Industry News

Industry News

Steve Hunt, Independent Manufacturers Representative for both BlockUp and masonry products manufactured by Northfield an Oldcastle Company to architects in the greater Chicago area, and architect Mark Weber who invented BlockUp are all smiles about this new product about to make a difference in mason productivity, thus cost / sf of the installed masonry wall system.Steve Hunt, Independent Manufacturers Representative for both BlockUp and masonry products manufactured by Northfield an Oldcastle Company to architects in the greater Chicago area, and architect Mark Weber who invented BlockUp are all smiles about this new product about to make a difference in mason productivity, thus cost / sf of the installed masonry wall system.»

Applause for Mark Weber, AIA

Determined to drive up masonry market share, Chicago architect Mark Weber, was disheartened by times the masonry he designed was value-engineered off the project. But why? Weber studies everything in an attempt to make it the best it can be. He wanted to create a concrete masonry unit that retains its beauty and all of its valuable inherent attributes: thermal mass, structural redundancy, fire and STC ratings.

If block were precise in dimension, it could be more quickly stacked than laid, thereby reducing construction time and costs. If it were most cost effective, it would not be the target of value engineering out of a project. Instead, its attributes would cause the block to be value engineered INTO every project.

BlockUp is a mortarless system featuring enhanced water-shedding capabilities and allows for flexibility in structural reinforcing, all in a familiar 8x8x16 format.

While this patented system shares strength and durability of traditional masonry, it is assembled with greater speed and ease. Block start atop a concrete footing, where 48" base units are placed and leveled at three points with threaded inserts. Set with the turn of a screwdriver, the starter course is quickly trued lengthwise and widthwise. It is then grouted solid, creating a precise starter course.

Interlocking block are installed with intuitive stack-and-fill logic. Overlapping block profiles are self-aligning and create a weathering drainage plane. Grout is placed at head and bed joints, forming a mechanical interlock and water-tight joints. An optional isolating insert confines grout to the horizontal joint and reduces the volume and cost of grout by up to 40%. A single structural system is constructed: a conceptual honeycomb. Both vertical and horizontal rebar are easily positioned, allowing for structural adaptation and negating need for special block types. Optional shear inserts provide ductility and resiliency against seismic activity.

BlockUp is a new way to install proven materials. Its unique shape and form deliver structural flexibility and resistance to weather, in addition to a crisp, clean aesthetic. As with traditional CMU, it may be integrally pigmented, burnished or split faced. It is scalable to applications, small and large. Made on block machines such as the Besser Servopac, it is produced as full and half units, as well as corners. It assembles quickly and thus, offers more cost-effective construction. Available in mid-2018 in normal weight and lightweight for both energy efficient cavity walls and insulated single wythe. stevehunt@northfieldblock.net | 847-894-2190

Product Display at Architect Library Introduces New Saturn Materials Guardian

It was when Fred Dunand, owner and president of new masonry producer Saturn Materials in Columbus Mississippi, left the office of an architectural firm in Jackson MS, that he realized he truly inspired them with his new environmentally-friendly, costeffective masonry product line. The architect he spoke with asked Dunand if he would leave his product display for the firm’s library, so designers and spec writers could reference the new fly ash concrete masonry products, branded as Guardian. Of particular interest were the various standard and custom sizes with a clean edge and smooth lines, textures, shapes and fresh distinctive colors.

Green Saturn Materials is a green company beginning with the manufacturing process, which only expels water vapor. Low energy consumption and utilization of fly ash, byproduct of coal fired power plants, with concrete makes products ecologically friendly. Local supply of raw materials of sand and fly ash save on transportation costs and reduce waste to landfills.

From the small Roman brick 4x2 1/4x12 to the larger Monarch 4x4x16 or the large veneer products like 4x4x24 smooth face, popular 4x8x24 cored and the imposing 4x12x24 solid facing units. Offerings are complete with the Structural CMU 8x8x16 and the Holland paver 4x8. The hottest and trendiest range color yet: Cosmic Twilight – a mix of Charcoal and Slate colors can perfectly complement the setting of a snowy, moonlit night sky.From the small Roman brick 4x2 1/4x12 to the larger Monarch 4x4x16 or the large veneer products like 4x4x24 smooth face, popular 4x8x24 cored and the imposing 4x12x24 solid facing units. Offerings are complete with the Structural CMU 8x8x16 and the Holland paver 4x8. The hottest and trendiest range color yet: Cosmic Twilight – a mix of Charcoal and Slate colors can perfectly complement the setting of a snowy, moonlit night sky.»

