If you are an outdoor designer, architect, or stone mason who has worked for some time in our business, you have learned that no two jobs are ever the same. When it comes to masonry designs, our customers are always interested in what is new or hip. Our business has grown at such a fast pace that it is very important to be aware of any new product or techniques of installation, since they make us better at what we do.
For more than 85 years, the Franklin County Courthouse has been a cornerstone of the National Register–listed Main Street Historic District in Greenfield, Mass. Its classical revival style, with Corinthian columns, a pedimented Greek temple-like entrance and decorative brickwork, helped the courthouse stand out as a symbol of justice rooted in ancient democratic traditions.
Let’s say you’re working on a restoration project and your customer comes to you with a 20-year-old brick asking if you have a match. What do you say? “Don’t have it. Good luck, try somewhere else”? If that is your approach, chances are your potential customer is going to look for another option, such as stucco or vinyl, to avoid the hassle of looking for an acceptable brick match.
The color consistency of a brick building or wall is sometimes achieved by masonry staining. Stain Gang performs staining of brick, mortar joints, precast concrete repair and restoration, and pressure washing. This small company out of Ararat, N.C., uses a water-based stain and often matches the color right on the job.
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.
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.
Bricks Incorporated got its start in the late 1960s as a demolition and salvage company in Chicago. When an old factory or home was scheduled for demolition, the company salvaged any desirable materials, including brick, steel, terra cotta and copper, then packaged and sold it for reuse. In the 1970s, the company scrapped the demolition business while continuing to salvage materials, and diversified into the manufacture of new brick and stone.
Shortly before 1 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2011, Christchurch, New Zealand, started to shake. Ten seconds are all it took to change the landscape and the lives of residents: 185 dead, several thousand injured, and 45 percent of buildings deemed unsafe to enter. While many of the deaths in the earthquake occurred in a small number of building collapses, unreinforced masonry (URM) construction suffered widespread damage. However, while the Royal Commission Report identified that 97 percent of the unstrengthened URM buildings in the Central Business District were either seriously damaged or collapsed, only 20 percent of buildings that had been retrofit to a high level experienced serious damage.