pearsall grew nearly 28% over 10 years and is still growing! As a result, it is the first South Texas city to require minimum amounts of masonry on all new construction. Most new buildings require a 3′ masonry base, with as much as 75% of all exterior walls to be of masonry.

It’s the message of the many benefits of masonry that has resonated with so many city leaders and decision makers. Across Texas, municipalities are enacting policies to ensure long-term sustainable growth with stable tax bases, and that means masonry. While brick-clad homes on treelined streets typify the classic Texas neighborhood, community leaders are eager to ensure the quality construction of the past continues with new homes and commercial buildings built with masonry.

Resilient Communities

The program’s support materials point to the many benefits of masonry construction such as greater durability and sustain ability, lower maintenance requirements, a sustained tax base, lower insurance premiums, increased fire and wind storm safety, greater property appreciation, adapt able reuse, and of course, long-term beauty. MasonryOrdinance.com serves as a resource with an interactive map showing Texas cities with Masonry Planning Policies in place, case studies, research data and sample ordinances.

The geography of Texas leaves it vulnerable to a wide variety of acts of nature.

The resiliency of masonry makes it especially attractive to municipalities. Examples citing real-life disasters drive home the point of how masonry can impact building and citizen safety. A 40-acre grass fire in Joshua charred storage sheds and destroyed fences, but the town’s all-brick homes were spared because masonry does not burn.

Hurricane Ike made its first US landfall at Galveston with winds of 110 mph. Strong winds and flooding caused wide - spread devastation and the storm is the costliest hurricane in Texas history. Research at Texas Tech University has shown that masonry-clad walls can protect against lethal flying debris that might be encountered during a hurricane or tornado with wind speeds exceeding 80 mph, while some competitive veneer products are penetrated at speeds of 34 mph or less.

A local Kroger built next to the 17′ seawall was a success story. The masonry structure complied with all building codes and enacted its disaster mitigation plan before the storm made landfall. Even though all windows were shuttered before Hurricane Ike hit, they were additionally protected by a masonry-columned promenade, so that when the store was surveyed, minimal damage was observed and they were able to go back to serving their customers in only 3.5 days! Building for durability and resiliency was not only a benefit to the owner, but a great service to the community as residents recovered from that disaster.

Rudy Garza serves as executive vice president for the Texas Masonry Council. He oversees all aspects of government relations, outreach, marketing and public relations related to Masonry Planning. Prior to joining the Texas Masonry Council, Garza served as executive director of the Brick Industry Association – Southwest; executive director the Temple Area Builders Association; CEO of the San Diego Housing Federation; and CEO of the Galveston Community Development Corporation. He has more than 20 years executive-level experience in housing and community development. Garza graduated from Texas A&M University with dual bachelor degrees in Industrial Psychology and Political Science. He also obtained his Master and PhD in Pastoral Ministry from Life Christian University. [email protected] 254.770.7213



Proves Efficient Design

Robert Klynsma



Upon reading the article you will be able to:

  1. Articulate how early collaboration between designer and owner results in the best design and material choices for anticipated operation.
  2. Evaluate material selection to meet more than one objective, such as masonry for aesthetic program and structure
  3. Recognize the role of special inspection in ensuring proper material handling and installation

Robert P Klynsma, PE, SE, is a senior structural engineer and associate at JDH Structural Engineering in Grandville MI. He is involved in project structural analysis, design, computer modeling, specifications and construction observation. Klynsma is a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Michigan, American Institute of Steel Construction and a past board director of American Concrete Institute, West Michigan Chapter. He is a registered professional engineer in MI, NJ and OH and a registered structural engineer in Illinois. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University and has graduate-level structural engineering coursework at the University of Michigan. 616.531.6020 [email protected]

The selection of a building’s structural system involves many factors and the Kent County Correctional Facility provides a good example of this. Due to security concerns, fire ratings, durability and the exterior envelope, this building was designed to be constructed primarily of masonry. These design decisions in and of themselves were made for non-structural reasons. Considering that many of the walls needed to be grouted and reinforced for security concerns, it initially made sense to consider using them for structural support and to design the building using loadbearing masonry with precast plank floors.

Using systems that are going to be in place anyway for the structure is the most efficient use of materials, time and resources. The cell front headers/beams were a major repetitive structural element and they were schematically considered as steel, precast and CMU. Steel was quickly ruled out due to fire rating, sequencing and structural continuity issues. Precast was considered in more depth and was kept as an option until further study was completed. Once it was determined that the CMU beams were structurally feasible for the cell front headers, they were considered in more detail and they began to look more favorable.

