Restoration and rehab, software, and reinforcement technologies are but a few of the areas where breakthroughs occur regularly and can impact your jobs significantly. Look to Masonry Design for information on the latest advances.
Editor’s Note: This article originally ran in MASONRY, and because of the value virtual and augmented reality can provide to the entire design and construction process, we felt it was important to share in MASONRY DESIGN as well.
The relationship between an architect and a contractor is not always smooth, but in the end they need to work as partners. After a few successful projects, perhaps the intermediate relationship problems can be nearly eliminated and the teamwork can be established early in a project. In this way, the masonry contractor has familiarity with the architect’s design concepts and the architect has the benefit of the masonry contractor’s hands-on experience in creating specifications for the job.
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.
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.
Although peak tornado season typically occurs April through June, violent outbursts struck early this year and featured one of the largest tornado events to ever occur in winter. The January 21–23 spate of storms produced 79 confirmed tornadoes across the Deep South from Texas to South Carolina, resulting in the second-deadliest January outbreak on record. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. averages more than 1,000 tornadoes per year — more than any other country. Annual insurance losses from U.S. tornadoes and thunderstorms range in the billions, with the costliest event occurring in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and nearby areas in April 2011, resulting in $7.8 billion in insured damages.
There is lots of talk about moisture management. Techniques vary between traditional stone masonry and that of modern construction, which uses various methods and materials to prevent moisture from migrating across the building envelope. But moisture management is only one piece of the puzzle in preserving masonry structures. Coatings and sealants are utilized on brick and natural stone in order to protect them from the elements or even graffiti artists. After careful assessment of the condition of the structure, coatings and sealants can be used for waterproofing, weather resistance or a glazed surface.
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