Celebrating a new image through high-performance design awards Designing Masonry for ALL Its Worth*

*NEW branding statement for the unparalleled High Performance Masonry Wall System

Betty Stansbury Young and Elizabeth Young, LEED Green Associate

How many of us continuously hold high ideals and seek to outperform? It is not just athletes, entertainers, Wall Street. We strive to be healthier, catch the biggest fish, build the toned body, offer more service, greater quality, quicker completion.

After reading this article and this High Performance design issue, please apply what inspires you to create fresh masonry innovations and exceed code to design projects that will be sustainable for hundreds of years and resilient to last through any disaster protecting its occupants. One that optimizes performance and minimizes initial costs as well as life cycle operation and maintenance costs through the extended life of the building. That’s Designing Masonry for ALL Its Worth.

Then submit your projects for the new High Performance Masonry Design Awards competition launching in 2016. Some of you are already designing in one or more of these categories. Keep it up! And share them withSMART|dynamics of masonry.

Exterior gathering space at North Carolina State University at the chancellor’s quarters overlooking a ravine is defined by brick pillars and low site walls doubling as seating in an area used for university fund raising.

High Performance

Signature Designers’ creations of aesthetic functional spaces yielding high performance will leave a legacy for cities to recognize and enjoy for generations. So, what is your first step? Start the next project like all those before?

Or, is it time to think about how you can design this building to outperform all others? Where do you begin?

With the siting of the building, you can take advantage of maximum passive solar benefits. Think masonry’s thermal mass and energy efficient glass block to provide a distinctive aesthetic and accommodate daylighting in an energytight building envelope.

Insulated Masonry Wall Systems Dramatically Reduce Energy Consumption

Energy code requirements continue to become more stringent, substantially limiting the allowable amounts of energy that buildings consume year after year for the extended life of the building. Buildings consume 40% of all energy.

Created by the International Code Council in 2000, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) sets aggressive new standards with each version. The 2009 IECC reduces energy consumption by 15% over the 2006 code. 2012 reduces another 15%. 2012 IECC is the most widely adopted energy code today, with U-factor for overall wall assembly requirements of the above ground, opaque thermal envelope ranging from no more than U0.142 in climate zones 1 and 2 to U0.061 in zones 7 and 8. Climate zone 4, for example, requires a maximum U-factor of not greater than 0.104. This is determined by adding the R values of each layer of material used in a wall assembly, then taking the reciprocal.

A typical masonry cavity wall comprised of inside air film, 8" medium weight CMU (115 pcf), partially grouted (48"oc), 1.83 (1 5/6)" closed cell polyurethane spray foam or 2.5" extruded polystyrene insulation, 2" air space, 4" brick veneer and outside air film will have a calculated R value of 16.03. The reciprocal will yield a U-factor of the assembly of 0.0624, easily meeting zone 4 requirements as well as nearly all other climate zones.

Exceeding code today is where buildings begin to gain efficiencies. Exceeding code today is becoming the norm as industry focuses toward net zero.

The ability of masonry to absorb and hold heat, then release it slowly over time, delaying and moderating the need for mechanical heating and cooling, is known as thermal mass. This inherent property is unique to concrete and masonry wall systems.

Inherent Masonry Value25

comes standard with exponential intrinsic attributes. The unparalleled masonry wall system can be counted on to exceed code, lending greater value. Its inherent characteristics that designers, constructors and owners so appreciate are as important today as ever before. Owners are demanding value. Designers are taking advantage of using masonry’s attributes to stretch construction budgets. The same product can provide more than one function.

Masonry Does Not Burn

Nearly 150 years ago, after Chicago’s devastating fire of 1871 burned four square miles, new mayor Joseph Medill pledged stricter building codes. Medill declared the outside walls and roofs of every building erected within the city should be of non-combustible materials such as brick, stone, iron, concrete or slate. Resilience is still an attribute valued by city leaders across the globe, as is the value that such solid and durable buildings add to the tax base. Mandates for public buildings to be LEED certified (or similar) are in place to help ensure that environmentally- sensitive and long-life building strategies are used. Many municipalities include masonry-specific language in their planning policies and design guidelines for these reasons.

Designers take advantage of using masonry’s attributes to stretch construction budgets.

Proven Performer

Classic ingredients of a time-honored masonry building continue to be the mainstay of resilient and sustainable communities today.

