BIM-M Technology

Jeff Elder

Masonry Unit Database V2

Hundreds More Shapes Added to Increase Options

The masonry industry has reached another milestone in growing the virtual world of masonry. This was accomplished at the completion of the second phase of the masonry unit database (MUD) Version 2. The database went live at mudb.org in June 2019 and is provided at no cost to the AEC community by the International Building Information Modeling for Masonry Initiative (BIM-M).

Achieving Goals

One of the primary goals of BIM-M was to create an industry-wide, single-site database capable of housing generic as well as manufacturer-specific BIM masonry models through the web and various design portals.

The database provides material information and BIM files in both Imperial and Metric units. Version 2, enhances and increases the number of generic concrete and clay anchored and structural masonry units – sizes and colors.

Version 2 completes the goals set out by the MUD committee to provide an industry database. The database has been configured to accommodate actual units including a variety of shapes supplied by individual manufacturers in each of the categories. Hundreds of product shapes, sizes, textures and colors have been added since Version 1 launched in 2017. Future hopes are that manufacturer-specific data will be housed in this database so that all models and data follow the same protocols and are formatted in the same way.

The MUD eliminates the wallpaper effect of some modeling programs and allows the user to work with geometric units, which allows them to include more than one masonry material in a model, add a secondary color, accent rows or whatever is desired to meet the design intent.

Single-site database capable of housing generic as well as manufacturer-specific BIM masonry models

Version 2 enhances and increases the number of generic concrete and clay anchored and structural masonry units – sizes and colors

Information available in the MUD can be helpful in decreasing contractor costs associated with generating shop drawings; improving construction scheduling and productivity; improving cost awareness from early stages of design; enhancing safety; and improving communications between contractors, designers and owners.

Growth and Maintenance

At the completion of Version 2, the database was handed off to industry software developer 3D iQ inc to provide a network for including other generic models as they are developed. Going forward, 3D iQ and industry groups such as National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) and Brick Industry Association (BIA) will maintain and grow the database platform and content. 3D iQ inc is developing a third-party building modeling software, Masonry IQ, that integrates with the MUD and manufacturer-specific data. Designers using Masonry IQ can design masonry walls using manufacturer-specific units, sizes and colors, through this software.

The MUD is regularly being updated with more products and more information about each product

Autodesk Revit users can also download Masonry Unit Generator, which is a free plugin that reaches into the MUD directly from Revit at mudb.org/category.php?cat=revit.

Expanding Accessibility

To grow the masonry industry, the database was designed to also support models for anchored and adhered natural and manufactured stone and tile units in DWG, DGN, DXF and RFA formats.

Autodesk Revit users can also download Masonry Unit Generator at mudb.org/category.php?cat=revit, which is a free plugin that reaches into the MUD directly from Revit. Units can be saved in Revit for a specific project or in the library.

To retrieve a model, the designer has two options. The first is to search for the masonry unit through the upper orange box near the top of the website. The search tool allows user to select the desired unit by measurement, material, size and/or color. This is useful if you know in advance the products being searched.

For those wanting to explore more options, the designer is able to navigate the database by type of wall system considered.

System options are structural, anchored veneer and adhered veneer.

Within these systems, materials are further broken down by material type such as concrete or clay. Structural wall types are CMU (concrete masonry units) and SCU (structural clay units).

Anchored veneer options are currently limited to clay and concrete masonry units. Anchored stone veneers have been provided a placeholder for future models.

Adhered veneers are organized by concrete, clay, stone and tile. Currently, there are no models available in any of these material types. As industry interest increases in these products, generic models will be included.

The MUD is regularly being updated with more products and more information about each product. Continue to check back for updates and have fun with the possibilities unit geometry can bring to modeling!

Jeffrey L Elder

Jeffrey L Elder, PE, SE, LEED AP, Special Projects Director, formerly general sales manager for Interstate Brick in UT and HC Muddox in CA, is nationally recognized for his role in the design and promotion of hollow clay structural brick for the past 30 years. He is an executive member of BIM-M and project chair of the Unit Masonry Committee responsible for the Masonry Unit Database. He has served for the past 25 years as Technical Chairman for the Western States Clay Products Association, the structural research arm of the brick industry. He is a member of The Masonry Society and has actively participated in The Masonry Standards Joint Committee, Masonry Alliance for Codes and Standards, ASTM, and is listed in TMS Speaker Directory. He has also authored or co-authored numerous magazine articles, technical documents and publications about brick. Elder holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering / Structures from Brigham Young University, Provo UT. jeff.elder@interstatebrick.com | 801.280.5290.