Cold Weather Masonry Construction

Besides the fact that you should have your brick fireplace up and burning by now, there are more things to consider in masonry when these winter months are upon us.

As the construction industry fights back from the recession, contractors may not want to stop large construction (or small for that matter) projects because of a little cold weather or snowstorm.

Brick masonry can be laid in virtually in any weather conditions –with the right preparation, and treatments. To ensure the quality of masonry construction there are mandatory building codes to follow. Contractors and masons must be well-prepared and have thoughtfully planned ahead so they can implement their best quality control efforts with dropping temperatures.

For a complete table – See www.gobrick.com
For a complete table – See http://www.gobrick.com

Units may not be laid if they have a temperature under 20° Fahrenheit or have ice or snow on them. So, if brick is being left on a job site, the units must be properly stored with tarpaulins or polyethylene sheets, and free from any water drainage. Heating the brick, even if they are above 20°F may be a good idea prior to laying as it helps with minimize the effects of cold weather on mortar hydration.

Cold materials used to mix mortar create different properties that cause reduced early strength (lower water content, increase air). As displayed in the chart above, if temperatures are below 40°F you must heat the sand or mixing water to temps between 40-120°F. Ideal temps are between 60-80°F. Water is the easiest material to heat.

The process of hydration of cement continues over an extended time developing the strength of the bond in masonry. Newly constructed masonry must take protective measures. If the temperature drops below 40°F it must be covered with a weather-resistive membrane for 24 hours. If the temp is 20-25° you must use insulated blankets and if it is below 20°F you must heat the enclosure to 32°F for 24 hours.

StJosephEdit

Last winter, during the construction of Exempla Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, Summit Brick Company’s St Joseph’s blend had to be enclosed and heated as they worked through the cold days. Masonry contractors will enclose sections at a time and often, scaffold companies will have enclosures that work for covering a newly constructed section at a time.

As freezing temperatures creep in, it is important that everyone involved in a project can plan accordingly. Following provided guidelines will help ensure proper quality construction of masonry in winter weather.

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.

Union_Aerial

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.

edit3

 

IMG_5637

IMG_6479

IMG_5643

 

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. 

Fossil Trace      Fossil Trace5     Fossil Trace4      Fossil Trace3      Fossil Trace2

 

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!

Bringing the outdoors, in!

Summit Brick Company: Color - Morocco
Summit Brick Company: Color – Morocco

There is a trend we love for interior spaces right now, and that is bringing the outdoors in! Large windows, indoor plants, natural décor, and how about what is on the exterior of your home? Thin brick looks great inside, too! It gives a vintage yet trendy ambiance to a kitchen, living room, bedroom, or even bathroom. Rustic chic, anyone? It has the versatile function for character in any vintage or contemporary style home.  Building a wine cellar or bar in your basement?  When entertaining guests in your own home, give them the warmth and welcoming richness of brick to accompany that glass of wine.

Best part for stylish, thrifty homeowners? It is DIY! The do-it-yourself-er needs to look no further for their next home project. Thin brick does not require a structural footing as it is well below the 15 lbs per square foot maximum for adhered veneer. There are also great systems such as TABS II that make installation a breeze.  All you need is a few simple tools and you can paint your wall will real clay masonry.  Summit Brick Company carries a variety of colors to fit your next project and corners are available to give the appearance of full bed depth masonry.  We also have the ability to make custom thicknesses so you can show relief and shadow effects if you choose to do a soldier course or any other architectural detail.  Let your imagination run wild!

Look at our Pinterest “Interiors” board to get inspired here!

Check out Summit Brick Company’s thin brick here.

via kreativredning.se
via apartmenttherapy.com
via digsdigs.com

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

818 Ebony    

ebony4blog

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

815 Black Diamond

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…

Brick and Mortar

Mortar is the bonding agent that integrates brick into a masonry assembly. Mortar must be strong, durable and capable of keeping the masonry intact, and it must help to create a water-resistant barrier   (The Brick Industry Association).

Although we like to focus on our quality brick, mortar makes up 17% of any brick work so it carries a large amount of importance as well. Aesthetics, weather, exposure, function, and other factors need to be considered when deciding what mortar type will be used for a project.

There are four different types of mortar. See table below:

mortar table

(Table from The Brick Industry Association)

The way we like to remember the more common mortar types in the office is:

Type N for Normal (this is the most common mortar type)

Type S for Strong

Type M for Mega Strong projects

Beyond functional and structural purposes, another consideration for mortar is color. Color can completely change the way a brick color, building, wall, home, etc. look. In the picture above, that is our Summit Plant’s Coronado brick on BOTH houses. The color of the mortar drastically changes the appearance of the two homes. In the second picture, the mortar is also smeared over the brick to create a different aesthetic. The option of color mortar, different mortar joints and techniques contributes an added aesthetic layer to the appearance of a brick project.

There are many different components of mortar. Check out the following links to learn more about what holds us together!

http://www.gobrick.com/Portals/25/docs/Technical%20Notes/TN8B.pdf

http://www.gobrick.com/Portals/25/docs/Technical%20Notes/TN8.pdf

Jessica Huebner
Marketing Manager
Jessica Huebner has been working in Marketing at Summit Brick Company since July of 2013.

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.

Biotech_BHN3

Biotech_BHN2

Biotech_BHN

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

Brown_BHN2

Brown_BHN

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