Industry News


Predicted Growth Recent economic forecasts point to significant growth for the masonry industry as part of the larger recovery in construction expenditures as the national economy continues to rebound from the 2006 recession.

The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland OH based market research firm, released a study titled Bricks, Blocks & Pavers at the end of 2014 predicting an 11% annual rise in demand for brick and almost 8% annual rise for concrete block through 2018.

PCA Economist Ed Sullivan reported a similarly positive forecast at the World of Masonry in Las Vegas in February. Sullivan anticipates 2014’s 8% rise in portland cement consumption to continue at a similar rate for the next couple years.

Sullivan says the positive industry outlook is tied to several factors, including improved consumer confidence, lower oil prices, a rise in housing starts, home value appreciation and strong job growth.

Concrete Products University Launched The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) has launched Concrete Products University Online (CPU-Online). CPU-Online provides concrete masonry, hardscape and manufactured stone veneer education online, on demand. A variety of education modules are available for all audiences, with more being added over time.

Programs are designed for all levels of concrete masonry design, construction and production industry personnel. From brandnew employees to seasoned veterans, there are education and learning opportunities for everyone. Nearly all presentations are registered with AIA/CES for continuing education credits.

BASF turns 150 In addition to celebrations and a historical retrospective, BASF and partners have prepared a global co-creation program called Creator Space, in accordance with the company’s “We create chemistry” strategy, on the topics of energy, food and urban living as part of its 150th anniversary. BASF sites around the world are celebrating, each in a different way, accord ing to their respective size and culture.

BASF’s history started in 1865 with dyes. Since then, the company’s portfolio has continuously developed and today it ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection to oil and gas. BASF supplies customers in nearly every industry with products and solutions and supports them with research and innovation.

In 2050, the world’s population will reach nine billion, up from more than seven billion today. 70% of people will live in cities. A company that works on a global scale has to look at issues from the perspectives of different markets and understand local requirements. What will the cities of the future look like? Where will the energy that is needed come from? How can there be enough healthy food for everyone? The answers to these questions will be quite different from region to region.

The Creator Space program unlocks numerous opportunities to think about challenges related to the focus topics of energy, food and urban living and to work towards solutions, both virtually and in person. “We are convinced that when we add the expertise from chemistry and other industries to these ideas, we will be closer to finding answers for the challenges of today and tomorrow. For society, these are solutions. For BASF, these are business opportunities. The better we understand market needs, the better our innovations will be – regardless of whether we’re talking about products, entire systems or new business models,” said Dr Kurt Bock, chairman of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors.

Angelus Block, manufacturer and supplier of concrete masonry unit (CMU) products in Southern California, has released the first Type III Environ mental Product Declaration (EPD) under the new Product Category Rules (PCR) for CMU.

The EPD for Angelus Block Concrete Masonry Units represents “our continued commitment to the green building market by providing leading edge and highly useable tools to inform architectural design decisions,” said Edward Antonini, president. “Concrete masonry is an essential building system, and our goal is to educate stakeholders in the building process about its inherent, and extensive, green attributes. The Type III EPD is an important progression in our support of green rating systems in general and to material transparency in particular.”

The EPD includes a substantial set of 69 individual mix designs for products from each of their seven CMU manufac tur ing locations in and beyond the Los Angeles metroplex. Angelus Block’s EPD is available for download at

Pangaea Invests in CarbonCure CarbonCure Technologies, a green technology company serving the concrete sector, has closed a $3 million Series C investment round. The oversub – scribed round was led by Pangaea Ventures, a world leader in advanced materials venture capital. The investment will be used to accelerate sales in the concrete masonry sector, and expand CarbonCure’s CO2 utilization technology platform into the ready mix concrete sector.

Pangaea is joined by investors from the previous investment rounds including BDC Capital, as well as several new strategic investors from the construction, clean technology and industrial gas industries, including Power Generations Inc, a Floridabased cleantech investment fund.

Investors from previous rounds are pleased with the ongoing growth the company is enjoying. “We continue to be impressed with CarbonCure’s progress creating value for concrete producers, architects and builders; now is the time for rapid commercial rollout, which this funding round will fuel,” said Tony Van Bommel, partner at BDC Capital.

Pangaea invests in high-growth companies utilizing advanced materials technology to solve critical global challenges. “Pangaea has been following CarbonCure for several years and we are delighted to now be partnered with this industry-leading team. With a scalable, capital efficient business model and attractive customer economics, we see no reason why the company’s technology won’t be ubiquitous in the industry within a few years,” said Andrew Haughian, partner with Pangaea Ventures.

The QUIKRETE Companies Celebrates 75th Anniversary The QUIKRETE Companies, leading manufacturer of packaged cement and concrete products for construction, repair and home improvement projects turned 75 in May. Widely recognized for establishing the pre-mixed packaged concrete category, QUIKRETE helped shape the building and do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement industries with thoughtful product innovations, unmatched customer service and a dedicated staff of associates.

