Climate Resilience is the New Sustainability

As the world tackles climate change, it faces a seemingly intractable problem. Mitigating climate-disaster will require more resilient construction — and yet the building sector already comprises nearly 40 percent of global emissions. So, how can we build the resilient infrastructure we need while also eliminating the carbon footprint of construction? In this op-ed authored […]

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Block Delivers Beauty and Durability: An Architectural Block Case Study

A combination of split face and ground face concrete block, supplied by Basalite Concrete Products, is helping Denver’s 2020 Lawrence stand up to the rigors of its urban environment— providing an upscale aesthetic and setting an example for sustainable residential redevelopment throughout the region and the country. The carefully chosen colors and textures of the […]

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In the Wake of the Storms – Demand Stronger Building Codes for Safer Communities

The tornado that tore through Mayfield, Kentucky caused untold devastation. Entire neighborhoods were blown apart by the extreme winds, and weeks later, survivors are still feeling traumatized. Marty Janes and his wife were getting ready for bed when the storm ripped off their roof. “It sounded like a nuclear bomb,” he said. The two were […]

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Reducing Carbon Emissions with the Cement & Industry Partners

Everything we do impacts the planet. And the responsibility to reduce a carbon footprint and make products and production as sustainable and resilient as possible falls to us all. Building materials are a part of that. Concrete has long been the most used building material, second only to water. Cement and concrete masonry are so […]

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SCMA Provides Consumers Safer and Lower Cost Home Building Alternatives

The Masonry Framed Homes Initiative Homebuyers across the nation are up against one of the tightest housing markets in modern history with home prices up 25%+ over the past year. With that, many are looking to new construction as an alternative but are constrained by scarcity of a formerly plentiful and cheap commodity: lumber. The […]

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Hurricane Season Starts June 1st

Sound Decisions Protects Your Investments, Community and Family Should your investments, community or family be concerned about tropical storms and hurricanes?  Yes, the National Hurricane Center reports the greatest threat to life and property along the coasts are storm surge and large waves caused by hurricanes. In addition, heavy rainfall can result in extensive flooding, […]

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SCMA Relaunches Concrete Masonry Framed Home Program

Shaver House Concrete Masonry Framed ConstructionCourtesy of NCMCA & Ryan Saver By James Cain, President of SCMA The SCMA is a true believer in learning from the past. In late 2021, the SCMA plans to relaunch the Concrete Masonry Frame Home Program with the use of technology while educating the consumer on the advantages of building […]

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Wood Prices are Soaring!

Rethink Your Build Strategy with Concrete Masonry A new analysis by the National Association of Home Builders finds that the cost of lumber has soared by 130% since mid-April. At a time when the country is reeling from the COVID-induced recession, the price of lumber has skyrocketed by 130% in a matter of months, bringing […]

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Concrete Masonry Tornado Shelters “Safe Rooms” Save Lives

The weekend proved not only to be one of the toughest days in the fight against the coronavirus, but it also had a record number of tornadoes spanning from Texas to the Carolinas. It brought 80 different tornadoes over two days, one even traveling as far as 100 miles. In total, as many as 30 […]

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Schools Partnering with Brick Masons

Watch this video to see how schools are partnering with brick masons in North Carolina.

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Why Concrete Masonry Is the Best Way to Save Lives & Property

Structures built from concrete masonry units (CMUs) not only help prevent fires because of their noncombustible nature, they are extremely effective in slowing or blocking the spread of flames in the unlikely case of fire. This extra time is critical in saving lives and mitigating property damage.   A video produced by the National Concrete Masonry Association demonstrates how […]

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Trending in New School Construction

Architects Chose Concrete Masonry to Deliver Modern, Secure and Welcoming Design When Charlotte-based Cort Architectural Group was chosen to design the Mountain View Elementary School in Morganton, NC, father-son team, John and Hamilton Cort, focused on creating a modern, secure, and welcoming space with a flexible and functional flow pattern.  In fact, Mountain View Elementary […]

