Brick Assemblies


Brick is primarily comprised of clay-based materials that’ve been pressed or extruded and fired to create a masonry unit. The raw materials used in the brick contribute to its properties and aesthetics. Brick from different time periods exhibit different properties – a result of improvements made in the manufacturing process over time. Other brick unit types include concrete, calcium silicate, or those that are comprised of raw materials different than clay-based materials. Brick has, and continues to be, a durable and long-lasting material.

Clay brick that are hand-pressed and fired at lower, less uniform temperatures often have low compressive strength, high porosity, and high water absorption. Conversely, modern clay brick that are extruded and fired at higher, more uniform temperatures often have high compressive strength, low porosity, and low water absorption. It’s critical to understand the properties of the existing brick on your project so that compatible replacement bricks are selected.  Variations in properties can affect the overall performance of the masonry wall system. These masonry systems include load-bearing mass wall construction, transitional, barrier, and cavity wall systems. Existing wall assemblies may also present different unit configurations, movement accommodation, water management details, and anchorage depending on the materials used and construction era.


For successful historic and existing projects, it’s important to prioritize repairs based on the structure’s conditions and project team goals. Project strategies differ per project and can be selected from a variety of repair options. Refer to our restoration best practices page for additional information, details, and resources. Below, find brick repair and restoration options for consideration on your project.

Let team imi support your next project

IMI’s free project support, technical assistance, and education is here to help you at any stage in your building’s lifecycle.

Our multidisciplinary team draws on decades of experience developing solutions for high-performing masonry and tile projects.

project spotlight

Installer Certifications and Training

Why settle for anything less than the best when it comes to the installers on your project? BAC craftworkers train throughout their careers to become building enclosure experts and masters of their craft. 

When you want to have confidence that you’re working with qualified, experienced crews on your project, you can specify for well-trained craftworkers.

Here are some of the training, certificate, and certification programs you may want to specify for brick restoration projects. 

Historic Masonry Preservation

Traditional craft skills and contemporary repair techniques are critical to the preservation of historic buildings and structures. This in-depth certificate gives BAC craftworkers integrated knowledge of historic masonry preservation.

Flashing Upgrade Training

Proper flashing is one of your building’s best defenses against moisture. BAC craftworkers stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and building code requirements with IMI’s Flashing Upgrade Training Program.

Grouting & Reinforced Masonry Training

Grouted and reinforced masonry provides added strength to your building. BAC craftworkers learn the latest advances in grouting procedures and code requirements in this course. 



Here are some additional resources that focus on brick and restoration. For a more comprehensive list of repair and restoration resources, please refer to the restoration page. For additional guidance, contact IMI.

  • Introduction to Early American Masonry: Stone, Brick, Mortar, and Plaster by Harley J. McKee
  • Masonry: How to Care for Old and Historic Brick and Stone by Mark London
  • Brick: A World History by James Campbell and Will Pryce
  • “Acquisition and Properties of Brick for Historic Structure Preservation and Rehabilitation,” M. Scoforo and H. Browne; Standards for Preservation and Rehabilitation, ASTM STP 1258, pp. 337-352 (1996).


Work with our multi-disciplinary team to help you deliver high-performing projects.