As a supplemental cementitious material, fly ash replaces 70% of the portland cement in the concrete, reducing the carbon footprint. This is accomplished through an overnight cure time with steam at less than 200° F and above average compressive strength on all products. Not only are products environmentally-friendly, manufacturing process is as well.

Fly Ash With its structural capacity and thermal mass, these concrete block and brick contribute high performance to the cavity wall or single wythe wall system. Fly ash, produced when pulverized coal is burned consuming most of the carbon in the coal, has been used as a pozzolanic addition in concrete for decades. 70% of post-industrial recycled fly ash combines with 30% portland cement as binder plus aggregate sand. Fly ash rich in calcium contributes to a high-end appearance. Fire Resistance Rating testing was completed by the National Concrete Masonry Association on the 8x8x16 CMU with a rating close to two hours.

Manufacturing Dunand has a history of 18 years in masonry products manufacturing industry, commissioning engineer, site superintendent, and special project manager to build and commission plants. When CalStar Brick's doors closed, Dunand was convinced and determined that fly ash as a supplemental cementitious material reducing the carbon footprint could have a large impact on the future of the Masonry industry.

What sets Saturn Materials apart are less common shapes and sizes that architects aspire to use in creating their unique building designs such as the monarch, ambassador, norman and roman brick. There is also a wide assortment of structural block from a 6x8x16 to a 12x8x16 and large veneer units such as the 4x4x24 to a 4x12x24. Products have a smooth texture unless requested with striated or split face.

ASTM See saturnmaterials.com/astm-test-results/ for standards met including ASTM C90 Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C55 Standard Specification for Concrete Building Brick. Products exceed 4400 psi for gross compressive strength. ASTM C1634 Standard Specification for Concrete Facing Brick and ASTM C979/C979M Standard Specification for Pigments for Integrally Colored Concrete. Through-body color shows virtually no fading after years of exposure.

Dunand states, “With the growing threat to our environment, we feel that it is our responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint. Saturn Materials’ leading technology and manufacturing processes require less energy and emits less CO2. We are proud to use post-industrial recycled material in our masonry products.”

Production began October 2016. info@saturnmaterials.com | 662-798-4797 saturnmaterials.com

Greg Silvestri Appointed as Glen-Gery President

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A leading manufacturer of clay brick with a diversified range of clay and concrete products in the United Kingdom and United States, appointed Greg Silvestri as President of Glen-Gery on November 20, 2017. Glen-Gery is a key operating company within Ibstock plc.

For the Fastest Trowel regional competition sponsored by the Southeast Concrete Masonry Association, contestants from NC, SC, VA and TN participated. Winner Kelton McGee, McGee Bros, Monroe NC, placed 122 8x8x16 units in 20 minutes. Second place went to Noah Baucom of McGee Bros, Charlotte NC and third place to Frank Paul, Paul's Masonry, Mt Pleasant NC. Kelton McGee and his tender Reed Ollis won $2500 and round-trip expenses paid by SCMA to MCAA's Fastest Trowel on the Block national competition in Las Vegas January 24. Kelton is not the only McGee going to Las Vegas this year. Brother Wristen will be competing, with brother Kalebas as his tender. Pictured from left are SCMA Executive Director Byard Stevens, Kelton McGee, Reed Ollis and Johnson Concrete National Sales Director Ryan Shaver. Johnson Concrete hosted the event.For the Fastest Trowel regional competition sponsored by the Southeast Concrete Masonry Association, contestants from NC, SC, VA and TN participated. Winner Kelton McGee, McGee Bros, Monroe NC, placed 122 8x8x16 units in 20 minutes. Second place went to Noah Baucom of McGee Bros, Charlotte NC and third place to Frank Paul, Paul's Masonry, Mt Pleasant NC. Kelton McGee and his tender Reed Ollis won $2500 and round-trip expenses paid by SCMA to MCAA's Fastest Trowel on the Block national competition in Las Vegas January 24. Kelton is not the only McGee going to Las Vegas this year. Brother Wristen will be competing, with brother Kalebas as his tender. Pictured from left are SCMA Executive Director Byard Stevens, Kelton McGee, Reed Ollis and Johnson Concrete National Sales Director Ryan Shaver. Johnson Concrete hosted the event.»

Glen-Gery, founded in 1890, is one of North America's largest brick and stone manufacturers, operating 10 manufacturing plants and 10 company owned distribution locations. Glen-Gery's products are sold nationally and in Canada through a network of over 500 distributors.

Silvestri joins Glen-Gery from CertainTeed, insulation division of Saint-Gobain, where he was President for the past six years. Previously he was President of Viracon.

