SMART| focus

Masonry’s Advancement

Elizabeth Young

The rate at which technology is expanding is impressive. Some changes are truly culture-shifting, while others are more subtle, but impactful nonetheless. While it might not always be making news, there is as much innovation and technological advancement happening in the design and construction industries as in any other. Building owners and occupants are reaping the benefits of more environmentally sound structures, being built to last and with better performance over their life times.

BIM (Building Information Modeling) was one such advancement revolutionizing the industry. Now BIM for Masonry (BIM-M) is in development, which will keep this ages-old craft of building walls “one over two” viable for today’s (and tomorrow’s) construction industry. As Media Sponsor for the BIM-M initiative, SMART |dynamics of masonry covers project developments in its issues. This time, it is solicitation for contractor input to determine masonry scenarios of use and best practices within BIM.

Industry advancements demand an educated workforce. University-level courses and degrees are developed to meet industry needs. The Concrete Industry Management program, founded at Middle Tennessee State University in the late 1990s, is now available at three additional universities to have broader geographic impact in educating students in the areas of concrete masonry production, materials, testing, troubleshooting, inspection and technical sales. Even a masters degree is offered.

Innovation is developing an ASTM standard for a new breed of product. With focus on sustainability and resiliency, material producers are incorporating non-traditional methods or materials into products, taking them beyond existing standards.

Research and development continues on materials, methods of installation and best practices. These innovations lead to better walls with code changing efficiencies. Designers took advantage of high tech for the transit station in Dearborn MI.

Design innovation continues to grow, too, as research about how a building’s materials, colors, pedestrian flow and other elements impact user comfort, engagement, productivity and even health. Take a look at the innovative aesthetics within and read about the thought that went into the design.

The technology and innovation invigorating the masonry industry featured in this issue could inspire you!

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