“We’re proud of our heritage as an American, family-run company that has helped revolutionize the building and home improvement industries during the past 75 years,” said James E Winchester, Jr, CEO for The QUIKRETE Companies. “From day one, my father, Gene Winchester was driven to meet the needs of both contractors and homeowners with the highest-quality products at fair market value, and that commitment remains a core value of QUIKRETE today. It’s been quite the journey from a single plant in Columbus, Ohio manufacturing three products to plants across the country manufacturing hundreds of products, but a journey made possible thanks to our hard working employees and loyal customers.”

Today, the QUIKRETE family of companies also features leaders from related industries including Pavestone, Custom Building Products, SPEC MIX, Target Technologies, Daubois and QPR, which provides customers with a single source for unsurpassed product and service support. Collectively, QUIKRETE manufactures and distributes products from nearly 150 facilities in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Panama and Peru.

SMART|dynamicsofmasonry where industry leaders gather and speak to Launch New Design Awards Rebranding Masonry to include its unparalleled High Performance. 10 Award Categories will be: Structural Masonry Engineering Design | Masonry’s Role in Optimizing Energy Performance | Masonry’s Role in Acoustic Design | Innovative Aesthetic Design | Interior Masonry Designation of Special Spaces | Exterior Masonry Gathering Spaces | Resilient Design | Sustainable Design | Use of Masonry to contribute to LEED Points | Use of Masonry for ALL Its Worth. See for details.

Dan Zechmeister, PE, FASTM, named AIA Michigan Honorary Affiliate at June annual Celebration of Architecture. Honorary Affiliate Member ship is one of the highest honors that AIA Michigan can bestow upon a person who is not an architect, but who has made important contributions to the profession of architecture.

Zechmeister is executive director of the Masonry Institute of Michigan and a registered professional engineer in the state of Michigan. He is active with the American Society of Testing and Materials with C12 and C15 committees and has been recognized with the ASTM Award of Merit. He represents TMS on the executive committee for BIM-M. Recently he served six years as a board director on the Building Enclosure Council of Greater Detroit in association with AIA Detroit and Michigan Society of Architects. He is a member of the GREAT MINDS of the Editorial Advisory Board for SMART|dynamicsofmasonry. AIA Detroit has also recognized Zechmeister as an Honorary Affiliate.

Zechmeister joined the Masonry Institute of Michigan’s (MIM) staff as a structural engineer in a joint venture with Lawrence Institute of Technology’s (LIT) School of Architecture as a lecturer in 1986. His capacity with MIM was providing masonry design and construction assistance to Michigan architects, and to teach structural courses in the LIT School of Architecture.

In 1990, MIM appointed Zechmeister as Executive Director. He continues to be instrumental in educating design professionals and architectural students through various programs and activities of MIM. Recognizing the lack of formal masonry training at the collegiate level for architects, Zechmeister works continuously at bridging the gap. He has taught classes and workshops, guest-lectured and brought hands-on masonry demonstrations and tours to students throughout the state. Educating architects and future architects about masonry is a passion.

The Masonry Institute of Michigan became a registered AIA continuing education provider in 1995. As such, Zechmeister presents a number of Lunch&Learn programs educating architectural firms about the fundamentals and advancements of masonry. At the behest of the MIM board in 2001, he initiat ed the StoryPole as a magazine to educate architects. It featured articles and exams for AIA HSW continuing education credits. As a sponsor-in-part and publishing partner for SMART|dynamicsofmasonry, international publication which evolved from the StoryPole to educate architects throughout the US and Canada, MIM and Zechmeister continue to provide guidance for the educational editorial content of the publication.

In addition, MIM benchmarks the industry with its innovative initiatives such as Structural Masonry Engineering Software, Building Information Modeling for Masonry, Generic Wall Design details available free on the MIM website, Wall Bracing Design, Pre-fabricated Masonry Lintels and Walls giving architects the tools they need to design more effectively with masonry.

AIA Elects Officers Delegates to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) national convention in Atlanta in May elected officers for 2016-2017. Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, CEO of Richter Architects in Corpus Christi TX is serving as 2015 president.

Thomas V Vonier, FAIA, 2016 AIA First Vice President/2017 President-Elect Currently serving as 2014–2015 AIA Vice President, Vonier is also the founder and past president of AIA Continental Europe from 1994 to 1995. He served on the AIA Board of Directors representing the AIA International Region from 2010 to 2012. Vonier received an M Arch and a B Arch from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee after attending the school of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also currently Secretary General of the International Union of Architects, after previously serving as its Vice President.

Stuart L Coppedge, AIA, 2016–2017 Treasurer Coppedge has served on the AIA’s Finance and Audit Committee and represented the Western Mountain Region on the Board of Directors from 2012 to 2014.

Jennifer Workman, AIA, At-large Director Formerly the Chair of the AIA Council of Emerging Professionals in 2013, Workman will serve as At-large Director for three years.

L Jane Frederick, FAIA, At-large Director Currently Regional Director for the AIA South Atlantic Chapter and a member of the Practice & Prosperity Committee, Frederick will serve as At-large Director for two years.