After further design work, it was determined that CMU beams would require a prism strength (f ’m) equal to 3000 psi. Assuming this was far from a standard material strength, we began to investigate the local CMU material strengths and talk with suppliers about our approach. Many of the standard CMU being supplied were very close to the strengths we needed. We were assured by local suppliers that the required strengths could be met.

At that point, the pros and cons of CMU and precast were considered. It was determined that precast may cause issues in regard to aesthetics, sequencing, embedded MEP work, coordination with door hardware, temporary shoring and structural continuity between the beams and columns. CMU seemed to be the best all-around material selection to solve many of these issues. Ultimately CMU was selected for the following reasons:

  1. Aesthetics: The cell fronts show a continuity of materials with no unsightly interface of dissimilar materials. To maintain structural continuity, precast concrete columns would have required haunches for the beams or be tied together with steel tie plates. Also, there likely would have been many caulk joints at the beam/column interfaces.
  2. Structural continuity of CMU beams and columns: Horizontal and vertical reinforcing could be continuous with the grouting operations done at the same time.
  3. Embedded MEP work: The use of CMU allowed for field coordination and installation of these items.
  4. Efficient use of materials: As outlined above, much of the masonry was needed for non-structural purposes. It made sense to use these same materials to hold up the structure as well.
  5. One trade: The mason was in total control of his own schedule and not at the mercy of waiting on precast or steel. It also allowed for fewer trades to coordinate and allowed for more efficiency.

Any decision has pros and cons and the use of CMU beams at the cell fronts was NOT an exception to this. The construct-ability of the beams was a challenge, requiring material strengths higher than normal, steel reinforcing stirrups, horizontal reinforcing steel and large continuous grout placements. It was decided that prism testing would be the most reliable method of predicting the in-place strength of the CMU assembly and would be used for pre-construction testing as well as testing during construction. It was also specified to have continuous (daily) masonry inspection to ensure correct material handling and installation. Verifying the material strengths became an issue early in the construction process. Preconstruction testing yielded inconsistent and varied test results and did not appear to be reliable enough. It was found that local testing firms were not consistently able to test these high strength prisms. As a result, prisms were shipped to the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) test lab in Herndon VA for final strength verification for pre-construction as well as testing during construction.

Due to the unusual nature of the CMU installation, I actively participated in the pre-bid and pre-construction meetings to help facilitate a common understanding of what we were doing. Once the job was awarded, there was very close daily communication between the mason, testing firm, CM and myself. A sequence and schedule of shoring, material testing and shoring removal was developed to assure that the masonry beams were able to support the subsequent construction after shoring removal. Once the initial hurdles of material strength verification and sequencing were settled, the subsequent floor levels became somewhat repetitive, similar to the lower levels, and continued smoothly.

This project was a challenge for the entire project team. Through detailed design drawings and specifications, thorough rebar shop drawings, continuous masonry inspection and open communication, we were able to utilize the masonry to its fullest structural capacity. As a finished product, the structural masonry provides a visually seamless, durable and secure material that is consistent with the overall building program.


Providing seamless aesthetic & structural continuity of beam span and columns across cell fronts

Eric Hackman


County jails encounter every type of offender from convicted murderers to minor nonviolent criminals. An alleged offender awaits arraignment and trial in county jails alongside short-sentenced convicted inmates. The Kent County Correctional Facility (Jail) processes nearly 30,000 bookings a year, with the average stay of approximately two weeks. Jail design raises many unique design challenges to maintain safe, secure and efficient operations.



HOK St Louis MO

Programming Specialist


Structural Engineer


Mechanical Engineer


Construction Manager


Mason Contractor


Masonry Materials






Project Facts

Addition 122,700 SF

Renovation 19,500 SF

Total Construction Budget $22 million

Total Masonry Budget $2.42 million

Completion April 2013

A large glass wall to the recreation area floods the common area with natural light. Fully-glazed doors allow sunlight to filter deep into individual cells. Thus, cells did not require additional windows, leaving much of the exterior envelope void of openings, enhancing its thermal performance and security.


Upon reading the article you will be able to:

  1. Articulate how early collaboration between designer and owner results in the best design and material choices for anticipated operation.
  2. Explain why integration between building envelope and heating/cooling systems provide optimum efficiency.
  3. Identify ways in which design choices may impact both employee and inmate safety and comfort.
  4. Assess reasons why masonry wall systems are often the best choice for institutional facilities.

