SCMA & CMHA Presentations

This list below contains all the education programs the Southeast Concrete Masonry Association & Concrete Masonry Hardscapes Association currently has registered with the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education Service (AIA/CES)

Free Masonry Courses Online from CMHA

CMHA provides free continuing education courses online for masons. Visit for more details.

The Next Generation of Concrete Masonry (1.0 hour)

The inherent properties of concrete masonry, including strength, durability, and fire safety, have been well documented, though a perception of high cost persists. However, due to significant changes to codes and standards that have increased the flexibility of concrete masonry systems, these systems offer cost-effective solutions. This course reviews changes to ASTM C90 and the masonry design standard and includes a discussion on the benefits and opportunities these new requirements bring.

Prerequisites: No

Course Level: Basic

Start Course Now

Concrete Masonry: The Energy Efficiency Solution (1.25 hours)

Increased energy efficiency in both new and existing construction continues to play a large factor behind the design decisions we make and the materials we choose to integrate into our buildings. Concrete masonry construction can provide a wide range of benefits. This course illustrates how building envelopes constructed with concrete masonry create high-performance buildings that can exceed energy code requirements.

Start Course Now

CMU Level 1 Programs

Level 1 programs are intended to provide basic education on materials and systems for concrete masonry.

SCMA Level 1 – Understanding Structural Masonry (1 hr. LU/HSW)

This presentation is an overview covers structural masonry design, options, tools, costs, constructability, energy efficiency and resiliency of masonry. 

Learning Objectives:

  • What Structural Masonry is
  • Structural design: options, etc.
  • How Masonry Provides Quality Assurance
  • How Masonry is Energy Efficient and Resilient

C099a – Block (CMU) Plant Tour (1 hr LU/HSW)

Participants will learn first-hand through instruction and observing the manufacturing process how concrete masonry and hardscape units are made. Additionally because of the highly specialized process and equipment used in their manufacture, concrete masonry units are structurally sound and sustainable construction products.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand that through the use of extremely high pressure and vibration, very strong, durable and sustainable concrete masonry and hardscape products are made with low cement and low water content.
  • Recognize that all unit shapes are designed to obtain the most structural benefit.
  • Understand that concrete masonry and hardscape products are noncombustible and that fire resistance rating of a masonry block assembly easily can be determined according to the amount of material and the aggregate type used in the manufacture of the unit.
  • Understand how concrete masonry and hardscape products when combined with mortar, grout, reinforcing steel, or geosynthetics form a cohesive, strong structural assembly that can effectively resist the design loads.

C103a – Concrete Masonry Production: An Overview of Materials and Production Methods for Concrete Masonry Units (1 hr LU)

This program provides a brief overview of production methods for concrete masonry units.  Typical materials used in concrete masonry production are reviewed, along with the basic configuration and elements of CMU.  The method of production from material control through to final product packaging is discussed.  Finally, specialized processes for architectural finishes are reviewed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand material components necessary for producing concrete masonry units
  • Understand the evolution of production methods
  • Understand the current production methods for concrete masonry units
  • Understand special processes for architectural finishes

Keywords:  concrete masonry units, concrete masonry production, architectural finishes

C104a – Concrete Masonry Overview: Products, Applications, Design, and Construction Considerations (1 hr LU/HSW)

This presentation covers a basic overview of concrete masonry systems and materials; including how concrete masonry units are manufactured, masonry terminology, masonry mortars, masonry grouts, and construction practices and requirements. This program is best suited for those with little to no background in concrete masonry systems or materials; or for those desiring a refresher course in concrete masonry. The information presented here is built upon in more advanced topics covered in other programs by CMHA.

Learning Objectives:

  • The different types of manufactured concrete products and the process by which they are produced.
  • Masonry-specific terminology and definitions; including code-specific terms as well as regional nomenclature.
  • The standards covering manufactured concrete products and the relevant physical requirements stipulated within these standards.
  • Products and materials used in the construction of concrete masonry systems, including reinforcing steel, grout, and mortar; and the relevant code provisions covering these materials.

Keywords: concrete masonry, mortar, grout, masonry terminology, masonry standards, ASTM specifications, masonry design, masonry construction, masonry overview.

