Value engineering. Design-build. Green building. These are all trends affecting the way you plan and design projects. Turn to Masonry Design for latest developments on these concepts and many more.
The classroom has always been and will continue to be a core learning space. But why should the learning stop there? Since early learners are constantly on the prowl for new information, today’s early learning centers (ELCs) should offer learning opportunities around every corner. Traditionally, the school corridor has functioned solely to transport students from one classroom to another. That is a wasted opportunity. Breakout areas just outside of classrooms support small-group activities and specialized instruction. They also create a sense of community and arouse curiosity among passing students.
At 216,000 square feet and spanning nearly an entire city block, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s (UNCG’s) Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness more than doubles the size of the university’s previous recreation building. The facility was designed to provide indoor recreational space for a projected population of 24,000 students, along with faculty, staff and alumni.
To best understand terrazzo, you have to go back 500 years, when Italian masonry workers used marble scraps from construction jobs to create inexpensive flooring for their homes. While marble remains the aggregate of choice today, the introduction of epoxy terrazzo allows for greater design opportunities.
Lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) are the two largest uses of energy throughout the commercial building sector. In fact, lighting alone accounts for nearly 35–50 percent of total electricity consumption. Within the building envelope, however, lies the opportunity to reduce the energy being consumed and decrease a building’s overall carbon footprint. Achieving sustainability within the building envelope starts with specifying the right products. Choosing eco-friendly products doesn’t just ensure lower energy costs; it can enhance occupant health and reduce any negative impact on the building itself, as well as the environment.
Nothing says sustainability more than preserving, restoring and repurposing existing buildings. The greenest buildings today are those already built. Masonry is a sustainable, resilient material that can survive floods and fires. It is the oldest and most permanent building material, exuding a sense of permanence, longevity, quality, reliability and familiarity, yet it is forgiving and flexible. Many brick buildings that were built more than 100 years ago are continuing to fulfill their original purposes, while others have been adapted for new purposes.
Masonry, one of the oldest and most beautiful trades, has been on a steady decline since the 1960s. Due to dramatic changes in the way today’s homes, chimneys, foundations and steps are being constructed, the industry is at its lowest point in 80 years. The average age of masonry professionals is increasing and the number entering apprenticeships is declining. In the northeast corner of the U.S., a Maine-based masonry company is quietly working to revive the declining industry through new product development and innovation.
Everyone knows that Americans need to get outside and get active. Report after report shows that obesity and inactivity are making us sicker and shortening our lives. Despite all the studies and surveys, convincing us to shed our sedentary ways has proven to be a tough sell for health advocates. Masonry may be part of the solution, making the great outdoors a place where more of us want to be.
Our buildings reflect our society, and as technology and other trends blur the traditional lines between work and home, the spaces where we live, work and play mirror these changes. Masonry often performs a big role in these multi-use facilities, creating a sense of place and setting a tone for these buildings and the spaces within them.
With building restoration projects, you have few or no options other than to use existing materials to replicate an old building back to its former glory. But that is not always easy to do. Some buildings have major problems, from correcting structural issues to matching the aesthetic appeal of its original design. This work is not for the faint hearted because many times you won’t know what damage lies beneath the surface.
Our firm, Croxton Collaborative Architects (CCA), a founder of the modern sustainability movement, recently completed the 21,000-square-foot international headquarters for Iredale Mineral Cosmetics (IMC)—manufacturers of jane iredale—in Great Barrington, Mass. A replacement for the company’s smaller home base nearby, the new structure represents the rehabilitation of the abandoned 1889 William Cullen Bryant School building (and its early 1900s addition), a Massachusetts Cultural Resource, as a 21st century center of operations.
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