Determining Wall Systems

Jail construction is governed under the institutional portion of the building code and has special egress requirements and fire ratings of the supporting structure. The 1992 addition to the Kent County facility was constructed of cast-in-place concrete frame with 8″ masonry infill and veneer. When the current expansion was being developed, many construction types were evaluat ed for the envelope. Multiple prefabricated cell options were also considered (precast concrete boxes, steel panels and steel walls). The design team chose 12″ load bearing masonry with precast concrete plank floor and roof structures. Masonry’s ability to meet fire rating requirements and its resistance to corrosion made it favorable to steel. Local availability of materials and labor were another determining factor, as the project is funded by an increased tax millage passed in 2009. Block is produced by local plants, transported to the job site by local truckers for installation by local mason contractors, who hire local labor to build infrastructure in their own community. The masonry system puts more local people to work than any other building system. Nearly every dollar allotted to the masonry wall system remains in the local economy. Because of the velocity of money, the economic factor of approximately 4x the amount spent to construct the jail will circulate through the local economy. Precast cell boxes are fabricated and equipped out of state, which would have additional time and transport expenses attached, in addition to sending the money out of state. A masonry veneer was planned from the start to ensure the exterior aesthetic matched the existing building.


The two modular Belden brick that had been used on the 1992 portion of the structure were no longer being produced. It was important to maintain the continuity of the facility throughout with the veneer. The design team contacted the local brick distributor early enough in the process with the hope of matching the existing brick. Because this is a large enough job — more than 250,000 units — the distributor was able to work with the manufacturer on recreating the original brick. Using historical data, the manufacturer was able to determine from which of its pits the original clay had come and mine from there for this job. They experimented with raw material proportion and firing by producing little biscuits rather than full brick. Techno logical advancements in firing and curing meant the process affected the outcome a bit, but the end result was a remarkably similar product. Familiarity and scale of brick adds aesthetic beauty this design achieved. Masonry exteriors require less maintenance than other wall systems and have proven to stand the test of time, qualities that appealed to the County.

Perfect Solution Masonry cavity walls are most often the perfect solution for institutional buildings. The system offers multiple compounding benefits with few limitations. Insulated masonry cavity walls provide great thermal benefits. TowerPinkster designs cavity walls with an 8″ brick ledge allowing for a mini - mum 3″ of spray poly urethane foam insulation and maintaining horizontal coursing. The spray insulation not only provides more than code required R-value (19 instead of 11.4), it is inherently both a vapor and air barrier, sealing all the microscopic holes in the wall substrate for greater energy efficiency. The exterior opaque wall is comprised of 12″ partially-grouted CMU, 3″ insulation, 1″ air space and 4″ brick veneer, achieving a prescriptive R-value of approximately 23. Insulated masonry cavity walls also provide thermal mass. Masonry materials have a high thermal storage capacity, which helps reduce interior temperature extremes due to exterior temperature and, therefore, helps to moderate heating and cooling cost expenditures. The energy efficiency of the jail is compounded further by the installation of a geothermal field providing heating and cooling energy from a closed loop system, further reducing energy costs for this building that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Labor efficiency was gained as each floor was a repeat of the level below. Lessons learned were applied and efficiency increased as masons built the same wall three times per floor, six floors high.

Fenestrations for a jail are protected by security glass with reinforced mullions and placed at a height above the inmates reach. Glazing is also an insulated assembly outboard the cavity wall insulation which is important to achieving a quality thermal envelope.

Interior Considerations As one might predict, masonry walls inside a jail make a lot of sense. CMU are durable, require little maintenance and achieve the fire resistance required for jails without additional fireproofing. CMU are inorganic so they are mold and insect resistant, CMU walls hold high performance epoxy paint well and, when fully grouted and reinforced in both directions, become inmate resistant. Joints and transitions between materials are caulked with high security caulk for increased durability. Jails rarely require ability to reconfigure interior spaces, so the permanence of CMU walls is preferred.

Function and Safety

A jail’s purpose to maintain a safe community must hold offenders securely away from the public, while still providing a safe environment within the walls for both officers and inmates. Jail operation models continue to move away from indirect supervision and linear models toward direct supervision models, in which the officer is in direct communication and interaction with inmates within the detention space. Initially, these operation models appear to be labor intensive as the ratio of direct officer supervision to inmate can be greater. Direct supervision creates many opportunities for other operational efficiencies and safety. Kent County is embracing this migration by demolishing its outdated linear models from the 1950s and building six new direct super vision pods (three 64-bed, two-man cell pods; two 64-bed, eight-man cell pods; and one classification pod with multiple cell arrangements).

Direct supervision models reduce stress on both inmate and officer. Reduced stress results in less officer loss time and turnover and increases officer effectiveness. Inmate-on-inmate and inmate-on-officer incidents are reduced with direct supervision. Inmates remain in their pod for all services. Within the dayroom, area is provided for dining, showering, class room training, medical triage and video visitation. Increased operational efficiencies can surpass the in creased direct supervision ratio labor costs.