CMU Level 2 Programs

Level 2 programs contain a higher level of technical information intended to expand knowledge of concrete masonry units and systems, as well as provide information on code requirements and concrete masonry solutions.

SCMA Level 1 – The Fundamentals of Balanced Design for Fire Safety Construction (1 hr. LU/HSW)

This is program is an overview of understanding fire safety, fire statistics, trends and gaining a deeper knowledge regarding ASTM E199 standard testing methods used for firs tests on building construction and building materials.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn from the review of cost studies estimated construction costs and the cost of using balanced design approach
  • Gain a great understanding of ASTM E119 standard test methods used for fire tests of building construction and materials
  • Apply the concepts of balanced design for fire safety
  • Understand fire statistics and trends

C201c – Concrete Masonry Codes, Standards, and Specifications (1 hr LU/HSW)

This presentation introduces the various codes, standards, and specifications that govern concrete masonry units, materials, design, and construction. Specific topics include ASTM standards for materials, Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures (TMS 402 and 602), and the relationship between these documents and the International Building Code (IBC). Typical specification formats and resources are also discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the various reference standards used for concrete masonry materials and structures.
  • Understand the requirements for products and materials used in concrete masonry construction.
  • Review and understand the basic code requirements for design and construction of concrete masonry.
  • Understand the commonly used guide specifications for concrete masonry construction and resources available for preparing specifications for concrete masonry.

Keywords: concrete masonry, masonry standards, ASTM standards, specifications, building codes.

C202a – Fire Safety with Concrete Masonry Products (1 hr LU/HSW)

This course addresses the statistics associated with fires, discusses the balance design of fire resistance for buildings, suppression and detection systems, as well as fire testing procedures and methods for determination of fire resistance ratings for concrete masonry assemblies including code approval calculation methods.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand fire statistics and trends
  • Apply the concepts of balanced design for fire safety
  • Distinguish the methods of evaluating fire ratings for concrete masonry
  • Utilize the code approved calculated method for determining fire resistance rating of concrete masonry assemblies

Keywords:  fire resistance, fire rating, balanced fire design, concrete masonry units, concrete masonry assemblies.

C203a – Sound Abatement and Noise Control Using Concrete Masonry (1 hr LU/HSW)

This presentation introduces the concepts of mitigating unwanted noise using concrete masonry assemblies and systems. Topics covered include a basic review of sound and noise, what requirements are mandated by building codes to address sound control, how to determine the sound transmission class and inside-outside transmission classification of building assemblies, noise reduction coefficients, and proper methods of detailing concrete masonry systems to maximize its effectiveness as a sound barrier.

Learning objectives

  • Common sources of internally- and externally-generated sounds and code minimum requirements for mitigating unwanted noise.
  • Standardized means of calculating the sound transmission class (STC) and outside-inside transmission classification (OITC) of concrete masonry assemblies.
  • Reflected versus absorbed sound and the role of the noise reduction coefficient in concrete masonry design.
  • Appropriate layout and detailing options for maximizing sound reduction within buildings for optimum user comfort.

Keywords:  concrete masonry, sound control, sound transmission class (STC), outside-inside transmission class (OITC), International Building Code, ASHRAE 189.1, sustainability, noise reduction coefficient (NRC), detailing, building layout

C204a – Grouting Concrete Masonry Assemblies (1 hr LU/HSW)

This presentation addresses the requirements and procedures of grouting concrete masonry wall systems per the I-Codes and the Masonry Standards Joint Committee (MSJC). It includes material, inspection, testing, and placement requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  • ASTM and Code requirements for masonry grout materials.
  • The difference between self-consolidating grout and conventional grout per code.
  • The inspection and testing requirements for grout for concrete masonry as required by the building code
  • Placement requirements for grout for concrete masonry per code.

Keywords: admixtures, aggregates, cleanouts, consolidation, demonstration panel, grout for concrete masonry, grouting, lift height, pour height, puddling, reinforced concrete masonry, self-consolidating grout, slump, testing

C205a – Crack Control in Concrete Masonry Walls (1 hr. LU/HSW)

This presentation addresses the proper application of empirical crack control measures into concrete masonry wall systems as presented in CMHA TEK 10-2C. It includes causes of cracking, use of control joints and horizontal reinforcement to minimize cracking, details and banding (mixing courses of clay and concrete masonry).

