International Masonry Institute

International Masonry Institute Blog

Engineering Masonry Partition Walls Just Got Easier – Again!

Mar 24, 2015 12:25:00 PM

Introduced last year, the Masonry Partition Wall Software was a huge hit; now additional features are available in the new Version 2.

The program is designed to make engineering masonry partition walls easy, fast and code compliant while doing a rigorous engineering analysis using Allowable Stress Design.  Options can be changed and compared quickly, and easily, permitting the designer to optimize the wall system in minutes.

The software is accessed through the IMI website and is available for use at no charge.

The new Version 2 opens with a redesigned input sheet including a scroll bar and pull downs. An interactive ‘calculate-as-you-go’ feature illustrates data input on a structural line drawing making input checking simple and visual.  It calculates the status of the wall as entries are made on the input sheet showing if the wall is ‘Good’ or Not Good’ – again a quick and visual way to check the design in seconds.

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Topics: Continuing Education

Scott Conwell of IMI Elected to AIA College of Fellows

Mar 10, 2015 3:03:33 PM

The 2015 Jury of Fellows from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has elected Scott Conwell to its College of Fellows.  He will receive this distinction at the Investiture Ceremony this May during the 2015 National AIA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.  As Director of Industry Development with International Masonry Institute (IMI), Conwell has equipped thousands of architects with the knowledge and tools to design high performing buildings in brick, tile, and stone.  His work has significantly elevated the quality in masonry buildings nationwide. 

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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

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