Union Station: Grand Opening Celebration

Thousands of people gathered in Denver Friday for a monumental opening in the Mile High City. Union Station has been renovated and restored to be a remarkable and ambitious transportation hub in the heart of Downtown Denver. Speeches from Colorado senators, the U.S Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, RTD, DUSPA, Kiewit, and Governor Hickenlooper were followed by a ribbon cutting and street party.

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Summit Brick Company was happy to send a couple of our own for front row seats at the Grand Opening. Check out some of the festivities captured.

We are proud to be a part of a celebration of a beautiful completed project and especially one that symbolizes enormous growth for the city of Denver.

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North Building: Summit Plant: Pebble Gray grain with Winter Sky grain accents

South Building: Summit Plant: Pebble Gray smooth with Winter Sky smooth accents

Buying Summit, is buying local

The question is perhaps best answered by Michael H. Shuman, author of Going Local. As Shuman writes, “Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.” – www.localfirst.com

In Colorado, buying brick from Summit Brick Company, is buying local. What is buying local? Why is it important? When you buy locally owned it benefits our communities. I love Shuman’s words choice of “nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably” – both “nurturing” and “sustainably” strike a chord. We have a responsibility to both encourage the growth and development of our local communities-the definition of “nurture”-and to maintain or “sustain” our natural resources and beautiful planet for future generations. Choose local, choose Summit Brick Company.

Benefits include:

1. Strengthen your local economy.

2. Reduce environmental impact. Shipping from our Pueblo or Lakewood plants here in Colorado uses less natural resources and releases less pollution.

3. Provide jobs in your community. Summit Brick Company employs approximately 100 employees in the Colorado area.

4. Receive better service. Summit Brick Company takes the time to get to know their customers because they are our neighbors.

5. Invest in our community. 

6. Encourage local prosperity. 

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If you are local here in Colorado, you might recognize the spectacular and unique Fossil Trace Golf Course above. Fossil Trace Golf Club is located in Golden, Colorado and is one of Colorado’s premier public golf courses.  Jim Engh, a renowned golf course architect, constructed the course with the original landscape in mind, a large reclaimed clay mine from Lakewood Brick & Tile Co.  Large outcropping of rock and some of the original mining equipment are still on the course today.  This is a great example of how innovative ideas come from the clay mine reclamation process and how it can have a positive impact on the surrounding environment.

Not only is Summit Brick Company local here in Colorado, but we are also proud to be family-owned and operated for over 111 years. Read this post to hear more about Summit’s history!

New year, new look!

It is Summit Brick Company’s mission to provide quality clay and building products accompanied by great and personalized customer service. With the utmost respect for safety, the environment and the community, Summit looks to maintain growth and be a leader in the industry through the future.

It’s February of 2014 and we want to highlight some of the new colors we have added to our repertoire here at Summit Brick Company this year! Both of our plants strive to make quality clay brick in colors that fit every aspiration of a design. Our resolution this year is the same as always, to be as true to our company mission as possible, but we want to focus this year on adapting with our ever changing design community offering a selection of clay colors that cannot be beat.

Check out a few or our colors offered now at Summit Brick Company!

Summit Plant

486WT Palisade

486WT Palisade

Palisade

486WT Palisade

Palisade’s inspiration was the landscape of the “Peach Capital on Colorado”. It’s not the lovely peach orchards and wineries where this great brick got its name, but the Grand Mesa National Forest that was the true inspiration. Palisade makes a great residential brick.

174 Crimson Shadow

Crimson Shadow

174 Crimson Shadow

Crimson Shadow is a very modern twist to a traditional feel and look.  Subtle variation and a slight sheen make this a great brick for commercial projects as it offers aesthetic range and depth.  It is also great for residential projects giving the look of a dark beehive-fired unit such those used on the historic homes in the Cherry Creek District of Denver, CO.

Lakewood Plant

Ebony

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Ebony

Sleek and modern would be the best way to describe this very popular brick from SBC’s Lakewood Plant! It is chosen often because of its sheen and sleek monochromatic feel.  An excellent dark color for modern projects like town homes and condos going up in Denver’s newest hot spot, LoHi.

Black Diamond

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Black Diamond

Black Diamond is another great contemporary color lending itself to complimenting the mix-medium designs of today’s architectural world.  It is an excellent choice when a luster finish is desired, allowing the other finishes to create a dynamic look!

We are proud of our ability to offer a vast array of colors, new and old! Please visit our site to see a full list of what we offer.

Jessica Huebner
Marketing Manager
Summit Brick Company
Inspiring Architectural Elegance…

2013 MasterWorks in Masonry Awards

Summit Brick Company is proud to announce that this past weekend we were awarded the Grand Award and Honor Award for the Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute’s 2013 Masterworks in Masonry Awards! As the only brick manufacturer to win a Grand Award, we feel pretty special! We are proud of our product and were honored to work with the teams of owners, architects, general contractors and masons to create these true masterpieces of masonry craft.