Masonry Reinvention

The integrity of earth’s abundance of clay, shale, sand, cementitious materials and natural stone can be trusted to perform. Integral pigments, integral water repellents and other admixtures to increase performance are now added. Concrete masonry units (CMU) are burnished and polished. They may be manufactured half high to resemble brick and oversize to resemble stone.

A unique technology mimics how stone is formed in the earth yielding a cement-free building stone combining calcium silicate, lime and sand to create a naturally-made manufactured stone product with the aesthetics, inherent strength and durability of quarried stone. Myriad finishes, including hand chiseled, textures, shapes, custom colors and blends create diverse patterning.

The simple raw grey CMU commodity has become its own fashion statement and is very green, reabsorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. Over several years, 0.6 lbs of CO2 will be absorbed per concrete masonry unit (containing 3 lbs of cement). Absorption is higher for concrete masonry than for poured or wet cured concrete products because of concrete masonry’s greater porosity.

Recycled Materials

such as fly ash (waste product from burning of coal), slag (waste product from smelting iron ore), old tires, wood chips and sawdust, shot blasting plastic, even burned earth and crushed glass are used in the manufacture of CMU, diverting all from landfills making grey CMU very green. Contributing to LEED credits at no additional cost. Further transparency in Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and Human Health Product Declarations (HPD) effects of ingredients allow designers to make informed decisions when selecting materials for a project.

Mason contractors are relied on to bring wall system expertise and innovative ideas to the collaborative team

More Than Laying One Over Two

Moisture control systems continuously drain insulated cavity walls. Breathable vapor barriers keep buildings energy efficient, mold resistant and code compliant. New equipment, robots, tools, software, methodologies, technology, techniques, best practices and training all work together togreatly reduce schedule while improving quality and increasing productivity.

Integrated Project Delivery methods bring more experts to the table earlier in the process. Mason contractors are relied on to bring wall system expertise and innovative ideas to the collaborative team designing and engineering the project. From offering scheduling efficiencies to design details to knowledge about using Masonry for ALL Its Worth to keeping budgets in line during preconstruction meetings.

More masonry reduces overall building costs. One wall system at one singular cost allows one singular trade to work efficiently to achieve many objectives.

Thought Leaders are doing more to support designers using masonry. Formation of coalitions between industry, contractors and engineers offer design assistance and support with issues of constructability.

Software for Masonry Efficiencies Loadbearing masonry engineering software for whole buildings cuts in half or more the time for analysis and design of masonry structural systems. Wall system and component design software available as well as 3D estimating software for most accurate bidding, complete with .icf export interface with BIM. The Building Information Modeling for Masonry (BIM-M) initiative is progressing through its plan to integrate masonry into BIM software expected in 2017. Pioneering consultants and contractors are finding creative ways to integrate masonry into BIM platforms already streamlining many aspects of a project. BIM-M packages masonry wall systems for efficiency, simplicity. Besides 3D clash detection, cost and schedule modules add a more sophisticated level of efficiency. Green module allows energy usage to be forecast and monitored. Construction data will assist facility management and track life cycle costs for the life of the building. An amazing tool!

Speed of Construction

Net net savings of building enclosure budget and schedule make masonry most attractive in the two areas of high priority to GCs and CMs. Constructibility in tight sites with limited staging areas is yet another masonry advantage.

Shovel ready CMU is manufactured in most metropolitan areas. Brick is produced in 39 states. Both are immediately available with little transportation time or cost. Even custom orders require less production time than the fabrication of steel or precasting concrete.

According to Joe Bonifate, Vice President, Arch Masonry in Pittsburgh, one of his crews can lay a truckload of material a day, which equates to roughly 850 sf of wall surface. That is 25 lineal feet of wall for a 20' building or 50-60' in two days. “When we want to accelerate the schedule, we add crews or teams of workers.

“We will easily build any structure quicker than it could be pre-fabricated. If the site is pad ready, masonry is always the quickest enclosure material.”

According to Bonifate, “a typical 50,000 sf by 36' fitness center can be enclosed in 30 days, a 200,000 sf x 30' big box takes 45 days, and a 46,000 sf by 35' theater in 60 working days. Masonry is a finished product – steel needs fabrication, stud and drywall to be installed, fireproofed and painted.”

Budget Inherent in the masonry wall system are:

  • Lower initial cost for this finished product
  • Redundant structural integrity
  • Thermal mass & cavity for insulation optimizing energy performance
  • Acoustic performance
  • Most incredible life cycle cost
  • Noise abatement
  • Low maintenance cost as masonry rarely needs any attention other than tuckpointing or cleaning every 30-50 years
  • Lower annual insurance premiums due to its resilient fire resistant structure which also stands up to high wind distress.
  • Read Structural Design, page 28, to see how to save $1,000,000 with structural masonry.