A direct supervision jail pod design creates multiple synergies. The pod is organized around a dayroom in which the officer is stationed. Typically, cells encircle the dayroom on three sides and include a mezzanine level. The fourth side is for a fresh air recreation area. The recreation area floods the dayroom with natural light, which continues into cells by way of fully-glazed fronts (reinforced laminated glass – not bars). The fully-glazed cell front allows for greater visibility into the cells for increased security and safety. This also eliminates the need for exterior windows in individual cells. A solid rear exterior wall creates the opportunity to move plumbed fixtures to the rear of the cell. Access from a chase behind the cell for maintenance of toilets and sinks, as well as mechanical and electrical systems, adds another layer of safety. The chases also create a buffer bet ween the exterior environment and the occupied space for greater energy performance or are paired together with adjacent pods for increased spatial efficiency.

The large, open day rooms create long spans (80′ to 90′) for the precast plank (12″ and 16″ thick plank with 4″ topping) increasing loads on the cell fronts. High strength CMU with Type S mortar was selected to accommodate the heavy loads. 12″ CMU with a 4800 psi block compressive strength and a specified f ’m net area compressive strength 3000 psi, and 8″ CMU with a 3750 psi compressive block strength and a specified f ’m net area compressive strength 2500 psi were used. The fully-glazed cell fronts required the utilization of long span masonry beams, made of 12″ CMU, consisting of several courses in height and continuously reinforced. Construction Manager Owen-Ames-Kimball (OAK) developed, with cooperation from JDH Engineering (structural engineer) and Burggrabe Masonry, an efficient four-day process for beam assembly once the door frames and masonry piers (reinforced with #6 and #7 bars tied in place vertically to maintain proper lap) were constructed to the top of the frames.

  • Day 1 | Erect shoring between piers and over cell frames
  • Day 2 | Lay bond beam block and install #9 bar and stirrups
  • Day 3 | Lay remaining beam block, all western-type bond beams and install top #7 rod and remaining stirrups
  • Day 4 | Grout entire CMU beam at one time (approximately 10 yards of 3000 psi grout, continuous)

Long span masonry beams, constructed of continuously reinforced 12” CMU, several courses high, were required to accommodate the full-glazed cell openings. An efficient four-day process was developed allowing them to reach 28-day strengths before shoring was removed and precast plank flooring was set.

Cell front beams were constructed as early as possible to allow the CMU to fully cure and achieve 28-day strengths prior to removing all shoring and setting the precast plank. Prism testing the CMU determined that 28-day strength requirements were usually achieved in 14 days, which is not unusual. (see Loadbearing Masonry Structural System article, p 25)

Material and Operational Synergy In making material and design decisions, the architect and engineer were not alone. The most successful jail projects are those with an active and qualified jail transition team; and Kent County is one of those successful projects. The transition team challenged the design team and, likewise, designers challenged them with innovative options. It was a healthy discourse to achieve exemplary solutions. With every material considered, the question was asked: What would happen if this breaks? The transition team consisted of Sheriff Deputy Officers ranging in rank from Captains to Sergeants and was led by Undersheriff Jon Hess. They were involved from the very beginning of the design process and followed through with writing procedures and providing officer training as new pods are occupied, ensuring the building and its systems will be used as designed. As such, both building and operations should achieve maxi mum efficiency.

As with every project, schedule is important. Jail projects add another layer of consideration when developing an overall schedule. Jail addition projects are constructed in a secure environment and the trades are required to check in and out with officers when entering or leaving the site. Once the trades have completed their work, there is not an opportunity to come back and wrap up punch list items. Once the inmates have occupied the space, the soft finish deadline is eliminated. This project demanded many scheduling challenges.

Overcoming Delays First delays came with unfavorable soil bearing capacities in their proximity to the existing foundation. Foundations for masonry bearing construction are designed to distribute the weight over large areas, reducing the required soil-bearing capacity and removing some of the site challenges. A shift in the schedule required the mason to undertake additional winter protection measures. The tight site only allowed for a single crane so trades had to plan accordingly and coordinate with each other to maximize its effectiveness. Two-thirds of the way through the project, catastrophe struck with the collapse of the crane. The site was shut down for nearly four weeks. Damage to structure was minimized by the robustness of masonry construction. Burggrabe Masonry was able to make up the delays and make space for the other trades to continue to work. Kirk Oosting, project manager for OAK said, “The masons out performed the original schedule. We’d fall behind and the masons would catch us up, time and again.” Labor efficiency was gained as each floor was a repeat of the level below. Lessons learned were applied and efficiency increased as masons built the same wall three times per floor, six floors high.

The facility opened on time, with smooth transition in April.