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Building More Comfortable Buildings With Concrete Masonry

Thermal mass wall systems consisting of concrete masonry units (CMU) can help make buildings feel comfortable all year long. The Southeast Concrete Masonry Association knows there is some confusion around the issue of using continuous insulation in mass walls versus in lighter-framed walls made of a material such as lumber. While wood-framed walls typically utilize […]

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Concrete Masonry Buys Time, Saves Lives In Case Of Fire

In structure fires, time is of the essence. Minutes count. Seconds count. Concrete masonry structures afford you significantly more seconds and minutes than wood-framed structures in a fire, giving occupants more time to safely exit the building. In large buildings such as apartments, hotels, condominiums and senior living communities, block can be the difference between […]

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NCMA Offering FREE Concrete Masonry Continuing Education for the Design Community

The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) is offering free online courses on the fundamentals of the concrete masonry industry. Free to architects, specifiers, engineers, and construction professionals – the courses cover all aspects of the concrete masonry field and can be taken at your own pace. No prerequisites are required. Hosted by AEC Daily, these courses […]

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CONCRETE VS CEMENT

What Do You Mean It’s Not The Same? There is a misnomer around the world about the word use of concrete and cement. In defense of the layman the problem arose years ago when the industry itself labeled one of its concrete blocks; cement blocks. How were they to know that the world would use […]

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Using Concrete Masonry Makes Sense, Saves Dollars

Using concrete masonry units in construction offers excellent value compared to wood and light gauge steel framing due to its low cost and superior performance. Walter Schneider III, professor of Architectural Engineering and Structural Engineering at Penn State University, performed a cost study on multi-residential structures built from the three materials in eight U.S. cities, […]

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Concrete Masonry Units Stand Up to Storms

With Hurricane Florence fresh in our minds, many people – residents, business owners and contractors – are thinking of how to best withstand the high winds of massive storms and tornadoes. For many of these individuals, the answer could very well lie in one building material: concrete masonry units (CMU). CMUs have a high mass […]

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New IBC 2015

A REVOLUTIONARY change in structural concrete masonry went into effect in Virginia on September 4, 2018, and is already in effect in the Carolinas. What you need to know:– Increasing f’m from 1,500 to 2,000 psi Saves TIME and MONEY Can decrease grout and vertical reinforcement up to 50%” For further information on the New IBC […]

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Resisting Fire: A Compelling Reason To Build With Block

The fire-resistant qualities of concrete masonry units (block) are a significant factor for its use in buildings such as schools, retail establishments and commercial buildings. Block structures are inherently more fire-resistant than other building materials and experience minimal water damage in the event of a fire. In most cases, block construction will keep damage outside […]

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Concrete Masonry Visionary – Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright is arguably one of the most influential American architects in our history. Come hear about how he influenced architectural design and the use of concrete masonry during a special 100-Year Anniversary special session, “Frank Lloyd Wright – Concrete Masonry Visionary,” on Wednesday, August 1 from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm While Wright […]

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Resilient High Performance

As we continue to see more frequent and more powerful natural and man-made disasters, the built environment must consider whether enough is being done to protect the health, safety and welfare of occupants, but also the durability of the structures themselves. In addition to lives saved, buildings designed to be sustainable and resilient in the […]

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TAKE ACTION – KEEP THE PUBLIC SAFE FROM TALL WOOD BUILDINGS

The International Code Council soon will vote on proposed code changes that among other things would allow tall wood buildings to be built up to 18 stories, despite a lack of rigorous scientific or in-the-field fire and structural testing. NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE ACTION by urging the ICC to say no to these […]

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Building With Concrete Masonry Makes Savings Sense

Concrete Masonry construction, when considering energy savings and maintenance costs, may be a better value when compared to structures built with wood or light steel framing.The Southeast Concrete Masonry Association performed a cost study for nearly 100,000-square-feet, multi-residential structures constructed with the three materials in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia.Although conventional wood […]

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