More than just a pretty face, masonry offers structural
Masonry is beautiful. Its warmth, variety and hand-crafted appeal have never gone out of style. Since
ancient times, it has been the prevalent way to build lasting structures. Today’s designers, who often
choose it for its decorative value, can also benefit from its many structural advantages.
Engineered and reinforced masonry can be used effectively for bearing walls and shear walls. Depending
on the building’s configuration and function, structural masonry can be used alone or integrated with a
steel or reinforced concrete frame. Often, building features already planned for masonry, such as brickfaced
exterior walls or concrete masonry service cores, can easily be adapted to serve additional structural
purposes. Masonry provides not only the structure, but attractive finishes inside and out.
Since masonry is built on-site using standard units, projects can proceed quickly from the drawing board
to reality. There’s no lead time required for the production, review and approval of shop drawings. As a
hand-crafted system, masonry can adapt easily to late-stage design changes. Furthermore, structural
masonry goes up fast. On one recent 150,000-square foot big box retail center, a team of eleven masons
and five laborers completed all the structural masonry work in only nine weeks.
Finally, structural masonry is environmentally sound. Masonry materials are produced locally and installed
by local labor. Their inherent properties provide fire protection, blast resistance and acoustical control,
thereby serving many functions efficiently. Masonry structures can last for centuries with relatively little
For so many reasons, structural masonry is the right choice.