Pinnacle of Craft and Technology It is truly a new era of high-performance masonry construction. Inherent benefits, increased productivity, greater communication, trained craftsmen, new tools and equipment, best practices, new materials, enhanced aesthetic with gorgeous brick, block and stone ready for articulation. The masonry wall system outperforms all others. In every way. Make it your high performance signature.

High-Performance Masonry Design Awards Competition

9 categories showcasing examples of the unparalleled Masonry Wall System. Outperforming others.

Begin thinking about how you can Design Masonry for ALL Its Worth or assist the design team with your masonry expertise using voluntary alternates to accomplish more with single source responsibility. Using a tighter schedule, a tighter budget. Think beyond just meeting code. Gift your owners and their communities with high performance buildings making a positive impact forever.

This competition is designed to recognize those who stretch their minds to new and innovative solutions toward more resilient, sustainable and high-performance communities for generations to enjoy and where memories are made. Masonry is an investment for the future. And it is exquisitely beautiful. A win in every dimension!

Resilient Design Masonry is often the only part of a structure standing after a devastating fire, tornado, hurricane or earthquake offering safe shelter. It can be cleaned after a flood. Even the Pentagon, after 9/11, was only punctured leaving a hole instead of crumbling, due to structural redundancy from inherent arching action of an overlapping masonry bond pattern and compartmentation for controlling spread of fire. Remember, masonry does not burn and the big bad wolf could not blow it down.

When reinforced, CMU increased flexural and tensile capacities reduce structural shifting in high force winds. Additionally, masonry stands up to flying debris in wind storms.

“Introduction of Limit Design for structural masonry expands the possibilities of masonry in earthquake country” as Steve Dill, SE, principal, KPFF Consulting Engineers and Andres Lepage, PhD, SE, Department of Architectural Engineering, the Pennsylvania State University, wrote in the premier issue of SMART | dynamics of masonry

where industry leaders gather and speak.

“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, to withstand displacement reversals without distress.”

Masonry firewalls with fully filled cores have a four hour fire rating. Stairways and elevator shafts are most often masonry to achieve these essential fire ratings. No further fire stopping expense is incurred with the simple CMU.

Noncombustible with strength and durability, CMU can prevent fire spread, does not emit toxic gases or smoke, provides safe egress as well as firefighter protection and maintains its structural integrity.

High density CMU is recognized for blast resistance. It can be reinforced and grouted solid for structural integrity and designed to minimize progressive collapse.

Sustainable Design Defined as meeting the needs of today without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their needs, sustainability has been embraced by the architectural community. Whether or not project owners are interested in LEED or equivalent certification, following environmental guidelines is good practice. Significant LEED credits that masonry can contribute to are quite often left on the table. Ask your material and accessory producers for a list of how their products contribute including EPD and HPD certifications.

Produced of earth’s abundant materials, stone, shale, clay and sand pits are reclaimed after mining/quarrying. Often filled with water, these sites become home to creatures of nature once again. In addition to sustainable manufacturing practices, natural masonry materials may contain recycled content, are reclaimed for reuse and are recyclable. Locally and/or regionally produced, masonry materials need to travel fewer miles than many other building materials, saving fuel and wear on the roads.

According to the Brick Industry Association (BIA), sustainable buildings balance environmental, social and economic performance with innovation. Manufacturers who produce products for those sustainable buildings follow suit in their own operations, utilizing dust collection systems, air scrubbers, alternate fuel sources, reusing water and recycling pallets and packaging materials.

In addition to sustainable manufacturing practices, recyclability, local sourcing, recycled content, optimization of energy performance as green benefits of masonry, don’t forget to use mason-installed glass block for daylighting.

Structural Engineering Design Little known fact: A single 8" CMU can withstand the weight of 205 500-lb sumo wrestlers. Thus, a 10' x 10' wall system can carry a load of over 750,000 lb, more than ample for multiple floors and roof sections.

Its compressive strength is 1900 net psi, per ASTM C90. Not only does it bear the gravity load, the same reinforced loadbearing CMU wall can take the shear loads as well.

Using whole building software, a project can generally be converted to loadbearing masonry in less than a week, reducing schedule and costs significantly to bring within budget. Shovel ready masonry allows an immediate project start with productivity advantages for designers. There is no need to over-design saving again on schedule and dollars.