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Jennie Smoley Caruthers Biotechnology Building :: Honor Award – Education Category

Groundbreaking: September 2009
Completed: February 2012
Owner: University of Colorado
Architect: HDR and Robert Am Stern
General Contractor: JE Dunn
Mason: Glover Masonry

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Brown Hall :: Grand Award – Education Building

Groundbreaking: January 2010
Completed: January 2013
Owner: Colorado School of Mines
Architect: AndersonMasonDale Architects
General Contractor: Whiting-Turner
Mason: C Morgen Masonry

Awards

112 Years and Counting…

Summit Brick Company is Colorado’s only family owned and operated clay brick manufacturer, founded in 1902 by my great grandfather Joseph C. Welte.  This upcoming year, Summit Brick will become 112 years old.  We are a dying breed nationwide as multinational conglomerates are buying up family owned brick companies.  Being right in the middle of the holiday season, I am reminded about the many people at Summit Brick that I am grateful to call my family.  Many of them have been working side by side with my grandpa, dad and uncle for the past 35 years and are now working with the fourth generation (myself and my three brothers Matt, Paul and Jimmy).  We are still dedicated to bringing customers knowledgeable and friendly service along with a great product.  I had the privilege to be able to work with Jim Clemans before his retirement and learned quite a bit from him on our cross country trips.  I remember to this day how much he loved the people he worked with and his customers.  Jim taught me that this company is about the people.  It is about relationships.  It is about you.  You are what make Summit Brick Company successful!  I want to thank all of you and let you know that we plan to make it another 112 years!

Happy Holidays!

John Welte

VP of Sales

Summit Brick Company

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Break out the sweaters!

With temperatures dropping significantly and snow falling across the nation, many people are rushing to get a set of snow tires and their furnaces fixed.  One thing that most people don’t think about during this arctic blast is brick; however, this is a time that can be damaging to your brick if not taken care of properly.  Salt can wreak havoc on your clay brick patio causing efflorescence and the possibility of shortening the life of the paving brick.  Clay brick are porous and will absorb the salt along with the moisture.  This salt may surface later when the brick dries causing an unsightly white residue.  Also, by adding salt you may increase the amount of freeze/thaw cycles that paving brick will experience.

What exactly are freeze/thaw conditions and cycles?  This cycle is the number one issue of masonry failure in Colorado.  Freeze/thaw is pretty basic.  Moisture freezes and then thaws.  We have numerous days where the temperature drops below freezing at night and then returns to the mid 40’s the next day.  Pretty harmless unless that moisture is trapped inside of something (water expands 9% when changing from a liquid to a solid).  When a brick has moisture and freezes, the moisture expansion can cause microscopic cracking and lead to spawling (the brick begin to crumble or flake off).  The moisture literally pushes the brick apart.  When the brick get above freezing, the moisture returns to liquid again.  One freeze/thaw cycle is the process of the moisture freezing and then returning to liquid one time.  It is generally not an issue with Severe Weather (SW) rated brick unless the brick is completely saturated with moisture over an extended period of time.  Most manufacturers in the US only make SW brick but you may find some brick that has come up from Mexico or the southern US that is only Moderate Weather (MW) rated.  MW brick is not meant to be exposed to the harsh freeze/thaw cycles that we experience in most of the US.  I recommend not piling a large amount of snow from your driveway on the garage’s brick and letting it slowly melt over the next few months.  This will expose that brick to numerous freeze/thaw cycles and may create problems (possibly leading to a premature failure of the brick).  Clay brick is excellent under compression but weak under tension (brittle).

The key is to keep the moisture out!  It is probably too late to do a significant amount of maintenance as winter is here.  Next spring, make sure you don’t have water entering into your building envelope, such as cracks around a chimney cap or a sill that is not shedding water correctly.  Chimneys can get a significant amount of damage if they are not allowing water to drain away but instead into the system.  When a fireplace or stove is used, it makes the masonry heat up.  If moisture is present, it will migrate into the masonry.  Once the fireplace or stove is no longer being used, it will cool down to the surrounding temperature and the moisture will freeze.  If the water is not able to enter the system, no worries.  If there is a lot of moisture present, the freeze/thaw cycles have just increased significantly along with the potential of the brick being damaged.  Do not seal brick (unless you use a breathable sealer) as they need to be able to transfer the moisture out of a system.  If any moisture is present or able to get into the system, you will trap the moisture in compounding the problem.

Water is never going to be eliminated from getting into a masonry system but you want to limit the amount entering.  Also, make sure you have the proper design to allow for any moisture that does enter to exit the veneer system.  If you are going to use salt on your pavers, use it sparingly and know the risks vs. benefits.  With proper planning and care, your brick should last for centuries.

Stay warm!
John

Welcome!

Welcome to your new source for Summit Brick Company’s latest and greatest… Brick Head News! We are elated to bring you the 411 on our company and industry.  We will be posting news, tips, and a “For Distributor’s” page to see a list of request forms (coming soon!) you can send to us so we can help and support you the best we can!  111 years old and proud to be Colorado’s only family owned and operated brick manufacturer!

Summit Brick Company Logo

The mission of Summit Brick Company is to provide superior quality clay and building products accompanied by great service to all customers.  With the utmost respect for safety, environment and community, Summit looks to maintain controlled growth along with being an involved member and leader in the industry.

Pictured: University of Colorado – Biotechnology Building