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NYS Masonry Roundtable A Success

The NYS Concrete Masonry Association, in collaboration with the NYS Structural Masonry Coalition conducted a highly acclaimed masonry roundtable December 17 in Syracuse.

The unique format brought 60 architects, engineers, mason contractors, construction inspectors, and masonry materials suppliers together for an open discussion to share best practices and resolve common dilemmas regarding concrete masonry construction. The following professionals participated on the panel in Syracuse:  Carlton H. Holmes, AIA, LEED AP – Holmes-King-Kallquist & Associates, Architects  Steven W. Hugo, AIA - HOLT Architects  Jamie Davis, P.E., LEED A.P. – Ryan-Biggs Associates, P.C.  Niel Zuern – CME Associates, Inc.  Brett Sherman - Alliance Masonry Corp.  Mike Palmer- Remlap Construction, Inc. Contributing from the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) headquarters in Herndon, VA via Webex:  Jason Thompson, P.E. – Vice President of Engineering, NCMA

The meeting was moderated by Mr. Rick Roach, from Barnes and Cone, Inc. The session was not intended to be a lecture; rather, it was planned as an open discussion between the audience and the panel of masonry experts.

Topics that were discussed included:  Submittals o The most important details that should be submitted on a masonry project.  Preconstruction Meetings o Critical considerations that should be addressed before masonry construction begins. o Who should attend and why.

 Preconstruction Testing o Tests that should be completed before construction begins. o How to use preconstruction tests to manage the quality of the job beginning to end.  Sample Panels vs. Mock-Ups o What are the differences? o Why they are the most underutilized tool available to protect designers and contractors alike.  Tolerances o What the Building Code requires. o Design details that accommodate the different tolerances of concrete, masonry and steel.  Problem Solving o Professional resources available to everyone to help settle differences of opinion.

A great deal of time was spent discussing the merits of including the mason contractor in the preconstruction meeting. A comment was made by a mason in attendance, and corroborated by many others, that all to often, the first time the mason has the opportunity to meet the architect is when a problem has arisen. At that point, it is too late to develop a meaningful relationship; it would have been far better had the mason been involved from the beginning, and was better able to understand the designer’s expectations.

This session was the first in a continuing series of roundtables to be conducted around New York State. Check with NYSCMA Executive Director Nick Carparelli, for further information on a roundtable in your area.

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