Eric Hackman, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, is an architect and project manager at TowerPinkster Architects and Engineers in Kalamazoo MI. Receiving his Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University and with 18 years of experience, his leader ship skills and passion for client service provide him with an acute awareness in under stand - ing multiple viewpoints on various project types. Hackman’s mixed knowledge of architecture, engineering systems and project management techniques, coupled with his graphic skills, allow him to leverage his talent for TowerPinkster and provide creative responses to complex requirements. 269.492.6776 [email protected]

Distributor, Belden Brick & Supply, was able to work with manufacturer The Belden Brick Company to reproduce a brick manufactured 20 years ago, not in production today. The brick to match was on the adjacent building constructed in 1992. Using historical data, Belden was able to return to the original clay pit to extract material from the same area for the new brick for a very close match.

Classic Design Meets Cutting-Edge Performance

Cuneo Hall uses masonry to marry the University’s goals

Jody Buell & Scott Marker


Cuneo Hall

Loyola University Chicago



LEED Coordinator


Structural Engineer


Mechanical Engineer


Climate Engineer


New York

General Contractor


Mason Contractor


Arlington Heights IL

Masonry Materials








Project Facts

Total Square Feet 72,000 SF

Completion Date JULY 2012

Certified LEED GOLD


Upon reading the article you will be able to:

  1. Summarize masonry characteristics that contribute to an energy efficient building envelope
  2. Identify LEED points to which masonry materials and/or wall systems may contribute
  3. Describe systems that may be incorporated into passive heating/cooling strategies
  4. List materials present in an insulated masonry cavity wall

From the beginning of the design process of Loyola University Chicago’s Cuneo Hall, there were two main project goals. First, the new facility was to complete the inner campus quad, consistent with the early-1900s master plan. The new building was to seamlessly match the context of the existing campus architecture and details were developed based on neighboring historic buildings.

Secondly, the project was to provide an advanced, high-performance, energy efficient classroom and faculty office building that would quantify energy usage through a sophisticated, automated system. Masonry was an obvious choice to help achieve both of these goals.

Use of modular brick, cast stone, a granite base and clay roof tiles for the envelope tied the new building into the contextual surroundings. The bronze brick, in two finishes, is a campus staple and reddish mortar provided the desired monolithic appearance. Neighboring buildings were photographed so that details could be developed replicating the scale and proportions from adjacent Dumbach Hall built in 1908. While not as ornate as Dumbach, cast stone arches and window surrounds allow Cuneo to blend seamlessly with the existing aesthetics and fabric of campus. After Cuneo Hall was completed, one of the best compliments received was from a passer by who indicated that he thought the building had been there for many years.

Material Strategy

The 72,000 sf four-story structure is comprised of perimeter and interior loadbearing masonry walls supporting precast concrete floor planks with a concrete topping slab.

Design team for Cuneo Hall, right, drew inspiration from neighboring buildings on the campus’ Inner Quad.

Thermal mass of the stone-clad atrium wall provides a vertical path for air circulation as a passive heating/cooling strategy utilized for maximum efficiency.

This system was chosen over steel and composite decking and cast-in-place concrete for cost effectiveness, the ability to improve thermal performance and streamline design detailing, removing need for shelf angles (and subsequent thermal bridging) at each floor.

When the design of the interior spaces began, partition loadbearing concrete masonry unit (CMU) walls were located not only to define the seminar rooms and classrooms but were laid out to accommodate economical spans for the precast concrete planks. These interior loadbearing walls provide acoustical isolation, cutting down on any noises transmitting from one classroom to the next. They also provide fire separation around all elevator shafts, egress stairways and corridors. CMU walls easily achieve required fire ratings and as detailed, fully grouted, allowed elevator guide- or handrails to be anchored into the wall without any special reinforcing.

Thermal Performance Exceeds R24

Per the University’s directive, a LEED Gold certification was targeted. The energy goal was a 47% reduction in usage over the base building energy model performed utilizing eQUEST software. Masonry as a structural element contributed significantly to these aggressive energy goals. The structure is of high thermal mass material, providing a passive system for radiating heat and cooling into the building. The use of the thermal mass helped the project receive points under the Optimize Energy Performance Credit 1 of the Energy and Atmosphere category of LEED v2.2. In all, Cuneo Hall achieved 9 of 10 possible points for that credit.

High mass masonry walls, exposed concrete slabs and suspended radiant panels, or clouds, to radiate heat and cooling, improve the thermal comfort of the classroom and office environments, which contributed to an additional point for Indoor Environmental Quality Credit 7.1.

Passive night cooling was achieved by drawing air through the atrium and across a massive stone wall on one side of the central atrium. The air moved naturally through open vertical paths within the building (stack affect), or was supplemented with fans through operable vents at the top and intake grills at the bottom.