In total, Silvestri has over 30 years of general management and operational leadership experience since graduation with an MBA from the University of Virginia and a BSE in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University.

Silvestri will represent Glen-Gery on the Ibstock Group Executive Committee.

General Shale Acquires Columbus Brick

Wienerberger, world’s largest brick producer, has signed an agreement to acquire Columbus Brick Company through its wholly owned subsidiary General Shale. Columbus Brick is a manufacturer of facing brick headquartered in Columbus Mississippi operating two brick plants with a total annual capacity of 140 million brick. Product portfolio ranges from modular and queen size bricks in various colors for residential and commercial applications to paper cut brick, an exclusive premium product line. Columbus Brick sells brick in more than 18 states, with main markets Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

“The acquisition is a fantastic opportunity to geographically expand our US brick business. It gives us increased presence in Mississippi and Louisiana, states with a high level of brick wall share,” comments Heimo Scheuch, CEO of Wienerberger AG. “Columbus Brick is a company has a long track record, a wellestablished brand as well as a highly reputed and experienced management team. They have a strong and well-balanced product portfolio. Especially the paper cut brick, a very specifically textured brick, will enhance the existing product portfolio. This acquisition is a perfect fit for our strategy of growing local activities. Our strong American management team will soon be able to generate synergies in distribution and administration and quickly integrate Columbus Brick into our existing business.”

General Shale under the leadership of President and CEO, Charles Smith, currently operates 13 production sites in the US and Canada employing 1270 individuals. With a large network of sales facilities, retail showrooms and affiliate distributors, General Shale is present in more than 15 states and provinces throughout North America.

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PROSOCO's Rinseless, Peelable Masonry Cleaner

New, non-traditional cleaner removes stains from a variety of masonry substrates in a rinseless, peelable formula.

PROSOCO's Enviro Klean DriKlean is a gentle, but powerful rinseless cleaning solution designed for interior spaces where traditional liquid cleaners can’t go. In an easy-to-apply formula via spray, roller or brush, DriKlean safely removes dust, soot, oils and other surface soiling from limestone, sandstone, marble, travertine, plaster, terra cotta, concrete, mortar and brick. Cleaner and soiling easily peels off after drying.

DriKlean is also free of natural rubber latex, eliminating allergy concerns for users.

DriKlean is also free of natural rubber latex, eliminating allergy concerns for users.

“We are excited to be launching the industry’s first peelable masonry cleaner without natural rubber latex,” said Al Morris, national sales manager. “This is just the latest example of a long-standing legacy of pioneering the restoration industry with innovative chemistry.”

Developed as a low-toxicity and low-odor solution for interior restoration applications where rinsing isn’t practical, especially in buildings with damage from fire or smoke, this formula is ideal.

New Canadian Patent Granted for ProBlock

Johnson Concrete Products announces the granting of Canadian Patent CA 2854389 for their modular construction ProBlock. Johnson also holds two US Patents 9,739,058 and 9,068,348 for ProBlock.

Jody Wall, executive vice president, states “This was a three year quest finally realized.

The ProBlock innovation is more than just a new line of “A” block, but an entirely new concept concrete masonry unit. It represents a new standard starting with the development of the mix design utilizing Stalite lightweight (expanded slate) aggregate, and the introduction of new (tapered) geometries to the block shape. This innovation takes full advantage of weight and physical material distribution allowed under C90 standards. The ProBlock knock-out delivers a highly functional “H” shaped unit.

Lightweight design delivers increased strength and thermal performance, installation and handling efficiencies and mason safety advancements, along with its ability to be locally produced in a complement of shapes, colors and textures to create a new generation of C90 block. It supports project cost savings and improvements in the speed of construction as well as transportation and freight savings.

Granting of these patents provides recognition of the quality of innovation by the Johnson Concrete Products team. theproblock.com

Tom Long | Remembered for His Achievements

Dear friend, colleague and industry champion passes away on December 4th in Winston Salem, NC. Long had most recently been vice president and assistant general manager of Johnson Concrete Company.

His ascent in management at the Stalite/ProBlock/ Johnson Concrete family of companies over a twoand- a-half year period speaks volumes to his commitment, skill and industry expertise while a member of the team. His experience and deep knowledge in every aspect of the concrete masonry business positioned him to serve and support the companies in many roles. Sales Manager of the PROBLOCK product group, Long was technical lead on Johnson Concrete plant expansion, played a key role in product innovation and served on the executive committees of Stalite and Johnson Concrete.

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According to Long’s colleagues and friends, he had the ability to bring everyone together to get the work done. He was an astute thinker, strategist, teacher, mentor and champion of the concrete masonry industry.

He will be missed.

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