Learning Objectives:

  • Causes of cracking in concrete masonry and its effect on structural performance
  • How to minimize cracking potential to ensure structural performance and weathertightness
  • How to control cracking through the use of reinforcement and control joints
  • How to maintain the fire resistance rating of a concrete masonry wall at a control joint

Keywords: banding, bond beams, carbonation, concrete masonry, construction details, control joints, crack control, expansion joints, joint reinforcement, movement, reinforcing steel, shrinkage, thermal movement, wall movement


CMU Level 3 Programs

Level 3 programs cover more advanced topics and more detailed education on specific concrete masonry topics, such as energy efficiency, moisture penetration resistance, and more.

C301a – Introduction to Sustainability: Concrete Masonry and Sustainability Programs – (1 hr LU/HSW)

The topic of sustainable construction and ‘green’ building has become a market driver in recent years. Codes, standards, and ratings systems have been developed to address all aspects of sustainable construction. Concrete masonry systems and products are well suited to meet the needs and goals of such systems. This program will introduce basic concepts of sustainability, the governing standards and systems in North America, and how concrete masonry products and systems can help achieve compliance, credits, and sustainable buildings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the core concepts of sustainability and green building.
  • Understand the goals of sustainable construction and the needs of the green building industry
  • Know the major codes, standards, and rating systems for sustainable construction
  • Understand the areas where concrete masonry can contribute within sustainable codes and rating systems

Keywords:  concrete masonry, sustainability, green building, rating systems

C302b – Architectural Enhancements: Aesthetic Options for Concrete Masonry – (1 hr LU)

This presentation discusses the aesthetic benefits and options available when using concrete masonry materials and construction. Concrete masonry units are discussed, including available sizes, colors, textures, and finishes. Mortar and the effect of color, joint profiles, and tooling are reviewed. The various aesthetics that can be achieved by different types of bond patterns are introduced. Finally, examples of aesthetically pleasing concrete masonry buildings are shown and discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review performance characteristics for CM wall systems.
  • Explore unit design options for form & function available with CM materials.
  • Learn how mortar options and bond patterns can enhance the performance & aesthetics of your design.
  • Review how these design elements have been integrated into completed buildings.

Keywords: concrete masonry, aesthetics, masonry bond patterns, masonry mortar, color, texture.

C303a – Thermal Performance of Concrete Masonry Systems (1 hr LU/HSW)

Increased energy efficiency in both new and existing construction is continuing to play a larger factor behind the design decisions we make and materials we choose to integrate into our buildings. This presentation introduces the basics of energy efficient design using concrete masonry construction. The concepts of thermal mass, insulation strategies, thermal bridging, code compliance options, and control of air infiltration/exfiltration are reviewed.

Learning objectives

  • The role of thermal mass in building design, increased energy efficiency, and enhanced occupant comfort.
  • The role R-values play in the design of building envelopes and code compliance.
  • Understanding and applying the design options for compliance with the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
  • Methods and detailing for the control of air infiltration and exfiltration for increased energy efficiency and occupant comfort.

Keywords:  concrete masonry, thermal mass, energy efficiency, R-values, U-factors, design resources, insulation, thermal bridging, air leakage, energy use, ASHRAE, International Energy Conservation Code

C304b – Quality Assurance and Inspection of Concrete Masonry Construction – (1 hr LU/HSW)

This presentation provides an overview to the inspection and quality assurance requirements associated with concrete masonry construction as required by the 2012 International Building and Residential Codes (IBC and IRC) and TMS 602-11, Specification for Masonry Structures.

Learning Objectives:

  • Distinguish between quality assurance and quality control
  • Understand the code requirements for concrete masonry construction
  • Identify necessary tasks for the various levels of concrete masonry inspection
  • Evaluate tolerances in masonry construction

Keywords: concrete masonry, inspection, quality assurance, code requirements, construction tolerances

C305c – Moisture Penetration Resistance of Concrete Masonry – (1 hr LU/HSW)

This program provides a general overview of strategies to provide moisture-resistant concrete masonry assemblies, including material requirements and quality design and construction practices. A brief overview of mold and mold abatement is also included.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify key material characteristics desirable for moisture-resistant assemblies.
  • Recognize the basic types of CM wall construction, and the moisture-related qualities of each.
  • Know the basics of effective flashing/weep installations
  • Know how to effectively incorporate sealants and water repellents in concrete masonry assemblies

Keywords: concrete masonry, water penetration, water repellents, sealants, flashing

CMU Level 4 Programs

Level 4 programs are targeted education programs on energy efficiency of concrete masonry with a focus on energy code compliance and tools such as COMcheck.

