DC, Maryland, and Virginia have a long tradition of beautiful masonry. Driving through many of their cities you’ll spot rowhouses, hospitals, schools and other institutional buildings constructed with molded brick. Clay deposits and other raw materials (such as sand) are readily available throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, which is why local plants have been producing molded brick for more than 100 years.
There have been many articles written that prove the performance values and case studies that confirm masonry’s resiliency in the field. All of them are technically sound and great representations of our industry. I’d rather focus on the aesthetic. Architects are driven by the aesthetic. If we can give a designer the “look and versatility” they’re after without sacrificing resiliency, masonry shines. Let’s consider masonry resiliency from the aesthetic point of view.
As a stone designer, I am intrigued with and will collect anything unusual extracted from the earth. Enthusiastically, mineral experts and rock nerds like me will dig deep, ready to nose dive into the dirt all over the world, answering an energetic primal call that beats for our attention.
Existing buildings offer the greatest opportunity for achieving energy efficiency and reducing the overall building energy use in the U.S. Buildings constructed before 1980 were built to model energy codes that are vastly less stringent than current code requirements.