The principle behind the high thermal mass storage is simple. During summer days, reinforced masonry walls and concrete slab absorb the sun’s heat. At night, the cooler air is drawn over the warmed surfaces to extract heat built up in the mass. During the winter, the temperature-or energy-is held in the material and, since indoor temperatures are controlled and maintained constant, stored heat in the mass radiates back into the spaces. Thermal mass helps provide both heating and cooling, along with the other systems designed to condition the spaces with minimal amount of air.

At the perimeter enclosure wall, the overall U-factor is a 0.041. Utilizing an R1.28 for the 10″ CMU and R0.36 for the standard brick, 3″ of continuous foil-faced polyisocyanurate insulation in the cavity accounted for an R19.00 and along with an air/vapor barrier, cavity air space, interior and exterior air films and the isolated finished metal stud and gypsum interior finishes (R1.6), the total prescriptive R-value for the wall is 24.29, or a reciprocal U-factor of 0.041. With the addition of a moisture/air barrier on the exterior face of the structural loadbearing concrete block backup and concentrating on maintaining the continuity of this air and moisture barrier at window openings, an air tight envelope is created. The masonry wall is highly insulated and both air and water tight. Focusing on maintaining the continuity of the thermal barrier, the air and moisture barrier components of the wall ensured a reduction in energy usage as uncontrolled heat loss and air infiltration was minimized. Air, thermal and moisture barriers located on the exterior side of the CMU wall limit potential damage from uncontrolled condensation.

Thermally-Broken Connections

To further enhance this perimeter wall’s performance, thermally-broken masonry anchors were used to laterally support the standard face brick back to the load bearing CMU. Masonry ties used a single screw with a special washer system that sealed tight to the insulation and the moisture air barrier. This fastener anchored back into the reinforced concrete block wall was fitted with a plastic wing nut to accept a stainless steel masonry hook tie. The plastic wing nut creates the thermal break. The use of stainless steel provided a corrosion resistant anchor with low thermal conductivity. This type of anchor also allowed for adjustability.

Reinforced cast stone lintels were used above openings, eliminating the need for steel shelf angles. By not using steel shelf angles tied back to the structural wall, thermal bridging was reduced and the transfer of cold into warmer areas of the wall construction was eliminated.

When this envelope enclosure wall is combined with proper site orientation, along with selection of high performance glazing types and glazing orientation, higher energy savings can be achieved by rejecting unwanted heat gains, yet cutting back on heating or cooling by retaining the desired temperatures within the building.

Since this was a four-story loadbearing structure, one challenge was locating required CMU control joints and brick expansion joints. Wall movement becomes visual in joints around windows with larger movement at the top. To accommodate, joints were ¾” at the base and widened to 1½” at higher floors. Lateral anchors allow for movement. Vertical control joints were integrated with movement joints. Dynamics of how the wall would move over the course of a Chicago season were established to masonry standards by the structural engineer.

Measuring Success

Loyola University wanted to use the building as an educational tool to make occupants aware of efficient energy usage and design. Students and faculty are direct participants in energy savings awareness through their ability to control natural ventilation by operable windows. Display lights in each classroom signal occupants when weather conditions are appropriate for opening windows. When conditions allow, HVAC systems shut down. Light in each classroom signals occupants to open windows. One step in developing energy efficiency dialogue between building and occupants.

All energy usage at Cuneo Hall is measured (btu meters for hot and chilled water supply and electric sub-meters for lighting, plug loads, mechanical systems and miscellaneous loads). Actual energy usage measurements are monitored.

After four months of full data (July- October 2012) and after normalizing for the weather influenced portion of energy, Cuneo Hall is performing almost 58% better than the design model predicted. The model predicted the building would utilize 46% less energy than ASHRAE 90.1. Actual energy is 78% lower. On a kbtu/sf/year basis, the building model predicted annual energy use would be 59. It is currently on target to achieve 29 kbtu/sf/year.

Masonry contributed to additional LEED points under the Material and Resource section. Credits 2.1 and 2.2 Construction Waste Management were earned, as brick, CMU, mortar, grout and stone waste can be reused or recycled into new products. CMU contains as much as 70% recycled content, contributing to Credit 4 Recycled Content. It is locally sourced and produced, contributing to Credit 5 Regional Material. Cuneo Hall earned 40 points and a Gold LEED certification.

