Efflorescence & New Building Bloom

During construction, water gets inside a wall system and causes initial efflorescence, or “new building bloom.” Remain calm: the wall will dry and the efflorescence will go away. Powdery or chalky white deposits or stains sometimes appear on the surface of masonry buildings. Called “efflorescence,” these deposits occur when water reaches and dissolves soluble salts [...]

Fire Ratings Explained: Part 1

ASTM E-119 Testing. Fire tests have been conducted on many masonry wall assemblies, so the behavior of masonry materials is well documented and predictable. To help prevent building fires from spreading and protect lives and property, building codes require that walls, partitions, roofs and floor/ceiling assemblies in sensitive locations carry particular fire ratings. These ratings [...]

Fire Ratings Explained: Part 2

Equivalent Thickness. Testing every possible wall combination is not feasible. The equivalent thickness method accurately predicts fire resistance. Part 1 of this guide describes ASTM E-119 testing, which is one way that building components such as walls, partitions and floor/ceiling assemblies qualify for fire ratings. When an assembly passes such a test, which usually is [...]

Fire Safety and Balanced Design with Masonry

Of all possible construction systems, masonry offers the utmost protection against fire. Masonry materials—brick, concrete block, stone, mortar, grout and tile—don’t burn, and therefore don’t contribute fuel to a fire. Masonry maintains its structural integrity at high temperatures, and heat transfers slowly through its mass. Depending on its configuration, a masonry wall can remain intact [...]

Hybrid Masonry & Steel Structures

Contractors and designers have long known that masonry and steel make good partners. Masonry is great in compression and steel is great in tension. Put the two together and you have a versatile structural system. Reinforced masonry structures are a staple of the building market and masonry veneer can be backed up by steel stud [...]

Why use Masonry for Dormitories?

Masonry buildings dominate college campuses across the country, from neo-Gothic chapels to Georgian libraries to modern residence halls. When you consider the demands on a dormitory building, it’s easy to see why masonry meets them all. Download PDF

Why use Masonry for Schools?

When you consider the demands on a school building, it’s easy to understand why masonry is the ideal material to meet them all. A community’s school buildings represent its investment in the future. Communities that build schools with masonry materials have realized the best return on that investment. Masonry offers: Download PDF 

Cold Weather Masonry Construction

Successful cold weather masonry construction requires knowledge of code requirements, workforce and planning capabilities, along with the capacity to be flexible and innovative. Building codes mandate certain procedures when constructing masonry during cold weather when the ambient air temperature is 400F and below. The requirements are grouped within temperature ranges, and while the provisions are [...]

Wall Wash Lighting on Brick, Block & Tile

When you look at yourself in the mirror, the right light can make a big difference.
The same thing happens to masonry walls—brick, block, stone or tile—when unflattering, wall wash
lighting is mounted directly on it.