The American Architectural Foundation awarded its inaugural Oculus Award for Leadership in Design & Cultural Heritage to both the International Masonry Institute and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers in December 2014.
This award was presented to IMI for their stewardship and vision in preserving craftsmanship as an integral part of saving America’s treasures. Ron Bogle, Hon. AIA, President and CEO of AAF, said, “The IMI [has] demonstrated great stewardship and an immeasurable contribution to the field of preservation through their steadfast dedication to providing comprehensive training to maintain the highest quality of craftsmanship."
As part of this mission of promoting historic preservation, recent sessions of the IMI Historic Masonry Preservation Certificate Program took place at the at the John J. Flynn BAC/IMI International Training Center in Bowie, Maryland, and the BAC Local 1 PA/DE Training Center in Philadelphia.
These two-week programs draw members of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftwokers Union from throughout the United States and Canada. The training provides Journey-level masons with an introduction to the theory and history behind the preservation movement as well as an in-depth understanding of traditional materials, methods, and advancements in preservation technology.
Many of the participating masonry craftworkers are already engaged in restoration work, while others may have spent their careers in new construction and are just becoming involved in restoration projects.
The course provides perspective on how a preservation/restoration project is designed and how the role of the craftworker fits into the overall execution and long-term success of the work. The learning modules were developed to actively engage the participants through lecture and hands-on training sessions lead by IMI Instructors.
Importantly, the course relies heavily on the assistance and participation of building owners, members of the preservation design community, and product manufacture’s. The program has proven to be a valuable forum for information exchange between the design community and the masonry craftworker, where both are able to gain a better appreciation of the other’s contribution.
For building owners and design professionals, this certificate program offers an opportunity to manage quality control on preservation projects. Developing specification language which requires certificate programs such as these as a pre-qualification, will assist in fostering higher quality craftsmanship. In order to receive the certificate, participants must attend all training modules, pass a written exam, and be evaluated on the hands-on portions of the program. Certificates of successful completion are valid for 5 years and can be renewed though abbreviated re-certification courses offered for each module.