Concrete Masonry is one of the most versatile products and assemblies in the construction industry. It can provide the structural frame of a building, a strong backing for many types of veneer systems, or even be the veneer system itself.
Used in a single wythe application, concrete masonry can serve as both the structure and finished face of the wall.
Plus, concrete masonry is durable, provides resiliency for increased fire safety, offers thermal mass for efficient heating and cooling, and much more.
Concrete masonry can provide a cost-effective, durable structure for any building type. Reinforced masonry incorporates rebar and grout to create a monolithic wall that can withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural and manmade events. Engineers should use a compressive strength (f’m) of 2000 psi or more for masonry to design efficient structures.
Concrete masonry is a dense material that serves as thermal mass in a building. Masonry walls can store heat, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs and providing a greater level of occupant comfort.
Concrete masonry provides a high level of sound control. It’s ideal for partition walls in multi-family dwellings, hotels, dormitories, or on exterior walls as the backup to control unwanted outside noise. CMU walls can provide Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings of up to 63 depending on the wall thickness, density of the units, and whether they are fully grouted or not.
Concrete masonry doesn’t burn. Depending on the thickness of the wall, the density of the units, and the amount of grout used, concrete masonry walls can provide up to a 4-hour fire rating. Plus, concrete masonry walls pass the hose stream test, which is an integral part of many fire testing standards, and indicates an even greater level of redundancy and resiliency.
Lightweight concrete masonry units reduce the load on a structure while providing higher sound ratings, fire ratings, and greater insulating properties.
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.
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 be confident 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 concrete masonry construction.
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.
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.
Air barriers help prevent air and moisture from entering the building envelope. This course teaches BAC craftworkers how air barrier assemblies function, including how to evaluate materials, substrate conditions, and the continuity of components.
Here are some of the most common codes and standards that you may find helpful to reference when designing with concrete masonry. For a complete list, and for guidance on how to use these codes and standards, contact IMI.
Small text files that are placed on your machine to help the site provide a better user experience. In general, cookies are used to retain user preferences, store information for things like shopping carts, and provide anonymised tracking data to third party applications like Google Analytics. As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to disable cookies on this site and on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. We suggest consulting the Help section of your browser or if you decline you will be redirected to the About Cookies website which offers guidance for all modern browsers.