Cuneo Hall is performing 58% better than the design model predicted

Jody Buell, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, associate at Solomon Cordwell Buenz, brings a strong sense of technical and management expertise to the design and construction of recreation, institutional and residential projects. She leads projects in all aspects of technical oversight, management, client and staff communication. As a project manager, she is in charge of the business and contractual relationship between the client and the project team. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Masters of Architecture from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. [email protected] 312.896.1231

Scott R Marker, RA, LEED Green Associate, associate principal at Solomon Cordwell Buenz, has more than 35 years of experience in the practice of technical architecture, project assurance and quality control. He is responsible for monitoring and facilitating project development, streamlining teams to produce stellar documents and assuring code compliance. He is also currently serving as the chair to the Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings. Marker received his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Masters of Architecture from University of Illinois at Chicago. [email protected] 312.896.1192

BIM-MASONRY : Design Tool Paves Way for More Effective Project Delivery

Maria A Viteri

Photo courtesy of IMI

Workgroups are planning the implementation of BIM for Masonry

Information technology has served the design and construction industry well. Increasing growth of Building Information Modeling (BIM) demonstrates the importance of a tool that aids effective sharing of knowledge while coordinating the design and construction processes.

BIM has changed how architects, engineers and contractors communicate and solve problems that may occur during the course of designing and constructing a building. BIM has opened the door for virtual collaboration in a way that brings the design/ build team back to the table to build projects more effectively and efficiently.

Communication is key to successful design and construction. BIM’s role as the go-to design and delivery method is marked by its ability to provide clear, complete, concise and correct information from the earliest conceptual stages, through design and construction and eventually throughout the building’s operational life. Today, the masonry industry celebrates its ability to advance BIM technologies by providing a platform built with specific information gathered from the designer, engineer, mason contractor, general contractor and material supplier. In so doing, BIM for Masonry (BIM-M), will bridge informational re sources often individually held by the various representatives of the design/build team.

BIM-M will allow each participant to add to and reference back information that will return great efficiencies to the project under consideration as well as advance the prospects of increasing creativity and efficiencies on future masonry projects.

Why does the industry need BIM-M? The choice of a material system for building projects is dictated by a variety of issues. Whether selected for durability, aesthetics, acoustics, cost, maintenance schedule or life cycle, masonry materials offer a variety of attributes. Masonry choices additionally include use of the material in a structural assembly or as a material systems contributor to energy performance through passive design measures.

While BIM is often credited for clash detection, anticipating where various trades may meet in a building, BIM-M seeks to serve as a gap-closer for segregated information. BIM-M will be able to build on a designer’s creativity by unleashing the full potential of masonry as a structural element, design feature or high performing envelope. As Georgia Tech’s project manager for the national BIM-M initiative, Associate Professor Dr Russell Gentry, states, “BIM lets architects and engineers look beneath the surface at the drawing and say, I want to know where the lintels are; I want to know how many ties to order; I want to know where I need to brace the wall today because I’m not coming back until Monday. All of that information can be embodied in a BIM model.”

BIM-M, therefore, provides a tool to effectively and efficiently design a masonry building while consistently providing industry information from other stakeholders in a timeline that provides for better costs and improved construct-ability.

Building BIM-M through the eyes of industry workgroups: Architectural Modeling Workgroup “We want to build more masonry buildings,” explains Gentry. “We want masonry to compete with other materials, so we have to think like architects because they are the ones who initiate masonry buildings.”

Collaborating with five workgroups emphasizing engineering, construction management, construction activities and material supplier processes, the Architectural Modeling Workgroup serves to gather guidelines for enhancing the channel of communication between all stakeholders to improve the exchange of design ideas into a tangible building. The Architectural Modeling Workgroup gathered for their first meeting in the fall of 2012. The workgroup focused on early-stage design, considered how masonry systems might be represented in modeling programs and addressed both new and existing construction. The wish list from the Architectural Modeling Workgroup reflects the industry’s belief that architects do, in fact, want to build more masonry buildings. There is ample appreciation for the variety of design that masonry materials offer.

Photo by BAC/Todd Buchanan; courtesy IMI

Dr Russell Gentry, associate professor at Georgia Tech’s Digital Building Laboratory, is leading the BIM-M initiative as project manager.

Photo courtesy of Charles Eastman

Charles Eastman, professor, Colleges of Architecture and Computing, director, Digital Building Laboratory, Georgia Tech. Recognized for his development of BIM, he is technical lead.

Furthermore, there is uniform appreciation of the value of reinvigorating existing masonry buildings with new functions and uses. Yet, while the group found a uniform level of under standing of masonry as a cladding material, there is a lack of understanding, or possible reticence, attached to stretching masonry’s flexibility. Architects know masonry is more than running bond on a veneer system, yet the design industry needs a tool that helps incorporate more advanced elements to the building – arches, corbels, quoins, ledges, projections, water tables and variety of patterning. As technical educators, the International Masonry Institute (IMI) and other masonry associations assist architects on a project by project basis and welcome the opportunity to add their expertise to that held by other industry specialists.

Surveys conducted by Georgia Tech indicate that architects want information that comes from outside their traditional area of technical concentration, yet enhances their design expertise. There is a need for a modeling program that provides more than clash detection, a program that extends into a design aid tool.

