International Masonry Institute

International Masonry Institute Blog

Building with Masonry for Fire Safety

Jan 29, 2015 2:01:00 PM

Last week’s dramatic fire in Edgewater, New Jersey, which resulted in the destruction of a large apartment complex, inevitably leads us to reflect again on the core principles of building for fire safety. What’s the best approach to protect both lives and property?

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Topics: Masonry Education

IMI, National Geographic and the Great Cathedral Mystery

Feb 5, 2014 12:45:00 PM


IMI National Training Director Robert Arnold along with other IMI staff were sponsored by National Geographic to help construct a scaled down version of Brunelleschi's Dome in Florence, Italy for a program on the engineering of the world's largest brick dome. "NOVA's Great Cathedral Mystery" produced by National Geographic Television in association with Camera One Productions premieres on PBS February 12, 2014.

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Topics: IMI Blog - Masonry

Masonry Partition Wall Design

Oct 24, 2013 1:44:57 PM

Engineering Masonry Partition Walls Just Got Easier!

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Topics: IMI Blog - Masonry

IMI Develops New Internal Bracing Guide

Jun 6, 2013 1:43:00 PM

Masonry under construction must be temporarily braced until the final lateral support system is in place. The importance of this bracing is paramount to the safety of both the general public and those involved with the project under construction. The Standard Practice for Bracing Masonry Walls Under Construction provides engineering principles and properties for rationally design bracing systems for masonry walls under construction. Internal bracing, or using the developing strength of the masonry assembly, can provide significant benefits to a project team. To support the engineering community in the use of structural masonry, including effective and efficient temporary bracing, the International Masonry Institute has funded this guide.

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Topics: Masonry Education, Continuing Education, Structural Masonry

IMI and MIT Team Up for Guastavino Exhibit

Oct 17, 2012 1:42:00 PM

IMI and MIT teamed up recently to build a half-scale replica of a Guastavino vault as part of a dynamic new exhibit, “Palaces for the People,” at the Boston Public Library. The exhibit showcases the work of Rafael Guastavino, Sr. and the architectural innovation that he helped bring about with the dramatic vaults in public spaces in the late 19th and early 20th century America. MIT Professor John Ochsendorf says, “By bringing together professional craftworkers, architects and engineers to work on this project, we are able to understand more about the techniques that were used and have the ability to create new vaults for the future.” Craftworkers from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) worked alongside MIT students to build the model.

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Topics: IMI Blog - Masonry, Expos and Events

IMI Working to Make Masonry Meet New Energy Codes

Sep 4, 2012 1:41:00 PM

As IMI points out to designers, walls with high thermal mass such as masonry actually perform much better than simply adding insulation.

IMI has partnered with MCAA and CCMPA to have Dr. Mark McGinley (University of Louisville) conduct a study using whole building energy models to determine code compliant designs for single wythe masonry buildings in climate zones 3 – 7, which include most of northern US and southern Canada. It addresses both US and Canadian codes.

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Topics: Building Envelope, Masonry Education, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Design, IMI Blog - Masonry

IMI Develops Manual to Expedite Structural Software Use

Jul 9, 2012 1:40:00 PM

A New Structural Masonry Manual developed by the International Masonry Institute (IMI) – RAM Elements V8i for Masonry Analysis & Design – is now available. Click here to download a free copy of the manual from the IMI web site.

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Topics: Building Envelope, Structural Masonry, IMI Blog - Masonry

BAC and IMI Address Seismic Concerns

Jun 20, 2012 1:39:48 PM

BAC and IMI are taking a lead role in addressing concerns over public safety and the condition of our existing building stock in the aftermath of last year’s earthquakes. The magnitude 5.8 earthquake that hit the Washington DC area in August of 2011 surprised many construction experts, who assumed that this area has the lowest possible seismic risk. Other seismic events of 4.0 magnitude or greater in seven other states during 2012 further show that the United States and Canada are vulnerable to the effects of earthquakes.

Current building codes allow masonry structures to withstand seismic forces with little or no damage. More difficult are older structures with little or no reinforcing in the masonry walls. This is why IMI is partnering with the University of Buffalo and the Multi-Disciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) on a project to determine the behavior of multi-wythe masonry buildings with wood frames. Estimates have New York City alone with over 10,000 of these mid-rise structures. “The research findings will lead us to appropriate solutions for retrofit and work opportunities in making our existing building stock safer for the occupants and general public,” says IMI National Director of Industry Development, David Sovinski.

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Topics: Building Envelope, IMI Blog - Masonry

IMI Targets Restoration, Retrofit and Repair Market

Jun 7, 2012 1:38:00 PM

Restoration, retrofit and repair continue to be one of the strongest construction markets for BAC members and contractors and IMI has the education and training courses to maximize those market opportunities. Two of this year’s IMI outreach programs in this area have been with APPA, the group of facility managers responsible for the maintenance of higher education facilities and a national seminar series with Cathedral Stone Products, Inc.

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Topics: Masonry Education, Continuing Education, Energy Efficiency, Restoration, IMI Blog - Masonry

IMI and Masonry Industry Join Together For BIM Initiative

May 31, 2012 1:38:17 PM

The International Masonry Institute (IMI), the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC), the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA), The Masonry Society (TMS), and the Western States Clay Products Association (WSCPA) are financially sponsoring the National Building Information Modeling for Masonry Initiative (BIM-M) in order to include masonry materials and systems into BIM software for the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. Numerous affiliated groups have joined in with their support.

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Topics: IMI Blog - Masonry

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