Anthony P Schirripa, FAIA, Elected At-large Director The Regional Director of AIA New York from 2012 to 2014, Schirripa currently serves on the Secretary’s Advisory Committee and the Governance Task Force. He will serve as At-large Director for one year.

2015 AIA Young Architects Award Winners The American Institute of Architects named 14 recipients of the Young Architects Award. Young Architects are defined as professionals who have been licensed 10 years or fewer, regardless of age. This award honors individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers. We will reward them with a complimentary subscription to SMART|dynamicsofmasonry. May they all learn to share our passion for masonry.

Jose Alvarez, AIA Eskew+ Dumex+ Ripple New Orleans LA As a local and regional leader in AIA, Alvarez is a state delegate in the conversation of policy and practice and also leads the state professional educational program. He has been AIA Young Architect Forum program director in New Orleans and was instrumental in the reorganization and establishment of the Louisiana chapter of National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).

Zachary R Benedict, AIA MKM architecture+design Fort Wayne IN A longstanding Board member for local AIA Chapter (2006 –2011), Benedict created a partnership between AIA and Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning faculty to produce more than 120 student projects within downtown Fort Wayne. He was also one of three managing directors for AB417, a societal think tank he founded to initiate and sustain dialogue aimed at restoring social interaction and communal vitality.

Hafsa Burt, AIA HB+A Architects San Francisco CA Burt is dedicated to using her skills as an architect to enrich communities and elevate peoples’ lives – with a special focus on environ mental impact. She has devoted much of her time to larger issues concerning the health of the planet and its inhabitants.

Justin Crane, AIA Cambridge Seven Associates Boston MA Crane co-founded Common Boston, a popular, grassroots architecture festival in Boston that he helped grow from a small organization to an 11-day, city-wide event that creates dialogue between the public and architects in shaping a more sustain able, equitable and inspiring built environment. He has a focus on education and served as a board member and current president of Learning By Design in MA which focuses on K–12 education

Sarah W Dirsa, AIA HOK | St Louis MO Dirsa co-founded HOK IMPACT and SEED St Louis as ways to recognize community work already being done within the international design firm HOK and in St. Louis, respectively, as well as to promote a community of givers and advocate for increased participation in public interest design projects. Her involvement with corporate social responsibility includes taking on the role of HOK’s first-ever global chair of social responsibility.

Andrew Dunlap, AIA SmithGroupJJR | Detroit MI Dunlap is a member of several industry organizations, including past president of AIA Detroit’s Building Enclosure Council (BEC). As an instructor, Dunlap encourages his undergraduate students to foster informal relationships with professionals and to participate in AIA. He also mentors students through AIA Michigan and SmithGroupJJR.

James Henry, AIA HDR | Dallas TX Henry has a passion for sharing good design and creating better life experiences for others through his work. His commitment to advancing health and wellness through design has resulted in improved healthcare design.

Chris Hong, AIA Group 70 International Honolulu HI Hong is involved with AIA Hawaii and the construction committee for Honolulu Habitat for Humanity. Passionate about mentoring; he has led design-related high school mentoring programs and has worked closely with students at the University of Hawaii, University of Washington, and University of Oregon.

James A Meyer, AIA WER Architects | Little Rock AR Meyer is committed to public interest design issues and founded studioMAIN, a nonprofit of design and construction professionals who volunteer their time creating a venue to pursue work in public interest design. He is also involved in local, state, regional, and national AIA committees and initiatives

Ann Sobiech Munson, AIA Substance Architecture Des Moines IA Through Munson’s leadership, iaWia – Iowa Women in Architecture, a nonprofit she co-founded to empower individuals and advance women in design – is leading the national discourse about diversity in architecture and the critical need of a more research-based approach to identifying and documenting key issues and potential solutions.

Adrianne Steichen, AIA PYATOK | architecture + urban design | Oakland CA Steichen is committed to designing and advocating for affordable housing and volunteering with housing and community organizations. She has been active in the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition and regularly attends Association for Community Design conferences and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association programs as well as playing an active role in AIA locally and nationally.

Rebecca Talbert, AIA Dewberry Architects | Orlando FL Talbert has taught architecture as an adjunct professor for eight years. She has shown commitment to AIA serving on numerous boards and committees both on the local and state levels. She has twice served as AIA Orlando state director, and has been a member of various AIA Orlando committees as well as AIA Florida task forces. Volunteer efforts focus on historic preservation.

Derek C Webb, AIA m ARCHITECTS | Houston TX Webb’s leadership with AIA Houston, Young Architects Forum and Rice Design Alliance, as well as his teaching efforts at the University of Houston, Prairie View A&M University, and the Art Institute of Houston, has demonstrated a commitment to the profession and to emerging professionals in their development and engagement in the AIA.

Elizabeth Whittaker, AIA merge architects | Boston MA Whittaker is on the faculty at Harvard University Graduate Design School and also teaches at several other design studios. She is actively involved in AIA and serves on the Boston Society of Architects Board of Directors. She cofounded Young Architects Boston to create a forum for emerging practices to collaborate on an installation exhibition for 2008 AIA National Convention in Boston.

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