Design tasks that may be considered difficult to achieve, such as interfacing correctly with openings or coordinating details into assembly processes, are tailored for information exchanges through modeling. BIM-M opens the door to provide the architecture community with necessary information on wall control layers — moisture, air, thermal and vapor, as well as drainage planes and connectors. BIM-M may addition ally open the door for logical opportunities to integrate masonry as the structure on future buildings and extend masonry’s innovative potential.

Recognizing the economic power of existing buildings and future potential of retrofitted or restored masonry structures, the Architectural Modeling Workgroup also touched on the need to incorporate specific modeling criteria to address the preservation of existing and historic buildings. Of great importance to the group is a tool that can pinpoint a building’s economic value. Architects need an accurate method to help guide repair/replace/improve decisions that are at the center of restoration work. BIM-M offers a method for this determination through condition assessment tags and reports that may later be accessed by owner teams for operation and maintenance.

What does industry collaboration hope to provide the A/E/C? BIM-M is wisely approaching the development of a modeling tool built through the collaborative experience, research and resources representing multi-disciplinary stake holders. By uniting the industry around a tool that serves the whole, BIM-M expects to remain robust in its ability to continually gather information that mutually benefits the full design/build team.

Numerous affiliated groups have joined in with support. Financial sponsorship for the development of Phase I: Roadmap was provided by IMI, Brick Industry Association (BIA), International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC), Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA), The Masonry Society (TMS) and Western States Clay Products Association (WSCPA). Gentry and David Biggs, principal of Biggs Consulting Engineering, are leading this industry consortium. “The purpose of our initiative is to unify the masonry industry and all supporting industries through the development and implementation of BIM for Masonry software to create smoother workflows and collaboration across all disciplines,” said Gentry. Charles Eastman, recognized for his development of BIM, is the project’s technical lead.

The BIM-M Roadmap

A roadmap for developing and deploying building information modeling for the masonry industry was distributed to the National Building Information Modeling for Masonry Initiative at the beginning of 2013.* The roadmap outlines phases, projects and timelines that the masonry industry must undertake so as to prepare the technical foundation for the development and distribution of a BIM-M product. In the meantime, BIM-M has been receiving much attention as it seeks to minimize the informational gap across all owners, designers, masons, builders and material suppliers of masonry buildings.

To date, $400,000 has been pledged to fund the next phase of implementation of the roadmap, with BAC, IMI, MCAA and NCMA as lead contributors. The list of sponsors for the upcoming phases is growing. Further donations are welcome and necessary. In addition, individuals can become members of one of the workgroups. Contact David Biggs, [email protected]

To read the BIM-M roadmap, visit dynamicsofmasonry.com/roadmap

Maria A Viteri, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is the Director of Sustainability and Program Development for the International Masonry Institute (IMI). She has over 20 years combined architectural design, construction administration and marketing experience. Viteri leads IMI’s Green Strategy and has made various presentations on design, energy efficient masonry construction, education and material understanding. She is involved with contractor business development and architectural education, authored IMI’s Sustainable Masonry Certification Program and is an instructor for IMI’s Contractor College and Instructor Certification Program. Viteri is a board member with the Sustainable Building Industry Council, ACE Annapolis and served as a board member with AIA Pittsburgh. She maintains architectural registration in Pennsylvania and holds a Master of Architecture degree from Tulane University, Master of Business Administration and a Master of Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. [email protected] | 410-280-1304

Architectural Modeling Workgroup

Maria Viteri, International Masonry Institute, Lead Tristan Al-Haddad, Georgia Tech School of Architecture Chad Stacy, Perkins+Will Architects Steve Georgalis, 5G Studio Collaborative Karen Gravel, LAS Architects Bill Davis, THW Design Todd Zima, Studio Gang Architects Scott Conwell, International Masonry Institute Shannon Perry, Interstate Brick

What if you had a tool that helps you:

  • Understand structure beyond scope of schematics
  • Inform wall type horizontally and vertically
  • Recognize interferences and assemblies within masonry structures
  • Recognize masonry attributes
  • Calculate thermal performance
  • Report sustainability attributes
  • Confirm fire ratings
  • Understand potential labor requirements or certification needs
  • Address first cost together with life cycle
  • Integrate acoustic needs
  • Represent wall types
  • Locate movement joints
  • Provide square foot costs
  • Identify economies of scale
  • Provide valuation for existing buildings
  • Generate accessory schedules – rebar, flashing, lintels
  • Produce quantity takeoffs
  • Inform on availability and lead time

Then you would understand the architectural value of BIM-Masonry. BIM-M will help ease the work of an architect already familiar with masonry construction while facilitating the learning curve of an architect who is just starting his or her work with masonry systems.