Smart | Focus

Elizabeth Young

Stand A Little Taller

The BIM for Masonry initiative began six years ago, bringing the industry’s best together under the leadership of David Biggs, PE, FTMS, FASTM, pooling talent, connections and resources to insert masonry more effectively into the digital design movement.

In this time, the tools and techniques developed, directly or indirectly, have truly been revolutionary. It’s not happening overnight, but there is a real difference in how designers and contractors are using masonry and communicating on projects. Biggs shares the current tools and resources and future plans, as the initiative transitions to a new phase in Significant Strategic Strides in BIM-M and Building Information Modeling for Masonry Update.

Software Developer Tom Cuneio writes further about how digital tools provide data to allow project teams to eliminate transactions, making job sites more efficient in his article Making Masonry Efficient.

During the same period, concrete masonry industry leaders worked with Congress on legislation enacting a CMU checkoff program. The program was passed and signed into law by President Trump in October 2018. Construction Association of Michigan’s CAM Magazine Editor Mary Kremposky McArdle explains the plans for research, promotion and education to support concrete masonry products and regain market share from competitors in Got Block?

The result of so much attention and innovation has led to numerous dynamic projects. Mason Contractor Joe Bonifate explains how Arch Masonry & Restoration is using drones for more accurate and efficient façade inspections in Drones Add Efficiency for Historic Restoration.

Cover story, 187 Franklin Street, NYC, designed by System Architects, written by Bob Belden, Chairman and CEO of The Belden Brick Company, is most unusual with its undulating masonry façade and interior. Belden takes us to the beehive kiln to learn how color intensity varies in the kiln, then units are beautifully blended and stacked by hand to ensure aesthetic efficiency. The St Mary Mercy Hospital Chapel in Livonia MI is another award-winning example of what’s possible with masonry when technology and communication are maximized. The design and construction story of this curvaceous space is told by both the PLY+Architects Bill Carpenter, Craig Borum and Jen Maigret, and Mike Piazza, on-site supervisor at Davenport Masonry. Both teams shared their models to be able to execute the building in the most exacting and efficient way possible. Read Modeling Every Brick in the Wall and iPads & String to learn how they made it happen.

As we learn more about building buildings that are strong, safe and high performing, construction techniques are scrutinized for quality. That requires that each element of a system is installed as intended and that each system works with every other system. Pepper Construction’s Director of Quality Assurance Corey Zussman shares how his company reduces rework (saving time, materials and costs) and assures quality through constructability mock-up walls in Mock-Up Sets Expectations.

And, for all the great things going on, the masonry industry couldn’t evolve and grow without the enthusiastic commitment from associations. The Masonry Institute of Iowa’s Executive Director Jenny Stephenson shares how members host Masonry Days for architectural and engineering students, stimulating enthusiasm in the next generation to continue masonry’s legacy.

Be inspired!

Elizabeth Young

Elizabeth Young Managing Editor, Associate Publisher

In the Next Issue

AESTHETIC & STRUCTURAL DESIGN ADAPTIVE REUSE HISTORIC RESTORATION Design Assist Delegated Design Gathering Spaces Structural Brick CMU Shear Walls Carry the Load Clever Masonry Objets d’Art Glazed Brick Texture Speaks Direct Design Put to Use