As a region of the national Brick Industry Association (BIA), Heartland Brick can direct you to some amazing resources offered by the BIA at a national level. Many of you may already be familiar with BIA’s Technical Notes, the most comprehensive library of technical information about designing and building with brick anywhere online (see our recent post for more info). But, did you also know BIA offers free online continuing education to architects?
Quick…what’s the most stable brick bond pattern? Which type of mortar has the highest compressive strength? What’s the maximum recommended distance between vertical expansion joints on a brick facade?
How many answers did you have off the top of your head? None? Congratulations, you’re human. As an architect or designer you have a lot going on in your head. Let us save you some brain space. All you need to remember is that clay brick is unmatched when it comes to beauty, design flexibility, permanence, and sustainability. For the rest, go to the Technical Notes!
The Solaire in Manhattan’s Battery Park City, completed in 2003, was the first “green” residential high-rise in the U.S. It’s gold-level certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is owed in part to its cladding of red brick which contributed to the building’s LEED score as both a regional material and one with recycled content. The structure was honored by the American Institute of Architects as a 2004 Top Ten winner.
As a conscientious follower of TMS 402 Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures, you probably know that anchored brick facades over wood framing are limited to 30’ in height. End of story, right? Not so.
The Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University makes one wonder. Eschewing conventional masonry design themes where materials with physical or implied weightiness are concentrated at the base of the structure, the design for the Moody Center by Michael Maltzan Architecture lifts brick upward and even cantilevers it horizontally, making the brick appear to float.
The design and construction landscape is in a constant state of change, and as architects, designers, and builders, you want to know how the materials you’ve relied on in the past are relevant to today’s design trends, building standards, and economic realities.