How economically can you design using all the attributes of masonry? Set yourself apart

Energy Design Masonry materials high in mass have excellent thermal storage capacity, the ability to absorb, store and then re-radiate energy. The slow rate of heat discharge from masonry helps to maintain a steady temperature within a space. Benefits of thermal mass can be felt in all climate zones to varying degrees.

Insulated masonry cavity and integrally- insulated single wythe wall systems can also play a significant role in optimizing energy performance of the building envelope so that mechanical system size and efficiencies can be optimized as well, saving both first cost and operational expenses for the extended life of the building contributing toward net zero energy.

Acoustic Design For performing arts centers, theaters , symphony halls and opera theaters, as well as practice facilities, churches, restaurants, entertainment venues and gymnasiums, various masonry materials may be incorporated to absorb low frequency sounds and diffuse higher frequencies in such a way as to enhance a performance or dining experience.

Noise Abatement Between hotel rooms and dormitories for a good night’s sleep, office buildings for confidentiality/ private meetings or gymnasiums from classrooms, masonry partition walls paired with hollowcore concrete plank flooring are a must. The system’s high STC ratings prevent noise from traveling through walls or between stories into another’s space. The noise of conversation, music and foot falls is mostly abated with a STC rating of about 45. An 8” hollow CMU wall has an STC rating of 48 without any finish material. Masonry envelopes can also play a role in eliminating sound and vibration from air and local traffic. Another economic and durable selection for acoustic performance that can double as structure and finish cannot be had.

Innovative Aesthetics Masonry provides the most textural expression, vivid, natural and understated colors, flexible and modular units to create buildings unlike any other. Delve into your right brain and allow its artistry to arrange brick, block and stone to attract attention of owners, occupants and visitors welcoming them. Carry the signature aesthetic into the interior, accentuating specific spaces.

Whether you are designing a classic masonry structure or one of a fresh contemporary nature of slopes, angles and curves, masonry is the most exquisite, dramatic, welcoming and vocal material. Allow your love of LEGO days to continue.

Grand Masonry Interiors Brick, block and stone, all revered for the warmth they carry, the human scale, the textural sensual appeal and beauty, are being selected for interior fashion statements in executive offices, the board room, grand lobbies and gathering spaces. Masonry distinguishes that space.

Exterior Gathering Spaces

Gathering spaces outside of a commercial or institutional building or in a courtyard add value and extend use. Whether an outdoor classroom at a university or preK-12 school, a patio setting or courtyard at a hospital, art institute, community building, office, or restaurant, gathering spaces whether for fund raising, meeting, social time or just to spend a quite moment, when the space is defined by masonry site walls or benches, it extends a welcoming comfortable feeling. A fresh expression of masonry… use it for ALL Its Worth.

Sorry, Meis, but I disagree. Less is NOT more. You can always expect more when you design and construct with masonry. Why would anyone settle for less?

Economically, masonry is most prudent!


Nine readily come to mind when Designing Masonry for ALL Its Worth

Projects in this issue and next will feature

  • Resilient Design
  • Sustainable Design
  • Structural Design
  • Energy Design
  • Acoustic Design
  • Innovation in Aesthetics
  • Grand Masonry Interiors
  • Exterior Gathering Spaces
  • Designing Masonry for ALL Its Worth

ReBranding Masonry Beyond the Veneer to the Depths of its Beauty

And now, Your Challenge…

Masonry has refinements to rejuvenate, re-inspire with oh, so many benefits at a mere fraction of the cost. Open your mind to new possibilities.

Go ahead. Design Masonry for ALL Its Worth! Use masonry for multiple purposes and save extensive budget. It’s a skill refined with experience.

What does it cost for all materials necessary to include all these attributes if you do not design with masonry? How economically can you design including all the attributes using masonry?

Set yourself apart. Design not just to meet code. Design cost effectively with benefits to keep the attention of your clients and the cities in which your designs are constructed. Please send us these projects for the 2016Designing Masonry for ALL its Worth High Performance Award Competition. Winning projects will be featured in the issue December 2016 v3.4.

Article Archive
BIM-M Technology Russ Peterson, MSCE, Ensoltech
Ever Looking Forward Elizabeth Young, Managing Editor
The Evolution of Block Making Billy Wauhop, Billy Wauhop & Associates
The Many Expressive Faces of CMU Gary Hensley, Robert Carmody, Oldcastle Adams
Pigment Palette Stimulates Prodigiously Vogue Block Buildings Richard Solomon, Solomon Colors