C401a – Energy Code Compliance with Concrete Masonry (1 hr LU/HSW)

This program presents an overview of energy code compliance, based on the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Details are provided on both prescriptive and trade-off compliance alternatives, with an emphasis on concrete masonry assemblies and resources. The uses and advantages of the COMcheck compliance program are presented.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the various methods available for energy code compliance,
  • Use both the R-value and U-factor prescriptive tables,
  • Understand application of the COMcheck program, and
  • Utilize concrete masonry energy resources.

Keywords:  concrete masonry, energy efficiency, energy code compliance R-values, U-factors, International Energy Conservation Code, COMcheck

SCMA Level 4 – Energy Code Compliance for Single Wythe Concrete Masonry Walls (AIA/CES: 1 LU/HSW)

This presentation was developed for Architects, Engineers, Construction Managers and General Contractors through the Southeast Concrete Masonry Association and the Masonry Institute of Michigan.  Energy Code Compliance for Single Wythe Concrete Masonry Walls will take a look at masonry’s:  


Meeting the current energy codes while using single wythe concrete masonry is becoming more challenging for designers. This presentation will review the recent history and changes to the

International Energy Conservation Code requirements and the effects of the newly updated ASTM C90 allowing CMUs to have thinner webs. The three methods of compliance will be reviewed:  

  • Prescriptive, system evaluation (COMcheck), and building performance evaluation (DOE2 & EnergyPlus).

A step-by-step example showing how one single wythe CMU building in Climate Zone 3 can meet the current energy code requirements when using system evaluation (COMcheck).

Hardscapes Level 1 Programs

Level 1 programs are intended to provide basic education on materials and systems for hardscape products, including segmental retaining wall units and articulating concrete block

H101a – Introduction to SRW Systems (1 hr LU/HSW)

This presentation covers a basic overview of segmental retaining wall systems and materials; including how SRW units are manufactured, terminology, soils, geosynthetics, and construction practices and requirements. This program is best suited for those with little to no background in segmental retaining wall systems or materials; or for those desiring a refresher course in segmental retaining walls. The information presented here is built upon in more advanced topics covered in other programs by CMHA.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the segmental retaining wall terminology
  • Understand the components of an SRW system
  • Be familiar with the minimum material requirements for SRW systems
  • Be familiar with the material testing for SRW components

Keywords: segmental retaining wall, SRW, SRW specifications, designer, reinforced segmental retaining walls, geogrid, infill.

*COMING SOON* H102a – SRW Best Practices (1 hr LU/HSW)

This presentation introduces the best practices for specification, construction and inspection for segmental retaining wall developed in since the industry started.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the industry recommendations for SRW Design and Construction
  • Understand the industry recommendations for SRW Inspection
  • Be familiar with the SRW roles and responsibilities
  • Understand material specifications for Commercial SRW projects

Keywords: segmental retaining wall, best practices, SRW, geotechnical engineer, designer, site civil, inspection, roles and responsibilities.

Manufactured Stone Veneer Level 1 Programs

Level 1 programs are intended to provide basic education on materials and systems for manufactured stone veneer materials and systems.

S101a – Manufactured Stone Veneer Overview (1 hr LU/HSW)

This presentation reviews the key components of adhered manufactured stone veneer (MSV) systems, minimum building code requirements and ASTM standards governing manufactured stone and its installation, and industry recommendations addressing gaps not covered by existing building code requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the MSV system and its components.
  • Know material and property requirements for manufactured stone units contained in the building code.
  • Learn detailing and installation practices for manufactured stone for performance and durability
  • Know code requirements and ASTM standards applicable to MSV systems.

Keywords:  manufactured stone, adhered veneer, code requirements, detailing

Featured Articles

Stay Connected

Have the latest news, information and resources for Architects, Engineers, and Contractors from the Southeastern Concrete Masonry Association sent directly to your inbox.

Join our Mailing List Have a Question?