What are the building elements that best complement masonry? Design elements ranging from windows and doors to exterior lights and roofing are just as important as the brick and mortar. Masonry Design brings you the latest on these and other building design elements.
On the tranquil lakefront of Stillwater, Minnesota, is a Mid-Century Modern home physically built stone-by-stone by Don and Virginia Lovness in about 1957. Renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright originally designed the project, made up of a custom home and guesthouse cottage.
Engineers and architects choose to specify concrete masonry units (or more commonly called, CMU’s) for their variety of beneficial material properties. According to ASTM International, this low-maintenance material is ensured to meet all minimum design expectations.
Some people got it and some people don’t. Some people are naturals and others struggle. Some people have to draw it out and some go by the seat of their pants. “What is it?” It’s the ability to visualize, to see the end result of an outdoor design, to know what is going to work and more importantly to know what is not going to work.
Increases in population, urbanization, and changes in climate have placed increasing numbers of the US population into areas that are subjected to higher and more damaging winds. This increase in risk has prompted a response by the building codes. In fact, the 2015 edition of the International Building Code (IBC) now requires that most schools and emergency facilities located in a significant portion of the Central US contain tornado shelters.
Master builder John Weaver and a handful of farmers built Rohrbach’s Bridge over Antietam Creek in 1836. They built the creamy white stone bridge with three magnificent barrel arches and elegant proportions: 14 ft. 9 in wide and 125 ft. long. They made wood-capped parapets atop the structure of limestone sourced locally from there around Sharpsburg, Maryland.
The U.S. Virgin Islands were slammed by Hurricane Marilyn in September of 1995, and Bill Coulbourne was asked to join a team of disaster relief specialists on site. “The engineering consulting firm I was working for had a contract with FEMA to provide a disaster response after major events,” he recalls.
Good companies are always looking for ways to add value for their customers. The best ones are able to grow their business while doing it. Bahler Brothers, a design-build firm in Connecticut, has discovered that outdoor lighting adds substantial value to their masonry projects. Combining masonry and lighting extends the hours their customers can enjoy their outdoor living area. This was the case with a recent Bahler Brothers installation in Massachusetts that won a 2016 Hardscape North America Project Award in one of the residential categories.
The front yard of a charming, craftsman-style home in central New Jersey, built in 1926, has a winding front walkway of interlocking pavers around a lighted koi pond with a natural stone waterfall. Connecting to a side driveway of interlocking concrete pavers the path leads to a rear deck and detached garage. Hardscape lighting was important to the long-time owners, a senior couple who sought needed demarcation for safety, in addition to desired visual aesthetics and curb appeal. The small footprint and understated, 2 -inch round design of Evening Star® paver lights provided both of these benefits in a low-voltage, accent lighting option for all paved areas around the home.